A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Death of Carmen Weinstein, Head of Egypt's Small Jewish Commuinity

[UPDATE: Zeinobia has photos and coverage of the funeral at Cairo's Adly St. Synagogue today. Apparently an unprecedented media turnout for the tiny Jewish community.] Last weekend, Carmen Weinstein, head of Egypt's Jewish Community Council, died at the age of 82. Her funeral is today; Magda Haroun will succeed her. Though she headed a tiny community today numbering only in the dozens, she sought to preserve the remnants of Cairo's once influential Jewish community, which once number4ed some 80,000. She sought to preserve abandoned synagogues, maintain cemeteries, and keep the memories of the community alive.

Lucette Lagnado at the Wall Street Journal, herself of Egyptian Jewish background, remembers her here. Other appreciations: Ahram Online. the Jerusalem Post, the NYT. You can also find the Jewish Community Council's newsletter Bassatine (named for Cairo's ancient Jewish cemetery) here.

Recently a newly made documentary remembering Cairo's former Jewish community was withdrawn at its opening due to concerns from the security services (though subsequently released). It is a reminder that there are still sensitivities surrounding the issue, perhaps especially today, with an Islamist leadership.

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