The Day Before Hannukah
The guidebook said this old synagogue is closed to the public, but I figured I'd have a go at getting in. It's guarded by a 6 well-armed police guards (they even had a riot shield - why?).
But a little baksheesh goes a long way...
They let me in, but only after making sure that I was Jewish and taking two photocopies of my passport. A nice gentlemen kept a very close eye on me as I walked around. He told me that there are 43 Jews left in the Alexandria area, and only 6 of them are interested in using the synagogue every week for shabbat. To properly perfrom a Shabbat service, at least 10 people are needed, so the temple remains closed nearly all the time. A real shame because it is a beautiful and unique place. It's all pink granite, built in the style of an Italian Villa. At least they keep it well-maintained.