Lebanese embassy in Paris hosts 'family reunion' to honour Lebanese Jews
A gathering in honour of the Jewish Lebanese community will be hosted by the Lebanese embassy in Paris on 1 November, local media reported on Sunday.
The ceremony, presented as a "family reunion", will bring together members of the Lebanese diaspora in France. Invitations were sent out to Lebanese diaspora members from all sects, a report by Lebanese daily Annahar said.
"The Jewish Lebanese community's presence in Lebanon and in the countries where many Lebanese have chosen to live is a source of pride," Lebanese Ambassador to France Rami Adwan said in the invitation letter, which the daily said it obtained a copy of.
The planned gathering has been described as "an unprecedented move of Lebanese diplomacy" by Annahar.
The attempt to restore ties with the country's Jewish community, which mostly settled abroad after the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, aligns with Lebanon's broader efforts to woo the Lebanese diaspora for economic support.
Its 14 million expatriates (compared to 4 million Lebanese citizens inside the country) represent a potential wealth of liquidities for the cash-strapped country.
Less than 30 Jews are currently believed to be living in Lebanon, although population figures are unreliable because the census has not been updated in years.
In recent years, Lebanon has taken other symbolic steps towards the recognition of its Jewish heritage.
Beirut's oldest synagogue, the Maghen Abraham, reopened in 2014 during a grand ceremony attended by dignitaries from all sects. The synagogue was badly damaged by the Beirut blast and is in need of funding for restoration.