Egypt’s President Says He Will Provide Synagogues if Jewish Community Reemerges There

In meeting with U.S. delegation, Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi spoke fondly of Egypt's Jewish past, called for resurgence of community

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at a press conference at the federal chancellery in Vienna, Austria, December 17, 2018.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi said his government would build synagogues and provide services to the Jewish community if there is a resurgence of the community in his country.

Sissi made the statement last week during a meeting with a U.S. delegation, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The delegation was made up of the Anwar Sadat Congressional Gold Medal Commission, which successfully lobbied to grant the Congressional Gold Medal to the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. U.S. President Donald Trump signed the bill to grant the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress in December.

The commission members were in Egypt to invite Sissi to attend the ceremony in the fall, when the medal will be presented to Jehan Sadat, the wife of the leader assassinated in 1981.

The commission was founded and led by Ezra Friedlander, an Orthodox Jewish consultant and lobbyist from New York.

“President Sissi spoke fondly not only of Egypt’s past vibrant Jewish community, but also said that should there be a resurgence of the Jewish community in Egypt, the government will provide every religious necessity required,” Friedlander told The Jerusalem Post. “He basically said that should there be a resurgence of the Jewish community, the government will build synagogues and other related services.”

Before Israel declared independence in 1948, about 75,000 Jews lived Egypt. Only a handful of Jews live in Egypt today.