November 26, 2009 / 9 Kislev 5770
At a meeting with new immigrants from Yemen who recently arrived in israel with the assistance of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of Israel’s Sephardi, Jews called on those Jews remaining in Yemen to immigrate to Israel.
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Spiritual Leader of Israel's Sephardi Jews, received 35 new immigrants from Yemen at his home in Jerusalem, congratulated them on their decision to immigrate to Israel and called on those Jews remaining in Yemen to join their brethren and immigrate to Israel. The new immigrants who were very moved asked that the Rabbi bestow on them a special blessing to which he gladly acceded and paid special attention that every child receive a personal blessing.
The meeting was facilitated by Minister Meshulam Nahari (Shas) and Eli Cohen, Director General of the Jewish Agency's Immigration and Absorption Department.They both presented to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef the activities of Minister Nahari's Office and the Jewish Agency for the smooth absorption in Israel of the new immigrants from Yemen and for their successful integration into Israeli society.
Among the new immigrants who received a blessing was Said Ben Israel, who was one of the leaders of the Jewish Community in the town of Raida whose immigration to Israel in February 2009 was facilitated by the Jewish Agency a few months after he was attacked by Muslim extremists who threw a hand grenade into the yard of his house.
The Jews of Yemen receive the protection of the President of Yemen Ali Abdullah Sallah. Nevertheless, in recent years harassment of Jews in the context of antisemitism has been on the rise from extreme Muslim elements. The tension reached a high on December 10th, 2008 with the murder of Moshe Yaish Nahari, a Jew and father of nine who was shot by a Muslim extremist. The threats on the lives of Jews in Yemen further increased following Israel's "Operation Cast Lead". Currently 200 Jews reside in Yemen.
Since February 2009, The Jewish Agency for Israel has facilitated the immigration of almost 60 Jews from Yemen. A further 60 Jews from Yemen have also emigrated to the USA.
New immigrants from Yemen whose immigration to Israel was facilitated by the Jewish Agency for Israel were hosted last night (25/11) by Sephardi Spiritual Leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef at his Jerusalem home.
Photos Credit: Sasson Tiram/Jewish Agency for Israel