"Rebel Jew" to restore Libyan synagogue

Now that Gaddafi is gone, Gerbi wants to help interim Libyan leaders rebuild the lost Libya of his childhood and foster the type of religious tolerance between Jews and Muslims that exists in other parts of the Maghreb such as Morocco.

And he wants the Dar Bishi synagogue to be the symbol of reconciliation between Jewish and Muslim Libyans…

A Jungian psychotherapist who lives in Italy, Gerbi is also a representative of the World Organization of Libyan Jews.

He sports an “I love Libya” T-shirt with a giant red heart in the Tripoli hotel lobbies where he seeks meetings with officials of the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) about Jewish prospects in post-Gaddafi Libya.

Since the revolt against Gaddafi started, Gerbi has been working with NTC officials to promote their cause in South Africa, which only recognized the interim body in late August, and by helping war victims in Benghazi hospitals.

“People called me the ‘rebel Jew’,” he said smiling proudly.