History of the Jews in Egypt

History of the Jews in Egypt

Egyptian Jews constitute perhaps the oldest Jewish community outside Israel in the world.Fact|date=October 2008 While no exact census exists, the Jewish population of Egypt was estimated at fewer than a hundred in 2004, [ [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/egjews.html Jewish Virtual Library] ] down from between 75,000 and 80,000 in 1922. [ The 1947 census gives 65,639, possibly too low. See Joel Beinin, "The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry: Culture, Politics, and the Formation of a Modern Diaspora"Introd. ] The historic core of the indigenous community consisted mainly of Arabic-speaking Rabbanites and Karaites. After their expulsion from Spain, more Sephardi and Karaite Jews began to emigrate to Egypt, and their numbers increased with the growth of trading prospects after the opening of the Suez Canal, to constitute the commercial and cultural elite of the modern community. The Ashkenazi community, mainly confined to Cairo's Darb al-Barabira quarter, began to arrive in the aftermath of the waves of pogroms that hit Europe in the latter part of the 19th century. In the early 20th century the Jewish community, fleeing persecution in Europe, found safe haven in Egypt, but conditions worsened for Egyptian Jewry by the 1940s, and the decline accelerated after Gamal Abdel Nasser's coup in 1952 fact|date = October 2008, the Lavon Affair and Israel's participation in the Suez War in 1956.


In the Elephantine papyri, caches of legal documents and letters written in Aramaic amply document the lives of a community of Jewish soldiers stationed in there as part of a frontier garrison in Egypt for the Achaemenid Empire. Established at Elephantine in about 650 BC during Manasseh's reign, these soldiers assisted Pharaoh Psammetichus I in his Nubian campaign. Their religious system shows strong traces of Babylonian polytheism, something which suggests to certain scholars that the community was of mixed Judaeo-Samaritan origins, [A. van Hoonacker, "Une Communité Judéo-Araméenne à Éléphantine, en Egypte, aux vi et v siècles avant J.-C," London 1915 cited, Arnold Toynbee, "A Study of History," vol.5, (1939) 1964 p125 n.1] and they maintained their own temple, functioning alongside that of the local deity Chnum. The documents cover the period 495 to 399 BC.

Ptolemaic and Roman (400 BC to 641 AD)

Further waves of Jewish immigrants settled in Egypt during the Ptolemaic era, especially around Alexandria. Thus, their history in this period centers almost completely on Alexandria, though daughter communities rose up in places like the present Kafr ed-Dawar, and Jews served in the administration as custodians of the river. [Aryeh Kasher "The Jews in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt: The Struggle for Equal Rights," Mohr Siebeck, 1985 pp.107-8] As early as the third century B.C. one can speak of a widespread diaspora of Jews in many Egyptian towns and cities. In Josephus's history, it is claimed that, after the first Ptolemy took Judea, he led some 120,000 Jewish captives to Egypt from the areas of Judea, Jerusalem, Samaria, and Mount Gerizim. With them, many other Jews, attracted by the fertile soil and Ptolemy's liberality, emigrated there of their own accord. An inscription recording a Jewish dedication of a synagogue to Ptolemy and Berenice was discovered in the 19th century near Alexandria [ Sir John Pentland Mahaffy "The History of Egypt under the Ptolemaic Dynasty", New York 1899 p. 192.] Josephus also claims that, soon after, these 120,000 captives were freed of their bondage by Philadelphus [ Josephus, "Antiquities of the Jews," in "The Works of Josephus, Complete and Unabridged", New Updated Edition (Translated by William Whiston, A.M.; Peabody Massachusetts:Hendrickson Publishers, 1987; Fifth Printing:Jan.1991 Bk. 12, chapters. 1, 2, pp. 308-309 (Bk. 12: verses 7, 9, 11)] .

The history of the Alexandrian Jews dates from the foundation of the city by Alexander the Great, 332 B.C., at which they were present. They were numerous from the very outset, forming a notable portion of the city's population under Alexander's successors. The Ptolemies assigned them a separate section, two of the five districts, of the city, to enable them to keep their laws pure of indigenous cultic influences. The Alexandrian Jews enjoyed a greater degree of political independence than elsewhere. While the Jews elsewhere throughout the later Roman Empire formed private societies for religious purposes, or else became a corporation of foreigners like the Egyptian and Phoenician merchants in the large commercial centers, those of Alexandria constituted an independent political community, side by side with that of the indigenous population.

For the Roman period there is evidence that at Oxyrynchus (modern "Behneseh"), on the east side of the Nile, there was a Jewish community of some importance. It even had a Jews' street. Many of the Jews there must have become Christians, though they retained their Biblical names (e.g., "David" and "Elisabeth," occurring in a litigation concerning an inheritance). There is even found a certain Jacob, son of Achilles (c. 300 AD), as beadle of an Egyptian temple.

The Jewish community of Alexandria was virtually wiped out by Trajan 's army during a revolt in 115-117 CE., and Josephus ["The Jewish War" Book 2.495ff.] puts the figure for those slaughtered in the vast pogrom at 50,000.

Arab rule (641 to 1250)

The Arab invasion of Egypt found support not only from Copts, and other Christians, but from Jews as well, all disgruntled by the corrupt administration of the Patriarch Cyrus of Alexander, notorious for his Monotheletic proselytizing [Steven Runciman, "A History of the Crusades" 1951 vol.1 pp.18-19] . In addition to the Jews settled there from early times, some must have come from the Arabian peninsula. The letter sent by Muhammad to the Jewish "Banu Janba" in 630 [Julius Wellhausen, "Skizzen und Vorarbeiten IV = Medina vor dem Islam", Berlin 1889.p.119] is said by Al-Baladhuri to have been seen in Egypt. A copy, written in Hebrew characters, has been found in the Cairo genizah.

The Jews had no reason to feel kindly toward the former masters of Egypt. In 629 the emperor Heraclius I. had driven the Jews from Jerusalem this was followed by a massacre of Jews throughout the empire—in Egypt, aided by the Copts, who had old scores to settle with the Jews, dating from the Persian conquest of Amida at the time of Emperor Anastasius I (502) and of Alexandria by the Persian general Shahin (617), when the Jews assisted the conquerors in fighting against the Christians. [needs citation] The "Treaty of Alexandria" (Nov. 8, 641), which sealed the Arab conquest of Egypt, expressly stipulates that the Jews are to be allowed to remain in that city; and at the time of the capture of that city, Amr, in his letter to the caliph, relates that he found there 40,000 Jews. [needs citation]

Of the fortunes of the Jews in Egypt under the Ommiad and Abbassid caliphs (641-868), little is known. Under the Tulunids (863-905) the Karaite community enjoyed robust growth.

Rule of the Fatimite Caliphs (969 to 1169)

The Fatimite rule was in general a favorable one for the Jews, except the latter portion of Al-Ḥakim's reign. The foundation of Talmudic schools in Egypt is usually placed at this period. One of the Jews who rose to high position in that society was Ya‘qub Ibn Killis

The caliph Al-Ḥakim (996-1020) vigorously applied the Pact of Omar, and compelled the Jews to wear bells and to carry in public the wooden image of a calf. A street in the city, Al-Jaudariyyah, was inhabited by Jews. Al-Ḥakim, hearing that they were accustomed to mock him in verses, had the whole quarter burned down.

By the beginning of the twelfth century a Jew, Abu al-Munajja ibn Sha'yah, was at the head of the Department of Agriculture. He is especially known as the constructor of a Nile sluice (1112), which was called after him "Baḥr Abi al-Munajja". He fell into disfavor because of the heavy expenses connected with the work, and was incarcerated in Alexandria, but was soon able to free himself. A document concerning a transaction of his with a banker has been preserved. Under the vizier Al-Malik al-Afḍal (1137) there was a Jewish master of finances, whose name, however, is unknown. His enemies succeeded in procuring his downfall, and he lost all his property. He was succeeded by a brother of the Christian patriarch, who tried to drive the Jews out of the kingdom. Four leading Jews worked and conspired against the Christian, with what result is not known. There has been preserved a letter from this ex-minister to the Jews of Constantinople, begging for aid in a remarkably intricate poetical style ("J. Q. R." ix. 29, x. 430; "Z. D. M. G." li. 444). One of the physicians of the caliph Al-Ḥafiẓ (1131-49) was a Jew, Abu Manṣur (Wüstenfeld, p. 306). Abu al-Faḍa'il ibn al-Nakid (died 1189) was a celebrated oculist.

In this century a little more light is thrown upon the communities in Egypt through the reports of certain Jewish scholars and travelers who visited the country. Judah ha-Levi was in Alexandria in 1141, and dedicated some beautiful verses to his fellow resident and friend Aaron Ben-Zion ibn Alamani and his five sons. At Damietta Ha-Levi met his friend, the Spaniard Abu Sa'id ibn Ḥalfon ha-Levi. About 1160 Benjamin of Tudela was in Egypt; he gives a general account of the Jewish communities which he found there. At Cairo there were 2,000 Jews; at Alexandria 3,000, whose head was the French-born R. Phineas b. Meshullam; in the Fayum there were 20 families; at Damietta 200; at Bilbeis, east of the Nile, 300 persons; and at Damira 700.

From Saladin and Maimonides (1169 to 1250)

The rigid orthodoxy of Saladin (1169-93) does not seem to have affected the Jews in his kingdom. A Karaite doctor, Abu al-Bayyan al-Mudawwar (d. 1184), who had been physician to the last Fatimite, treated Saladin also [B.A. § 153 ] . Abu al-Ma'ali, brother-in-law of Maimonides, was likewise in his service [ B.A. ibid. § 155)] . In 1166 Maimonides went to Egypt and settled in Fostat, where he gained much renown as a physician, practising in the family of Saladin and in that of his vizier al-Qadi al-Fadil|Ḳaḍi al-Faḍil al-Baisami, and Saladin's successors. The title "Ra'is al-Umma" or "al-Millah" (Head of the Nation, or of the Faith), was bestowed upon him. In Fostat, he wrote his "Mishneh Torah" (1180) and the "Moreh Nebukim," both of which evoked opposition from Jewish scholars. From this place he sent many letters and responsa; and in 1173 he forwarded a request to the North-African communities for help to secure the release of a number of captives. The original of the last document has been preserved [M. xliv. 8] . He caused the Karaites to be removed from the court ["J. Q. R." xiii. 104] .

Mamelukes (1250 to 1517)

Under the Baḥri Mamelukes (1250-1390) the Jews led a comparatively quiet existence; though they had at times to contribute heavily toward the maintenance of the vast military equipment, and were harassed by the cadis and ulemas of these strict Moslems. Al-Maqrizi relates that the first great Mameluke, Sultan Baibars (Al-Malik al-Thahir, 1260-77), doubled the tribute paid by the "ahl al-dhimmah." At one time he had resolved to burn all the Jews, a ditch having been dug for that purpose; but at the last moment he repented, and instead exacted a heavy tribute, during the collection of which many perished.

An account is given in Sambari (135, 22) of the strictness with which the provisions of the Pact of Omar were carried out. The sultan had just returned from a victorious campaign against the Mongols in Syria (1305). A fanatical convert from Judaism, Sa'id ibn Ḥasan of Alexandria, was incensed at the arrogance of the non-Moslem population, particularly at the open manner in which services were conducted in churches and synagogues. He tried to form a synod of ten rabbis, ten priests, and the ulemas. Failing in this, he endeavored to have the churches and synagogues closed. Some of the churches were demolished by Alexandrian mobs; but most of the synagogues were allowed to stand, as it was shown that they had existed at the time of Omar, and were by the pact exempted from interference. Sambari (137, 20) says that a new pact was made at the instance of letters from a Moorish king of Barcelona (1309), and the synagogues were reopened; but this probably refers only to the reissuing of the Pact of Omar. There are extant several notable fet was (responsa) of Moslem doctors touching this subject; e.g., those of Aḥmad ibn 'Abd al-Ḥaḳḳ, who speaks especially of the synagogues at Cairo, which on the outside appeared like ordinary dwelling-houses—a fact which had occasioned other legal writers to permit their presence. According to Taki al-Din ibn Taimiyyah (b. 1263), the synagogues and churches in Cairo had once before been closed. This fanatical Moslem fills his fet was with invectives against the Jews, holding that all their religious edifices ought to be destroyed, since they had been constructed during a period when Cairo was in the hands of heterodox Moslems, Ismailians, Karmatians, and Nusairis (R. E. J. xxx. 1, xxxi. 212; Z. D. M. G. liii. 51). The synagogues were, however, allowed to stand (Weil, l.c. iv. 270). Under the same sultan (1324) the Jews were accused of incendiarism at Fostat and Cairo; they had to exculpate themselves by a payment of 50,000 gold pieces.

Under the Burji Mamelukes the Franks again attacked Alexandria (1416), and the laws against the Jews were once more strictly enforced by Sheik al-Mu'ayyid (1412-21); by Ashraf Bars Bey (1422-38), because of a plague which decimated the population in 1438; by Al-Ẓahir Jaḳmaḳ (1438-53); and by Ḳa'iṭ-Bey (1468-95). The lastnamed is referred to by Obadiah of Bertinoro (O. p. 53). The Jews of Cairo were compelled to pay 75,000 gold pieces.

Turkish rule (1517 to 1922)

On January 22, 1517, the Turkish sultan, Selim I, defeated Tuman Bey, the last of the Mamelukes. He made radical changes in the affairs of the Jews, abolishing the office of nagid, making each community independent, and placing David ibn Abi Zimra, at the head of that of Cairo. He also appointed Abraham de Castro to be master of the mint. It was during the reign of Salim's successor, Suleiman II, that Aḥmad Pasha, Viceroy of Egypt, revenged himself upon the Jews because De Castro had revealed (1524) to the sultan his designs for independence (see Aḥmad Pasha; Abraham de Castro). The "Cairo Purim," in commemoration of their escape, is still celebrated on Adar 28.

Toward the end of the sixteenth century Talmudic studies in Egypt were greatly fostered by Bezaleel Ashkenazi, author of the "Shiṭṭah Meḳubbeẓet." Among his pupils were Isaac Luria, who as a young man had gone to Egypt to visit a rich uncle, the tax-farmer Mordecai Francis (Azulai, "Shem ha-Gedolim," No. 332); and Abraham Monson (1594). Ishmael Kohen Tanuji finished his "Sefer ha-Zikkaron" in Egypt in 1543. Joseph ben Moses di Trani was in Egypt for a time (Frumkin, l.c. p. 69), as well as Ḥayyim Vital Aaron ibn Ḥayyim, the Biblical and Talmudical commentator (1609; Frumkin, l.c. pp. 71, 72). Of Isaac Luria's pupils, a Joseph Ṭabul is mentioned, whose son Jacob, a prominent man, was put to death by the authorities.

According to Manasseh b. Israel (1656), "The viceroy of Egypt has always at his side a Jew with the title 'zaraf bashi,' or 'treasurer,' who gathers the taxes of the land. At present Abraham Alkula holds the position." He was succeeded by Raphael Joseph Tshelebi, the rich friend and protector of Shabbatai Zevi. Shabbetai was twice in Cairo, the second time in 1660. It was there that he married the ill-famed Sarah, who had been brought from Leghorn. The Shabbethaian movement naturally created a great stir in Egypt. It was in Cairo that Miguel (Abraham) Cardoso, the Shabbethaian prophet and physician, settled (1703), becoming physician to the pasha Kara Mohammed. In 1641 Samuel b. David, the Karaite, visited Egypt. The account of his journey (G. i. 1) supplies special information in regard to his fellow sectaries. He describes three synagogues of the Rabbinites at Alexandria, and two at Rashid (G. i. 4). A second Karaite, Moses b. Elijah ha-Levi, has left a similar account of the year 1654; but it contains only a few points of special interest to the Karaites (ib).

Sambari mentions a severe trial which came upon the Jews, due to a certain "ḳadi al-'asakir" (="generalissimo," not a proper name) sent from Constantinople to Egypt, who robbed and oppressed them, and whose death was in a certain measure occasioned by the graveyard invocation of one Moses of Damwah. This may have occurred in the seventeenth century (S. 120, 21). David Conforte was dayyan in Egypt in 1671. Blood libels occurred at Alexandria in 1844, in 1881, and in Jan., 1902. In consequence of the Damascus Affair, Moses Montefiore, Crémieux, and Salomon Munk visited Egypt in 1840; and the last two did much to raise the intellectual status of their Egyptian brethren by the founding, in connection with Rabbi Moses Joseph Algazi, of schools in Cairo. At the turn of the century, a Jewish observer noted with 'true satisfaction that a great spirit of tolerance sustains the majority of our fellow Jews in Egypt, and it would be difficult to find a more liberal population or one more respectful of all religious beliefs.’ [Aron Rodrigue, "Jews and Muslims: Images of Sephardi and Eastern Jewries in Modern Times", University of Washington Press, 2003 p.163, quoting a document by S.Somekh of 1895]

According to the official census published in 1898 (i., xviii.), there were in Egypt 25,200 Jews in a total population of 9,734,405.

Modern times (since 1922)

During British rule, and under King Fuad, Egypt was friendly towards its Jewish population, though Egyptian nationality was usually denied to more recent Jewish immigrants and all other foreign immigrants from Europe and other parts of the Ottoman Empire. Jews played important roles in the economy, and their population climbed to nearly 80,000 as Jewish refugees settled there in response to increasing persecution in Europe. A sharp distinction had long existed between the respective Karaite and Rabbanite communities, among whom traditionally intermarriage was forbidden. They dwelt in Cairo in two contiguous areas, the former in the "harat al-yahud al-qara’in" , and the latter in the adjacent "harat al-yahud" quarter. Notwithstanding the division, they often worked together and the younger educated generation pressed for improving relations between the two. [Joel Beinin, "The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry: Culture, Politics, and the Formation of a Modern Diaspora," Introduction]

Individual Jews played an important role in Egyptian nationalism. René Qattawi, leader of the Cairo Sephardi community, endorsed the creation in 1935 of the Association of Egyptian Jewish Youth, with its slogan: 'Egypt is our homeland, Arabic is our language.' Qattawi strongly opposed political Zionism and wrote a note on 'The Jewish Question' to the World Jewish Congress in 1943 in which he argued that Palestine would be unable to absorb Europe's Jewish refugees. [Joel Beinin, ibid.] Nevertheless, various wings of the Zionist movement had representatives in Egypt. Karaite Jewish scholar Murad Beh Farag (1866-1956) was both an Egyptian nationalist and a passionate Zionist. His poem, 'My Homeland Egypt, Place of my Birth', expresses loyalty to Egypt, while his book, "al-Qudsiyyat" (Jerusalemica, 1923), defends the right of the Jews to a State [ Mourad El-Kodsi, "The Karaite Jews of Egypt", 1882–1986, Lyons, NY: Wilprint, 1987. ] . "al-Qudsiyyat" is perhaps the most eloquent defense of Zionism in the Arabic language. Farag was also one of the coauthors of Egypt's first Constitution in 1923.

Another famous Egyptian Jew of this period was Yaqub Sanu, who became a patriotic Egyptian nationalist advocating the removal of the British. He edited the nationalist publication Abu Naddara 'Azra from exile. This was one of the first magazines written in Egyptian Arabic, and mostly consisted of satire, poking fun at the British as well as the Monarchy which was a puppet of the British. Another was Henri Curiel, who founded 'The Egyptian Movement for National Liberation' in 1943, an organization that was to form the core of the Egyptian Communist party [Joel Beinin, "The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry, ibid. ] . Curiel was to play an important role in establishing early informal contacts between the PLO and Israel. [ [http://www.counterpunch.org/avnery03242008.html Uri Avnery, 'Two Americas,' Counterpunch 24 March, 2009] ]

In 1937, the government annulled the Capitulations, by which traders from the mutamassir or permanent resident minorities (Syrians, Greeks, Italians, Armenians among them), had been granted immunities from taxation, and this affected Jews as well. The impact of the well-publicized Arab-Zionist clash in Palestine from 1936 to 1939 also began to affect the Jewish relations with Egyptian society, despite the fact that the number of Zionists in their ranks was small [Joel Beinin, op.cit. Introduction] . The rise of local militant nationalistic societies like "Young Egypt" and the "Society of Muslim Brothers", who were sympathetic to the various models evinced by the Axis Powers in Europe, and organized themselves along similar lines, were also increasingly antagonistic to Jews. By the 1940s, the situation worsened. Sporadic pogroms took place from 1942 onwards. As the Partition of Palestine and the founding of Israel drew closer, hostility strengthened, fed also by press attacks on all foreigners accompanying the rising nationalism of the age. In 1947, the Company Laws set quotas for employing Egyptian nationals in incorporated firms, requiring that 75% of salaried employees, and 90% of all workers be Egyptian. This constrained Jewish and foreign owned entrepreneurs to reduce recruitment for employment positions from their own ranks. The law also required that just over half of the paid-up capital of joint stock companies be Egyptian.

After the foundation of Israel in 1948, difficulties multiplied for Egyptian Jews. That year, bombings of Jewish areas killed 70 Jews and wounded nearly 200, while riots claimed many more lives. [ Mangoubi, Rami, "A Jewish Refugee Answers Youssef Ibrahim", "Middle East Times", October 30, 2004.] . During the Arab-Israeli war, the famous Cicurel department store near Cairo's Opera Square was firebombed, probably by the Muslim Brotherhood. The government helped with funds to rebuild it, but it was again burnt down in 1952, and eventually passed into Egyptian control.

The Lavon Affair of 1954, in which an Israeli sabotage operation designed to discredit Gamal Abdel Nasser and perhaps also to derail secret negotiations with Egypt proposed by Moshe Sharett, blew up Western targets, led to deeper distrust of Jews, from whose community key agents in the operation had been recruited. In his summing up statement Fu’ad al-Digwi, the prosecutor at their trial, repeated the official government stance:

'The Jews of Egypt are living among us and are sons of Egypt. Egypt makes no difference between its sons whether Moslems, Christians, or Jews. These defendants happen to be Jews who reside in Egypt, but we are trying them because they committed crimes against Egypt, although they are Egypt's sons.' [Beinin, ibid.]
In the immediate aftermath of the Sinai campaign of 1956, on November 23, a proclamation was issued stating that 'all Jews are Zionists and enemies of the state', and it promised that they would be soon expelled. Some 25,000 Jews, almost half of the Jewish community left, mainly for Europe, the United States and South America, but large numbers also emigrated to Israel, after being forced to sign declarations that they were leaving voluntarily, and agreed with the confiscation of their assets. Some 1,000 more Jews were imprisoned. Similar measures were enacted against British and French nationals in retaliation for the trilateral invasion of that year. In Joel Beinin's summary: "Between 1919 and 1956, the entire Egyptian Jewish community, like the Cicurel firm, was transformed from a national asset into a fifth column." [Joel Beinin, ibid. Introduction]

After the 1967 war, more confiscations took place. According to Rami Mangoubi [www.zionism-israel.com/zionism_egypt_Jews.htm] , a number of Egyptian Jewish men were taken to the detention centres of Abou Za'abal and Tura, where they were incarcerated and tortured for more than three years. [ Mangoubi, Rami, "My Longest 10 Minutes", "The Jerusalem Post", May 30, 2007.] The eventual result was the almost complete disappearance of the Jewish community in Egypt; less than a hundred or so remain today. Most Egyptian Jews fled to Israel (35,000), Brazil (15,000), France (10,000), the US (9,000) and Argentina (9,000).Fact|date=November 2007 Today, anti-Zionism is common in the media. The last Jewish wedding in Egypt took place in 1984.

Works by Egyptian Jews on their communities

*Ronit Matalon, "Zeh ‘im ha-panim eleynu" ('The one facing us') (novel of life in an Egyptian Jewish family)
*Yahudiya Misriya (pseudonym of Giselle Littman, Bat Ye'or), "Les juifs en Egypte: Aperçu sur 3000 ans d'histoire," Geneva: Editions de l'Avenir, 1971 (In the Hebrew trans."Yehudei mitzrayim", 1974, the authoress is called Bat-Ye’or).
*Lucette Lagnado, "The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit" (an autobiography of a Jewish family during their years in Egypt and after they emigrated to the United States)
* Mangoubi, Rami, "My Longest 10 Minutes", The Jerusalem Post Magazine, May 31, 2007. A Cairo Jewish boyhood during and after the Six Day War. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?c=JPArticle&cid=1180527972475&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

ee also

Modern history

*1948 Arab-Israeli War
*History of the Jews under Muslim rule
*Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty
*Jewish exodus from Arab lands
*Lavon Affair
*Six-Day War
*Suez Crisis
*War of Attrition
*Yom Kippur War

Ancient history

*Elephantine papyri
*Jewish temple at Elephantine
*Land of Onias


*Ben Ezra Synagogue (Cairo)
*Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue (Alexandria)
*Chaar Hachamaim Synagogue (Cairo)
*Cairo Geniza


*"The Works of Josephus, Complete and Unabridged", New Updated Edition (Translated by William Whiston, A.M.) Peabody Massachusetts:Hendrickson Publishers, 1987 (Fifth Printing:Jan.1991): "Antiquities of the Jews", Book 12, chapters 1 and 2, pp. 308-9
*Gudrun Krämer, "The Jews in Modern Egypt, 1914–1952," Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1989
*Mourad El-Kodsi, "The Karaite Jews of Egypt, 1882–1986," Lyons, NY: Wilprint, 1987.

External links

* [http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/Vines/5855/ Bassatine News: The only Jewish newsletter reporting directly from Egypt]
* [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/egjews.html Jewish Virtual Library]
* [http://www.hsje.org/homepage.htm Historical Society of Jews from Egypt]
* [http://www.metimes.com/storyview.php?StoryID=20041030-025149-4018r A Jewish Refugee Answers... Middle East Times, October 30, 2004.]
* [http://www.iajegypt.org/index.shtml The International Association of Jews from Egypt]
* [http://www.jta.org/page_view_story.asp?intarticleid=17413&intcategoryid=1 Jews expelled from Egypt left behind a piece of their hearts]
* [http://www.jstandard.com/articles/2059/1/Egyptian-Jews-look-back-with-anger%2C-love Egyptian Jews look back with anger, love]
* [http://www.guernicamag.com/features/240/the_last_jews_of_cairo/ Guernica Magazine (guernica.com) on the last Jews of Cairo]
*Beinin, Joel: [http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft2290045n/ "The Dispersion Of Egyptian Jewry Culture, Politics, And The Formation Of A Modern Diaspora"] Berkeley: University of California Press, c1998. Amer Univ in Cairo Pr, 2005, ISBN 9774248902
* [http://www.jimena.org/ Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa ]
* [http://www.abc.net.au/rn/latenightlive/stories/2007/2101814.htm A Family's Exodus from Cairo to the New World.Lucette Lagnado remembers his childhood]

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