A packed audience at Lauderdale Road Synagogue last night heard H.E. Nancy Khedouri, the only Jewish member of Bahrain’s legislative assembly, speak about what it means to be a Jew in Bahrain.
At the landmark event, organised by the Board of Deputies, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain and Lauderdale Road Synagogue, Ms Khedouri said: “The Jewish community of Bahrain is able to live and worship freely. Bahrain is a model in the region and wider world for peaceful co-existence and mutual respect.”
She added that she was equally proud of her Jewish and Bahraini heritage.
Rabbi Israel Elia of Lauderdale Road Synagogue introduced Nancy Khedouri and presented Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl with a rare biography of former Board of Deputies President, the great Moses Montefiore.
Marie van der Zyl spoke of her happiness at being a part of the first ever event organised in co-operation with an Arab embassy. She said: “In what seems like an increasingly polarised and divided world it is the relationships between communities and peoples, coming together in good faith, which hold the key for a better tomorrow.”
After the event a spokesperson from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain, said: Religious tolerance and coexistence has a long history in Bahrain and it’s something that we have taken for granted. Given what is happening in the region, tonight was a historic and wonderful opportunity to honour that heritage. Bahrain is proud of its Jewish population and the contribution it has made. H.E. Nancy Khedouri is an amazing example of this. We look forward to deepening links with the UK Jewish community.”
Photo: (Left to right) Nancy Khedouri, Marie van der Zyl, Ambassador Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Chair of Lauderdale Road Synagogue Committee and Deputy Barbara Simon, former President of the Board of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation David Dangoor, Rabbi Israel Elia