The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria Has Reopened as a Symbol of Unity and Cultural Diversity
Egypt’s Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue is once again open to worshippers. After years of very slow progress in the renovating and restoring of the synagogue, the Egyptian government’s commitment to the country’s multicultural heritage led to the final opening with a festive ceremony where many government officials attended.
According to the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the Egyptian government invested around $6 million to restore the building along with the rest of the amenities which included its green and purple windows, as well as its columns and arches. The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue now has enough space to contain 700 worshipers with a separate room that is solely dedicated to storing Torah rolls.
The synagogue actually rests on the ruins of a previous synagogue that was built in 1354. The original site was affected by serious damage during Napoleon’s campaign on Egypt but had been rebuilt in 1850.
This historically rich building is not only a place for worship but it’s also a symbol of Egypt’s heritage that includes Jewish history as a large part of Egypt’s identity. Antiquities Minister Khaled al Anani said during the reopening “Egypt, where a number of civilizations peacefully coexisted alongside one another for centuries, has a unique cultural diversity.” He added that the restoration and reopening of the Alexandria synagogue was a signal to the world that, “The Egyptian government cares for the heritage of all religions.”