Web Sites - Egypt
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Home of Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Philo of Alexandria, Jeremiah the prophet, Moses ben Maimon (Maimonides), the gaon Saadia and others, boasting the oldest known synagogue (Ben Ezra) and the second oldest Jewish cemetery (Bassatine). What else can I say!
After the Exodus from Egypt, Jews returned to Egypt in 586 B.C.E. and then maintained an uninterrupted presence in that land ever since. Some, like Fargeon, say that there has always been Jews in Egypt since the days of Joseph because when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, some Jews remained in Egypt and settled in Asyut where they formed a warrior tribe.
In the early 20th century, the multilingual and cosmopolitan
Jews of Egypt, part of Cairo's "Belle Epoque" maintained 37 synagogues in Cairo alone, several all-Jewish orchestras, 3 Jewish theaters (one in Yiddish), nearly a dozen Jewish newspapers in a variety of languages, as well as Jewish hospitals and old age homes. The Jewish aristocracy, lived in palaces rivaling those of European nobility, entertained and hobnobbed with Egyptian and European royalty.
In 1948, 70,000 to 80,000 Jews lived in Egypt; about 55,000 in
Cairo and most of the rest in Alexandria, with smaller communities
in Port Said and lesser towns. 5,000 to 10,000 held Egyptian citizenship,
40,000 were stateless and 30,000 were foreign nationals (Italian,
French, British and other) even though most of the latter had also
been born in Egypt.
45 Rue la Bruyere, 75009, Paris
In the 19th century the AIU set up schools in many locations in Egypt. Their archives in Paris are a largely untouched resource that certainly contains much information of value to the genealogist.
Local Articles of interest
The most useful books
for the genealogist researching Egypt are:
Beinin, Joel :
The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry: Culture, politics and the formation of a modern diaspora. Los Angeles: Univ of California Press, 1998.
Fargeon, Maurice, ed. :
Annuaire des Juifs d'Egypte et du proche orient. Cairo: La Societe des Editions Historiques Juives d'Egypte, 1942, 1943. Similar to U.S. city directories.
Malka, Eli :
Jacob's Children in the Land of the Mahdi. The Jews of the Sudan.Syracuse, NY: Syracuse Univ Press, 1998.
The appendix includes a listing of all Jewish marriages in the Sudan. Since
these Jews were, with rare exceptions, from Egypt, the missing link
to many family histories can be found here.
Juifs d'Egypte, Images et Textes. :
Paris: Les Editions du Scribe, 1984. 2nd. ed. Compendium of photographs and images compiled by Jews from Egypt.
The Jews in Modern Egypt, 1914-1952.
Seattle: Univ of Washington Press, 1989. This is the most comprehensive study of that period.
The Jews of Egypt, 1920-1970.
New York: New York University Press, 1992. Excellent review.
The Vanished Worlds of Jewry.
New York: Macmillan, 1981.
Les Noms des Juifs du Maroc.
Institut Montano, Madrid, 1978.
Although out of print, this book is essential to consult for any Sephardic research. It contains a huge listing of family names, their origins and meanings and notable persons who carried these names with documented sources for further research. Invaluable.
A listing of names compiled by Abensur can be found on the ETSI website
A listing of names compiled by me can be found in the "Names" section of this website.
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