ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (AP) — Egypt reopened a historic synagogue on Friday in the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria after a yearslong government renovation.
But only a handful of Jews remain from Egypt’s once-thriving community, most of them elderly. The country’s Jews largely left more than 60 years ago amid the hostilities between Egypt and Israel.
The two-story Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue in Alexandria partially collapsed in 2016. Antiquities officials said the renovations, which began the following year, prevented it from becoming a total loss.
The site has a long history. An earlier synagogue dating to 1354 AD was built in the same location, and the current building dates to roughly 1881, when the Jewish community was large and influential. Marble floors and rose-colored columns line the main hall.