Interior of the Eliahou Hanavi synagogue in Nebi Daniel St (courtesy: Lucienne Carasso Bulow)
Dr Max Salama, leader of the Alexandrian Jewish community for the last eight years, has died aged 92. No Kaddish was recited for him, as there is only a handful of elderly Jews - mostly women - left in Egypt.
Born into an old Alexandrian family, Max Salama was the King of Egypt's personal dentist. In his latter years he dedicated himself to preserving Egypt's Jewish heritage. He helped restore the Nebi Daniel synagogue, repairing the roof, the entrance steps and the cemetery walls, and adding attractive grounds.
Yves Fedida, of the International Nebi Daniel Association, pays this tribute to Max Salama:
"He put the community on a firm financial footing once again. He encouraged a minyan (male quorum) to come from Israel to celebrate the High Holidays so that the community could affirm and be proud of its identity. He was able to protect the community archives from spiteful depredations, as well as the dignity of the Ark and Torah scrolls from rough handling by the official inspectors on their frequent visits. The gates of the synagogue were always open. He ensured free access to the cemeteries. He supported the ill and the needy.
It was a privilege to have known such a determined individual, in spite of his advanced years, and we salute him."