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Bertha Vesper, an American Christian, recalled an early Yemenite immigration in Jerusalem.

They told father about their immigration from Yemen and their arrival in Palestine. Suddenly, they said, without warning, a spirit seemed to fall on them and they began to speak about returning to the land of Israel. They were so convinced that this was the right and appointed time to return to Palestine that they sold their property and turned other convertible belongings into cash and started for the Promised Land. . .

Father was interested in the Gadites at once. Their story about their unprovoked conviction that this was the time to return to Palestine coincided with what he felt sure was coming to pass the fulfillment of the prophecy of the return of the Jews to Palestine. . . They regarded as true the tradition that they belonged to the tribe of Gad. They believed that they had not gone into captivity in Babylon, and that they had not returned at the time of Ezra and Nehemiah to rebuild the temple. For thousands of years they had remained in Yemen, hence their purity of race and feature. . . Father believed that "Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad," and the Group did everything in their power to help these immigrants. We called them Gadites from that time. They were in dreadful need when we found them. . . No time was lost in getting relief started. The Group rented rooms, and the Gadites were installed in cooler and more sanitary quarters. Medical help was immediately brought.

After the British occupation of Palestine and the advent of the Zionist organization, with its resources and vast machinery to meet pressing necessities, after forty years our list of dependent Gadites was taken over by them. Even then, individuals continued to come to the doors of the American Colony to ask our help. . .

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(Excerpted from Our Jerusalem, 1977, Arno Press)

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