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First Jewish network launches in the Gulf

Plans include setting up Jewish courts to handle marriages, civil disputes and inheritance as well as creating a body to regulate Kosher food

Jewish communities in six Gulf States yesterday announced the launch of their first transnational organization which will serve about 1,000 Jews in the region, news agencies reported.

The new body has been named the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities (AGJC), the Times of Israel said.

According to the paper, this gathering will bring together Jews in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It will run under the leadership of Rabbi Dr Elie Abadie in Dubai and Ebrahim Dawood Nonoo, a native Bahraini Jew, will be its president.

One of the AGJC's services is a Jewish court, called the Beth Din of Arabia. It will deal with issues of civil disputes, personal status, inheritance and Jewish ritual, as well as running the Arabian Kosher Certification Agency throughout the six Gulf countries

Voice of America radio said that most of the Jews living in the Gulf states are expatriates, except for in Bahrain where there are about 50 native Bahraini Jews.

In an interview with VOA, Rabbi Abadie said: "Would we have imagined something like this a year ago or even six months ago and of course the answer is no."

"I always say we are at the crossroad of history in that entire region if not the world because something like that would not have been even a thought process just a few months ago."

READ: UAE delegation arrives in Israel to prepare for embassy opening

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