Monday, 30 Jan 2023 - 8 of Shevat, 5783

In Bahrain, Israeli President Herzog meets with the Jewish community

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 The Jewish community in Manama, capital of Bahrain, is indigenous. It is based on immigration to Bahrain in the early 1880s, mostly from Iraq, Iran, and Kuwait. Bahrain is home to a few dozen Jews.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog met Sunday with representatives of the Jewish community of Bahrain, in the framework of his visit tot the Gullf country, the first by an Israeli head of state.

Among these representatives were Eitan Naeh, Ambassador of Israel to Bahrain; Ebrahim Nonoo, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the local synagogue, who is recognized by authorities as the representative of the Jewish community, Houda Nonoo, former Bahraini ambassador to the United States, and the first Jew in the role, Aby Nonoo, businessma, Nancy Khedouri, a member of the Bahraini Shura Council and Bahrain’s representative to the World Jewish Congress.

Herzog said: “I am very moved to be here. This is really history in the making, coming and visiting the Jewish community in Bahrain, when we have such incredible peace and wonderful relations with His Majesty the King. We all spent time together at lunch and you can see the great affection and respect between the leadership and our nations… One thing that transpired in our discussion was the immense respect of the King and his family for the Jewish community of Bahrain.”

The Jewish community in Manama is indigenous. It is based on immigration to Bahrain in the early 1880s, mostly from Iraq, Iran, and Kuwait. Bahrain is home to a few dozen Jews. Most of the community is elderly, and most of the young people have left.

At the start of the meeting, the community gave the President three gifts of historic value: a Farhi prayerbook with an Arabic translation, a book detailing the history of the Bahraini Jewish community and a copy of the permit to establish the local synagogue in 1931.

Times of Israel noted that the community was able to form a minyan for Shabbat services with the help of two visiting Chabad rabbis and members of the US Fifth Fleet stationed in the island kingdom.

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