Egypt completes restoration of Maimonides synagogue

The 19th-century synagogue of Maimonides in Cairo's ancient Jewish quarter reopened Sunday after a nearly two-year restoration by Egyptian authorities. Egypt began restoration of its Jewish sites several years ago.

Egypt's Jewish population, which numbered in the tens of thousands and enjoyed complete religious freedom, began a mass exodus after Egypt and several other Arab countries fought a war in 1948 with the new state of Israel.

Only a few dozen Jews still remain in Egypt.

The synagogue of Maimonides, known in Egypt by its Arabic name of Musa bin Maymun, is named after the 12th century Jewish scholar, philosopher and physician.

Maimonides was born in Cordoba, Spain, in 1135 and fled from persecution to Egypt where he died in 1204.

The synagogue is built over the site where he was briefly buried before his remains were moved to Tiberias, in what is now Israel.

Egypt has 11 Jewish houses of worship. Some of them have already been restored, such as the Ben Ezer synagogue in Old Cairo and the Shaar Hashamayim in downtown Cairo.(Yahoo News)

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