New head of Egypt's Jewish community refuses Israeli financial help

Ahram Online, Tuesday 16 Apr 2013

Magda Haroun, new head of Egypt's shrinking Jewish community, rejects Israeli offer to help finance renovation of country's ancient synagogues

Late leader of Egypt's Jewish community Carmen Weinstein(Photo: AP)

Egypt's small Jewish community will refuse Israeli offers of financial help for the renovation of Egypt's ancient Jewish synagogues, Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website reported on Tuesday.

Magda Haroun, the new leader of Egypt's Jewish community, told Al-Ahram that she plans to contact UN heritage organisation UNESCO if she failed to find adequate funds for synagogue renovation.

Haroun stressed that Egypt's Jewish monuments belonged to Egypt's historical heritage, which extends over a very long period.

"Jewish temples are like the pyramids and the Sphinx," she said. "They are a part of Egypt's history that cannot be ignored."

"The sons of this community are Egyptians. We will live forever in Egypt because religion is for God and the nation is for everybody," Haroun said.

She expects to be the shrinking Jewish community's last leader, and, as such, has vowed to protect Egypt's Jewish heritage as much as possible.

Haroun also announced that the funeral for Carmen Weinstein, the Jewish community's former leader, would be held on Thursday at 2pm.

Weinstein died on Saturday of natural causes at the age of 84.

According to estimates, less than 100 Egyptian Jews still live in the country. 

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