A while ago, the Associated Press described Dubai’s only synagogue as a secret place, hidden in an unmarked villa in an upscale Dubai neighborhood, whose congregation’s well being depends on the state of the sheikhdom’s relations with Israel.

But leaders of the Dubai congregation say they’re not worried, insisting they represent a growing trend in the acceptance of the Jewish State among its more benign neighbors in the region. Ross Kriel, President of the Jewish Community of the Emirates, told The Associated Press: “We have slowly found our place in the ecosystem of the UAE,” and “it reflects our optimism about the future of the UAE as a place for us to commune, contribute and flourish.”

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