June 7, 2023 — New York
AJC Leadership Delegation Conducts Meetings in United Arab Emirates
New York—June 7, 2023—An American Jewish Committee (AJC) leadership delegation today conducted high-level consultations and events in the United Arab Emirates, continuing AJC’s 25-year-plus engagement with the UAE leadership and building on the 2020 Abraham Accords normalization agreement.
A highlight of the visit was AJC CEO Ted Deutch's participation in the completion of the first permanent Torah scroll under the supervision of Rabbi Yehuda Sarna at the Moses Ben Maimon Synagogue, situated within the Abrahamic Family House. The interfaith complex accommodates a mosque, church, and synagogue as distinct houses of worship around a shared courtyard.
“It’s hard to capture what it felt like to help complete the writing of a Torah scroll in the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi,” Deutch said. “It was an honor to celebrate our holy text in the Moses Ben Maimon Synagogue in an Arab capital – a synagogue named after one of Judaism’s greatest scholars.”
Deutch also participated in a conversation at the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy, alongside the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt. Joined by Emirati diplomatic students, the discussion revolved around the critical importance of combating hate and the leading role the UAE plays in promoting religious tolerance and understanding.
The day concluded with a meeting with His Highness Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Foreign Minister, in which AJC’s role in the region and a range of political and economic issues were discussed.
AJC opened an office in the UAE in 2021 – AJC Abu Dhabi: The Sidney Lerner Center for Arab-Jewish Understanding – the first such office in an Arab capital. Since its inception, the office has focused on advancing, and highlighting the benefits of, the Abraham Accords; U.S.-Gulf relations and strategic concerns; and promoting interfaith dialogue throughout the region. As a leading voice in furthering mutual understanding and cooperation, AJC remains committed to nurturing a positive relationship between the UAE and the global Jewish community.
AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people, with headquarters in New York City, 25 offices across the United States, and 15 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 38 Jewish community organizations worldwide.