Bahrain celebrates its first Bar Mitzvah in 16 years

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A bar mitzvah ceremony in Manama, Bahrain on August 21, 2021. Photo: provided.

JNS.org – Bahrain’s first bar mitzvah in 16 years was held this weekend at the House of Ten Commandments, the oldest and only operational synagogue in a Gulf Cooperation Council country.

The bar mitzvah boy read the Torah scroll that former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner commissioned in honor of Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

The ceremony was facilitated by the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities, an interpersonal network of Jewish communities from GCC countries dedicated to the development of Jewish life in the region.

The bar mitzvah was part of a weekend of AGJC festivities that began with a Shabbat dinner in Manama on Friday evening. The dinner brought together many diplomats, Bahrainis and residents of other GCC countries who flew to the event. The weekend ended with the group hosting the first authentic Sephardic “Selichot” prayer service in the CCG.

“This is a very exciting time for Jewish life in the GCC as more and more families celebrate Jewish milestones more publicly,” said AGJC Rabbi Dr. Eli Abadie. “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 life cycle events that will take place before the end of the year. It is an affirmation of the continued growth of Jewish life in the region. “

“This weekend’s bar mitzvah was a joyous occasion for our entire community, and we wish the young man and his family a mazal tovSaid AGJC President Ebrahim Dawood Nonoo.

“We are delighted to share this weekend with the AGJC community at large and our Muslim friends who have joined us for the festivities, including the bar mitzvah,” added Nonoo. “One of our guests explained that it was her first time in Bahrain and that she had come for a Shabbat dinner and bar mitzvah.”


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