5. How many practicing Jewish families are there in Cairo?
Answer to Egypt Quiz #5
According to a recent article in the New York Times by Jennifer Conlin, Cairo’s 20 million people include one practicing Jewish family.
Rosh Hashanah observations at both of Cairo’s active synagogues were nearly canceled for lack of a minyan — a quorum of 10 Jewish adults required to conduct the service.
During Abdel Nasser’s period of leadership (1952-1970), which conicided with two military conflicts with Israel, the number of Jews living in Egypt declined from 65,000 to 1,000.
While the article’s statistic may not be authoritative, it is widely reported that fewer than one hundred Jews currently live in Egypt. This is despite the fact that Judaism, along with Islam and Christianity, remains one of the three officially recognized religions in Egypt.
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Correction. It has come to light that the article which served as the source for this question, though appearing in last month’s New York Times, actually refers to Rosh Hashanah, 2009. Jennifer Conlin, the author who counted hers as the only practicing Jewish family in Cairo, has, with her husband and children, moved back to the United States. This may mean that there are now no practicing Jewish families in Cairo. Perhaps the best answer is “hardly any.”