Return of the Exiles


The journey from Egypt to the Land of Israel, as recounted in the book of Exodus, is the original Aliyah story.

But let’s fast forward to the middle of the 20th century.

Through the centuries, Egyptian Jews experienced eras of both stability and antisemitism, but the declaration of the State of Israel made life there almost untenable and very dangerous. 18,800 Egyptian Jews moved to Israel between 1948 and 1953, thanks in large part to Israel’s Operation Goshen, which smuggled them across the border.

Those who stayed in Egypt finally got their chance to leave in 1956, when around 25,000 Jews were expelled by the Egyptian government. Most of those Jews came to Israel. Almost nobody stayed behind.

As of 2021, there are only three known Jews residing in Egypt, and it doesn’t look like any Jews are going back there any time soon.