Thanks to the Abraham Accords that were signed a year ago, the small Jewish communities residing in Gulf countries including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, publicly celebrated the Jewish New Year with great pride and gusto.
Owing to the vision of former President Donald Trump and former Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu, the Abraham Accords normalized the tense relations between Israel and a few Arab nations, including the UAE. This gave way to a sense of openness between both communities residing in the Arab nations of the United States, the UAE and Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, making this year’s Rosh Hashanah all the more special for the Jews.
Ebrahim D. Nonoo, leader of Bahrain’s Jewish community and president of the newly founded Association of Gulf Jewish communities (AGJC), whose goal is to develop Jewish life in the region spoke to JNS saying, “the best thing about Rosh Hashanah this year is that we are able now to advertise it. We are saying ‘Happy New Year’ to our Bahraini friends and government officials. It’s beautifully really out in the open now.” He added “for us, in Bahrain, it’s about reciting the prayers, which we will be doing at home. But at the same time, we are sending packages of honey, pomegranates, and other traditional Rosh Hashanah items to [Muslim] Bahraini families so they can join us in experiencing Rosh Hashanah.”
The largest Rosh Hashanah event in the region took place in Dubai, the UAE city that boasts the largest Jewish community, with an estimated 500 practicing Jews.