Egyptian Jews demand continued govt financial support

Egypt’s Jewish community on Tuesday demanded that the Shura Council explain itself regarding the alleged halt of government financial support to Egyptian Jews.

Anadolu Turkish news agency quoted on Wednesday an official from the Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs who said that the government has revoked annual grants of LE100,000 (US$14,000) allocated to the Jewish community by former President Hosni Mubarak.

Mubarak had secretly granted the funds starting in 1988.

A letter submitted to the Shura Council on Tuesday inquired about the credibility of a report that the state would annul the funds, which were a classified component of the Ministry’s budget.

The letter was discussed during a meeting of the council’s Human Rights Committee. Mohamed Al-Azab, a committee member, said that the Jewish community had called for the funds to be an explicit part of the country’s budget. They had also called on the government to facilitate the appointment of an Arab rabbi to help community members perform religious rites.

Egypt had a flourishing Jewish community of more than 50,000 in the first half of the 20th century. Some say that there are now less than 200 Egyptian Jews still living in the country.