“Pharaoh” Brings Good News to Egyptian Jew


More than three decades after he made his own exodus from Egypt, one Jewish man had a good experience with a Pharaoh last week.

American Pharaoh is the name of the thoroughbred horse, owned by Egyptian-born Ahmed Zayat, which on Saturday won the 141st Kentucky Derby, the first leg of horseracing’s prestigious Triple Crown.

Zayat, 52, who lives in Teaneck, N.J., is an Orthodox Jew and a generous contributor to Jewish causes.

He and his son Justin, 23, an economics major at NUY, are co-owner of three horses that raced at Louisville’s Churchill Downs track on Saturday. Justin is racing manager at Zayat Stables in Hackensack.

Ahmed, who came to the U.S. 34 years ago to study for his master’s degree at Boston University, made a $500,000 donation to The Frisch School, a Modern Orthodox day school in Paramus.

In 2001 he and his wife Joanne were honored by the SINAI Special Needs Institute for their philanthropy.

He founded the Al Ahram Beverages company, which he sold to Heineken for $280 million in 2002.