The presence of Moroccan Jews dates back two thousand years. If there are only a few thousand at present, there are still today evidence of this millennial presence, from Casablanca to Essaouira.
Morocco had nearly 250,000 Jews in the mid-twentieth century. Today there are only three thousand left. Many of them migrated to Israel after the Second World War, especially after the Six Day War in 1967. The small Jewish community in Morocco remains the largest in the Arab world, however.
In Casablanca, the Judaism museum
The “Museum of Moroccan Judaism” is the first museum in the Arab world dedicated to Jewish history. It traces the history of the Jews in Morocco, from their settlement to the present day, highlighting the links and exchanges between Jews and Muslims and the contributions of the community to the Cherifian Kingdom. You can visit the El Jadida High Synagogue and the Jewish quarter of Casablanca with its cultural center and Bet El synagogue, then go and eat in one of the Kosher restaurants in the neighborhood.
In Rabat, tribute to Mohammed V
Of the Jewish presence in the capital of the Kingdom of Morocco, there remains only the cemetery or almost. The mausoleum of sovereign Mohammed V is however a high place of this trip in the footsteps of Moroccan Jews. The reason is as follows: he opposed the anti-Semitic laws of the Vichy government during the Second World War.
In Fez, a well-preserved heritage
It is undoubtedly in the city of Fez that the cultural heritage of Moroccan Jews is best preserved. Visit the “Mellah”, the Jewish quarter of Fez to admire its synagogue, the cemetery, but above all handicrafts such as goldsmithing.
In Marrakech, the Alzama synagogue
With its many menorahs (candlesticks) and its golden doors, this synagogue is original and stands out among the other synagogues in the country.
In Essaouira, the “Sultan’s merchants”
Thousands of Diaspora Jews meet each year in Essaouira. The small community that stayed behind is dynamic. Many buildings have Hebrew inscriptions and Stars of David