Morocco Jewish Heritage Tours
On Morocco Jewish Heritage Tours, we offer a unique opportunity for Jewish travellers to explore Jewish Heritage sites in Morocco. These Jewish tours include Jewish quarters or Mellah and tombs. Also, there are visits to synagogues in the imperial cities and others. Besides, they include attractions with Andalusian and Moorish architecture, Jewish Zaouias and cemeteries. Without forgetting a visit to the Moroccan Jewish Museum. It is the only Museum in the Islamic world. All that presents the Jewish community in Morocco. Regardless of that, Jewish travellers can celebrate the religious events of Hiloula in some Jewish Heritage sites in Morocco. And there is a chance to enjoy food in Kosher restaurants. The Moroccan king protects all Jewish Heritage sites in Morocco. The government regularly tries to restore and preserve these sites in Morocco. It is because the Jewish community is a part of Moroccan society. Book your Tour Here!
Jewish History in Morocco
Morocco Jewish Heritage Tours presents you with a short history of Jews in Morocco. The existence of Jews in Morocco dates to centuries. The first Jews appeared with the Jewish traders who came to Morocco with the Phoenicians in the 9th century BC. However, the majority of Jewish immigration to Morocco began after the fall of Islamic rule in Andalusia. Then, Muslims and Jews were forced into exile by deportation from Andalusia in 1492 and Portugal in 1497. At that time, Jews were able to enter the regions in the south and lived with Amazing tribes. Besides, they mastered all the pillars of economic life. From herding, industry and trade from which they made enormous wealth. In addition to that, they have spread to major historical cities such as Marrakech, Fes, Agadir and Essaouira.
They also lived in many small towns such as Sefrou, Ouazzane, Tinghir and Taroudant. They gathered in their private residential area called Mellah. After that, they started moving to different countries, such as Canada, the United States and Israel. Before the establishment of Israel in 1948, there were approximately 250,000 to 350,000 Jews in the country. For this reason, Morocco is home to the largest Jewish community in the Islamic world. Even though Jews moved to other countries, they still maintain cultural ties with their country of origin.
Morocco Jewish Heritage Sites:
During Morocco Jewish Heritage tours, Jewish travellers will visit the main Jewish sites in this city. Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco known as home to the largest Jewish community in Morocco. Thus, there are some Jewish sites to visit in Casablanca. Temple Beth-El is one of the largest Jewish councils in Morocco. It is a religious and social centre for the Jewish population in this city. Also, the Museum of Moroccan Judaism was created by the Moroccan Jewish Heritage Foundation in 1997. It is the only museum institution in the entire Islamic world. It exhibits religious, ethnographic and artistic objects. they all reflect the history and traditions of Jews in Moroccan culture. Finally, the Jewish cemetery in Mellah is preserved with white stone inscriptions in Hebrew, French and Spanish. Once a year, Moroccan Jews celebrate Hilula in the mausoleum of Rabbi Eliyahu Hacohen.
Fes and Sefrou:
Fes also is one of the main cities in Morocco Jewish Tours. Hence, Fez is also home to the Jewish community where Jews lived in Mellah. This Mellah is the first Mellah in Morocco that dates back to 1983. However, it is still home to many monuments and landmarks from the historical heritage of the Jewish community. Ibn Danan synagogue is a temple that dates back to the 17th century. It was built by a wealthy merchant, Mimoun Ben Sidan, who came from Ait Ishaq. It was last restored in 1999 and is now considered one of the most magnificent temples in Morocco. Jewish cemetery in Fes is one of the oldest cemeteries in Morocco. It contains more graves of Jewish saints than other cemeteries in other cities. There, you can find Rabbi Vidal Hasserfaty who died in 1600.
Not Far from Fes, Sefrou is a “Little Jerusalem” in Morocco. It is an important Jewish Heritage site in Morocco Jewish Heritage Tours. In Serfou, there is Kef al Yahudi Cave where the Prophet Daniel was buried. Even though there is Mellah in Sefrou, Muslims live there. But Jews can visit it on Morocco Jewish Heritage tours.
Rabat and Salé:
Mellah in Rabat is a more recent Mellah than other cities. Sultan Moulay Sulaiman built it in 1808. Besides, this Mellah separated the Jewish people and Muslim people who live in the same area. Despite the reduction in the number of Jews living in the city, Mellah contains several streets bearing names of Jewish personalities such as Rabbi Shalom Zoaui or David Cohen. In addition to that, there are some synagogues, like the Jewish Rabbi Shalom Synagogue. In Salé, there are also Jewish Heritage sights to visit during Morocco Jewish Heritage Tours. For example, Jewish travellers should visit the grave of Rabbi Raphael Encoua in the Jewish cemetery. Besides, there is the birthplace of Rabbi Haim bin Musa Attar. He was a famous scholar and Kabbalist in the Jewish world.
Marrakech and Essaouira:
All Morocco Jewish Heritage tours include Marrakech and Essaouira. There are many Jewish Heritage sites in Marrakech. Thus, Morocco Jewish travellers can visit Mellah. This Jewish quarter of Marrakech is the second oldest Mellah in the country. The name of this Jewish neighbourhood was changed to Hay al-Salam before. However, King Mohammed VI ordered it to return to its original name ” Mellah”. He also regained Jewish paintings of the alleys of Mellah to preserve the historical memory of this place. In Mellah, there is Slat al-Azama Synagogue. It is a popular synagogue dating to 1492 when Jews were expelled from Spain. Moreover, Jews can visit Jewish cemeteries where there are tombs of some Rabbis such as Rabbi Pinchas HaCohen.
In Ourika Valley, there is a tomb of a Tzadik Rabbi Shlomo ben Hensh as well. Essaouira is a Jewish destination of an annual pilgrimage to the tomb of Rabbi Haïm Pinto who died in 1845. Rabbi Haïm Pinto synagogue is preserved as a historical and religious site in the Mellah. Every year in September every year, The Hiloula of Haïm Pinto occurs. Attia Synagogue or Simon Attias Synagogue is also another Jewish site in Essaouira that dates to the 19th century. The synagogue’s name refers to the name Simon Atias or Simon Attia. He was a great Jewish merchant.
Meknes and Ouazzane:
The Jewish heritage sight is obvious in the Hebraic epitaphs that date to the Christian era. Jewish travellers can visit the old Mellah and the new Mellah. In the old Mellah, the Jewish names of the streets are still visible. While the new Mellah, there are many synagogues such as Rabbi Meir Toledano Synagogue that date to the 13th century. Besides, Jews can make a pilgrimage to the tomb of Rabbi David Benmidan. It is one of the main things in Morocco Jewish Heritage tours. Also, Jews can visit El Krief Synagogue near the new cemetery.
In addition to that, there are many Saints in the two Jewish cemeteries in Meknes. For example, there are Haim Messas, David Boussidan, and Raphael Berdugo. Furthermore, there is Talmud Tora, which is a Jewish religious school. The children learned elementary education in the Hebrew language and the holy books, especially the Torah. Ouazzane town is also one of the interesting Morocco Jewish heritage sites. It is the Holy site where there is a tomb of the Jewish Saint, Rabbi Amram Ben Diwan. His Hiloula is one of the pilgrimages for Jews here.
Taroudant and Tinghir
Taroudant is a small town similar to Marrakech. In this town, locals believe that the Jewish community dates to the 11th century. Jews from Israel and Europe visit Taroudant town each year. They gather in the Jewish cemetery to celebrate the Hiloula of Rabbi David Ben Baroukh. It is a religious ritual in Moroccan Jews attend to bless the “righteous saint”. It is an event to remember the ties of their relatives and their country of origin.
Tinghir is one of the oldest towns in Atlas Mountain where Jews lived. Morocco Jewish sites in Tinghir are Mellah gateway and an old and colourful Jewish Quarter. However, there are no Jews in this town now. “Tinghir Jerusalem” is a documentary film filmed between Tinghir (southeast Morocco) and Jerusalem. The film talks about Moroccan Jews who lived in Tinghir before they moved to Israel. Hence, Kamal Hashkar gives this chance to talk about the feelings of Jews towards their Muslim neighbours and their original homeland.