DAMĪRA, city in Lower Egypt. A Jewish community existed there during the Middle Ages, which is mentioned in 11th- and 12th-century Genizah documents. It seems that *David b. Daniel first settled in this city when he arrived in Egypt. About 100 years later Maimonides addressed himself to the Jews of Damīra in a general letter to the communities of the Delta. The 12th-century traveler *Benjamin of Tudela stated that there were 700 Jews in this city; it was thus the third largest community in Egypt, after those of Cairo and Alexandria. However, the accuracy of this report is dubious because of the scarcity of documents concerning the city.


Worman, in: JQR, 18 (1905/06), 10; Mann, Egypt, 1 (1920), 187; 2 (1922), 290, 317; S. Schechter, Saadyana (1903), 80–104; JJS, 18 (1967), 41–42.

[Eliyahu Ashtor]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.