Jewish pilgrimage in Ghriba sees dwindling numbers amid Covid-19 fear

The annual Jewish pilgrimage to the Ghriba synagogue on Tunisia’s Djerba island started on Monday, but without the usual crowds due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The pilgrimage to Ghriba – the oldest synagogue in Africa – takes place from April 25 to May 2 for the island’s Jewish community and the few faithful able to make the trip from abroad.

Last year it was cancelled due to the pandemic, but this year it is taking place – albeit with pilgrims praying individually and wearing face masks.

Beginning 33 days after the start of the Jewish festival of Passover, the pilgrimage usually attracts huge numbers of Jewish worshippers from around the world.

Tunisian Jews now number around 1,500, compared with an estimated 100,000 in 1956, the year the North African country gained independence.


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