Albert Kamoo, the president of the Syrian Jewish community and one of the five last Jews in Damascus passed away this week, according to an update by a rabbinic organization that helped him and his tiny community.
Sources who are familiar with the Syrian Jewish community said that Kamoo was 80 years old when he passed away and since he never married, his only living relative is his sister, who still lives in Damascus.
In 2006, he became the president of the Jewish community. Kamoo took care of the Jewish cemetery and the empty synagogues that were left behind. He was the person who was in contact with the few international organizations that were in touch with this disappearing Jewish community.
Kamoo and his sister were at the center of a BBC News in Arabic segment. They are seen in the Eliyahu Synagogue in Damascus, while he was wearing a kippah. Ancient Jewish artifacts are shown in the video.
There are now only 4 Jews left in Syria: Two women and two men: Kamoo's sister Rashel, another elderly woman and two elderly single men in their 60's.
The Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States' response
"We mourn the passing of the head of the small Jewish community of Damascus, Syria Mr. Albert Kamoo," the Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States tweeted on Wednesday. Rabbi Mendy Chitrik, Chairman of the Alliance of Rabbis in the Islamic States and one of Turkey's rabbis said that he is "saddened by the passing of a Jew who held the remains of this community including the prophet Eliyahu Synagogue and the other synagogues."
"saddened by the passing of a Jew who held the remains of this community including the prophet Eliyahu Synagogue and the other synagogues."Mendy Chitrik
He added that "the Jewish community in Turkey was in recent years the connection to Damascus until the civil war in Syria. From time to time a Shochet (A ritual slaughterer who skillfully practices shehitah) would come from Turkey to Syria in order to slaughter Kosher animals, but nowadays the numbers of Jews have dwindled and there is a civil war so there isn't any need or way to do so."