As we mention elsewhere on this page, the United Arab Emirates soon will get its first astronaut, who will go into orbit with American Jewish astronaut Jessica Meir.
If that sounds like an uncomfortable pairing, it shouldn’t.
The United Arab Emirates has just announced that it will be hosting an official chief rabbi for its small Jewish community. Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, the New York University chaplain, is taking the unpaid position, which will have him travel four times a year to Dubai, where worship services have been taking place in a private home. “What we see is the first emergence of the first new Jewish community emerging in the Arab world for centuries,” said Sarna, who says there are hundreds of Jews in the UAE from all over the world to take advantage of employment opportunities there.
He said his hope is to nurture a structured community so that paid staff, including a full-time rabbi, could take over some day.