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Yeshiva UnivercityAn Inventory to the Jamie Lehmann Memorial Collection

Records of the Jewish Community of Cairo, 1886-1961


The Jewish Community of Cairo in the Twentieth Century

European colonial intervention in African affairs in the mid-nineteenth century had its strongest impact on Egypt. French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps built the Suez Canal (1869) and British engineers built the country's first railroad system. With French and British influence growing in the country, Egypt had to respond to international demands and pressures which destroyed its traditional economic structure. The subsistence farming system, which provided all essential goods required by the farmer and his family without leaving any surplus for sale, still prevailed in Egypt. It was abruptly replaced by an exchange economy based on international trade of goods and services ... Read more

The Egyptian Jewish Community: Demography

Within a short period of time, fewer than sixty years, Egyptian society was completely transformed. Rapid changes affecting the economy and shifts in the political system had serious repercussions for the Jewish community. Modernization forced Egyptian Jews to reconsider their established customs and practices, and introduced western ideas into their culture.

There is no census of the Jewish population in Egypt until the end of the nineteenth century when an estimated 25,000 Jews lived in the country. The Jewish population increased to more than double between 1897, the year of the first available census, and 1917, when it was estimated at 60,000. This figure remained stable until the mass emigration of 1947. Today, only a few hundred Jews are left in Cairo and Alexandria.[2]

 Read more

Remembering a Modern Exodus

Revel Lecture Explores the Rich History and Culture of Jews in Arab Lands

Dr. Daniel TsadikCommemorating the 1948 forced exodus of nearly a million Jews from Arab countries, Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and Sephardic Community Program partnered with the Consul General of Israel in New York to pay tribute to the rich cultural heritage of modern Jewry in Arab lands. Held on December 5, the event featured an address by Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel, and a lecture by Dr. Daniel Tsadik, associate professor of Sephardic and Iranian studies at YU.

A Pictorial History of the Israeli Community Schools in Egypt

  • Ecole de la Communaute Israelite du Caire
  • Maccabi Cairo outing 1943
  • Kindergarden Class 1960
  • Aimee Chomali head of finances 1959
  • School of Catawi Pasha Class 1929
  • Bat Mitzva Alexandria 1953
  • Enfants Heuereuse 1959
  • Class of 1936
  • Karaite school 1919
  • Karaite school 1920's

Since time immomorial the Community in Egypt has been known as "ISRAELI" even during the Nasserite era. In the late 1990's Carmen Weinstein unilateraly changed the community's name to "Jewish" without consulting any of its members.

Locked away: Egypt’s forgotten Jewish literary heritage

Helmy al-Namnam, Minister of Culture

Current Egyptian Minister of Culture Helmy al-Namnam:

 "There is nothing called ‘Jewish books in Egypt,’ the books scientifically should be classified as Arabic, Persian, Turkish, etc.”.

Some of the shelved books date back to 17th and 18th centuries, while
Inside a library of a synagogue in downtown Cairo, hundreds of Judaic books dating from the medieval ages to 20th century are shelved, unread and un-indexed.

Despite a center dedicated to their preservation, government ministries have stalled, eschewing responsibility for what would be an expensive project to review and record the manuscripts digitally ...

Read full article

Responding to Haroun’s concerns about pressures on her by Israel and Jewish organizations, al-Namnam said “the books are Egyptian and no country has right to call for them.”

He also dismissed the idea of Israel could offer financial support for restoration, saying “at the end Israel will not ask and we will not accept.”

The books for now remain shuttered in their cases in the forgotten synagogue tucked into Cairo’s bustling downtown.

Magda Haroun Replaces Carmen Weinstein

Closing the door: the last Jews of Cairo

Published on Nov 13, 2015
'4000 years of presence in Egypt - since Moses'. Up to the 1950s tens of thousands of Jews were living in Egypt. Following the wars with Israel, most Jews left the country. Magda Haroun, head of the Egyptian Jewish Community Council speaks in the empty Sha'ar-Hashamayim-Synagogue, describing the present situation of Jews in Egypt. She is worried about what will happen to the synagogues when the last Jews in Egypt have died.
Video produced by Sammler un Jager Filmproduktion GmbH, all rights reserved.

Correspondence with Mrs. Magda Haroun

Magda Haroun

HSJE Congratulates Mrs. Haroun upon her nomination to the presidency of the Jewish community of Egypt.

We withheld publishing the letters pending a reply from her, but unfortunately none has been received as of Today. The letters are written in English, French, and Arabic

Egypt’s Jewish community head calls Zionism racism

Zonism is a racist movement,” the new leader of Egypt’s Jewish community declared in a recent interview.

“The failure to draw a distinction between Judaism as a religion and the Israeli state is the result of ignorance,” Magda Haroun continued, according to the transcript of the interview published on the Egypt Independent news website.

The Egyptian Jewish Community Council in April unanimously chose Haroun as its new leader, after the passing of the community’s former head, Carmen Weinstein.


  • Alain Bigio
  • Ada Aharoni
  • Levana Zamir
  • Lucette Lagnado
  • Marc Kheder
  • Maurice Mizrahi
  • Remy Pessah

Brazilian immigration cards given to Jews from Egypt in the 1950s.

A Lista de Nasser from Alain Bigio on Vimeo.

Album de fotografias from My early years in Egypt and the beginning in Brazil

Album de fotografias from Alain Bigio on Vimeo. My early years in Egypt and the beginning in Brazil

The Second Exodus: A New Way to Promote Peace between Israelis and Palestinians

והגדת לבינך - יציאת מצריים השניה

Levana Zamir Speech to the United Nations - 21.11.13

Interview with Levana Zamir 26/04/2015

"My best friend was a Muslim"

תור הזהב מצגת

حوار اليوم- مع ليفانا زمير

An Egyptian Refugee Says Goodbye

"My life in Abuzaabal and Tora" introduced by Elie A. Kheder

Growing up under Pharoah

Les Juifs d'Egypte - J'ai grandi à l'ombre du Pharaon (2012)

لنَشْأة فى ظِلّ فرعون -- يهود مِصر - الدكتور موريس م. مزراحى

Remy Pessah, Jewish Life in Egypt

Remy Pessah, Jewish Life in Egypt from JIMENA Media on Vimeo.

(c) Copyright, JIMENA INC

  • Past Activities
  • New Book Arrival
  • Videos1

Les Chemins de la poésie

Les Chemins de la Poesie

« Les Chemins de la poésie » se font tortueux, pleins de virages inattendus, explorant tout autant les émois passionnels que les coins dun globe soumis, encore et toujours, à lintolérable Appel à léveil des consciences et de la mémoire, odes à la paix et à la réconciliation, hommages aux abîmés et traumatisés forment ainsi le matériau dans lequel est coulée une uvre dont les notes rappellent autant le Qaddish que lhumanisme

Siddur Farhi

Siddur FarhiDaily Prayers - Hebrew with Arabic Translation
Authored by Dr. Hillel Yaacob Farhi 
Edition: Fouth Edition of the 1917 Prayer Book.

Daily prayers, Shabbat prayers, Special prayers, Minor Holidays prayers (except Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), Supplications, Blessings and Hymns from Syria and Egypt. With Arabic translation of each facing Hebrew page.

Growing Up Jewish in Alexandria

Growing Up Jewish in Alexandria

Lucienne Carasso grew up in Alexandria, Egypt. Her cozy, secure and settled world was shattered by the Suez Canal Crisis in November 1956 when her father and uncle were interned by the government of Gamal Abdel Nasser. This marked the beginning of the end of the century-long sojourn of her extended Sephardic family in Egypt. In her memoir, she shares the magical world of her childhood in the rich, multifaceted city of Alexandria,

The Journey: From Ismaeleya to Higienópolis - The story of an Egyptian Jew

The Journey: From Ismaeleya to Higienópolis - The story of an Egyptian Jew

Whenever I am asked: "Where are you from?" I feel insecure and hesitate to answer. Strange as it may sound, for me the answer is neither simple nor direct. I was born in Cairo Egypt, in 1944, yet I don’t have an Egyptian nationality and can hardly speak the national language, Arabic. I have a French nationality, without ever having lived in France. Although my surname sounds Italian, I don’t speak the Italian.


(Orion, 2014, 408 pages).

Download digital version : http://www.tiktakti.co.il/catalog/Egyptian_Jewry

The Forgotten Refugees

Centre des Juifs D'Egypte a Tel Aviv

The Story of the Jews, Simon Schama speaks with Levana Zamir, President of the International Association of Jews from Egypt, about her family’s journey from Egypt to Israel.

From Cairo to Jerusalem: An Egyptian Historian Visits the Voice of Israel

An Interview LISTEN NOW


Dr. Maged FaragDr. Maged Farag talks about Jewish life in contemporary Egypt. Cairo-based historian Dr. Maged Farag, an expert in modern Egyptian history, joins VOI’s Judy Lash Balint in-studio for a wide-ranging discussion on Jewish life in Egypt in the 20th century and Israel-Egypt relations today.

The Movie The Pomegranate of Reconciliation

November 30 has been declared a National Day for the "Commemoration of the Uprooting of Jewish Communities from  Arab countries."

“A Timeline of Jews in Egypt”

Corrections to New York Times “A Timeline of Jews in Egypt”, Published in NYT on June 23, 2015 By Rami Mangoubi (copyright). The New York Times recently published “A Timeline of Jews in Egypt”.

Regrettably, the timeline as given contains serious omissions. In effect, the omissions distort reality, and minimize the suffering and ordeals Egyptian Jews experienced starting in the 1940’s and lasting thru the 1970’s, the decades of their ethnic cleansing; less than a dozen Jews remain in Egypt.

 Read full article

New Addition to our Gallery

Daniel Bivas shaking hands with general Mohamad Naguib president of Egypt

Click on a picture to view the contend and details of the category. Please note that all pictures are © copyrighted by their provider.

President Mohamad Naguib shaking hands with Daniel Bivas at La Bourse (stock exchange)Cairo, Egypt
President Mohamad Naguib with Mr. Daniel Bivas at the La Bourse Cairo, Egypt
President Naguib greeting Rabbi Nqahum Effendi in the Shaar Ha Shamayim Synagogue Cairo, Egypt

Mr. Daniel Bivas shaking hands with president of Egypt, general Mohamad Naguib. Mr Daniel Bivas is welcoming President Mohamad Naguib at the "Bourse des Valeurs du Caire" © Albert Ibraim Bivas

President Mohamad Naguib with Chief Rabbi Nahum Effendi at Shaar Ha Shamayim synagogue a/k/a Ismaliya  © Picture provided by Mr. Albert Bivas

In the photo at the synagogue Sha’ar Hashamayim a/k/a Ismaelia, Chief Rabbi of Egypt Rabbi Hayyim Nahoum Effendi and Mr. Daniel Bivas in his capacity of Vice-Presisdent or President of the Jewish community welcoming General Mohamad Naguib President of Egypt, on Yom Kippour at that synagogue. (© Photo presented by Mr. Albert Ibrahim Bivas Son of Daniel and Dora Bivas nee Khafif)

Les derniers juifs d'Alexandrie

29/09/1992 Année de production. Résumé Pendant plus d'un siècle, Alexandrie a été la plus européenne des villes du Moyen Orient, unissant langues, religions et cultures dans un commerce amoureux et financier.

En 1956, la nationalisation nassériste entraine la fuite de différentes communautés et en particulier celle des juifs, groupe ethnique installé en Égypte depuis Alexandre Le Grand. Le reportage d'Antoine Mora donne la parole aux derniers survivants de ce cosmopolitisme, représentés par Joe, dernier commerçant juif de la ville, qui tient une mercerie. En français, il parle de sa vie quotidienne, de son amour pour sa ville, du passé, réunit quelques derniers coreligionnaires dans la synagogue pour célébrer shabbat ...


Interview with Levana Zamir President of of WCJE

 حوار اليوم- مع ليفانا زمير

Published on Apr 27, 2015
فراس حامد يحاور ليفانا زمير، رئيسة الاتحاد العالمي ليهود مصر حول التواصل بين اليهود في اسرائيل واقرانهم في مصر

Egypt Is on a Quest for Normalcy.pdf

David Sultan is a native of Cairo. He joined Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1964
and served there for some forty years. Among his various posts, Ambassador Sultan headedthe Middle East and Peace Process Department (1989–1992). Abroad, he served as consul general in Milan and as ambassador to Egypt (1992–1996), Canada (1996–2000), and Turkey (2001–2003) respectively. Ambassador Sultan is the author of Between Cairo and Jerusalem: The Normalization between Arab States and Israel—The Egyptian Case.

Rabbi OvadiaYosef

Tribute to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Visit to the Ahaba ve Ahva Synagogue in pictures 1975

First Egyptian Righteous Among the Nations honored



El Nabi Daniel Synagogue Alexandria, Egypt presentation
Les Juifs chez les Arabs-3 parts series

Les juifs chez les arabes 3/3 by Gaston26-



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