UAE: Arab World’s ‘1st Purpose-built Synagogue in Century’ Opens at Interfaith Centre

The United Arab Emirates on Thursday opened a centre housing a mosque, church and the country’s first official synagogue with the aim of promoting interfaith coexistence in the Muslim nation.

At Thursday’s opening ceremony, UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis affixed a mezuzah to the entrance of the new Moses Ben Maimon Synagogue, which he tweeted was “the first purpose-built synagogue in the Arab world for nearly a century.”

With three houses of worship in the same place, the Abrahamic Family House, inaugurated in the capital Abu Dhabi, is the first of its kind. The three houses of worship are of equal stature and share the same external dimensions.

“The centre will be a platform for learning and dialogue, a model of coexistence,” said its president, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak. “Visitors are invited to participate in religious services, guided tours, celebrations and opportunities to explore faith,” he said in a statement released on Friday.

Later Friday, the local Jewish community will hold Shabbat prayers in the synagogue, led by UAE Chief Rabbi Yehuda Sarna. On Sunday, a Torah scroll donated by UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be brought to the synagogue in a dedication ceremony.


Related Articles

Back to top button