Cairo Feature

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The Jewish Community in Cairo

The Chaar-Hachamaim Synagogue was paid for with contributions from some of the most powerful men in Cairo—a small coterie of Jewish families (including the Cattaui, Suares, Naggar, and Mosseri families) who owned and controlled many of Egypt's private banks, bus companies, and major department stores. Vita Mosseri was the main energizer behind the campaign for the new place of worship and Maurice Cattaui was the architect who produced the blueprint for the finished building.

The Jewish community lived in peace and security alongside the Muslim Arab and Christian peoples in Egypt for generations, but the founding of the state of Israel and the 1952 revolution in Egypt brought privatization and increased political tension that turned the world upside down for these families within a half decade.

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