Egypt Synagogues information, tours, prices and online booking
Egypt Synagogues in fact featured by only two synagogues in the country. In fact, one of them located in Alexandria and the other one located in Cairo. The number of Egyptian Jews reached a maximum of 80.000 in the first half of the 20th century, an era that is considered as the golden age of Judaism in Egypt. The massive Jewish exodus to Israel in the mid 20th century made this number decrease drastically to some mere hundreds today. Nevertheless, some greatly preserved Jewish landmarks attest to the Judaic heritage of Egypt in major metropolis such as Cairo and Alexandria. If you want to get a glimpse of what the Jewish community was like in its prime, when no less than 50.000 Jews lived in Alexandria , visit the 150 year-old Eliyahu Hanavi Sephardic Synagogue on Nabi Daniel Street.
The synagogue’s impressive interior will give you an idea of just how vibrant the community was. With towering Italian marble columns and brass nameplates of its male patrons, the synagogue seats over 700 people. There is also extra seating upstairs for women. At the front of the building is a closed chamber that holds 30 Torah scrolls which were collected from the city’s other synagogues when they closed. Ben Ezra Synagogue, sometimes referred to as the El-Geniza Synagogue or the Synagogue of the Palestinians, is situated in Old Cairo, Egypt. According to local tradition, it is located on the site where baby Moses was found. The land for the synagogue was purchased in 882 CE for 20,000 dinars by Abraham Ibn Ezra of Jerusalem.
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This was the synagogue whose Geniza or store room was found in the 19th century to contain a treasure of abandoned Hebrew secular and sacred manuscripts. The collection, known as the Cairo Geniza, was brought to Cambridge, England at the instigation of Solomon Schechter and is now divided between several academic libraries.
The Cairo Geniza is a collection of some 210,000 Jewish manuscript fragments found in the Genizah or storeroom of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Fustat or Old Cairo in Egypt. Some additional fragments were found in the Basatin cemetery east of Old Cairo, and the collection includes a number of old documents bought in Cairo in the later 19th century. It is now dispersed among a number of libraries, including the libraries of Cambridge University and the University of Manchester.