Arts & Culture

Egypt to Reopen Historic Jewish Synagogue Next January

Egypt to Reopen Historic Jewish Synagogue Next January

Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue (Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

The Egyptian Antiquities Ministry announced on Friday the reopening of the Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue next January, which is one of the largest in the Middle East and underwent restoration beginning in 2017.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani went to Alexandria on the same day to tour and inspect the latest developments in restoring the Jewish synagogue and a number of other archaeological sites, including the Greco-Roman Museum, the Alexandria National Museum and jewelry museums.

The statement added that the project of restoration of the Jewish synagogue and the Greco-Roman Museum comes within the interest of the Egyptian government to preserve all its monuments and heritage, whether it is Pharaonic or Jewish or Coptic or Islamic.

Minister Khaled El Anani touring the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue (Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

It is also part of the cooperation protocol signed between the ministry of antiquities and the engineering authority of the armed forces in 2017, which aims to develop the Giza Pyramids area, and carry out the restoration of the Alexan Palace in Assiut.

Eliyahu Hanavi remains one of two remaining synagogues in Alexandria, due to the decreasing number of Jews in Egypt. It was built in the 1850s and was later closed in 2012 due to security concerns.

It is included on the World Monuments Fund‘s 2018 list of monuments at risk, noting on its website that “it is a symbol of Egypt’s historical plurality, when diverse national and religious communities lived and worked together in a spirit of conviviality and religious freedom.”

According to the World Monument Fund, Egypt’s Jewish population is around less than 10 elderly members, despite reaching 40,000 at its height.

 

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