The Association of Gulf Jewish Communities (AGJC), the umbrella network of Jewish communities from the GCC countries that are developing Jewish life in the region, hosted a Shabbat dinner in Dubai earlier this month.
Ambassador Houda Nonoo of Bahrain, Marcy Grossman (Canadian Ambassador to the UAE) and Ambassador Eitan Naâ€™eh (Israelâ€™s Head of Mission in Abu Dhabi), and many other diplomats were in attendance and spoke with the group.
Ambassadors Grossman and Naâ€™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 AGJCâ€™s Rabbi Dr Elie Abadie and board membersÂ Nonoo 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.
Dr Abadie said: â€œThe AGJC Shabbat dinner was a wonderful time for us to share the spirit of Shabbat with our Emirati friends and neighbours. 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. Weâ€™re looking forward to hosting her for many more Shabbat meals in the future.â€
Nonoo stated: â€œThe AGJC launched in February, during the pandemic, and while we have hosted many virtual programmes 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. We are very grateful to Ambassadors Grossman and Naâ€™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 neighbours to support Jewish life in the Gulf.â€