Jewish life in the Gulf has increased dramatically over the last decade. Many have come here for business reasons and stayed because of the wonderful lifestyle. While you may have heard of – and visited – the Jewish communities in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, you may be surprised to hear that there are Jewish families and individuals living in other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. It is with this in mind that the local Jewish communities of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE have come together to announce the formation of the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities (AGJC).The genesis for the creation of the new AGJC took place during the novel coronavirus pandemic when many of us started attending the Jewish Council of the Emirates’ pre-Shabbat Zooms and met each other. As we got to know one another on the session, we realized that there were certain resources we could share.This week, the Jewish communities of Bahrain and the Emirates are the largest in the region and we can assist the Jews in the other GCC countries in getting matzah for Passover, memorial (yahrtzeit) candles, prayer books (siddurim) and Bibles (Chumashim), etc. Our hope is that this people-to-people network will create more opportunities for Jewish life in the region. We are all here to support one another. While each of our communities remain independent, we share a common goal and vision – for Jewish life in the GCC to flourish for the benefit of both residents and visitors. We are doing this through a variety of initiatives such as the Beth Din of Arabia which is in the process of being established to assist with issues pertaining to personal status, inheritance and voluntary business dispute resolutions in the region. The Arabian Kosher Certification Agency is in the process of being created to oversee kashrut certification regionally using the same set of standards throughout all six Gulf countries, thereby making it easier for Jewish individuals to live in or travel around the Gulf. One of our first events will be a virtual megillah reading on Purim that we invite Jews around the world to join us for via Zoom.For those of us in Bahrain, this marks an important milestone as we will now have access to a rabbi who can come to Bahrain to officiate at Jewish life cycle events.Under the spiritual leadership of Rabbi Dr. Elie Abadie, based in Dubai, and president Ebrahim Dawood Nonoo, based in Bahrain, along with our fellow board members consisting of representatives from all six Gulf countries, together we will forge the path forward for growing Jewish life in the Gulf. While the Jewish communities in the Gulf vary in size from just a couple of Jews to larger and more established Jewish communities, each has much to offer the other and our hope is that we can harness our expertise and resources for the betterment of Jewish life in the region.The creation of the AGJC represents the dawn of a new era for Jewish life in the Gulf as we now embark on creating a joint vision for Jewish life in the Gulf rather than doing so country-by-country. Now, the Jewish communities of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are all moving in lockstep to create Jewish infrastructure that supports both our residents and tourists. We look forward to welcoming you to our communities.Houda Nonoo served as Bahrain’s ambassador to the US from 2008-2013. She and Alex Peterfreund serve on the board of the AGJC. For more information, visit www.gulfjewish.org.