The Association of Gulf Jewish Communities (AGJC), the people-to-people network of Jewish communities from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries that are developing Jewish life in the region, facilitated the first Jewish wedding in the Kingdom of Bahrain this past weekend at the Ritz-Carlton in the capital of Manama.

The event, arranged by the Orthodox Union, was also the first strictly kosher wedding in the kingdom’s history.

The weekend included two additional ceremonies: a Shabbat Chatan, also called an aufruf, where the groom (and sometimes, the couple) is called to the Torah for an aliyah, a blessing; and a henna ceremony for the bride, the latter of which is customary in Sephardic Jewish communities.

“This wedding was an important moment for our family, the community here in Bahrain, and more broadly, for the Jewish community in the region,” said AGJC president Ebrahim Dawood Nonoo. “The atmosphere was euphoric as we sat around the chuppah, which symbolizes the new home being built by the couple. It was also symbolic of the opportunity to further grow Jewish life in the region.”

“It is our hope,” added Nonoo, “that we will host more Jewish weddings in the region which will lead to more young couples starting their families here and the further growth of our community.”

The first Jewish wedding in Bahrain in 52 years took place at the Ritz-Carlton in Manama, October 2021. Credit: Courtesy.