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Synagogue Ahava Ve Ahva

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Governed by Orthodox tradition.

KWB’s Highlights:

  • 48-year-old Francois Yonah Poul is amongst those trying to keep the Jewish community alive on this exotic, 400-square-mile island in the South Pacific with no rabbi or cantor and thousands of miles from its nearest Jewish neighbours.
  • The synagogue is governed by Orthodox tradition. A so-called Committee of Ten organises holidays, memorial services, circumcision rites, bar mitzvahs, and the Sunday school.
  • The committee also orders Kosher food, which is flown in from the United States, France, and Australia, and meets often to settle disputes amongst congregants.
  • A department store on the island, Carrefour, stocks Kosher products. Several times a year, those who gather for the General Assembly of Tahitian Jews contribute to the synagogue’s upkeep.
  • Tahiti’s community of some 200 Jews is amongst the farthest flung in the world.
  • More than half of Tahiti’s married Jews wed outside the faith, but many have remained members of the synagogue.
  • Usually, only about 20 worshippers attend Friday night or Saturday morning services. Of those, two are married to non-Jewish women.
  • Synagogue members say there is no anti-Semitism on the island.
  • There are no police or guards at the front door. A shamash lives on premises.
  • The synagogue was built in 1993 amidst palm, pomegranate, date and mango trees, all of which grow in this “earthly island paradise.”
  • Two of the community’s Torahs were provided by the Egyptian Jewish expatriate community in Paris and a third by a Los Angeles community.
  • Minyan times:
    • Shacharis Sun: 7:00 AM.
    • Shacharis Mon/Thu: 7:30 AM.
    • Shacharis T/W/F: 7:30 AM.
    • Shacharis Rosh Chodesh: 7:30 AM.
    • Mincha: 5:30 PM Maariv: 6:00 PM.
    • Friday Mincha: 5:00 PM.
    • Shabbos Shacharis: 8:00 AM.
    • Shabbos Mincha: 5:00 PM.
    • Motsei Shabbos Maariv: 6:30 PM.
  • There is a Mikvah available on premises, a social hall and a Kosher cantine.