From Yemen to Monsey

from The Jewish Week:

From Yemen To Monsey, A Freedom Journey

Yemenites here marking first Passover in America, but the adjustment isn’t easy.

This is the first Passover when Temia and her daughters won’t be grinding wheat by hand and baking matzah in special wood-burning ovens, as they did in Yemen. Instead, they’ll be tasting their first matzahs sold in a box, celebrating the holiday in their new homes in upstate Rockland County.

For the four women, this year’s season of freedom is their first in America. They were part of a group of 57 Yemeni men, women and children who arrived in the United States last summer as refugees, aided by the U.S. State Department, working with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and a coalition of groups.

… The refugees were processed in Yemen in order to expedite matters and they arrived in the United States from July through October, 2009. At around the same time, approximately 60 members of the community went to Israel, with the help of the Jewish Agency, the Yemenite Jewish Federation of America (YJFA) and Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Those who came to America wanted to join extended family members, already in the U.S. some of whom they hadn’t seen in a decade or more. The families were resettled in Monsey, about 26 miles north of Manhattan.