Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jewish Passover in Iran

Iran Jews celebrate Passover, Persian-style

Tehran's Jews gathered over the last week in the Pol-e-Choubi Synagogue in the Iranian capital to mark the week of passover, in a country known for its anti-Israel policies.

By Haaretz Service
25 April 2011

Iran's Jewish community celebrated Passover this week, gathering to pray at the Pol-e-Choubi Synagogue in Tehran, a synagogue catering to the largest Jewish community in the Middle East outside of Israel.

The story of Iran's ancient Jewish community unfolds over more than 2,700 years, back to when the Jews were exiled from Jerusalem through to today, after most members of Iran's Jewish community have relocated throughout the world.


Iran's Jewish community has decreased from 80,000 before the Islamic revolution, to about 20,000 today.

It is represented in parliament by a Jewish lawmaker and is the largest Jewish community in the Middle East outside of Israel, and they have one Jewish representative in the parliament under the constitution.

In 2008, Iranian Jews rejected an Israeli initiative to compel Iran's Jewish community to immigrate to Israel using cash incentives, calling the offer "inappropriate and politically immature."

It added Iran's Jewish community has remained loyal to the Islamic Republic and that their "Jewish Iranian identity is not a commodity that passes from the hands of one merchant to another in return for money."

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