We visit the Neve Tzedek area a lot, but until recently had never entered nor indeed paid particular attention to this fascinating museum detailing a little-known but unique community: the Jews of Aden, a former British Protectorate port now located in Yemen, separated only by a narrow gulf from the Horn of Africa.
The Jews of Aden have numerous similarities to Yemenite Jews as a whole (a community about which it's possible to learn a lot in Neve Tzedek and also in the nearby district of Kerem HaTeimanim) but are distinctly influenced by the importance the British attached to the Protectorate as a bustling entrepot, and as such mingled with British, Indian, and Iraqi Jews, among others. For instance, as we learned, while it is more common in Israel to eat the starchy dough jachnun as a savoury dish, alongside a rich tomato sauce and spicy condiments, in Aden 'gachnun' (according to the local dialect) was typically eaten with jam, as a sweet dish which might even accompany afternoon tea.
The museum houses a broad range of artefacts, photographs and documents relating to Aden Jews, from the community's origins to its later settlement in Israel and in the UK. There is also a range of books to browse through or buy which help the visitor enrich their knowledge. Our visit was really made special by staff member Sarah, who took time to explain to us numerous nuances and additional facts that placed the community in its historical context. It's also possible to book tours in advance if you're coming with a large group. You can pop in for ten minutes just to get a feel while you're on your way to one of the neighborhood's other sides, or stay for up to an hour to fully immerse yourself in the exhibits and books and even climb the stairs to the grand synagogue hall.