September 27, 2013
THE PEOPLE'S HOPE:
Iran Jews mark Sukkot with hopes pinned on Rouhani (AFP, SEPTEMBER 27, 2013)
Posted by Orrin Judd at September 27, 2013 4:42 AMIranian Jews have shed more than 70% of their 80,000 to 100,00 population of before the 1979 Islamic revolution. Now some 8,750 - according to a 2011 census - to 20,000 Jews still live in Iran.Those who have chosen to remain - scattered across Iran but mostly in Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz - "have an easy life," Tehran's Jewish community head Homayoun Sameyah Najaf Abady told AFP."We do not have a problem. The government does not create problems for us," he said in a Sukkot prayer ceremony in the Abrishami synagogue in the centre of the capital, attended by some 200 faithful. [...]Recognised as a religious minority, along with Christians and Zoroastrians, the Jewish community has a representative in parliament and appears to be well-integrated in a society dominated by Muslims.It operates schools, a library and a hospital - funded in part by public funds - in Tehran.But they hope that with the presidency of Rouhani, a moderate mid-ranking Shiite cleric who took office in August, their standing will improve.