After nearly 80 years of having Arab squatters live within its walls as well as severe vandalism and desecration, the Old Yemenite Synagogue had a rededication ceremony yesterday. Built in the 1880s by Yemenite Jews who walked to Israel on foot, it quickly became the central focus of the growing Jewish community outside of the Old City walls.
The Yemenite Village was built upon a barren hillside across from the City of David and stood there until consecutive Arab pogroms chased the Jews out. By 1948 the whole neighborhood was taken over by Arabs that had moved from outside of Jerusalem as well as Jordanian forces. This village was renamed Silwan.
The Yemenite synagogue is a three domed structure. Although the Arab squatters encouraged by EU funded organizations held onto 2/3 of the building, with the first domed room having been bought a few years earlier the Supreme Court eventually ruled that the squatters had to leave. Now a few years later and some basic renovations, a full renovation is being prepared.
The Yemenite Village now boasts 22 Jewish Families, a playground, Kollel, and more.