Israeli Chief Rabbi in historic visit to United Arab Emirates

Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef officiates over special ceremony at Jewish Community Center in Dubai, celebrating UAE recognition of Jewish community.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rabbi Yosef in Dubai
Rabbi Yosef in Dubai
Dubai Jewish Community Centre / Courtesy

Israel’s Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef yesterday evening, Saturday, officiated over a special ceremony held at the Jewish Community Center in Dubai, celebrating the official recognition by the United Arab Emirates of the country’s flourishing Jewish community. The ceremony marked the first certification granted to a synagogue in the Emirates, the Beit Tefillah Synagogue in Abu Dhabi, and of the community’s Rabbi Levi Duchman.

During the ceremony, the Chief Rabbi expressed his appreciation to the Emirati Royal Family and Government for the warm relations and care for the well-being of the Jewish community, and for the thriving relationship between Israel and the Emirates following the historic Abraham Accords.

“The survival of a Jewish community depends on its adherence to Torah values and Torah learning,” said Chief Rabbi Yosef in his special address to the community after the conclusion of the Sabbath on Saturday evening. He added his appreciation for the work of Rabbi Duchman, and noted, “The Jewish community in the Emirates is fortunate to have a Rabbi that not only teaches Torah, but is working to grow the community and its institutions”.

Rabbi Levi Duchman thanked the Chief Rabbi and said, “It has been a great honor to host Chief Rabbi Yosef in the Emirates this Shabbat. We are fortunate to have been able to discuss with him the strengthening of the community and its facilities, and receive his guidance on a number of issues prevalent to Jewish traditions and customs. We hope to welcome him back very soon and very often.”

Board member of the Beit Tefillah Synagogue in Abu Dhabi, and community spokesperson Daniel Seal added, “Following the historic accords between Israel and the UAE, and with gratitude to Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, we are now entering a new stage of planning and growth. We are looking to cater not only for the resident community, but also for the many Israelis who come to visit. It’s an exciting time for the community, and I look forward to working with Rabbi Duchman on the many projects we have planned.”

The Chief Rabbi was welcomed as a guest of honor by the Jewish community over Shabbat at the Jewish Community Center in Dubai, where on Friday he inaugurated the new Jewish nursery school, “Mini Miracles'', and viewed the plans and proposed site for the community’s new Mikveh (ritual immersion pool). On Sunday he was due to travel to Abu Dhabi to meet with senior government officials and discuss the growing ties between the two peoples, and ways to continue to promote mutual understanding between Jews and Muslims across the region.



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