Bahrain’s Jewish community marks first bar mitzvah since 2005
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Bahrain’s Jewish community marks first bar mitzvah since 2005

Gulf Jewish communities group hails ceremony as an ‘exciting’ step to mark the Abraham Accords’ first anniversary

Michael Daventry is foreign editor of Jewish News

The bar mitzvah boy, who was not named, read from a Torah scroll commissioned by Jared Kushner (Photo: Association of Gulf Jewish Communities)
The bar mitzvah boy, who was not named, read from a Torah scroll commissioned by Jared Kushner (Photo: Association of Gulf Jewish Communities)

Bahrain’s small Jewish community celebrated its first bar mitzvah in 16 years as the kingdom prepares to mark the first anniversary of the Abraham Accords.

The ceremony took place in the House of the Ten Commandments in the country’s capital Manama, which hosts the only operational synagogue in the Gulf region.

Bahrain’s Jewish community has been growing since the country signed the Accords, a series of normalisation agreements with Israel.

The Association of Gulf Jewish Communities (AGJC) did not name the bar mitzvah boy but said he read from a Torah commissioned for Bahrain’s king by Jared Kushner, the former White House senior adviser.

“It is a very exciting time for Jewish life in the GCC as more families celebrate Jewish milestones more publicly,” said Eli Abadie, the AGJC’s rabbi.

“In addition to this young man’s bar mitzvah, we recently celebrated a bat mitzvah for a young woman in Oman and we have a number of other Jewish lifecycle events which will take place before the end of the year.

“This is an affirmation of the continued growth of Jewish life in the region.”

The bar mitzvah was part of a weekend of festivities including a Shabbat dinner and the first Sephardic Selichot service in the Gulf region.

Ebrahim Dawood Nonoo, the AGJC president, said it was a “joyous occasion for our whole community, and we wish the young man and his family a Mazal Tov.

“It is incredibly special for us to use the Torah Jared commissioned in honour of His Majesty for the first time this weekend in the lead up to Bahrain’s first anniversary of signing the Abraham Accords which is all about creating a better life for the youth in our region – including this young man.

The Abraham Accords have seen Israel establish diplomatic relations with some other Arab countries for the first time.

The United Arab Emirates opened an embassy in Tel Aviv earlier this summer, while Foreign Minister Yair Lapid oversaw a mezuzah being affixed on new Israeli offices in the Moroccan capital Rabat on August 12.

Closer relations are also expected between Israel and Sudan under the accords.

“We are thrilled to share this weekend with the broader AGJC community and our Muslim friends who joined us for the festivities including the Bar Mitzvah,” Nonoo said.

“One of our guests shared that this was her first time in Bahrain, and she came for a Shabbat dinner and a Bar Mitzvah.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments