Dubai Rabbinate releases 'glatt kosher' meals

For the first time ever, a kosher slaughter of poultry was carried out in Abu Dhabi.

Tags: Israel-UAE UAE
Nitzan Keidar ,

New kashrut seal
New kashrut seal
Jewish community of Dubai

The Jewish community in the UAE continues re-establishing its religious lifestyle following the country's peace agreement with Israel.

Arutz Sheva learned that this week, the slaughter of about 2,500 poultry was carried out for the country's Jews as well as hotels in Dubai seeking strictly kosher food for the large number of Jewish businessmen visiting the country. Israeli citizens expected to arrive in the Gulf kingdom in the near future are also expected to benefit from the operation.

The ritual slaughter was carried out by butcher Rabbi Mendel Duchman and supervised by Rabbi Mandy Hitrik of Istanbul, who heads Turkey's rabbinate's kosher slaughter system, and took place in one of the largest, most modern slaughterhouses in Dubai.

The facility's owner, a local of the kingdom, asked the rabbi of the Jewish community, Rabbi Levi Duchman, for assistance in the matter. After making sure everything was in place for the procedure, a rabbinical team from New York residing in Dubai assisting Rabbi Duchman, was brought in to oversee the operation, salting and packaging process, and finally application of the difficult-to-fathom kosher seal: "Kosher - Dubai".

"I really enjoyed this undertaking, as well as the attitude of the facility's owner and local employees, all of whom viewed the ceremony with great awe. It seemed like they did everything they could to make us comfortable, providing the best possible service and high level of courtesy," said Rabbi Hitrik.

As the operation was undergoing, a representative of Abu Dhabi's Ministry of Health arrived to look after the process of preparing the kosher meat, which was also stamped "Halal"—authorized for consumption under Islamic Law.

During Yom Kippur prayers, a synagogue is expected to be operational for the first time in Abu Dhabi's history. Earlier this week, the first-ever Rosh Hashanah services were held in the Gulf state.

Rabbi Levy Duchman, who emigrated to Dubai from New York six years ago, has maintained close cooperation with authorities, but this is the first case of organized religious activity in the kingdom.

"Since arriving here, the majority of our activity has taken place at private residences of members of the local Jewish community, but this is the first case of prayer services carried out in the open," he says.

The new synagogue is situated in a prominent area of the capital called 'Sadiya Island'. Rabbi Duchman notes that in his opinion the peace agreements hastened the opening of the synagogue. "It will be great to have celebrated the High Holidays in Abu Dhabi and not have to travel to Dubai as we have up till now. While there, you can feel the anti-Semitism, our activities here are received with great sympathy by the authorities and local residents alike," he notes.

While Rabbi Duchman was conducting holiday services in Dubai, he was assisted by four yeshiva students from New York who are in the process of being ordained rabbis and have been staying in the Emirates. They conducted the first Jewish prayers in the history of Abu Dhabi. Two of them led the prayer service, replacing each other when necessary, while the another recited the Torah reading and the fourth blew the shofar.

The prayers in Abu Dhabi were attended by 20 Jews, the most prominent of whom were members of a Jewish family smuggled in from Yemen a month ago. In Dubai, R' Duchman held three prayer services in three different locations. The central of these offered a high-level holiday meal attended by 100 local Jews and subject to coronavirus restrictions. 50 additional individuals participated in the other two quorums.