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Bahrain Jews worship in public for 1st time in decades thanks to Abraham Accords

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MANAMA (AFP) — For the first time in decades, Ebrahim Nonoo is leading prayer services in Manama’s renovated synagogue, bringing Jewish traditions into plain view after decades of worship in private.

Bahrain’s tiny Jewish community, about 50 people, have practiced their faith behind closed doors since 1947, when the Gulf country’s only synagogue was destroyed in disturbances at the start of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

But when Bahrain normalized ties with Israel one year ago as part of US-brokered agreements with Arab countries known as the Abraham Accords, it “opened everything” up, Nonoo said.

“We’re very happy to be out in the open,” the 61-year-old told AFP.

The small, white-painted synagogue with wood-framed windows is in the heart of the capital Manama. It was recently renovated at a cost of 60,000 Bahraini dinars ($159,000).

Inside are wooden benches with navy blue cushions, a big screen to broadcast prayers, and a wooden podium, or bimah, holding religious books in Arabic, English and Hebrew.

“We can develop Jewish life in Bahrain because we have a fully functioning synagogue,” Nonoo said.

“We have the ability to bring the Jews to the synagogue, and we........

© The Times of Israel


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