Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Cairo Genizah, May 31

Ben Ezra Synagogue
The 1896 discovery of almost 300,000 documents in the genizah (repository for damaged and destroyed Jewish texts) of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt revealed information about Jewish history, Islamic history, and more.  The find included Dead Sea Scrolls, writings from Maimonides, and early manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible.  The collection is still being studied today.

Rabbi Mark Glickman, author of Sacred Treasure:  The Cairo Genizah:  The Amazing Discoveries of Forgotten Jewish History in an Egyptian Synagogue Attic, will discuss this historic find at 7:00 p.m. on May 31 at the Jewish Community Library of San Francisco.  For more information, visit the library's Web site (Rabbi Glickman's talk is at the bottom of the page).

The library is at 1835 Ellis Street, Second Floor, San Francisco, between Scott and Pierce.  There is free garage parking; the entrance is on Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy.  The presentation is free and everyone interested is welcome to attend.


  1. Dick Eastman's May 27 newsletter included a link to a New York Times story about the use of a powerful computer network running an artificial intelligence program to piece together the damaged and destroyed documents from the Cairo genizah:

    This project, which is analyzing more than 150,000 fragments, should be done before the end of June.

  2. Marina Rustow, a history professor at Princeton University who has been using the documents salvaged from the Cairo genizah to study Jewish and other society in the Medieval Middle East, was awarded a MacArthur Foundation genius grant:


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