BASSATINE NEWS  the ONLY Jewish newsletter reporting directly from Egypt
A Community Chronicle put out by the Jewish Community Council (JCC) of Cairo since 1995





Cairo, 20 April 2013

Dear Friends,

While it greatly saddens me that my first message to you as the new JCC president is an unhappy one in view of the unexpected passing of my predecessor Ms Carmen Weinstein, it gives me much comfort to know you are following our news through the different media channels. To me this has particular significance for it means our small community in Cairo is not alone in its moments of sorrow.

Immediately following the passing of Carmen Weinstein on 13 April individuals from all walks of life contacted the JCC whether by calling, emailing, tweeting, telegramming, dropping a note, or by sending flowers. And naturally there were those who attended Carmen Weinstein’s memorial service last Thursday, April 18.

At the daytime memorial and later during the evening session at Cairo's Chaar Hashamayim Synagogue, I saw many friendly faces and an equal number of strangers. I met with representatives of various foreign and Egyptian NGOs and senior members of the diplomatic corps. Also present were ranking figures from the intelligentsia, cultural performers and members of the media. Mourners included Muslims, Copts, Catholics and... you name it they were all there. And of-course I welcomed my coreligionaires some of whom had come from as far as the United States and from as near as Alexandria. They came to pay their respects to the person who against all odds had protected our physical, cultural and religious heritage at no little cost to herself in terms of effort, time and health.

But what warmed my heart most is that I saw eager Egyptian youth who came because they were curious to learn about us. Some of them didn’t even know there was a Jewish (albeit the remnants of) community. All they wanted was to express their condolences for the passing of a fellow citizen whom they probably never met.

All of the above were assembled together to honor the passing of a symbol of the Egypt that was. An Egypt open to people from all creeds, nationality and color. An Egypt that was, is and will remain, LARGER THAN LIFE!

On behalf of the members of the JCC, our faithful staff and myself, I thank you with all my heart for your unflagging support and kind condolences. As you can understand transitionary periods are difficult and it will take some time before we get back to business as usual. But I promise that my next message will be one of optimism which we all badly need in these changing times.

Please accept our gratitude for being there for us and with us.

Magda C. Haroun
JCC President


Le Caire, 20 Avril 2013

Chers amis,

Ce premier message en tant que nouvelle présidente de la Communauté Juive du Caire est bien sûr entaché de tristesse, car il traite du décès soudain de notre précédente présidente Carmen Weinstein. Toutefois c’est pour moi un grand réconfort que de voir que vous suivez tous nos nouvelles à travers les médias. Cela démontre en effet que notre petite communauté du Caire n’est pas seule dans l’épreuve.

A la nouvelle de la mort de Carmen Weinstein le 13 avril les appels téléphoniques, tweets ; télégrammes, messages et fleurs ont afflué de partout . Et bien sûr il y a eu tous ceux qui ont assisté au service le 18 avril. Lors de cette commémoration au temple de Chaar Hashamaim et lors de la réception des condoléances j’ai vu beaucoup d’amis mais autant d’étrangers. J’ai rencontré les représentants d’ONG égyptiennes et internationales et des diplomates accrédités au Caire. Il y avait aussi des représentants éminents de l’élite intellectuelle et culturelle égyptienne ainsi que de nombreux délégués des médias. Musulmans , Coptes , Catholiques et autres s’étaient joints à nos coreligionnaires dont certains étaient venus d’aussi loin que d’Amérique et d’autres simplement d’Alexandrie. Tous étaient là pour rendre hommage à celle qui, se dépensant sans compter et sans ménager sa sante avait réussi malgré tous les obstacles à protéger notre héritage physique, culturel et religieux.

J’ai été émue et réconfortée à la vue de jeunes égyptiens qui étaient venus parce qu’ils avaient soif de mieux nous connaître. Il y en avait parmi eux qui ne savaient pas qu’il restait encore quelque chose de la communauté juive  mais qui voulaient présenter leurs condoléances pour la mort d’une femme qui était égyptienne comme eux mais qu’ils n’avaient sans doute jamais rencontrée.

Les uns comme les autres étaient là pour saluer la disparition d’un symbole d’une Egypte qui n’est plus. Une Egypte ouverte à des hommes et des femmes de toutes les religions, de toutes les nationalités, de toutes les couleurs. Une Egypte qui était, et qui reste encore plus grande que nature.

Au nom des membres de la communauté, de notre fidèle équipe et en mon nom je vous remercie du fond du cœur pour votre soutien inébranlable et vos sincères condoléances. Comme vous pouvez le comprendre, la transition ne sera pas facile et il nous faudra du temps pour reprendre les choses en mains. Je vous promets que mon prochain message sera un message plein de cet optimisme dont nous avons tant besoin en cette période de grands changements.

Acceptez toute notre reconnaissance pour avoir été là pour nous et avec nous….

Magda C Haroun
Presidente de la JCC

Glorice Weinstein
and the extended family of the late
express their appreciation to
His Excellency the President of the Republic of Egypt
for his kind letter of condolence



Magda Haroun

Madga-Tania Chehata Haroun Silvera (Maggy to her friends) was born in Alexandria on 13 July 1952, the older of Chehata and Marcel Haroun’s two daughters. Magda attended the Lycee Francais School in Bab El Louk, Cairo before graduating from Cairo University’s School of Applied Arts. Later, she joined the firm of Haroun & Haroun Patents/Trademarks and Legal Affairs partnering with her lawyer sister Nadia C. Haroun.

The Haroun sisters were raised in a home where humanitarian values were sacred. Their father, Maitre Haroun (1920-2001), was a man of definite convictions and the reputed humanist and founding member of the Tagamu Party along with other leading Egyptian politicians.

A mother of two university graduate daughters, Magda Haroun is fluent in Arabic, French, English and moderate Italian and is fond of painting and handicrafts.

Magda Haroun was unanimoulsy elected JCC president at an extraordinary general assembly meeting held in the afternoon of Monday, 15 April 2013. It was attended by various senior members of Cairo's Jewish community.

Al Ahram Weekly issue 526 Humanist Against the Odds 22-28 March 2001 by Khaled Dawoud
Associated Press (AP) Story of Egypt's Jews: Rich, complex, not yet over 16 April 2003 by Donna Bryson


20th Century JCC presidents included an enobled banker, a finance minister, an Olympic champion/department store tycoon and a conservationist-playwright. The last two JCC presidents were women. Magda Haroun is the third member of the female gender to occupy the post.


  • Moise (Moussa) de Cattaui Pasha
  • Joseph (Youssef) Cattaui Pasha
  • Salvatore Cicurel Bey
  • Maitre Albert Romano
  • Felix Isckaki
  • Youssef Dana
  • Emile Rousseau
  • Esther Weinstein
  • Carmen Weinstein


    Magda Haroun

    Magda Haroun

    Magda Haroun
    Magda Haroun
    Magda Haroun

    Magda Haroun
    Magda Haroun

    Magda Haroun

    Magda Haroun

    Magda Haroun

    Magda Haroun

    Magda Haroun

    Magda Haroun
    Magda Haroun

    former JCC president Carmen Weinstein funeral and interview with incumbent JCC President Magda C Haroun on CBC (Egypt) Television

    YouTube PART I and PART II

    Documentary on Jews Restores Faded Memories


    Lydia Farahat Mizrahi

    Bassatine News regrets to announce the death on Monday 20 May 2013 in Paris of the Egyptian-born
    Lydia Farahat née Lydia Mizrahi
    the only daughter of Emanuel Mizrahi Pasha and Lea Assayas and widow of Raoul Vita Farahat
    Lovingly nicknamed “Pachinette” by her more socialist contemporaries, Lydia, 93, was a founding daughter of Maadi where her pasha father owned the suburb’s largest garden famous for both its cacti collection and unique tropical flowers
    She died in her loft on 13 rue du dragon where she zealously entertained the city's top artists and intellectuals for the last 40 years
    she is survived by her daughter Indji Lew of Massachusetts, her daughter in law Therese Chevallier and several grandchildren


    Issue 1  | Issue 2  | Issue 3  | Issue 4  | Issue 5  | Issue 6  | Issue 7  | Issue 8  |
    Issue 9  | Issue 10  | Issue 11  | Issue 12  | Issue 13  | Issue 14  | Issue 15  | Issue 16  |
    Issue 17  | Issue 18  | Issue 19  | Issue 20  | Issue 21  | Issue 22  | Issue 23  |
    Issue 24  | Issue 25  | Issue 26  | Issue 27  | Issue 28  | Issue 29  | Issue 30  | Issue 31  |
    Issue 32  | Issue 33  | Issue 34  | Issue 35  | Issue 36  | Issue 37  | Issue 38  |

    press clippings  | books  | roll-call  | genealogy  | obituaries  | carmen weinstein obituaries  | cemetery map  |
    Shaar Hashamayim  | Meyr Biton Temple  | About Us  | index  |


    sign our guestbook or send your feedback to Bassatine News and read what others wrote during the last 10 years!
    1998   1999   2000   2001   2002   2003   2004   2005   2006   2007   2008-09  2010-13 

    C O N T A C T

    Jewish Community Council (JCC) of Cairo
    # 13 Sabil El Khazindar Street
    Midan al-Geish, Abbassia, Cairo

    tel: +20 2 2482-4613 - tel/fax +20 2 2736-9639
    mobile: 0122 2115915
    from outside Egypt call
    +20 122 2115915

    Shaar Hashamayim Synagogue @ 17 Adly Street, downtown Cairo
    open daily 10:00 to 15:00
    Friday 10:00 to 17:00
    Sunday closed

    Ben Ezra Synagogue in Fostat (Old Cairo)
    open daily 09:00 to 16:00

    For visits to other Cairo synagogues or Bassatine Cemetery contact JCC

    The JEWISH COMMUNITY COUNCIL of ALEXANDRIA (JCCA president: Youssef Ben Gaon) can be reached by email at:
    and by telephone on +20 3 484-6189 or +20 3 486-3974 or by ordinary mail at
    No. 69 Nebi Daniel Street, Alexandria, Egypt

    please note the Jewish Community Council of Alexandria is an independent entity separate from the Jewish Community Council of Cairo

    © Copyright Bassatine News
    editor: SWR
    Any commercial use of the data and/or content is prohibited
    reproduction of photos from this website strictly forbidden
    touts droits reserves
    technical feedback attn: webmaster