Don’t believe Iranian rabbi’s ‘hechsher’ for Ayatollahs

Although some journalists have refused to do so, parts of  the press  have reported uncritically the words of  Rabbi Gerami, who still lives in Iran and during a visit to the US  gives a kosher stamp or ‘hechsher’ to the treatment of Jews under the Ayatollahs. Karmel Melamed sets the record straight in JNS News:

Morning service in a Tehran synagogue

As an Iranian Jewish journalist who has been covering Iranian Jewry for more than two decades, I feel compelled to set the record straight about the dire situation Jews in Iran face today by sharing the simple facts that debunk Gerami’s false claims of a “thriving” Jewish community in Iran and expose his fraudulent hechsher for the Ayatollah regime.

In Ami’s story about the “thriving” Jewish community in Iran, Gerami fires off various religious activities and “religious freedoms” that the Jews of Iran are able to participate in as examples of the supposed “great life” they have there. Yet its editors failed to ask him about the countless anti-Semitic incidents that have been unleashed against Iran’s Jews by the regime’s thugs in recent years and were also never investigated by the regime’s authorities. The following is just a short list of these incidents in recent years:

  • In May 2020, the synagogue next to the tomb of Esther and Mordechai in the Iranian city of Hamedan was firebombed by unknown assailants. While there was no damage done to the tombs, the synagogue did receive extensive smoke damage, and the regime’s authorities never investigated the case or arrested anyone in connection with it.
  • In February 2019, three antique Torah scrolls were stolen in broad daylight from the 125-year-old Ezra Yagoub synagogue in Tehran’s Jewish ghetto. The Iranian regime never investigated the crime or arrested anyone in connection with it.
  • In December 2017, two synagogues in the southwestern Iranian city of Shiraz were vandalized by unknown assailants; the Iranian regime never investigated that crime or arrested anyone in connection with it.
  • In late 2017, an Iranian Jewish man was imprisoned by authorities after returning to Iran following his visit to his elderly parents in Israel. In late December 2020, he was subsequently released from prison due to his failing health. By law, the Iranian regime prohibits all of its citizens from traveling to Israel, and punishment for violation of this law is prolonged imprisonment.
  • In November 2012, Toobah Nehdaran, a 57-year-old married Jewish woman, was strangled and then repeatedly stabbed to death. Her body was mutilated in a ritual manner by thugs who had broken into her home located inside the Jewish ghetto within the Iranian city of Isfahan. Nehdaran’s gruesome murder was also never investigated by Iranian authorities and suspects were never arrested in connection with her murder.

Indeed, the list of anti-Semitic attacks Jews in Iran have encountered since 1979 is much longer than just these few incidents. Again, it’s shameful how Ami Magazine’s editors conveniently left out these horrific anti-Semitic incidents in their story with Gerami. Moreover, they failed to disclose the fact that Jews in Iran, including Gerami, are forced to praise the Iranian regime’s leadership to the Western media because if they don’t, their lives are at risk.

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VOA article 


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