Monday, August 24, 2009


The barrage of guilt-driven Memos and Briefings and pleas to fund an unauthorized "federation share" of the costs of delivering 100 or so Yemeni Jews to Monsey or Rockland County, New York, has subsided. The last UJC alert was a "dramatic" Memo over UJC Vice-President Barry Swartz's moniker using the arrival of a Yemenite family seeking family reunification as the "opportunity" to plead for more federation funding to reach the $800,000 someone committed our system to raise.

So I was "surprised" (not really) by a JTA "Report" on 24 August disclosing More Yemeni Jews Leaving for Israel. The "surprise" wasn't that three more families were departing Yemen for Israel, but that UJC didn't bother to report this -- guess it fled in the face of the UJC narrative -- you know, "we have to get them out immediately and get them to Monsey." Here is the JTA Report in full:

"JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Three more families are set to leave Yemen to Israel, a Yemenite rabbi told Reuters.

The families are set to leave for Israel this week, Reuters reported Sunday, quoting Rabbi Yahya Yusuf Musa. The families are reported to be from the town of Raida, where a Jewish man was killed by a Muslim m an who ordered Jews to be converted or killed. The man has been sentenced to death. Some 16 other Jews from Raida made aliyah in June, including relatives of the victim.

About 200 to 300 Jews still live in Yemen. Most live in Sanaa in government housing, after being evacuated from other areas of Yemen for fear for their safety."

(I am expecting an e-mail from some "Anonymous" who will accuse me once again of endangering Jewish lives -- or perhaps he will write JTA or Reuters.)

Yes, there are some factual errors -- most Yemeni Jews live in their original homes, seeking compensation before they leave for new lives in Israel.

Here's the deal. The only agencies still pushing the Yemeni Jews to leave for Monsey, Rockland County, today appear to be HIAS and the UJC. In a story in the Yemen Times, an English language secular paper in Yemen, published a story two weeks ago that stated that Yemeni Jews were preparing to leave for Israel not the U.S. I have learned that those who were the original proponents of these Yemeni Jews coming to the United States have joined JAFI in pushing for their aliya to Israel at no cost to our federations. Who has not done so? Our UJC? Why? Because it's our UJC.


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