Welcome, Guest! - or
Easy to remember!  »  VinNews.com

Djerba - Jews Make Pilgrimage to Africa's Oldest Shul

Published on: May 2, 2010 03:02 PM
By: AFP
Change text size Text Size  

Rabbi Gilles Bernheim (C) gives his speech (Photo: AFP)Djerba - Thousands of Jews on Friday began an annual pilgrimage to Africa’s oldest synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba.

“We have nearly 6,000 visitors this year,” Perez Trabelsi, head of the Djerba Jewish community and president of the synagogue, told AFP.

Most of the pilgrims - around 4,500 - came from France, while around 1,000 Israelis came via Egypt, Jordan or Turkey due to the absence of direct air links with Israel.

Trabelsi called for direct flights to be established between Israel and Tunisia, adding that it would triple the number of visitors coming from Israel.

France’s chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim would take part in the pilgrimage for the first time this year “in order to give a message of peace (and) of respect for others.

“I am very moved and very impressed by the Jews’ way of life in Tunisia and their strict attachment to an ancient tradition,” Bernheim told AFP.

In 2002, an attack at the Ghriba shrine killed 21 people when a suicide bomber rammed the wall of the synagogue with a lorry laden with natural gas, which blew up killing 14 German tourists, five Tunisians and two French visitors.

Advertisement:

The Al-Qaeda network claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Jewish community in Tunisia is still one of the largest in the Arab world but its numbers have dropped from 100,000 on independence from France in 1956 to around 1,500 today. Most emigrated to France or Israel.

Nearly half of those who remain live in Djerba.

Woman lights up candle in Ghriba synagogue  Photo: AFP



More of today's headlines

New York - The top government official in Nassau County says he's willing to look into the feasibility of Long Island seceding from New York to become an independent... Brooklyn, NY - The King of Jewish Music "Mordechai Ben David" Singing Omar Reb Akiva at the Lag B'Omer parade in Crown Heights 2010 Watch below clip taken by...

 

Total10

Read Comments (10)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 02, 2010 at 06:08 PM Mr b Says:

I was there 4 years ago itsAn amazing kehilla all shomre torah I spend a beautiful Shabbos there an amazing experience

2

 May 02, 2010 at 06:17 PM ? Says:

is chabad there?

3

 May 02, 2010 at 08:30 PM did u know Says:

that djerba actually was an island resrved for kohanim to keep them tahor?

4

 May 02, 2010 at 08:41 PM Mr b Says:

There is no chabad there they have every thing from within their comunity cheder school's kosher food etc

5

 May 02, 2010 at 08:52 PM Mr b Says:

There r 13 shuls on the island and they davening in all of them plus the oldest shul pictured here which is the only one in a completely different neighborgood that shul has a sefer torah 2000years old

6

 May 02, 2010 at 10:56 PM Traveler Says:

There is no Chabad there. El Griba synagogue is located a short distance from the Hara Zeriza Jewish enclave which is filled with the most beautiful traditional Yidden. They may not look like you and me, but they are so pure and sweet. I was fortunate to spend three weeks among these angels.

7

 May 03, 2010 at 03:05 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Mr b Says:

There r 13 shuls on the island and they davening in all of them plus the oldest shul pictured here which is the only one in a completely different neighborgood that shul has a sefer torah 2000years old

2000 years old? Bli Ayin Hara.

They kehilla should be zocheh to carry it to the Beis HaMikdash!

8

 May 03, 2010 at 06:01 AM ChachChach Says:

Reply to #6  
Traveler Says:

There is no Chabad there. El Griba synagogue is located a short distance from the Hara Zeriza Jewish enclave which is filled with the most beautiful traditional Yidden. They may not look like you and me, but they are so pure and sweet. I was fortunate to spend three weeks among these angels.

"They may not look like you and me".

Please do NOT make sweeping statements in my name without my consent.

9

 May 03, 2010 at 09:17 AM tzvi Says:

Reply to #2  
? Says:

is chabad there?

If there is a shoul why are you looking for chabad ?

10

 May 04, 2010 at 03:22 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #2  
? Says:

is chabad there?

Chabad is in Tunis.

11

Sign-in to post a comment

Click here to sign-in.

Scroll Up
Advertisements:
Sell your scrap gold and broken jewelry and earn hard cash sell gold today!