Kiddush, Torah learning, and gefilte fish in Dubai

President of UAE Jewish community speaks of the acceptance the community has received in Dubai, from the people and the government.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


One of the most surprising Jewish communities in recent years is the Jewish community of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The President of the community, Solly Wolf, spoke of what Jewish life is like in the country and the respect the community is treated with. The Jewish community, which is based largely in Dubai, operates two synagogues and a Talmud Torah (Jewish school). The community also has an official rabbi, Rabbi Rabbi Levi Duchman.

"I grew up in London and the business world brought me to several places around the world. I began to discover the potential that existed in the Gulf states, and I went there to get to know the place better. At some point, my travels became frequent until it became uncomfortable to travel all the time from Munich to Dubai. And so, in 2002 I decided to move to Dubai and to stay here," Solly said in an interview with Ynet.

Until recently, kosher meat was a rare commodity for Jews in the UAE. But Rabbi Duchman began importing kosher meat from the United States last year and even created a kosher slaughter line in Dubai. They can provide a thousand chickens a week, and that's enough for our whole community. When I came here at first there was no such thing, you could not find kosher food or matzah [for Passover]. Today, in most supermarkets, you can find many kosher ingredients, even kosher groceries and gefilte fish," Wolf said.

When asked if it is difficult to live in such a devout Muslim state, Wolf responded: " "We are very safe here, we are not hiding. We feel comfortable and we are able to pray and to go to the synagogue or anywhere else. There is no hostility to us, either from the people or from the authorities. The State and its leaders are concerned for our needs. I've been here for 18 years, and I've never felt hostility or anything like that, even though everyone knows I'm Jewish. We have neighbors near the synagogue, and they accept us as we are."