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Why we established the Associaton of Gulf Jewish Communities (AGJC)

There are approximately one thousand Jews living in the Gulf countries, mainly in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

17 Februari 2021 14:02
Ibrahim Daud Nunu

The President of the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities (AGJC)

The idea behind the networking of communities is the following:

1 To support any Gulf community that lacks basic religious requirements, such as a synagogue, a rabbi, a mikveh, kosher food, a cemetery, prayer books, and a Beit Din.

2 To build up a similar relationship with the local society as the Bahraini Jews based on respect and good conduct.

3 To promote business activity between Gulf countries.

There are approximately one thousand Jews living in the Gulf countries, mainly in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Most of them are residents and only the Bahraini Jews are nationals. Nurturing the communities means being able to establish a way of life conducive to the religious upbringing of the children.

The Bahraini Synagogue was the central theme of jewish life in Bahrain in the 1930s and 1940s. There used to be much excitement about festivals like Passover, Hannukah, Purim. Bahraini families used to walk through the streets of Manama in celebrations.

The architect of setting up the jewish life was Rabbi Shimon Cohen who originally came from Iran. He found in Bahrain many Jews who did not know much about their religion because they didn't have a synagogue. He then found a way to teach Hebrew to the Bahraini Jews. That is how my parents learnt to pray in Hebrew.

The AGJC will look to assist jewish families and individuals who are working in the Gulf countries to practice their religion in a manner that is available to them in their original community. The AGJC will remain an association of individuals resident in the Gulf.

Most of the individuals will be in the UAE and looking forward into the future, we expect visitors to Bahrain who will also need to avail of services, either by praying in the Synagogue or by a requirement of hosting an event for weddings, Bar Mitzvah etc.

This opinion sent for Albalad.co via faisalassegaf@yahoo.com

Rabbi Elie Abadie from the Arab Gulf Jewish Community. (Rabbi Elie Abadie for Albalad.co)

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