RNS | In the heart of the Middle East, a fledgling synagogue gets a rabbi

(RNS) — It’s been a maxim for decades: Jewish synagogues in Arab countries are dying, and no new ones are being built.

But there’s an exception. A new synagogue formed in the United Arab Emirates a few years ago has persevered without a rabbi. On Tuesday (May 14), at a forum sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League and the UAE government, it was announced it will have a rabbi, too.

Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, a Canadian native who has served for 17 years as New York University’s chaplain and executive director of its Hillel chapter, has been named chief rabbi of the Jewish Community of the Emirates.