Enfants Heureux 1959 Shaar Ha Shamayim Synagogue Ecole de la Communautee Staff 1940's

Month of Nissan

Seder el Tawhid, by Hakham Refael Aharon Ben-Shimeon Alexandria in 1908.

Translation by Joseph E. Mosseri

There is an ancient custom here in Egypt that on the night of Rosh Hodesh Nissan they make in the synagogue with lots of people and great pomp Seder El-Tawhid. It is an order of learning that includes the reading of Qorban Pesah from Perashat Hahodesh Hazeh Lakhem (Exodus 12 1-20) which pertains to Rosh Hodesh Nissan and its sanctity and stature, and a song for the sanctification of the month, and the great praise (Psalms 136), and other songs in honor of the Torah and the status of Yisrael who learn it. After reading all of the above with nice tunes and pleasing voices the Hazan stands up and opens up in a very clear and sweet voice and says Seder Hayihoud (Hebrew translation of El-Tawhid) in literary Arabic which is the story of the greatness of the Creator, His uniqueness, His wonders, and the great acts of kindness He has done with His people. This is done in the most wonderful language which stirs the heart and stumps the imagination with the most powerful and amazing of words and ideas about the awesome and unique Creator.

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Freedom Has it's Rewards

Leaving Egypt

Leaving Egypt

Like their Biblical forerunners, the Egyptians of the twentieth century temporarily played host to the Jewish
people — close to 80,000 of them by the early 1940s.
And like their Biblical ancestors, the Jews of Egypt
eventually left the country in a hurry, though without the great wealth and miraculous wonders that had accompanied their nation over 3,000 years earlier.
Here Inyan presents a kaleidoscope of proud shomrei
Torah u’mitzvos who share memories of their lives in Egypt and the modern-day exodus they experienced.

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Interview with Dr. Maurice Mizrahi

The Technology Guru

When the State of Israel was declared in 1948, Jews in Arab lands became scapegoats. Mobs in Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt vented their frustrations against their Jewish neighbors, most of whom they had been living with peace­fully for generations. It resulted in a great exodus of Jews, some 850,000 by most estimates. In comparison, the events of 1948 created about 726,000 Arab refugees from "Palestine."

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Passover and the Exodus from Egypt in Egypt

Haggadah d'Alexandrie

Hagaddah d'Alexendrie

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Hagaddah Hillel Farhi 

Hagaddah Hillel Farhi

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Karaite Haggadah

Haggadah Karaite

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Mary Halawani 

Egyptian Jews belong to a very ancient culture. In biblical times, when Jacob and his family fled from the famine besieging the land of Canaan, Egypt opened its doors. It was in Egypt that the children and grand children of Jacob-Israel multiplied and became a people of twelve tribes.

It was also in Egypt that my family was forced to repeat the biblical exodus of Moses’ time. Like thousands of Jews (an estimated 75,000 in the 1950’s), they had to leave behind a lifetime of friends and possessions. I experienced this exodus as a child. I was forced to grow up in an alien culture, longing for the land and the time that my grandparents had lived in.

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Cairo to the Cloud

"The Geniza gave us a kind of video on life a thousand years ago that is totally unique. Every aspect of life is represented there." --Stefan Reif, Cambridge University Library (Emeritus).

Cairo to the Cloud tells the captivating story of the Cairo Geniza, a vast treasure trove of manuscripts discovered in the “geniza,” or sacred storeroom, of an ancient synagogue in Old Cairo.

The Geniza is not only the largest cache of Jewish history ever found, it is a window into a vanished civilization, with over 350,000 documents illuminating over a thousand years of Jewish, Christian and Moslem life in the heart of the Islamic world.

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““The Genizah...is ““The Genizah...is an old Jewish institution. The word is derived from the old Hebrew verb “ganaz,” and signifies treasure-house or hiding-place. When applied to books it means much the same thing as burial means in the case of men. When the spirit is gone, we put the corpse out of sight to protect it from abuse. In like manner, when the writing is worn out, we hide the book to preserve it from profanation. The contents of the book go up to heaven like the soul” ” — Solomon Schechter, 1897

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Send it to My Story

Have you noticed that the voices of Holocaust denial are getting louder and more frequent? In Iran, in Arab countries, in other Islamic countries, in the West -- they seem to proliferate everywhere. Why do you think that is so? Simple: Holocaust survivors are dying out. Witnesses to man's inhumanity to man will soon completely disappear and will no longer be able to confront the liars face to face. Then -- who knows -- the lies may well become established history. The same will happen to Jews from Arab countries. We, too, are dying out. For almost forty years, since the Six-Day War of 1967, Arab countries have been essentially "judenrein" -- devoid of Jews. The youngest among us who still remembers anything is in his early fifties. enter"

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Locked away:

Egypt’s forgotten Jewish literary heritage

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.”.

Egypt Minister of Culture Helmy al-Namnam 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 ...

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Cattawi Pashsa 1936

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An Inventory to the Jamie Lehmann Memorial Collection

Records of the Jewish Community of Cairo, 1886-1961

Abstract Consists of account books, by-laws, case files, certificates, correspondence, legal documents, minutes, photographs and reports from the Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jewish communities of Cairo. Also contains minute registers of two lodges of the International Order of B'nai B'rith in Cairo, which provide information crucial for understanding the modernization of Egyptian Jewry that took place in the early decades of the twentieth century.

The records of the Sephardic Jewish Community are divided into five series:
Jewish Community Council
Chief Rabbinate
Administration of Synagogues
Administration of Jewish Schools
Welfare Agencies

The Jewish Community of Cairo in the Twentieth Century

Egyptian Economics and Politics (1869 - 1936)

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. ...

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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 ...


  • 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

Dr Maurice Mizrahi - Sono cresciuto all'ombra del Faraone - Gli ebrei d'Egitto

Remy Pessah, Jewish Life in Egypt

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

(c) Copyright, JIMENA INC

Les Derniers Juifs d'Alexandrie

Egyptians in the Shadow

New Book Releases From the Library

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 Abyss

The Abyss

Bridging the Divide between Israel and the Arab World Hardcover – May 5, 2015 by Eli Avidar

Eli Avidar looks into the abyss that divides Israel from its Arab neighbors, in order to understand the inherent flaws, prevailing misunderstandings, and tragic mistakes that characterize the relations and bloodletting, and how, if at all possible, to bridge the differences. In doing so, he offers a new perspective about the reality of the Middle East and all the clichés that have transformed the Hebrew-Arab lexicon into a complex and hopeless minefield.

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.

From the Library


The HSJE urges everyone, PLEASE do not discard any invitation(s) in your possession, or any you may receive or acquire, such as, invitation of Bar/Bat-Mitzvah, Weddings, Engagements, Graduations, or any Community announcements. Please collect and mail them to us. Such material holds valuable genealogical as well as communal information. Please mail to:

P.O BOX 230445 BROOKLYN, NY 11223 USA