Egyptian authorities completed the restoration of the 19-century-old Maimonides Synagogue in about two years and reopened it for worship five years ago. Named after Maimonides, also known as Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, a famous Jewish philosopher, Torah scholar and the leader of the Jewish community in the 12th century, the Cairo-based synagogue is among 11 Jewish places of worship under restoration, according to AFP. Born in Cordoba at a time when the Jewish population was high in southern Spain, Maimonides fled to Cairo with his family due the rise of anti-Semitism and continued his studies at a yeshiva next to the synagogue. The Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities spent around $2 million for the restoration work. Egypt's Jewish population was significantly reduced by the emergence of the State of Israeli in 1948 and the following wars in 1956 and 1967, which prompted a mass exodus. Now, the population is a mere few dozen.
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