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Ben Ezra Synagogue | Coptic Cairo

Ben Ezra Synagogue | Coptic Cairo

Located deep in the winding alleys of Coptic Cairo, Ben Ezra Synagogue is the oldest Jewish temple in Cairo, dating from the 9th century AD. Like almost all of Egypt’s synagogues, it is simply a tourist attraction today following the departure of nearly all of Egypt’s significant Jewish community during the 1950’s after the founding of Israel and the Free Officers’ Revolution,but this site still holds great importance in the contemporary history of Judaism.

The 19th century discovery a huge cache of documents, the synagogue’s treasury, which recorded the history and transactions of Cairo’s Jewish community since the 11th century, provided the most complete account of medieval Jewry anywhere in the world. These documents, however, are now held at Cambridge University in England.

Two separate myth state that the synagogue is built on the site where the pharaoh’s daughter found Moses hidden in the reeds of the Nile or on the site of the Temple of Jeremiah.

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