by Mordechai Sones
The small Jewish community in Dubai founds first synagogue in city amid thawing relations with Israel.
The small Jewish community in Dubai founded the first synagogue in the city, Bloomberg News reported.
The community includes Jewish citizens of other countries who deal in finance, law, energy, and diamonds. Three years ago they rented a villa in a quiet residential area where they would pray.
The building also has a kosher kitchen and a few bedrooms for guests and community members who observe Shabbat.
Eli Epstein, a New York resident who helped build the synagogue and donated a Torah scroll, said: "We've come a long way since I started traveling to Dubai 30 years ago and I was told to try and avoid using my surname because it sounds too Jewish."
Despite the improved situation, synagogue members ask not to reveal the synagogue's location.
Bloomberg reported that the regimes in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a part, now see Iran as a greater danger than Israel. The synagogue's establishment and publication of its existence may be related to warming relations reported between Israel, the EU, and Saudi Arabia.
Map of Dubai, satellite view, United Arab Emirates
Aerial view of Palm Island in Dubai
Earlier this year: Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Exec. Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein discusses social tolerance and increasing appreciation of Israel the Conference experienced visiting United Arab Emirates:
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