Geographic location of Qatar
Map of Qatar
Map of Qatar

The History of Jews in Qatar is relatively limited, as unlike some of the neighboring countries in the Gulf of Persia, there is no documented settlement of Jews in the area now known as Qatar.

In modern days a small number of expats of Jewish origin reside in Qatar, mainly in Doha. Kosher food was produced during the 2022 World Cup and Rabbi Eli Chitrik visits Qatar several times a year in behalf of the Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States.

Forum on US-Islamic relations

As an indication of the opening up of Qatari society to western influence and giving appropriate attention to the Jewish population, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that a forum on U.S.-Islamic relations in Qatar would feature both Israeli and U.S. Jewish participants. Former President Clinton and Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, were the scheduled keynote speakers at the 2004 US-Islamic Forum in Doha. The forum was sponsored by the Project on US Policy Towards the Islamic World and funded by the Saban Center, founded by American-Israeli entertainment mogul Haim Saban. Participants came from predominantly Islamic countries, including Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan. Martin Kramer, the editor of the Middle East Quarterly, was the sole Israeli participant since Saban and attended as an American.[1]

Jewish-American soldiers

A news report that described the preparations for U.S. troops stationed in Qatar:

The Jewish members of America's armed forces will again receive kosher K-rations this Pesach throughout the holiday, provided by the U.S. Defense Department.

Thousands of packages containing kosher for Pesach MREs (meals ready to eat) have already reached U.S. army and navy supply bases, with special shipments aimed at Jewish troops in Iraq and Afghanistan...

The Jewish Chaplains Council estimates that the number of Jews stationed in Iraq is between 500 and 600. Of the 30 Jewish chaplains on active duty worldwide, eight chaplains are stationed in Iraq, including two female rabbis.

Each chaplain stationed in Iraq will hold two seders at base camps, with central seders in Baghdad, Falluja, and Tikrit. There will also be two seders at the army headquarters in Bahrain, and air force headquarters in Qatar. Jewish soldiers stationed in remote locations will be able to attend seders led by soldiers who received special training for that purpose.[2]

Diplomatic openings

In 2007 a report stated,

Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, are making some of their most public overtures ever to Israel and American Jews to undercut Iran's growing influence, contain violence in Iraq and Lebanon and push for a Palestinian solution...Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates have stepped up contacts with Israel and pro-Israel Jewish groups in the USA. The outreach has the Bush administration's blessing: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said six Persian Gulf states and Egypt, Jordan, and Israel are a new alignment of moderates to oppose extremists backed by Iran and Syria. She has said an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal would weaken militants such as Hamas and Hezbollah...Saudi and Gulf Arab contacts with Israelis and American Jews go back more than a decade but have never been so public. Arab countries have treated Israel as a pariah since it gained independence in 1948. Most Arab countries ban travel to Israel, investment there, and other commercial ties with the Jewish state and routinely refer to it as the "Zionist entity." ...Among the other recent Arab-Jewish contacts: Saudi national security adviser Bandar bin Sultan met privately with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jordan in September, said Daniel Ayalon, Israel's former ambassador to Washington. He said it was the highest-level Saudi-Israeli meeting he'd ever heard of. The United Arab Emirates has invited a delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The conference, a 51-member umbrella group, is a strong supporter of Israel. Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres met the emir of Qatar in late January after taking part in a debate with Arab students there. It was the highest-level Israeli meeting with the Persian Gulf nation since 1996 when Peres visited as prime minister."[3]

Jews in the Arabian Peninsula

Main articles: Arabian Peninsula and History of the Jews in the Arabian Peninsula

See also


  1. ^ "Israelis, U.S. Jews in Qatar". Cleveland Jewish
  2. ^ "Jewish soldiers in Iraq get kosher Pesach rations". Archived from the original on 2012-09-04.
  3. ^ Slavin, Barbara (2007-02-12). "Arabs try outreach to Israel, U.S. Jews". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-05-04.