— Bibliographic Items

Last Jews in Yemen

Material Type: 

Larry S. Frisch

Tamar Jafroie is an Israeli of Yemenite decent. In search or her roots she decided to visit Yemen and make a film about the Jews who have remained there. In addition to exposing the viewer to the both Jewish and Muslim Yemenites' ways of life, the film also presents different Yemenite Jewish musical traditions as performed in Yemen of the mid 1990s. Some examples are the reading of a letter from a relative in Israel which is done by a form of speak/singing since every sentence ends with its own unique musical cadence. Furthermore there are scenes that document: prayers at a cemetery, a Havdalah ceremony, the teachings of Yemenite chants for psalms, children chanting in class, Biur Hametz (the ritual of burning all leavened bread before Passover), a Passover Seder, wedding festivities, and singing from Rabbi Shalom Shabazi's collection of poetry known as a Diwan. Additionally, there is a scene of Yemenite dancing shot during Operation Magic carpet in which thousands of Jews from Yemen were brought to Israel in the late 1940s (this same scene can be found in the film Flight to Freedom).