April 27, 1997
28 RUE CHERIF PASHA
Dear Ms Weinstein;
I would like to thank you for your reply to my letter by email, regarding the transfer of the Sefarim from Egypt, in which you stated that "the Board of the Jewish Community will convene to give the matter its proper consideration." I am sure, the Boards decision will be based on the understanding of the present state of the community of Cairo, and will proceed with the implementation of our agenda to safeguard our heritage.
For the sake of not squandering any time, I will recommend that the Cairo Board of the Jewish community meet as soon as possible, and make its decision known.
I also would like to point out that religious and academic authorities around the world have concurred and agreed for the redeployment of Judaic religious items out of Egypt, for their suitability to serve the community today, is out of Egypt. These include some of the most renowned authorities in our era.
I regret that you did not find the time to meet with the delegation headed by our Honorary Chairman Rabbi Shimon Alouf, in Cairo to consider various issues confronting our common constituents. However a second trip will be scheduled very shortly.
I am also pleased to inform you, we will publish the Bassatine News, as per your mothers request Mrs. Esther Weinstein president of the Jewish community of Cairo. This issue will be read by almost twice as many readers as last, since many new Egyptian Jewish families have found us, and asked to join the HSJE.
We are astonished and dumb founded to learn, of the claim stated by Mrs. Esther Weinstein president of the Board of the Jewish community of Cairo saying "...Our do-gooder sent about 100 Sefarim out of Egypt. When this man emigrated a few years later, he was amazed and dismayed when he found a couple only in the destined synagogue. The rest had been sold to individuals and private collectors.!!"
This is a flagrant violation of our communitys assets, and ALL responsible person (s), should be dealt with accordingly to the full extend of the law, with no leniency. That includes ALL members of the then Jewish community Board members and the person referred to as the "Do-Gooder".
Please send us the names of ALL members of the then Board, the name of the person being referred to as the "Do-gooder", signed copies of the release, name of the carrier that transported these artifacts out of Egypt, copy of Bill of lading (s), and the country of destination.
The Board of the Jewish Community of Cairo acting as a caretaker, of community property and assets, held these artifacts in trust for their rightful owners and their descendants, and not to dispose of them as the Board pleases. The Board of the Jewish community has the responsibility to disclose and report the names of any person (s) who has transported and or displaced any Jewish community artifacts in Egypt, and out of Egypt.
We shall not rest until such flagrant violations of our patrimony are stopped, and recovered, and those responsible for the pilferage are reported to the proper authorities. Rest assured that, the Society will do everything possible to bring those responsible to justice wherever they may be located, and according to the laws of their countrys of residence.
We have also learned that Mr. Emile Rousseau the ex-president of the community of Cairo , responsible for some of the pilferage as reported in your Bassatine News is still in Egypt and very comfortable. We would like to know why Mr Rousseau was not summoned to court to answer to the reported charges ? Why no other member of the previous Board is also held responsible.?
In addition to the above, please advise on the previously submitted issues in our last letter concerning the present community holdings and assets, and on the condition of the remaining community. Also please send us copies of minutes of all Community Board meetings since 1967 to update our records. I trust these will be forthcoming as soon as possible.
We are awaiting your reply and will acknowledge accordingly.
With our best intent and yours truly,
Joseph Elie Mosseri Desire L. Sakkal