Israeli Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef will dedicate the community’s new school to kindergarteners during his visit to the emirate.
The school is located in the heart of the city at Al Wasl near the Jewish Community Centre.
Chief Rabbi Yosef’s visit is the first-ever of a sitting chief rabbi to an Arab country, and comes after the landmark Abraham Accords between the UAE and Israel.
Commenting on the momentous visit, Rabbi Levi Duchman, rabbi of the Dubai’s Jewish Community Centre, said, “The visit of the chief rabbi is historic and it is a great honour for us to host him here in the emirates. We are excited to welcome him as we dedicate and break ground on several of our new institutions, which are being constructed with the swiftness and efficiency for which the UAE has become world-famous.”
During his three-day visit till Sunday, Chief Rabbi Yosef will also break ground on the community’s planned mikvah (ritual immersion pool), tour the new KAF kosher restaurant in the Burj Khalifa, inspect the production of kosher poultry locally, dedicate a new community synagogue in Abu Dhabi and invest Rabbi Levi Duchman as rabbi of the Emirati Jewish community.
The school marks dawn of a new era of cooperation, say community heads.
“This visit epitomises the historic achievements of the past months. We are now able to celebrate a new era of cooperation in the region, and we are setting out to ensure that Jews who come to work or visit in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and across the Emirates, will have access to Jewish institutions and services,” said community spokesperson Daniel Seal.
He added: “The school that will be open on January 3, is targeted to attract the Jewish community here in the UAE. It also reflects the depth and strength of the ties of friendship and cooperation between Israel and the UAE. The institution will strictly adhere to the guidelines laid out by the government here while it is deeply committed to providing an enhanced Jewish experience and preserve the identity of the Jewish population living in the emirate. Therefore, extra-curricular activities in the nursery will be tailored with Jewish knowledge while the food being provided to students will be kosher meals. We are immensely thankful to the UAE government for opening up these avenues for us.”
The Jewish community in the UAE, numbering about a 1,000 members is expected to grow significantly in the coming years and the number of children is expected to stand at around 200 by next year.
Solly Wolf, the president of the Jewish Community Centre in Dubai, pointed out: “Dubai has already seen a wave of Israelis visiting the emirate since the Abraham Accords. This is just the beginning of the potential for tourism and cooperation between Israel and the Emirates. I hope the visit of the chief rabbi will go a long way in cementing the good faith and warm friendships between the Jewish and Muslim people of the region.”
Copyright © 2021 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved.