Home inContext The End of Yemen’s Jews

The End of Yemen’s Jews

Samara Greenberg

Amid rising anti-Semitic violence, the U.S. State Department is relocating Yemeni Jews to America. Since July, the U.S. has welcomed 60 Jews and, according to officials, another 100 could still come.
The Yemeni Jewish population is among the oldest in the Diaspora. Historians believe the first Jews arrived nearly 3,000 years ago as part of King Solomon’s trading network. While Jews were never fully accepted in the Muslim state, the community always had a place in Yemen until the advent of Zionism. By 1949, amidst fears that the community was in danger, Israel brought 50,000 Yemeni Jews to the nascent state in a daring airlift now known as “Operation Magic Carpet.”
In addition to the 160 Jews moving to the U.S., some 120 Yemeni Jews are also expected to immigrate to Israel. When complete, the exodus will close a chapter in Jewish history. Indeed, according to Yemeni Jewry expert Hayim Tawil, “This is the end of the Jewish Diaspora of Yemen. That’s it.”