Egypt is planning to shell out $2 million for the renovation of a synagogue in Alexandria that attests to a Jewish presence in the country that has endured for millennia.
“We are experiencing a renaissance,” Samy Ibrahim, a member of the Cairo Jewish community, told the Religious News Service. “The government is elevating the profile of the heritage of Egyptian Jews.”
Renovating the Eli Synagogue will be covered by the government. There are only a few dozen Jews left in Egypt, but there used to be tens of thousands, prior to post-war pogroms that sent most fleeing for Israel, the United States and France.
The Jewish presence in Egypt dates historically to antiquity, with Jews in Hellenic times taking up residence in Alexandria, producing intellectuals like the ancient philosopher Philo.
Constructed in Italianate style, the Eli Synagogue was built in 1860, on the site of a former Jewish house of worship. It lies in the area that used to be the center of the city’s vibrant Jewish life.
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Daniel J. Solomon is the former Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.
Egypt Plans Restoration Of Alexandria Synagogue