L-R Alanoud Alhashmi, Sumaiiah Almheiri, Eitan Na'eh, Majid Al Sarrah
L-R Alanoud Alhashmi, Sumaiiah Almheiri, Eitan Na'eh, Majid Al SarrahDr. Majid Al Sarrah

The Association of Gulf Jewish Communities (AGJC), the people-to-people network of Jewish communities from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries that are developing Jewish life in the region, hosted a Shabbat dinner in Dubai on June 4. Many diplomats and Emiratis were in attendance.

H.E. Ambassador Houda Nonoo of Bahrain, H.E. Marcy Grossman (Canadian Ambassador to the UAE) and H.E. Ambassador Eitan Na’eh (Israel’s Head of Mission in Abu Dhabi) were all in attendance and spoke with the group.

Ambassadors Grossman and Na’eh shared inspiring messages with the group focusing on the opportunities for Jewish life to grow in the GCC region. This was followed by a panel discussion featuring the AGJC’s Rabbi Dr. Elie Abadie and board members Ambassador Houda Nonoo of Bahrain and Alex Peterfreund of the UAE. The three shared their hopes and vision for Jewish life in the Gulf over the next five years and answered questions from Emirati participants about how Muslims and Jews in the region can work together to support each other.

“The AGJC Shabbat dinner was a wonderful time for us to share the spirit of Shabbat with our Emirati friends and neighbors,” said AGJC Rabbi Dr. Eli Abadie. “One of our guests shared that this was the first time she had experienced Shabbat in the UAE and that she hopes this will be the first of many. We’re looking forward to hosting her for many more Shabbat meals in the future.”

“The AGJC launched in February, during the pandemic, and while we have hosted many virtual programs for thousands of people, we wanted to host something in person now that the vaccination numbers have increased. We thought Shabbat would be the perfect opportunity to do so,” said Ambassador Houda Nonoo. “We are very grateful to Ambassadors Grossman and Na’eh who joined us and spoke with the group about their experience here and together, we discussed how we can work together as friends and neighbors to support Jewish life in the Gulf.”