Iceland recognises Judaism as a state religion

More than 300 Jews are living in country


Iceland has finally recognised Judaism as a religion.

In a move which has been celebrated by the 300 strong Jewish community,state recognition of the Jewish religion was acknowledged on March 8.

It followed a lengthy campaign by Rabbi Avi Feldman,  who initiated the Chabad Lubavitch of Iceland in 2018, to gain formal of approval of Jewish existence for the first time.

Most of the country’s Jews live in the country's largest city, Reykjavík,  but the rabbi  said revealed he has discovered scattered populations in the smaller cities of Akureyri and West Fjord.

There are even Jews living in some of the fishing villages in the country's outskirts. 

It was initially thought the community numbered no more than 100 until the drive to formally recognise the Jews of Iceland begun.

Some of the immigrants are Jews who escaped northward during and after the Holocaust. 

“We meet local Jews whom we didn’t know previously every single week,” Rabbi Feldman told the Jerusalem Post. “For Iceland to formally recognize the world’s oldest religion is in itself very significant.” 

As the community has flourished, cultural activities such as the  first Holocaust memorial service was held in January 2020.  A menorah was also erected on Chanukah in the capital city's centre. 



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