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September 10, 2020 4:12 pm

Representative Body of UAE Jewish Community Officially Affiliates With WJC

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

An El Al plane is seen on the ground in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 31, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Nir Elias / Pool.

With Israel and the United Arab Emirates set to ink their recently-announced normalization deal next week, the representative body of the Gulf state’s Jewish community said on Thursday it would be officially affiliating with the World Jewish Congress (WJC).

Yehuda Sarna ‐‐ chief rabbi of the Jewish Council of the Emirates (JCE) ‐‐ said of the move, “The JCE will be a lighthouse community in the Gulf for dialogue and interfaith cooperation and looks forward to leveraging the WJC’s global community network to enhance new opportunities in the region.”

JCE President Ross Kriel said, “We hope that together we can play a significant role in advancing the cause of peace in the Middle East.”

WJC President Ronald S. Lauder stated, “The World Jewish Congress looks forward to welcoming the Jewish Council of the Emirates into our global network of Jewish communities. The JCE’s very existence exemplifies the tolerance and forward outlook exhibited by the government of the United Arab Emirates.”

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“The WJC is inspired by the JCE’s story and encourages other governments to follow the example set by the UAE in helping to foster this burgeoning Jewish community,” he added.

“It is only by getting to know one another and to know about one another that we will effectively normalize relations between Jews and the Arab world,” Lauder noted, “and I’m delighted that this process is progressing in the UAE.”

Besides the official affiliation, the WJC will also send a delegation of its Jewish Diplomatic Corps (JDC) to the UAE to foster interfaith contacts and support the JCE’s activities.

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