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Yemeni Jews to receive Passover shipment

Yemeni Jews taking shelter in the capital after fleeing Islamist threats will receive a shipment of Passover Haggadahs and other holiday necessities from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. The shipment, sent through the U.S. State Department, is expected to reach them in time for the holiday. JDC Executive Vice President Steve Schwager noted that the organization has partnered with the State Department in protecting Jews overseas since 1914, when the American ambassador to the Ottoman Empire sought help for needy Jews in Palestine. “The story rings an old but familiar bell,” Schwager said. Forty-five Yemeni Jews were forced to flee their homes in a rural village in January when they were threatened by masked gunmen affiliated with al-Qaida. The Jews, who took refuge in a hotel in the regional capital, Sa’ada, and later moved to the national capital, Sana’a, are remnants of a larger community that has roots in Yemen dating back centuries.