Yemenite Jewish ethnicity - top countries
Yemenite Jewish ethnicity is common in the following countries, according to MyHeritage DNA users' data.Select another ethnicity
Yemenite Jewish ethnicity
Yemenite Jews form a separate ethnic community, third in size to the Ashkenazi and Sephardic groups, and they maintain some of the oldest preserved Jewish customs. According to tradition, Jews first arrived in Yemen when they were exiled following the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem. Archeological evidence shows that there was a large Jewish community present in Yemen over 2300 years ago. In the sixth century CE, Yemen was ruled by the Jewish king Yusuf Dhu Nuwas. Known for their rigorous religious scholarship, the Jews of Yemen corresponded with many rabbis and Jewish thinkers from other lands throughout their long diaspora in Yemen, including the medieval scholar Maimonides, whose rulings came to define Yemenite Jewish religious practice. Jewish families in Yemen traced their origins to various Jewish tribes and lineages and two main subgroups eventually emerged: Baladi and Shami. The Baladi community preserves the older, uniquely Yemenite religious customs, while the Shami community was historically influenced by medieval mystics from the Land of Israel. Yemenite Jews began to emigrate to the Holy Land in the 1880s. By the foundation of the State, nearly half of all Yemenite Jews had moved to Israel, with the vast majority emigrating over the subsequent few years. Today, Jews from Yemen and their descendants living in Israel number around 400,000, with smaller communities in the U.S. and U.K. Only a handful of Jews remain in Yemen. Back in Yemen, Jews established themselves in the skilled trades. Some families continued to pass on this expertise from generation to generation, and Yemenite Jewish-style silversmithing and decorative arts remain popular today in Israel and beyond.