UAE’s chief rabbi marries in Gulf’s largest Jewish event, Emirati royalty attends

Rabbi Duchman married the daughter of Belgian chief rabbi in an event attended by Emirati royalty.

By Debbie Reiss, World Israel News

The Chief Rabbi of the United Arab Emirates married a Belgian woman on Wednesday night in Abu Dhabi in what was the largest ever Jewish event in the Arabian Gulf, with a guest list that included Emirati royals and high level dignitaries.

The lavish wedding also doubled as the second anniversary celebration of the Abraham Accords, the normalization accord between Israel and the UAE which were signed in Washington on September 15, 2020.

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Duchman, 29, has headed up the UAE’s Jewish community – the Arab world’s fastest growing – for the past eight years.

His bride is Lea Hadad, 27, of Jewish Moroccan descent and the daughter of Belgian Chief Rabbi Menachem Hadad.

Duchman has been heavily involved in all aspects of Jewish life across the Emirates, from building synagogues, a Jewish school, Hebrew supplemental school, mikvehs (ritual baths), as well as establishing a government-licensed Kosher agency.

According to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, of which Duchman is a member, the Emirati chief rabbi was also responsible for bringing several rabbis to the Gulf nation to serve the community, as well as establishing a rabbinical intern training program.

Read  Morocco opens Arab world's first campus synagogue

The Hebrew date of the wedding is Elul 18, which coincides with the birthday of the Baal Shemtov in the seventeenth century, the founder of the Hassidic movement, as well as the birthday of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, a century later.