Algeria Plans To Reopen Shuttered Synagogues

Image: wikipedia

Algeria intends to reopen synagogues that were shuttered in the 1990s for security reasons, an Algerian minister said.

The statement about Algeria’s synagogues by Religious Affairs Minister Mohamed Aissa was published on Thursday on the online edition of the Algerian daily Liberte.

“There is a Jewish community in Algeria which is greeted in our cities and it has a right to exist,” Aissa is quoted as saying earlier this week at a conference organized in the capital Algiers by Liberte.

Algeria, he added, “is prepared to reopen Jewish places of worship.” But he said that “for the moment the state does not plan to do this right away because of security reasons. We need to first set up security arrangements before we open them up for worshipers.”

Tens of thousands of people died in terrorist attacks and government reprisals in Algeria during the 1990s, during an insurgency by the Armed Islamic Group.

The number of Jews living in Algeria is not known, according to the Jeune Afrique magazine, but historians estimate the country’s Jewish population is made up of a handful of people who practice their faith in secret for fear of being targeted by Islamic extremists.

Algeria used to have more than 100,000 Jews, but the vast majority of them left after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and during the country’s bloody war of independence against France.

Tagged as:

Written by


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Algeria Plans To Reopen Shuttered Synagogues

Thank you!

This article has been sent!