Carmen Weinstein, 82, leader of Egypt’s Jew

CAIRO — Carmen Weinstein, the leader of Egypt’s dwindling and aging Jewish community who was known for her tireless work preserving synagogues and the city’s Jewish cemetery, died Saturday at the age of 82.

Ms. Weinstein will be buried on Thursday in the Bassatine cemetery she worked to save since 1978. It is the only Jewish cemetery left in Cairo and is the largest in Egypt.


The transformation of Bassatine mirrors the dramatic changes Egypt underwent as its population skyrocketed and poverty grew. Named in Arabic after its gardens, the cemetery is now a slum of tightly-packed redbrick apartment buildings.

Parts of Bassatine were turned into a dump, while another area was seized by antiquities’ officials. Ms. Weinstein was able to preserve a small area as a Jewish cemetery.

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