There are a few dozens Jews living in Saudi Arabia
Rabbi Abadie hopes and also believes that under the rule of Bin Salman, there will be more freedom for minorities in Saudi Arabia, including Jews, to practice their religion.17 Maret 2021 22:10
Rabbi Elie Abadie from the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities (AGJC). (Rabbi Elie Abadie for Albalad.co)
Nobody knows how many Jews living in Saudi Arabia. But the establishment of the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities (AGJC) on February 15, confirmed that there are Jews living in that country and also in five ther Gulf countries: United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman.
Rabbi Elie Abadie who becomes the Rabbi of AGJC recognizes about that issue. "We don’t have the real number, as it is not known. They are not organized as a community, but individuals," said Rabbi Abadie in an exclusive interview with Faisal Assegaf from Albalad.co via WhatsApp today.
He hopes and also believes that under the rule of the Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, there will be more freedom for minorities in Saudi Arabia, including Jews, to practice their religion.
Rabbi Elie Abadie joined the Jewish Council of the Emirates (JCE) in 2020 with a vision to create critical Jewish infrastructure fro local community , including a day school, a mikvah, a Beit Din/Jeiwsh court, and the Arabian Kosher Certification Agency.
He is now living in Dubai.
How many Jews living in Saudi Arabia?
We don’t have the real number, as it is not known. They are not organized as a community, but individuals.
Is there any estimation?
It is very difficult to estimate, but I would say a few dozens.
Are among them indigeneous?
Not that I know. But I’m sure some of them may have been there for several decades.
So, most of them are expatriates?
From which countries?
All over the world.
Most of them are Americans or Europeans?
Where do they live in Saudi?
I imagine scatters in several cities due to the work they do.
Most of them stay in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam?
I would believe so.
Did all Jews living in Saudi Arabia already know about AGJC?
I’m sure not all of them.
How was their response on AGJC?
What kind of services provided by AGJC for Jews in Saudi?
Religious advice, kosher food if they need or want.
How about if they want to do Sabbath rituals?
That’s up to them.
Is there any home functioned as a synagogue in Saudi?
Not that I know.
Have you or other AGJC officials got in touch with Saudi authorities to allow Jews in that country to worship freely?
Not us, but we are leaving that conversation to the Jewish individuals that live in Saudi Arabia.
Is there any information about Saudi authorities threat them or give green light for them to practice their religion?
I have no knowledge on that.
Under the rule of Bin Salman, do you believe that there will be more freedom for minorities, including Jews, to practice their religion?
Yes, I hope and believe so.