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April 17, 2013 6:25 pm

Leader of Egypt’s Jewish Community Rejects Aid from Israel for Synagogue Renovation

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Egyptian Jewish Community Council President Magda Haroun. Photo: Bassatine Newsletter.

The newly elected leader of Egypt’s Jewish community has said she will refuse Israeli offers of financial help for the renovation of Egypt’s ancient synagogues, the website of the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported on Tuesday.

Magda Haroun told Al-Ahram that she plans to contact the UN heritage organization UNESCO if she fails to find adequate funds for the renovation.

Haroun said that Egypt’s Jewish monuments belonged to Egypt’s historical heritage, saying they “are like the pyramids and the Sphinx. They are a part of Egypt’s history that cannot be ignored.”

Haroun became the leader of the Egyptian Jewish community earlier this week following the death of Carmen Weinstein, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 84.

Haroun told Al-Ahram she expects to be the Jewish community’s last leader, and, as such, has vowed to protect Egypt’s Jewish heritage as much as possible.

Today, Egypt’s Jewish community has dwindled to only a few dozen people, most of whom retain a low profile for fear of being persecuted.

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  • Dan

    She’s refusing Israeli aid, I would assume, because of the very real threat of persecution, which is why they maintain a low profile. I have to assume that the people who threaten them would not appreciate the community getting money from Israel.

  • Jack Rescoe

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I ask why would Magda Haroun refuse offers of help from Israel? I can guess at possible reasons, and the one reason that would really trouble me would be if she thought Israel was somehow on the wrong side of the Palestinian/Gaza issue. I think this because too many uninformed Jews know little about “Palestinians” and the fact that they are radical Muslims, generally speaking, and live only to eradicate all Jews. Such is commanded in the Quran. I hope I’m wrong about Ms Haroun.