Jewish Heritage In Morocco
Morocco is a great place to travel and has a lot of Jewish history. The Jewish community in Casablanca and the Museum of Moroccan Judaism are both great places to visit. The culture is very friendly and there are lots of fun markets to explore. You can also see some beautiful nature. Plus, the food is amazing. All of these things make for a really special trip.
But where do Jewish heritage trips to morocco tend to visit? And what is the difference between a Jewish Heritage trip to Morocco and just a regular Jewish Morocco tour? Additionally, we’ve compiled a list of the best locations in Morocco to visit, whether you’re on a normal trip or a proper Jewish Heritage trip.
What does a Jewish heritage trip to Morocco involve?
You get to decide what you want to do during your Jewish heritage trip. We plan your trips to fit what you want. You’ll have a chance to see important parts of the Jewish community in Morocco, like synagogues, important places, graveyards, and other famous landmarks.
How does a Jewish heritage tour to Morocco differ from a regular trip to Morocco?
A Jewish heritage tour to Morocco is an opportunity to get to know the country on two levels–as a whole, and how it fits into Jewish history. There are certain locations that are Jewish that a normal tour would not go to, such as synagogues and Jewish cemeteries.
Best Locations In Morocco For Jewish Heritage Tours
Casablanca An Active Jewish Community
Casablanca is a city with a harbor in western Morocco. It's a really good place to visit if you're going on a tour of Jewish Morocco. The city has pretty buildings with a special style called Mauresque. The famous Hassan II Mosque is there too. It stands over the water and has lasers that point to Mecca. If you're interested in Jewish history, make sure to include a visit to the Jewish quarter, Temple Beth-El, Ettedgui Synagogue, Temple Habanim, and Nev Shalomin while traveling to Morocco. These places are important for any Jewish heritage trip in the city.
Additionally, not everything in Casablanca is about Jewish history but there are plenty of great tourist activities, such as general city tours to the Medina, local cousin and food tours, and even sailing rentals.
Finally, Casablanca is the main place for business in the country. People know it for having the only museum in the Arab world about Jewish history. It shows how Jewish people lived in the area for 2,000 years. Here's a fun fact: The Jewish community in Casablanca is still the biggest in Morocco.
Meknes Imperial City With Jewish History
Meknes is one of the four Imperial Cities of Morocco. It’s the sixth-largest populated city in the and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, visit the King’s Tomb, the Bab el Mansour, and the Place El Hedim.
Where can you visit to learn about Jewish history in Meknes, Morocco? This pretty city has lots of Jewish heritage to see on Jewish tours of Morocco. There are a few places where Jewish people can go in the city. There are some buildings called synagogues and one big building called a community center. About 100 Jewish people live in the city right now. On a Jewish tour, you could see places like Volubilis, Moulay Idriss Zehoun, or Azjen. Lots of Jewish people go to Azjen on Lag B'Omer. There is a pretty place of worship called El Krief and a very old graveyard for Jewish people. Some well-known Jewish people, Haim Messas, Raphael Berdugo, and David Boussidan, are buried there. In the Royal city, there is a tomb for Moulay Ishmael. He was a sultan who helped the Jewish people in Morocco. The tomb is a special place to remember him.
These are all great places to go on a Jewish heritage tour to Morocco or on a Jewish walking tour around the city. It’s the perfect place to go if you’re searching for cultural journeys.
Marrakesh A Beautiful Stop For A Jewish Tour
If you want bath houses and souks to find beautiful textiles, as well as cobblestone streets and a citadel, Marrakesh is the right city to go to. See folk dancers and snake charmers, or try some of the local street foods. Visit Bahia Palace and Le Jardin Secret for mosaics, gardens, and courtyards.
This city is famous for its pretty palaces, mosques, and museums. But what makes it unique is the many stories about Moroccan Jewish life that are there. Marrakech has many places that are important to Jewish people. Some of these places are the Ben Attar gate, the Miara Cemetery, the Slat Al Azama synagogue, the Dar El Bacha Musee des Confluences, and a restaurant called Dar Ima that serves food that follows Jewish dietary laws. The Medina is a special part of the city. It has walls around it and has small streets and shops called souks. It used to even have a part where Jewish people lived for a long time. It's like a treasure! Walk around the Jewish Quarter and learn about how life was when there were lots of Jewish people living there.
Fez The First Segregated Jewish Quarter
Fez used to be known for its wealth of knowledge. Everyone from philosophers to scholars to mathematicians and lawyers visited the city. The city declined in influence in the 1800s, but it is still an important location to visit for its cultural and spiritual heritage.
People can see donkeys walking down alleyways in the city because there are no cars allowed. This is something that hasn't happened in a long time. Go to the Royal Palace and Jnan Sabil gardens or explore the medina to feel like you've traveled to the past. Fez is a special place for Jewish people who visit Morocco to learn about their history. This is because it has the first neighborhood where Jewish people had to live apart from others. There are no synagogues in the city right now, but there's lots of Jewish history to learn about and explore for a whole day.
The palace next to the Jewish quarter is where many Jews took shelter during the Pogrom of 1912. There’s a clock tower to visit at the home of Maimonides, and the Roben Ben Sadoun Synagogue.
Sefrou Little Jerusalem in Morocco
Sefrou is a relaxing stop on a Morocco trip, but one that can’t be missed. Visit the Mausoleum of Sidi Ali Bosrgin for views of the city, or wander to the abandoned French military base. The ancient fountain of Lalla Rekia is said to be healing, but it will mostly hydrate you on a hot Morocco day.
But Sefrou is also a great location on a Jewish heritage tour in Morocco. It once had such a large population of Jews that it was called Little Jerusalem in Morocco. In the late 1800’s, Jews were half of the population. It has its own host of Jewish sites. Go to a place called the Cave of the Believer or Kef al Yahudi. Many people believe that this is where the Prophet Daniel was buried. You can go to another cemetery and see where other well-known Jewish people are buried. Most of the Jewish people who used to live in Sefrou now live in Israel and Europe, but the area where they used to live, called the Mellah, is still there. Even though Jewish people don't live there anymore, it's still a cool place to visit on a Jewish Morocco tour.
Rabat A Feast For The Eyes
Rabat looks really nice with pretty gardens and amazing buildings. Go to an ancient cemetery from the time of the Merinids and take a stroll in the pretty parks of this environmentally-friendly city. Rabat is a city near the ocean and has really good modern things. If you want to see the modern side of Morocco, go to Rabat. It has a tram, airport, lots of cafes, and restaurants. Rabat is a place where people have music festivals like Mawazine and Jazz au Chellah. When we talk about Chellah, it's also linked to the Jewish past of the place. For a long time, Jewish people have lived outside of a place called Rabat in a town called Chellah. This is a really good spot to go for tours to learn about the history of Morocco. There is a special place for Jewish people at a building called the Mausoleum of King Mohammed V. The King protected Jewish people when the French Vichy Government was being mean to them.
Inside the Jewish quarter, visit a beautiful synagogue or the Oudayas Kasbah, home of pirates, Portuguese Jews who converted to Christianity during the Inquisition. Eliezer de Avila and Chalom Zaoui are buried in the Jewish Cemetery nearby, and a museum a few kilometers north of Rabat called the Belghazi museum is home to a large collection of Moroccan Judaica.
Special Places To include On A Heritage Jewish Tour In Morocco
Museum of Moroccan Judaism
No Jewish tour to Morocco is complete without a trip to the Museum of Moroccan Judaism. The museum shows the history of the Moroccan Jewish community, the largest Jewish community in the Muslim world until the past few decades. Today there are fewer than 2,500 Jews in the country. The as it were historical center of Judaism within the Middle easterner World, the building was a Jewish halfway house that housed around 160 Jewish youth. The museum is found within the Desert spring neighborhood of Casablanca. It has three show rooms with custom objects, outfits, noteworthy archives, and gems, as well as reproductions of Moroccan synagogues and a multipurpose room with canvases and photos of Jewish life in Morocco. One of the foremost curiously parts of the exhibition hall is the collection of things from Jewish Berber history, counting Gems, outfits, and other things.
Moshe Nahon Synagogue
This synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Tangier is one of the most beautiful in Morocco. It was inactive until 1994, but in the early 1990s, an effort was made to restore the interior, which is decorated in the Andalusian style with Arabic calligraphy and geometric patterns. It houses an art museum with vintage photos of Tangier, contemporary paintings, and other posters about the history of Tangier.
This synagogue in Fez is one of Morocco’s oldest, from the 17th century. It was once used as a carpet-making workshop and then as a gym, but the beauty of the architectural work remained. In 2011, it was restored and can now be visited to learn about the history of the Jewish people in Fez.
Legzira Beach, Sidi
This is one of the most beautiful beaches on earth. Carved red rock formations dot the five-mile-long beach and create natural arches on the cliff that frame the sea. The beach is only open during the day when the tide is low, and swimming is dangerous, but this place is a feast for the eyes and a great spot for paragliders, fishermen, and surfers.
High Atlas Mountains
Visit North Africa’s most elevated mountain extend for trekking and open air sports. The saw–toothed crests are a boundary between the Mediterranean climate within the north and the Sahara within the south. This can be an perfect area for rafters and kayakers to investigate wide limestone dividers, as well as for explorers and trekkers.
What To Include On A Jewish Tour To Morocco?
Irrespective of the nature of your excursion in Morocco, be it riding an ATV in the Atlas Mountains or paying homage to illustrious Jewish personalities at their burial sites, the experience is bound to be breathtaking. Exploring one's Jewish roots in Morocco provides a unique opportunity to establish a deeper and more meaningful personal relationship with the country. Exploring Morocco allows individuals to better understand their personal history and cultural identity, as well as gain insight into its current state.
Convinced yet to go on a heritage tour of Morocco? Check out the tours our BladiTrip agency offers.