(Israel Hayom via JNS) United Arab Emirates Rabbi Levi Druchman lit the first candle of the Hanukkah menorah on Sunday evening at the Israeli pavilion at EXPO 2020 in Dubai.
Druchman performed the ritual in the presence of local leaders, businesspeople, Jewish residents of the UAE and tourists from around the world. The event included a performance by the members of the Jewish community’s children’s choir and was attended by students of the community’s Hebrew school.
The Bahraini pavilion also had a candle-lighting ceremony, attended by former Bahraini Ambassador to the United States Houda Nonoo and members of the Gulf state’s Jewish community. Thousands of Jews, none of them native-born, now live in the UAE and other Gulf states.
The Dubai candle-lighting event, which would not have been possible prior to the signing of the Abraham Accords, took place as a result of the efforts of the Jewish National Fund in the UAE. Israeli Consul General in Dubai Ilan Sztulman and Commissioner-General of Israel’s EXPO 2020 pavilion Elazar Cohen were among those in attendance.