Yavne’eli (Warshavsky), Shmuel

(1884–1961)
   Organizer of Yemenite aliyah. Yavne’eli left his native Ukraine in 1905 and became an agricultural pioneer in Palestine. At his own suggestion he was sent to the Yemen by the Zionist Organization in 1911 and spent over a year there visiting Jewish communities, studying their conditions and way of life, and trying to persuade their members to emigrate to Palestine.
   There were already some Yemenite Jews in Palestine. One group had come in 1881 and another in 1907, and they had proved successful peasant farmers. As a result of Yavne’eli’s efforts, about fifteen hundred more Yemenites came in 1911–12 and a Yemenite moshavah, Mahane Yehuda, was founded in the latter year. A fourth and a fifth Yemenite aliyah came between the wars, and in 1949 the famous Operation Magic Carpet brought forty thousand Yemenite Jews - most of those still in Yemen - to the new State of Israel within less than a year, following negotiations between the Israel government and Arab rulers in the south of the Arabian peninsula.
   Yavne’eli was one of the founding members of Mapai (Israel Labour Party), a member of its central committee, and after World War I a member of the Zionist Executive.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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