The UAE gets its second full time rabbi in Rabbi Elie Abadie.
He will join Rabbi Levi Duchman, a Chabad rabbi who leads the Jewish Community of the UAE congregation, but who is not an official Chabad emissary.
So peace with Israel obviously means that the United Emirates will now see an influx of Jewish visitors, both on business trips and as tourist, well at least after the Covid-19 lockdowns end.
This will include many orthodox Jews who will of course need religious services and kosher food. Emirates Flight Catering has already begun to offer kosher food for many airlines and kosher food is being offered in the UAE.
No word yet on wen the first Chabad house will open in the country, though.
“It is my distinct pleasure and honor to join and lead The Jewish Council of the Emirates as Senior Rabbi. Aside from my many years as a Senior Rabbi in New York City, I bring with me all of my heart and enormous excitement to this esteemed position. I look forward to meeting, teaching, and praying with all of the congregants and members of the Jewish community at large,” said Rabbi Abadie.
He added that, “I will be honored to share and celebrate in all of your semahot and rejoice in all of our holidays together. I feel like I’m coming home to my roots; to the region where I was born, to the language that I first spoke, and to the beautiful traditions and customs that I grew up with. Thank you for this wonderful invitation. Together we will grow and sow the seeds of the UAE Jewish community.”
“The Jewish group of the Emirates deserves nothing better than a real renaissance man, a true ‘talmid chacham’ in every sense of the word and a visionary builder,” stated Rabbi Yehuda Sarna of the Jewish Council of the Emirates. “He comes not solely with a way of indigeneity, being of the area, but additionally of internationalism. His fluency in each Arabic, in addition to six different languages, positions him as a novel useful resource to the complete area.”
About Rabbi Elie Abadie, M.D. from his website:
Rabbi Elie Abadie, M.D. comes from a long and distinguished rabbinical lineage dating back to fifteenth century Spain and Provence. Following the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, his family migrated throughout the ages through Italy, the Balkans, Greece, Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon. Rabbi Abadie was born in Beirut Lebanon, and grew up in Mexico City, coming to the United States at the age of 18 to study medicine.
Rabbi Abadie, M.D. is currently President of JJAC (Justice for Jews from Arab Countries). He is the Founder of the Sephardic Academy of Manhattan. He is the Founder and Rabbi of Manhattan East Synagogue, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He served as the Director of the Jacob E. Safra Institute of Sephardic Studies, at Yeshiva University and college professor of Sephardic Judaism, history, philosophy, and comparative traditional law. He is the Vice-President of the New York Board of Rabbis. He is a Member of the Governing Council of the World Zionist Organization (WZO). Rabbi Abadie continues to maintain a private practice in Gastroenterology.