Ben Ezra Synagogue

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Coordinates: 30°00′21″N 31°13′52″E / 30.0057944°N 31.2310222°E / 30.0057944; 31.2310222

Ben Ezra Synagogue
Basic information
Location Egypt Cairo, Egypt
Geographic coordinates 30°00′21″N 31°13′52″E / 30.0057944°N 31.2310222°E / 30.0057944; 31.2310222
Affiliation Orthodox Judaism
Rite Sephardic
District Fustat
Architectural description
Completed 1892
Length 17 meters (56 ft)
Width 11.3 meters (37 ft)

The Ben Ezra Synagogue (Hebrew: בית כנסת בן עזרא‎, Arabic: معبد بن عزرا‎), sometimes referred to as the El-Geniza Synagogue (Hebrew: בית כנסת אל גניזה‎) or the Synagogue of the Levantines (al-Shamiyin),[1] is situated in Old Cairo, Egypt. According to local tradition, it is located on the site where baby Moses was found.[2] The land for the synagogue was purchased in 882 CE for 20,000 dinars by Abraham ibn Ezra (who might be the famous Abraham ibn Ezra) of Jerusalem.

This was the synagogue whose geniza or store room was found in the 19th century to contain a treasure of abandoned Hebrew secular and sacred manuscripts. The collection, known as the Cairo Geniza, was brought to Cambridge, England at the instigation of Solomon Schechter and is now divided between several academic libraries.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kenneth Seeskin (2005). The Cambridge companion to Maimonides. Cambridge University Press. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-521-81974-9. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  2. ^ "Finally, there is the Ben Ezra Synagogue, with its cool marble floors. Lore has it that the Nile once flowed up behind the synagogue, and there, in the reeds, baby Moses was hidden." Slackman, Michael. "36 Hours in Cairo", The New York Times, February 3, 2008.