Morocco Jewish Heritage Tours: The Jews have always been part of Moroccan history and culture. Their existence in the Moroccan landscape dates back to ancient times when they co-existed and shared the land and its traditions with the Amazigh.
Morocco Jewish Heritage Tours
Their presence in Morocco is older than the Muslims’. The number of the Jewish population increased in the 1490s due to being banned by Spain and Portugal, after the collapse of Andalusia. They sought refuge in neighbouring countries in the Mediterranean, and Morocco happened to be the closest welcoming dwelling. Morocco didn’t give the Jews a temporary, rather it gave them a permanent home where they have enjoyed practicing their religious, social, economic and civic rights across the centuries.
Thanks to their long stay, the Moroccan Jews have added to the culture and economy of the country for almost five centuries. With their creativity and artistic taste, the Jews have contributed to Moroccan clothes, food, music, architecture and more.
Morocco Has always been proud of its Jewish side. The peaceful co-existence of the Jews and the Muslims in the Moroccan cities is a clear sign of Morocco’s multiculturalism. This cultural diversity is applauded and well-respected by the Moroccan population and its king who takes “The commander of the believers” as his title referring, protecting and caring about all the Moroccans be them Muslims, Jews or Christians.
Being settled in Morocco for such a long period, the Jews have definitely contributed and added to Moroccan history and culture. Traces of the Jewish lifestyle are still persisting through Kosher restaurants, Jewish handicrafts and artefacts that are still decorating the narrow alleys of Morocco’s medinas and antique shops. These marks are highly visible in cities like, Fez, Essaouira, Marrakech, Meknes, Sefrou and Casablanca which restore the never to be forgotten Jewish history.
If you are interested in visiting this heritage and Morocco Jewish Heritage Tours, you can pay a visit to the Jewish quarters locally known as the Mellahs. They are the first testimony of the glorious Jewish past in Morocco. The Jewish neighbourhoods are easily distinguished from those of the Muslims thanks to the beautiful architecture. Large windows and wooden balconies are what distinguishes the Jewish homes from the Muslims. You can walk through the quiet empty streets of the Mellahs and see what some gone people have left behind.
The second material heritage that you can visit to explore Jewish life in Morocco is the numerous synagogues. Morocco has restored and protected more than 100 synagogues. You can visit some of the operating synagogues. Morocco has done great efforts to maintain and protect the remaining synagogues, such as Beth-El. The fascinating and breathtaking synagogues are now considered touristic spots that attract tourists and visitors from all over the globe. Visit one synagogue and you will be spellbound by the well-detailed architecture, colourful mosaic and antique furniture.
Another testimony that you can visit is the Jewish Cemeteries. They are another mark on the glowing Jewish history in Morocco. The cemeteries contain the tombs of many Jewish saints and important Rabbis. The cemeteries are very clean and well taken care of. The Marrakech cemetery, for instance, is one of the biggest cemeteries in Morocco. It is a must-visit cemetery as it includes a small exhibition telling the stories of some Jewish people who lived in Marrakech.
To have a practical view of the heritage of Judaism in Morocco, make sure to plan your visit in accordance with one of the Jewish festivals held by the country. Annually, Many Hiloulas, pilgrimages and Jewish services are hosted in different cities around Morocco.
Also, make sure to pay a visit to the charming artistic city Essaouira which is known for its deep Jewish history. it has inherited a number of Jewish material artefacts. Many of Essaouira’s painted houses still have the Star of David above the doorways of Jewish homes. Another city to encounter the history of the Jewish civilization in Morocco is the city of Sefrou, known as Little. Moroccans, Jews and Muslims lived in this city in total harmony and tolerance. It is a good example of Morocco’s multiculturalism as the Jews and the Muslims used to be next-door neighbours.
What makes Morocco a real touristic destination for travellers interested in history in general and Jewish history and heritage in particular is the unique Jewish Museum in Casablanca. If you consider visiting Morocco for its Jewish past, you shouldn’t miss seeing the Arab world’s only Jewish Museum. The museum puts into display Jewish history, religion, ethnography, books and artistic products through which the traditions and daily life of Moroccan Jews are demonstrated.
We can help you explore the material and immaterial Jewish heritage. With us, you will have the opportunity to see the inherited Jewish products and artefacts exhibited in the museums, cemeteries and synagogues. In addition, you will also have the chance to witness the authentic and unseen traces in the narrow streets of the forgotten Mellahs, traditional shops and culture. We will show you how once upon a time some great and creative people have lived in Morocco and how they have contributed to the country’s culture and heritage.
Read also: Best Jewish Tours in Morocco