Second Exodus
Jewish Ceremonial Objects from Egypt

April 1, 2016-January 9, 2017

Location: Marc Rich Gallery for Jewish Ceremonial Art, The Isidore and Anne Falk Information Center for Jewish Art and Life

Curator: Rachel Sarfati

Combining Eastern and Western stylistic elements, the objects in this collection reflect the character of the Jewish community of Egypt at a time when it was undergoing great change. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and the economic possibilities it offered drew an unprecedented wave of immigrants to Egypt, and the Jewish community grew from some 7,000 to over 65,000 (as recorded in 1947), becoming truly cosmopolitan. The objects in the exhibition belonged to the Hanan synagogue in Cairo, and they were brought to Israel in what has been called "the second exodus," when most of the Jews of Egypt left the country during the 1950s and 1960s. The exhibition also features the film Starting Over Again – An Egyptian-Jewish Story, in which members of the community talk about their life in Egypt and about the trauma of their abrupt departure.

Torah ark curtain (parokhet)
Dedicated after 5681 (1922)
Silk velvet, wool and metal-thread embroidery

The Maslaton family at Yehuda’s bar mitzvah, Cairo 1938.
Photo courtesy of Michal Maslaton

Torah ark curtain (parokhet)
Dedicated after 5 Kislev 5663 (1902)
Silk velvet, metal-thread embroidery, sequins