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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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