Bahrain Wants Jews – As Tourists

The Gulf State Bahrain has a new initiative to encourage Jewish tourism.

Rabbi Marc Schneier Celebrates Hanukah in Bahrain (Facebook Pic)

Boy does Baharain really like Jews. The Arab gulf state which only just established diplomatic ties with Israel this past August is launching a new program to encourage Jewish tourism to the country. Called The North American-Jewish Tourism Initiative to Bahrain, the new initiative was begun in partnership between the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, Best of Bahrain and Da’at Travel.

Yet another example of a new business or cultural initiative founded to strengthen between Israel and the world Jewish community on the one hand and the Arab world on the other. It seems like something new in this area has been announced every day since the peace treaties were signed between Israel and the two Arab Gulf states Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates last summer.

The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) was established in 1989 by Rabbi Marc Schneier and theatrical producer and director Joseph Papp to foster better Muslim-Jewish Relations and African American-Jewish relations.

The new initiative is spearheaded by FFEU President Rabbi Marc Schneier following an invitation from King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain to bring more Jewish tourists to the Kingdom. Bahrain has already made a number of moves to encourage more Jewish tourism. For example, its Ritz Carlton hotel now offers kosher meals. The Kingdom’s airline, Gulf Air, will begin direct flights to Israel in January 2021.

Best of Bahrain will facilitate the itineraries and travel arrangements for Jewish travelers. Da’at Travel will focus on bringing Jewish organizations, federations and synagogues across North America to visit Bahrain.

The one problem, of course, is the continued Coronavirus crisis. People are not travelling even when they can. And Israel just announced plans to close its airport again and has already implemented an obligatory quarantine for all international travelers who are now required to stay in “Corona” hotels.

These moves were implemented after the United Kingdom revealed that is suffering an outbreak of a new more infectious strain of Covid-19. But now that Covid vaccinations are beginning throughout the world and new immediate and cheap Corona testing is more widely available, nations hope to restart world travel and tourism come this spring.

Rabbi Marc Schneier –Facebook Post

“During a meeting with His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, he asked me to spearhead an initiative to introduce the Kingdom of Bahrain as a destination to the North American Jewish community,” said FFEU President Rabbi Marc Schneier.

“We’re bringing together the leading travel companies in order to create customizable Jewish tourism experiences to Bahrain. I would like to thank H.E. Zayed R. Alzayani for his unwavering support of this initiative as well.”

“This initiative is one of many that seeks to promote Bahrain as a unique destination and one which caters to all diverse communities from across the world,” Bahraini Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Zayed R. Alzayani said.

“As a center of peaceful coexistence with a rich history, heritage and tourism landscape, this tourism initiative will provide a memorable experience to all who visit and will open new horizons for Jewish tourists looking for a new and exciting destination,”

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