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Rosh Hashanah celebrations at the Heliopolis Synagogue in Cairo. Credit: Facebook/JCC Cairo


Jewish community in Cairo celebrates Rosh Hashanah for the first time in 70 years

19 Sep 2023

The Jewish community in Cairo, Egypt, was able to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, for the first time in 70 years on Friday 15 September.

The celebration was held at the Heliopolis Synagogue in Cairo, and comes after a number of positive initiatives taken by the Egyptian government towards the Jewish community.

On 31 August 2023, the Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly opened one of the oldest Jewish Synagogues in Egypt after it had been renovated. Abraham Ben Ezra synagogue was built in the 12th century and was renovated for the first time in the 19th century.

In 2018, the Egyptian government, at the instruction of President Sisi, pledged 1.25 billion Egyptian Pounds towards renovating and preserving Jewish religious and cultural sites in the country.

CSW’s Founder President Mervyn Thomas said: ‘CSW welcomes news that the Jewish community was able to celebrate the New Year in Cairo, and we are encouraged at the positive steps Egypt has taken in recent years in improving the situation for Jewish and Christian communities in the country. We continue to call on the Egyptian government to advance freedom of religion or belief and equality before the law even further, by extending the constitutional rights enjoyed by Abrahamic religions to religious communities that are currently unrecognised, and to reform the education system by removing material insulting to non-Muslims from the existing curriculum.’



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