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A Karaite journey from Cairo to California
14 June @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Tuesday 14 June 2022, 7:30 pm UK time, 11:30 am PT. David Ovadia was born in Cairo and left Egypt at the age of 12 with his family for Paris, subsequently settling in San Francisco, California. Passionately committed to preserving the heritage of his Karaite Jewish community of Egypt, at the same time ensuring that its traditions remain relevant in a changing world, David continues to serve as President of the Karaite Jews of America after multiple terms. He also heads up Congregation B’nai Israel in San Francisco, the only Karaite synagogue in the US.
The Karaites (literally ‘Readers’ in Hebrew) are an ancient branch of Judaism that relies on what is written in the Torah without turning to the oral law. How can this small minority survive and maintain its distinct traditions? David Ovadia will share his thoughts about the origins, present, and future of this unique community, which today, is experiencing a renaissance of interest in the US, Israel and in Egypt – where David has led the effort to create a Garden of Remembrance honoring the Karaite Jewish Community of Cairo, as part of a larger conservation project at the Karaite section of the Basatin Cemetery, second oldest Jewish cemetery in the world.
In November, David and his wife, Maryellen Himell-Ovadia, will travel to Egypt to open the Garden and to commemorate his lost community. The trip will be David’s homecoming to Cairo after an absence of 60 years. Recording here.