Ben Ezra Synagogue, Cairo

Ben Ezra Synagogue, Cairo

The Ben Ezra Synagogue is the oldest Jewish place of worship in Cairo. The land was bought by Rabbi Ben Ezra of Jerusalem to build the synagogue and it was named after him.

Two legends exist about the location of the Ben Ezra Synagogue. Some believe that it was the place where baby Moses was found safe in the midst of bulrushes. The other legend says that it was here that the prophet Jeremiah regrouped the Jewish people after they were expelled from Jerusalem. In 1896, a collection of 100,000 documents relating to the history of the Jewish people in Egypt was found in the Geniza or store room. Most of the documents have been relocated in various museums in Europe and Britain.

The architecture of the Ben Ezra Synagogue has a basilica style. There are two floors, a lower floor for male worshippers and an upper floor for women. Steel bars divide the main hall into three parts. The central hall has the Bima or desk for Torah reading. Twelve columns support the roof and 6 marble steps lead to the wooden altar. The interiors are decorated in Turkish style floral and geometric patterns. Today, the synagogue has very few worshippers but has become a thriving tourist attraction in Cairo.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Cairo. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Ben Ezra Synagogue on Map

Sight Name: Ben Ezra Synagogue
Sight Location: Cairo, Egypt (See walking tours in Cairo)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Cairo, Egypt

Create Your Own Walk in Cairo

Create Your Own Walk in Cairo

Creating your own self-guided walk in Cairo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Cairo Downtown Walking Tour

Cairo Downtown Walking Tour

The area occupied by present-day Cairo has been the center of Egypt since the days of the pharaohs. The strategic location at the base of the Nile River delta first hosted the town of Memphis, the epicenter of trade, culture, and religion. By the fourth century, Memphis was in decline, and the Romans established the Babylon fortress. The Babylon is the oldest structure in the city today. When the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Old Cairo Walking Tour

Old Cairo Walking Tour

Old Cairo is called so because it is the ancient part of Cairo, and predates what is now called Cairo. Some Egyptologists think that there was a settlement here as far back as the 6th century BC. The Romans constructed a tower here named Babylon. Later, it became a Christian stronghold, with as many as 20 churches erected within a surface of one square mile. Take this walking tour to find out more...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Islamic Structures Walk

Islamic Structures Walk

The beautiful historical mosques of Cairo will impress any visitor. There is a significant variety of them here, dating from the earliest periods of Islam up to modern times. This self guided walking tour will take you through to the most remarkable Islamic structures in Cairo.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


17 Uniquely Egyptian Things to Buy in Cairo

17 Uniquely Egyptian Things to Buy in Cairo

A jewel, a rose... what else is there distinctly Cairo to bring home as a gift? Feeling lost for ideas? - Look in here to generate some and expand your souvenir-shopping...