Once a thriving community: 2,500-year Jewish legacy in Egypt reduced to memories

Did the Hebrews truly serve as slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt? When and why did Jews return to the country? Which notable Jewish figures resided there, what have we learned from the Cairo Geniza, and which war led to the community's disintegration? Also, memories of days gone by | a special project


From Jeremiah through to Maimonides and the Lavon affair: The history of Egypt's Jewish community

Home to some of Judaism's greatest thinkers, the Land of the Nile's once-bustling Jewish community left behind 2,500 years of rich cultural heritage, from antiquity through Maimonides in Medieval times and the ultimate expulsion of the Jews under the Nasser regime.
הילולה בבית הכנסת בעיר אל-מחלה אל-כוברא שבמצרים, 1967

The pictures that tell all: The swan song of the Jews in Egypt

Jews thrived in Egypt for over 2,500 years; after Israel's creation and ensuing wars, they faced severe persecution, with many expelled, until almost none were left; archival photos showcase a cultural tapestry of traditional attire and sports enmeshed with religious education.
יהודים שנעצרו ונכלאו במצרים לאחר קום המדינה

'It was written that the Israelites left Egypt with great wealth, we left with nothing'

Moshe Saban-Cohen and Matild Cohen-Levi, who made Aliyah to Israel from Egypt, recall their memories of the Nile and the reasons they left their wealth behind to start over in the Promised Land.
משה סבן-כהן

Exodus story is the focus of the Jewish bible, but Egyptian sources barely mention the Hebrew slaves

Available ancient Egyptian sources don’t mention events documented in the Haggadah, or even specific names like that of the star of the Passover story, Moses, says an Israeli scholar. So what can we glean from the scarce historical record of ancient Israelites in the Nile Delta?
'Israel in Egypt' by Edward Poynter, 1867

(Photo: Courtesy of the International Organization of Jews from Egypt, Levana Zamir, the Zionist Archive))
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