Photo Credit: Yishai Fleisher
The first Brit Mila ceremony in the old Yemenite Village in the Shiloach in over 70 years. July 17, 2017

Jeremiah 31:17 “And there is hope for your future, declares the LORD; and your children shall return to their own borders.”

Young Jewish couples living in the heartbeat of Jerusalem this morning (Monday, July 17) celebrated God’s Covenant with His People at the first brit mila circumcision ceremony to be held in at least 80 years in the Great Synagogue of the Yemenite Village in Shiloach.


The neighborhood, nestled under the Temple Mount, is also known to locals in Jerusalem by its Arabic name, Silwan.

Earlier this year, the synagogue was returned to its rightful Jewish owners after a hiatus of nearly 80 years, albeit with difficulty and the need for a Supreme Court order, plus a special operation to expel the Arab squatters who had turned the sacred structure into a simple home.

The Yemenite village was once home to a thriving Jewish community founded in the 1800s.

But in the 1930s, as Israel ran with rivers of Jewish blood from Arab pogroms, many of the Yemenite Jews were driven out, and finally in 1938, the British evacuated the remaining Jewish residents and transferred them to the Old City of Jerusalem.

In a letter sent to the “General Council of the Jewish Community of Palestine, Jerusalem,” the British Acting District Commissioner informed the remaining families they would be evacuated from Silwan.

The British government would address the issue of transportation and rent incurred “during the period until the refugees are able to return to their homes,” he wrote.

Letter from British Acting District Commissioner, Jerusalem, to General Council of the Jewish Community of Palestine, Jerusalem, in August 1938, re evacuation of families from Silwan, and payment of expenses “until the refugees are able to return to their homes.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.