Iran’s Jewish community: a new era

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Shafaqna – CBS News has published an article about Iran’s Jewish community entitled, “New era for Iran’s Jews”. The article  states: More than a thousand people trekked across Iran this past week to visit a shrine in the ancient Persian city, a pilgrimage like many others in the Islamic Republic – until you notice men there wearing yarmulkes.

The author added “Iran, a home for Jews for more than 3,000 years, has the Middle East’s largest Jewish population outside of Israel, a perennial foe of the country”.

The article states that Iranian Jews have “found new acceptance under moderate President Hassan Rouhani.” “The government has listened to our grievances and requests. That we are being consulted is an important step forward,” said Homayoun Samiah, leader of the Tehran Jewish Association. “Under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, nobody was listening to us. Our requests fell on deaf ears.”

Today, estimates suggest some 20,000 Jews remain in the country.

There are other updates about the Jewish community in Iran as “Today, estimates suggest some 20,000 Jews remain in the country … Since Rouhani took office last year, Jews say they have been heartened by the support they’ve received. His government agreed to allow Jewish schools to be closed on Saturdays to mark Shabbat, the day of rest. Rouhani also allocated the equivalent of $400,000 to a Jewish charity hospital in Tehran and invited the country’s only Jewish lawmaker to accompany him to the United Nations General Assembly in New York last year … We were feeling the pressure. Now, we are not concerned anymore. We feel secure and enjoy freedoms,” said Mahvash Kohan, a female Jewish pilgrim who came to Yazd from Shiraz. “In the past, Israel and others were providing incentives such as housing that lured some Jews. Now, it’s not like that. And Iranian Jews have better living and working conditions in Iran. So, no one is willing to leave now.”

“…Those taking part in the recent Yazd pilgrimage to the tomb of a famed Jewish scholar, however, praised the Iranian government’s new outreach”.

“We’ve gathered here to pray and celebrate our Jewishness,” Kohan said. “We are proud that we freely practice our religion.”

www.shafaqna.com

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