With 1,500 guests from around the world, including leading rabbis, dignitaries and Emirati royals, the wedding of Lea Hadad and Rabbi to the UAE, Levi Duchman, is the largest Jewish event in the Arabian Gulf in recent history.
Rabbi Duchman has been living in the UAE for eight years, building much of the critical infrastructure for Jewish life there, which has become the Arab world’s fastest growing Jewish community and the wedding is a landmark event for Jewish life in the Arab world.
The Rabbi to the UAE, Rabbi Levi Duchman, will marry Lea Hadad of Brussels, Belgium. Rabbi Duchman has been living in the UAE for eight years, building much of the critical infrastructure for Jewish life there, which has become the Arab world’s fastest growing community.
1,500 guests from around the world are expected to attend the wedding, the largest Jewish event in the Arabian Gulf in recent history, including Emirati royals, prominent rabbis, and dignitaries.
The wedding, coinciding with the second anniversary of the Abraham Accords, is a source of great national pride, as a demonstration and living experience of the Emirates’ longstanding investment in creating a culture of coexistence and religious diversity. The flourishing of Jewish life across the Emirates is a testament to the commitment of the UAE government to those values and its warm welcome and constant support of the Jewish community in helping Jewish life thrive.
The couple will continue Rabbi Duchman’s long commitment to building the UAE’s Jewish community, together from their home in Abu Dhabi.
Since 2014, Rabbi to the UAE Levi Duchman has built the infrastructure for Jewish life across the Emirates, establishing Jewish communities, institutions and houses of worship across Abu Dhabi and Dubai, including a Jewish school, Hebrew supplemental school, a Mikvah for the Jewish rite of purification, and the government-licensed Kosher agency. He has also brought several rabbis to the UAE to join him in serving the community, and established a rabbinical training program for rabbinical interns.
Through Rabbi Duchman’s efforts, Jewish life in the UAE and the region has flourished beyond the network of institutions he has created, with the establishment of private kosher businesses, relocation of Israeli and Jewish businesses to the Emirates, and the creation of other Jewish establishments.
The date: The wedding date is September 14, 2022. According to the Hebrew calendar the date is 18 of the month of Elul, a day of great sanctity in the Chassidic tradition, the birthdate of The Baal Shemtov (1698), the founder of the Chassidic movement, and Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745), the founder of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.
Background: Rabbi Levi Duchman and Lea Hadad:
Rabbi Levi Duchman, 29, has been living in the UAE for over eight years. Born in Brooklyn, he spent two years in Morocco with his sister Chana and her family, which is where he drew his inspiration to help Jewish life in the Arab world flourish. His father, Rabbi Sholom Duchman is the director of Colel Chabad, a charity founded in 1788 and the oldest continuously operating charity in Israel for people of all backgrounds. Colel Chabad is the largest food security organization in Israel. In partnership with the Israeli government, Colel Chabad runs a national network of food security, medical and educational services, widow and orphan support, and immigrant assistance programs.
Lea Hadad, 27, is of Moroccan heritage and was born and raised in Belgium, the daughter of Chief Rabbi, Menachem Hadad. Her grandfather began the tradition of emissary work when he set up the Chabad community in Milan, so Lea is well prepared for the role she now takes on as the wife of Rabbi Duchman in the UAE’s flourishing community.