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VIDEO: UK Chief Rabbi Attends Historic Shul Dedication in the Arab Emirates

By 02/19/2023 9:22 AMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

The historic Abraham Accords were directly responsible for the UAE’s opening of its first official synagogue on Thursday.

The shul is a component of a religious complex that includes a mosque and a church to foster interfaith harmony in the Muslim country.

The Abrahamic Family Home, the first of its sort and located in the capital Abu Dhabi, officially opened the shul.

The Moses Ben Maimon Synagogue, which the UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis tweeted was “the first purpose-built synagogue in the Arab world for in a century,” had a mezuzah attached to its door at the opening ceremony on Thursday.

The UAE Chief Rabbi Yehuda Sarna was to lead the first Shabbos prayers for the local Jewish community.

A Sefer Torah given as a gift by UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be presented at a dedication ceremony on Sunday.

Bahrain is home to the only other shul in the Gulf Arab region, which is also home to a small Jewish population.

A small but vibrant Jewish community lives in the Gulf Federation, which mended relations with Israel in 2020 thanks to a deal negotiated by President Trump and Jared Kushner. Typically, this population prays in private.

The Organization of Gulf Jewish Communities commended the UAE for establishing a new place of worship there. It stated, “We are especially thrilled to have another synagogue established in the GCC.”

The construction of a synagogue in a Muslim nation is particularly noteworthy.

A historic peace agreement that also saw Israel establish diplomatic ties with Bahrain and Morocco included the historic mending of relations in 2020.

The UAE was the third Arab country after Egypt and Jordan to normalize relations with Israel, making it the first Gulf country to do so.



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