180 Jews return to Egypt for ceremony at ancient synagogue

Jews forced to leave in the 1950s and 60s attend ceremonies at ancient synagogue in Alexandria, following $4 million renovation by Egypt.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

The great synagogue of Alexandria
The great synagogue of Alexandria
Uri Lenz/Flash 90

A rare ceremony at an ancient synagogue in Alexandria brought 180 Jews back to Egypt, decades after they were pressured to leave during the Arab-Israeli wars of the 1950s and 1960s.

The New York Times reported that the group of Jews hailing from Europe, Israel and the US traveled to Alexandria to attend religious ceremonies at the historic Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue last weekend, after the Egyptian government paid for a $4 million renovation of the synagogue.

According to the report, it was the largest such gathering of Jews in Egypt since they were pressured to leave.

At the same time, the ceremony took place under a media blackout with no coverage from Egyptian outlets amid tight security by Egyptian officials.

The report noted that the synagogue renovation is part of a recent drive by the Egyptian government to rescue the county’s Jewish heritage that has also included the renovation of a dilapidated ancient Jewish cemetery and a scholarship project that uncovered a rare, 1,000-year old Hebrew Bible.