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July 23, 1993 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-07-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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A Yemenite grandfather and his grandson study together.

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200 Yemenite Jews
Made Secret Aliyah

Jerusalem (JTA) — About
200 Yemenite Jews have
secretly immigrated to
Israel during the past year,
the government publicly
disclosed for the first time
this week.
The Yemenites, most of
whom have close family
relatives already living in
Israel, are presently housed
in absorption centers in
Rehovot and Ashkelon.
The government had until
now kept the operation
secret out of fear that
disclosure would jeopardize
the welfare of Jews remain-
ing in Yemen as well as the
chances of bringing more of
them here.
The chairman of the Jew-
ish Agency's Immigration
and Absorption Department,
Uri Gordon, visited the
newcomers in Rehovot and
said at a news conference
there that some 900 Jews
remain in Yemen, most of
them in the capital of
Sa'ana. He said they are not
in any danger.
Other reports put the
number of Jews remaining
in Yemen at close to 1,500.
The newcomers have re-
tained their traditional garb
and appearance: the men
with long curled sidelocks,
beards and big colorful yar-
mulkes, and the women in
long dresses.
In deference to their tradi-
tions, they are being taught
Hebrew in segregated ulpan
classes.
The absorption of the
Yemenite Jews has been the
subject of bitter controversy
between fervently Orthodox
parties inside and outside
the government.
Degel HaTorah, a faction
of the opposition United
Torah Judaism Front,
claims the immigrants are
being deliberately stripped

of their Orthodoxy by ex-
posure to the secular side of
Israeli life.
Degel HaTorah blames the
Sephardic Orthodox Shas
party, a member of the
governing coalition, for
these supposed problems.
But a Shas party official
directly involved in the
Yemenites' absorption,
Deputy Housing Minister
Aryeh Gamliel, hotly denied
these accusations — as do
government and Jewish
Agency officials.

Jewish Graves
Are Vandalized

New York (JTA) — In an an-
ti-Semitic attack unusual for
Finland, vandals have over-
turned and smashed
gravestones in a Jewish
cemetery in the western
town of Turku, the World
Jewish Congress reported
this week.
About 125 headstones
were toppled and some
broken, according to a report
from the Finnish news agen-
cy.
Only the left side of the
cemetery was hit, said a
Jewish source from Turku
who asked not to be iden-
tified.
"It was preplanned; they
had all the equipment they
needed," he said.
Finnish authorities said
they had no leads to identify
those responsible for the at-
tack on the cemetery.
But the source from Turku
said there has been a small
group of neo-Nazis active in
Finland since the 1970s. So
although there is "no
evidence, there are ideas"
who did it.



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