Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cairo Synagogues

Egypt to Preserve Alexandria Synagogue as 'Jewish Monument'
by Chana Ya'ar Egypt to Fix Alexandria Shul

Egypt plans to restore Alexandria's lone remaining active synagogue, the Eliahou Hanabi Synagogue – the city's “only Jewish monument,” according to a report published in the Al Masry Al Youm newspaper.

Located on Nebi Daniel Street, the synagogue was hailed in the report as “one of Egypt's most important Jewish historical sites.”

The renovations are to be carried out by Cairo University's Center for Antiquities and Environment Studies, according to the report, which noted that “all Egyptian Jewish monuments” are to be renovated.

Ali Hilal, project manager at the Supreme Council for Antiquities, said the sites were considered a part of Egypt's heritage.

There once were 13 synagogues that once existed in the city of Alexandria, according to the website of the Association Internationale Nebi Daniel.

The largest of these, the Eliahou Hanabi Synagogue was built in 1850. It was destroyed by Napoleon during his military campaign, and later rebuilt. According to the Associate website, the 150-year-old house of worship is actually built on the site of a much older synagogue, the Voltera.

Guarded around the clock, the building is surrounded on three sides by landscaped gardens. The synagogue, which itself is fairly well maintained, is the only synagogue where services are maintained, according to the Association.

Over the past year, Egypt has restored several of its synagogues, including the Maimonides Synagogue in Cairo was rededicated -- although Jews are not allowed to pray there.

As published online at, 23 December 2010

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