During the course of Operation Magic Carpet (also known as Operation On Wings of Eagles), 49,000 Jews were airlifted to the new State of Israel. The vast majority of these Jews were from Yemen.
Jews of Yemen
In 1922, the government of Yemen reintroduced the “orphans decree,” which stated that an orphan under 12 years of age would be taken from the Jewish community and turned over to a Muslim foster family.
About 10% of Yemen’s Jews left Yemen and immigrated to Palestine in the first wave of immigration, which lasted from 1881 to 1914.
Geniza Document, trans. S. D. Goitein, in Mosseri Collection, L-12, Letters of Medieval Jewish Traders (Princeton, 1973), pp. 213–15. Excerpted from Norman Stillman, Jews of Arab Lands, 247-248. (August 1198) to Aden. Immediately after his arrival he was brought before the self-styled caliph, who said to him: “Become a Muslim, or you will cause the death of your brethren.” […]
Primary Sources Forced Conversion of the Jews of Aden A Twentieth-Century Yemenite Version of the Pact of Umar, 1905. Sir John Hope and the Yemenites, Excerpt from The Statistical Bases of Sir John Hope’s Report on Immigration, Land Settlement and Development in Palestine, Jewish Agency, 1931. Secondary Sources The Exodus from Yemen Images San’a Pentateuch, […]
Keren Hayesod, Jerusalem. No date, circa 1950s. A photographic essay of the immigration of Yemeni Jews into Israel. Click here for more on Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands To all those who participated in the redemption of the Jews of Yemen–to the people and the Government of the State of Israel to the organisers and […]
San’a Pentateuch San’a Pentateuch, Yemen, 1469 The poem Give Ear; Deuteronomy 32. A fine 15th-century example of illumination in a Pentateuch. Hebrew manuscripts from Islamic lands contained no images, but were decorated with Jewish elements and adapted Islamic motifs. The handwriting style here is typical of Yemen. Penned in Hebrew square script in a typical […]
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Beneficent This is a decree which the Jews must obey as commanded. They are obliged to observe everything in it. They are forbidden to disobey it. It is intended to remind them of what the governors of the Ottoman Empire abolished . . . which are required […]