Despite Odds, Jews Return To Yemenite Village Just Outside of Jerusalem’s Old City

by Micha Gefen

Jerusalem’s Yemenite village or Shiloach, known by the western world as Silwan, housed a majority Yemenite Jewish population until the 1930s when they were driven out by Arab pogroms.

In August 1938, the British authorities abandoned the old Yemenite Village of Shiloach and left the Yemenite and Sefardi families without protection. The village was ransacked and the Synagogue desecrated by marauding hate filled Arabs. Six months later in January of 1939, one of the well known Shiloach residents, Shlomo Madmoni tried to return to the village to salvage a Sefer Torah. He was brutally murdered on the way back to the village by Arabs.

Recently, Shlomo Madmoni’s children and grandchildren said Kaddish and stood around the memorial plaque placed where Rav Shlomo was killed.We have indeed come full circle and the redemption process is well on its way.Thanks to the efforts of Ateret Cohanim in conjunction with the Hekdesh  (Sanctified Trust) Committee and the Committee for the renewal of Jewish life in the Shiloach, Jewish life has been reinstated to the area, with 23 Jewish families living in the thriving, yet fledgling Jewish neighborhood


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