The Association of Gulf Jewish Communities (AGJC) is launching a fundraising campaign to restore Bahrain’s century-old Jewish cemetery, reports the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The cemetery in the capital Manama is of particular significance as the only active Jewish cemetery in the Arabian Gulf region.
The campaign will kick off next Sunday with a tree-planting ceremony as part of festivities marking the start of the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat, known as the New Year of Trees, which is observed in Israel and the Diaspora. Jewish. .
“[W]We are planting trees in the Bahrain Jewish Cemetery which is akin to bringing back to life those who have lived in the beautiful community of Bahrain for centuries and made Bahrain their resting place for eternity,” said Rabbi Eli Abadie, chief rabbi of the AGJC. , said of the project.
The AGJC is the umbrella organization for the Jewish communities of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Ebrahim Dawood Nonoo, whose family was one of the first Jewish families to settle in Bahrain, is president of the AGJC. The community dates back to the late 1800s when a group of Iraqi Jews immigrated to the Gulf state.
Israel normalized relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in September 2020 during a signing ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. The establishment of diplomatic relations is known as the Abraham Accords.
The cemetery was established by the Jewish community in the 1930s, along with the synagogue, which remains the only functioning synagogue in the GCC. The Jewish place of worship was recently renovated and prayer services were held publicly for the first time in decades.