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Mally Mazal Davidoff, Yemen Mally Mazal Davidoff was born in Kfar Hashiloah (current day Silwan) to a family of Yemenite Jews who lived in Jerusalem for five generations. She reflects her memories of the Old City of Jerusalem prior to Israel’s independence in 1948 and her experience working as Jewish Agency emissary in Aden where she assisted Yemenite Jews as they prepared to make aliyah during Operation Magic Carpet. Also a former member of Haganah, she shares her memories of guarding David Ben Gurion. Mally Mazal Davidoff was born in 1926, in Shilowan, Jerusalem to a Yemenite Jewish family. She remembers the fear to commute between her home and her school in case of Arab attack and British raids. A group of young people used to guard the neighborhood themselves, some of whom were Lehi members. Her father was one of the first olim from Yemen, working for construction in Jerusalem. She grew up in an Orthodox home, fondly recalling traditional music and her father’s piety. Despite fear and destitution, Mally describes preferring the Arab shuk in the Old City due to their kindness and cheaper goods compared to the Jewish shuk. While the Declaration of Independence brought euphoria, Mally could never forget how the impending war caused much trouble to her family. The close of the road between Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem resulted in three months of separation between her parents – her father in Jerusalem and her mother in Tel-Aviv. While the road was closed, Arab armies conquered the Old City and the Red Cross assisted Jewish refugees. Her big brother joined Irgun (Etzel) underground paramilitary group to fight against the British rule and Arab hostility, which generated much anxiety to her mother. The family also visited Hebron Massacre site and witnessed Jewish men being hung by the British authority over blowing shofar on Yom Kippur. Mally decided to join Haganah, but without letting her parents know. She took apart in assisting immigrant ships (against the British rule) and moving the new immigrants to housing. When the United Nations declared the establishment of the state of Israel, the streets were covered with people dancing and crying. Soon after, she joined the American Joint Distribution Committee that assisted prospect immigrants to Israel from Yemen. She was sent to transition camps in Yemen and worked as a medical assistant. Referred to as ‘Mazol,’ Mally was well trusted and liked among the Yemenite Jews in transition camps. She recalls David Ben-Gurion describing the Yemenite Jews as “the nicest people” for being traditional and hard-workers. Meanwhile, she married and became a mother herself, conducive to reducing her working hours. She states, “Every Jew loves Israel; “it’s in you.” The interview ended with her singing songs from her childhood and reminiscing on her experiences in Israel.

This interview was filmed and donated to "Seeing the Voices" by JIMENA U.S.A. (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa)

Mally Mazal Davidoff

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Mally Mazal Davidoff, Yemen Mally Mazal Davidoff was born in Kfar Hashiloah (current day Silwan) to a family of Yemenite Jews who lived in Jerusalem for five generations. She reflects her memories of the Old City of Jerusalem prior to Israel’s independence in 1948 and her experience working as Jewish Agency emissary in Aden where she assisted Yemenite Jews as they prepared to make aliyah during Operation Magic Carpet. Also a former member of Haganah, she shares her memories of guarding David Ben Gurion. Mally Mazal Davidoff was born in 1926, in Shilowan, Jerusalem to a Yemenite Jewish family. She remembers the fear to commute between her home and her school in case of Arab attack and British raids. A group of young people used to guard the neighborhood themselves, some of whom were Lehi members. Her father was one of the first olim from Yemen, working for construction in Jerusalem. She grew up in an Orthodox home, fondly recalling traditional music and her father’s piety. Despite fear and destitution, Mally describes preferring the Arab shuk in the Old City due to their kindness and cheaper goods compared to the Jewish shuk. While the Declaration of Independence brought euphoria, Mally could never forget how the impending war caused much trouble to her family. The close of the road between Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem resulted in three months of separation between her parents – her father in Jerusalem and her mother in Tel-Aviv. While the road was closed, Arab armies conquered the Old City and the Red Cross assisted Jewish refugees. Her big brother joined Irgun (Etzel) underground paramilitary group to fight against the British rule and Arab hostility, which generated much anxiety to her mother. The family also visited Hebron Massacre site and witnessed Jewish men being hung by the British authority over blowing shofar on Yom Kippur. Mally decided to join Haganah, but without letting her parents know. She took apart in assisting immigrant ships (against the British rule) and moving the new immigrants to housing. When the United Nations declared the establishment of the state of Israel, the streets were covered with people dancing and crying. Soon after, she joined the American Joint Distribution Committee that assisted prospect immigrants to Israel from Yemen. She was sent to transition camps in Yemen and worked as a medical assistant. Referred to as ‘Mazol,’ Mally was well trusted and liked among the Yemenite Jews in transition camps. She recalls David Ben-Gurion describing the Yemenite Jews as “the nicest people” for being traditional and hard-workers. Meanwhile, she married and became a mother herself, conducive to reducing her working hours. She states, “Every Jew loves Israel; “it’s in you.” The interview ended with her singing songs from her childhood and reminiscing on her experiences in Israel.

This interview was filmed and donated to "Seeing the Voices" by JIMENA U.S.A. (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa)

Mally Mazal Davidoff
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