Sunday, April 22, 2012


One of  the FOBs read this in a Federation broadsheet and thought we'd all find it of interest as we all love JFNA fiction, don't we?


Jews are taught all Jews are responsible for one another. The below story, written for Update by Jessica Pallay, senior writer, Jewish Federations of North America, provides a wonderful illustration of this important teaching.
In Monsey, NY, a new Jewish immigrant from Yemen stood outside her house, staring in disbelief at the mezuzah affixed to the doorpost. Asked if there was a problem, the middle-aged woman expressed shock that she could freely and openly display this Jewish religious symbol, something she was forbidden to do in her country of origin. This woman is one of the more than 70 Yemenite Jews now living safely and freely in Monsey, thanks to Jewish Federations and their partners, including the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and FEGS Health and Human Services System of NY. Since early 2009, Jewish Federations of North America has been working to save the last remnants of one of the world's oldest Jewish communities. In Yemen, amid political turmoil, the ancient Jewish community -- now numbering perhaps just a few hundred -- began suffering increasing threats. A young rabbi was shot dead by Islamic militants, and the community reported rising incidents of stone-throwing, verbal harassment and intimidation. Most Jews from Yemen were evacuated to Israel as part of Operation Magic Carpet in 1949 and 1950, including many who settled in Rosh Ha'ayin, which would become Birmingham's Sister City. However, a relative handful -- perhaps a few hundred -- remained scattered in Yemen, dispersed throughout a number of villages. In March 2009, the Jewish Federations of North America's Executive Committee asked local Federations, including Birmingham's, to support the immigration of 57 Yemenite Jews, encompassing 13 families, to the United States. This migration required $800,000. Between July 7 and October 27, 2009, the Yemenite-Jewish refugees were formally resettled in Monsey, a suburb about 30 miles northwest of New York City that is home to many Jews, including many modern Orthodox and Hasidic groups. The group joined 14 others from their community who had already made their way to Monsey. DESPITE CHALLENGES The resettlement finally came to a completion this past fall, in 2011, despite some challenges. Most of the Yemenite Jews had lived in small villages, were poorly educated and did not speak English. Many also suffered from severe chronic health issues. Through funding from 65 Jewish Federations -- including UJA-Federation of New York, which provided approximately 30 percent of the total -- as well as support from the Jewish community in Rockland County, FEGS, HIAS and the US government, the refugees have gradually settled into their new homes in Monsey. Many have learned English, live in residences within walking distance of a local Yemenite synagogue, and are receiving public assistance, as well as regular food packages and donations of clothing and furniture. Children are enrolled in local schools, where they are studying English, math, Hebrew and other subjects. Adults -- many of whom have never worked outside their homes -- are participating in job training. In addition, FEGS has worked with the New York Legal Assistance Group to ensure that all of the refugees have either received their green cards or have completed green-card applications. Persecuted in Yemen, these Jews came to the United States and now enjoy religious and civil liberties, many participating in Jewish rituals and holidays openly for the first time. Despite some challenges, this story has created many incredible opportunities, all thanks to Jewish Federations and their supporters.


The article is quite remarkable unless you love JFNA hyperbole and misdirection. While JFNA did bring a whopping 13..that's 13.... families to Monsey USA, over 150,000 Yemenites have found their new homes in Israel throught he work of the Jerwish Agency, the care in Yemen of the JDC and with funding from 157 federations and 400 Network communities. This "aliyah" effort was nothing more than a diversion, a farce and could have been accomplished with ease by our Israel and overseas partners. Instead we write literature like you just read above.



Anonymous said...

Two families? So where does the number 70 come from? And the partner agencies mentioned, among the largest and most respected in the country, were they party to a deception? Were these 70 Yeminite Jews already living in the US recruited by local Haredim? Between JFNA's piece and your commentary, a third version must exist. Please clarify. If you wish to clarify without publishing this post I would not find it objectionable.

Anonymous said...

Even more outrageous is that the cost was over $14,000 per person if you believe the $800,000 figure for 57 men women and children, and over $61,000 per family if they actually resttled 13 families.

Anonymous said...

yeah... I don't drink that [Federation] cool-ade anymore....