If you walk down bustling Adly Street in downtown Cairo, it is easy to miss the large gray building. But if you trace the address and stop there, you’ll notice the Stars of David carved on the walls. And then you’ll see the security checkpoint and the guards.
If you want to go into the Adly Street Synagogue and its offices, you must surrender your passport or other identity documents.
Certainly, the plainclothes security men are there to protect the synagogue and those close by — but they are also able to keep a detailed record of all those who visit.
My colleague Sam Tadros and I visited there in February to meet Magda Haroun, the leader of Egypt’s tiny remaining Jewish community. In living memory there were nearly 100,000 Jews in Egypt. Just weeks ago there were 15 left in all the country: 12 in Cairo ...