Bahrain holds first Jewish wedding in half a century

Bahrain staged its first Jewish wedding in over half a century last weekend as the son of the country’s first Jewish diplomat was married in a luxury hotel.

Ambassador Houda Nonoo hailed the “monumental” event that was officiated by Rabbi Elie Abadei from the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities.

Bahrain is one of the countries to have signed the Abraham Accords, a series of international agreements that paved the way for normalised relations with Israel.

Sunday’s wedding was held at the Ritz Carlton in the capital Manama.

Rabbi Abadie said: “All weddings are exciting events as we celebrate the creation of a new Jewish family. This wedding was even more significant as it was the first Jewish wedding in more than half a century in the GCC’s only indigenous Jewish community.

“It is so fulfilling for me to see a resurgence of Jewish life in this region and to assist families throughout the region pray and experience lifecycle events in the Gulf Cooperation Council.”

Nonoo tweeted it was “very hard to find adequate words to describe how much it means” for the first wedding to be her son’s.

The wedding follows a series of Jewish lifecycle events in Gulf Arab countries that were previously hostile to Israel, including a bat mitzvah in Oman and a pre-Pesach seder involving the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The Abraham Accords have seen Israel establish diplomatic relations with several Arab countries for the first time.

In addition to Bahrain and the UAE, Sudan and Morocco have taken steps to build closer ties.

Israel formally opened offices in Bahrain last month and in Morocco in August in the latest enlargement of its diplomatic network after the Abraham Accords were signed last year.

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