In Photos: Egypt PM inaugurates Ben Azra Synagogue after renovation

Ahram Online , Thursday 31 Aug 2023

Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly inaugurated Ben Azra Synagogue, one of the oldest Jewish temples in Egypt, on Thursday after its renovation, read a cabinet statement.

PM Madbouly
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly during the inauguration of the recently renovated Ben Azra Synagogue on Thursday.

 

The premier was accompanied by the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa, Minister of Local Development Hisham Amin, Cairo Governor Khaled Abdel-Aal.  The officials had earlier inspected various revamped archaeological and heritage sites in Old Cairo.

The restoration included meticulous architectural revamping as well as measures to address and mitigate risks to the temple's ceilings, Tourism Minister Issa explained as per the statement. 

Work also included isolating surfaces using the best insulation methods, cleaning and treating stones, and reconfiguring the site to ensure proper visual appreciation of its historical significance, Issa continued.

Additionally, the renovations included complete maintenance of the lighting system, cleaning of copper and iron elements, and marble columns, and restoration of the temple's archaeological decorations and library.

Ben Azra Synagogue’s Heritage

Constructed in the 12th century, the synagogue was named after Abraham ben Meir Ibn Ezra, a distinguished Jewish biblical commentator and philosopher in the Middle Ages.

The synagogue is one of the most important and oldest Jewish temples in Egypt, housing numerous valuable books about the customs, traditions, and social life of the Jewish community in Egypt, the tourism minister explained.

Furthermore, the temple contained the "Geniza," which consists of a collection of books, scrolls, and papers specific to the Egyptian Jewish community, Issa added.

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