Personal Stories

Of the 60,000 Jews who left Yemen in the last century, each one carries with them a unique collection of memories and stories that have all too often been left untold. Aspects of Yemenite culture have been passed down to second and third generation Israeli immigrants, yet the language, folkloric knowledge, and artistic traditions are endanger of extinction. With each passing day, another authentic memory of Jewish life in Yemen vanishes and another story is permanently lost. The rich splendor of Yemenite Jewry must be documented before it is too late.

JIMENA was created to preserve and share the personal stories, communal histories, and rich culture of Jews from Arab countries. Since our inception, we have been documenting the detailed histories and sometimes painful testimonies of Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews. Our archives are continuously growing and we are committed to continue collecting as many stories as we can.

Here you will find a sampling of personal stories from some of JIMENA’s Yemenite members.  If you are interested in preserving your personal and familial story, or delving further into the histories of Jews who fled Yemen and other Arab countries, we encourage you to contact our office. JIMENA’s Oral History library includes transcripts, unedited video footage, books, and copies of documents. We are also happy to connect you to North African and Middle Eastern Jews for speaking engagements, research, and interviews.

Written Narratives

JIMENA Oral History Videos