Much like its own Budget -- which cannot be fully funded given the number of federations which have not paid their Dues, some dating back to 2007, growing each year since -- federations have not stepped forward with enthusiasm to fund a relocation...well, let me spell it out the way in which the World Zionist Organization expressed it on June 2: "...there is no dispute over (the Yemenis)...right to decide to be absorbed any place else in the world, but the concerted effort that was made in this instance by the UJC appears not to be in keeping with the patterns of conduct that were established in the Jewish Agency by its partners over many years." UJC has not responded to the WZO...it moves forward with the Satmar as its partner as it once did with JAFI and the Joint; it hides behind a terrific philanthropist, Monsey's and the UJA-Federation of New York's Yis Schulman. And what happens if the $800,000 is not raised? Seems like a logical question.
The WZO continued: "The fact that the UJC decided to get involved without discussing the issue with the partners in the Jewish Agency undermines the foundations of the partnership and Zionist character of the Jewish Agency for Israel. The WZO demands that UJC stop this initiative..." And UJC has not responded -- it never does.
But the Jews of Yemen have responded. The Jewish Agency announced here in Jerusalem as its Assembly and Board of Governors are meeting that 16 Yemeni Jews arrived here, their home...our home for them...in fulfillment of part of the Zionist imperative. Some, I am told, were on the list of those whom UJC planned with its "partner" to relocate in Monsey.
It one week ago, on Monday June 15, on jpost.com, Haviv Rettig Gur, the Post's insightful reporter on, among other things, Diaspora matters, published a lengthy interview with Yis Schulman in which Schulman, philanthropist and a member of the Monsey community, decried the "rumor mill" that created the impression that these families are "...moving into an anti-Zionist community..." citing the involvement of, among others, the U.S. State Department, HIAS, FEGS and the Rockland County Jewish Federation (whose Dues payments to UJC may have ceased) beyond the Satmar, and that this relocation is of those who "chose to come here." At the very end of a long interview, Rettig Gur quotes "a former Jewish Agency employee in North America:" "In the past, Jews from Yemen who opted to go to Monsey were absorbed in the Satmar community. There may be a few exceptions,but the vast majority are Satmar today. The intentions of this project and the final result are two very different things."So Yemeni Jews are coming to Israel to join the 1000's of Jews from Yemen who preceded them and who will now nuture them here in the homeland of the Jewish People. Oh, and six weeks (not five) have passed since UJC stated with certainty that the Yemenite Jews would be delivered to Monsey by this date. And almost three months since the date on which Howard Rieger in his original panic-stricken Memo on the subject projected...Never mind.