Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States

The Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States[a 1] is a union of rabbis serving communities in Muslim-majority countries and regions, established by Rabbi Mendy Chitrik in 2019 with the objective of supporting Jewish life in Muslim countries and regions. It is the first rabbinic association in the Muslim world and serves at least 100,000 Jews throughout various countries. Its activity is approved by Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel Yitzchak Yosef.

Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States
FoundedSeptember 2019; 4 years ago (2019-09)
PurposeSupport the activities of rabbis in predominantly Muslim countries
Mendy Chitrik

Founding and organization edit

The Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States was founded by Rabbi Mendy Chitrik in September 2019. Having spent over twenty years in Turkey, he recognized a chance to assist Jews residing in predominantly Muslim countries, where obtaining aid from organizations based in the United States or Israel could occasionally present challenges. He is the head Rabbi of Istanbul's Ashkenazi Jewish community, and serves as the alliance's chairman.[1][2][3] It is the first rabbinic association in the Muslim world.[4]

The establishment of the alliance aims to foster connections and provide support for Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Chabad, and communal rabbis who serve Jewish communities in predominantly Muslim nations. As of March 2021, ARIS had formed a network of rabbis spanning 14 mostly Muslim-majority member countries[2] including Albania, Azerbaijan, Morocco, Nigeria, Turkey, Tunisia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, UAE, Uganda, and Uzbekistan. The organization supports around 100,000 Jews in these countries.[4] Additionally, it includes rabbis serving Jewish communities in other regions with Muslim majorities, such as North Cyprus and the Russian republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan.[5]

ARIS' first summit was held in Istanbul on December 22, 2021.[6] The organization was received by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the Presidential Complex the next day.[7][8] In the meeting, Erdogan told ARIS that “the ties with Israel are vital for regional stability.”[9]

ARIS' activity is approved by Chief Rabbi of Israel Grand Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef and follows his Halachic directives.[10]

Presidium council edit

The Presidium Council of the union consists of:

Executive board edit

Activities edit

ARIS aims to advise governments and other organizations on all matters of coexistence, tolerance, and peace. It supports the work of rabbis and community leaders as well as continues Jewish life and culture in Muslim countries.[20][21][22] The organization also aims to take care of isolated individuals and communities in Muslim world.[2] Rabbis are involved in calls for interfaith and peaceful living with Muslims.[22]

In March 2021, preparing for the upcoming Passover holiday, ARIS provided matzah to Jews residing in politically precarious locations, such as Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, and Lebanon. The organization also distributed thousands of seder boxes, containing essential items for the Passover celebration, to Jewish communities across the Muslim world, including Turkey, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Nigeria.[23] In May, ARIS provided humanitarian aid for needy families in Nigeria prior to Ramadan.[24] In September, the organization coordinated the delivery of 500 etrogs and several packages of myrtle to the Iranian Jewish community for use in the “four species” tradition on Sukkot.[25]

ARIS was involved in the evacuation of Zablon Simintov from Kabul, Afghanistan in September 2021.[26] They were also involved in the efforts to evacuate Simintov's distant cousin, Tova Moradi, to Albania.[27]

Notes edit

  1. ^ Hebrew: איחוד הרבנים במדינות האסלאם, Arabic: تحالف الحاخامات في الدول الإسلامية

References edit

  1. ^ "Meet the Istanbul-based rabbi behind the evacuation of Afghanistan's 'last Jew'". Retrieved 2023-07-15.
  2. ^ a b c "Matzah in Beirut or a Seder in Samarkand? These rabbis are making it happen". The Forward. 2021-03-23. Retrieved 2023-07-15.
  3. ^ "מקווה בדובאי, מצות בסוריה: הכירו את איגוד הרבנים במדינות האסלאם". ynet (in Hebrew). 2021-07-01. Retrieved 2023-07-15.
  4. ^ a b Smilk, Carin M. (2021-10-27). "Alliance strengthens Jewish life in Muslim states". Retrieved 2023-07-15.
  5. ^ "Rabbis as Peacemakers". eJewish Philanthropy. 2020-12-18. Retrieved 2023-07-15.
  6. ^ "Rabbis in Islamic States Meeting for their First Summit in Turkey were Accepted by President Erdoğan". salom. Archived from the original on 2021-12-23. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  7. ^ "In Istanbul, a conference of rabbis from Islamic nations got a surprise: An audience with Erdogan". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 2021-12-23. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  8. ^ "Erdoğan emphasizes Turkey-Israel ties in meeting with Jewish clergy". Daily Sabah. 2021-12-22. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  9. ^ "Experts say 'Jewish' diplomacy was key in Turkey-Israel rapprochement". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved 2023-07-15.
  10. ^ "Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef endorses Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  11. ^ "Rabbi Shimon Gad Elituv". 5 September 2018. Archived from the original on 2021-04-27.
  12. ^ "Moroccan community Brooklyn NY". Archived from the original on 2021-04-27.
  13. ^ "City Marks Rabbi's 25 Years". COLlive. 2012-07-03. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  14. ^ "Tunisia's Chief Rabbi, Haim Bitan speaks during Iftar, the evening..." Getty Images. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  15. ^ "JDC - Archives : Interview with Avraham Hamra, Chief Rabbi of Syria". Archived from the original on 2021-06-04. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  16. ^ "Rabbi Avraham Hamra, last chief rabbi of Syria, dies at 78". 10 May 2021.
  17. ^ a b c d e f "ARIS Rabbis – The Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States". Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  18. ^ "Alliance Of Rabbis In Islamic States Seeing Progress For Jewish Communities". 2021-12-01. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  19. ^ "Azerbaijan to commemorate International Holocaust Day". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved 2023-07-15.
  20. ^ "For Jews in the Muslim world, an increasingly bright future awaits". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  21. ^ "Ksenia Svetlova. The Middle East Rediscovers Judaism. May 2020" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-10-22.
  22. ^ a b Alaluf, Rabbi Isak. "For a future of peace, Jews and Muslims should build bridges". Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  23. ^ "Passover in Muslim countries: Matzah in Iran, seder in UAE". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved 2023-07-15.
  24. ^ "Jews in Nigeria to distribute 250,000 meals in five cities during Ramadan food rush". Cleveland Jewish News. May 13, 2021.
  25. ^ "Iranian Jews receive 500 etrogim, myrtle bunches via UAE for Sukkot". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved 2023-07-15.
  26. ^ Smilk, Carin M. (2021-10-27). "Alliance strengthens Jewish life in Muslim states". Retrieved 2023-07-15.
  27. ^ Klein, David I. "Confab of rabbis from Islamic nations whisked off for surprise visit with Erdogan". Retrieved 2023-07-15.

External links edit