A Guide to Morocco’s Jewish Heritage Sites
Morocco’s Jewish Heritage sites are some of the most widely visited in the world. When traveling to Morocco on a Private Jewish Heritage Tour sightseeing at Jewish formidable sites of historical prominence are important highlights not to be missed. Moroccan Jewish Heritage sites consist of Synagogues, Cemeteries, Zaouias and Mellahs, all preserved respectively in the the former Jewish neighborhoods of the medinas. All Jewish Heritage sites in Morocco are either UNESCO World Heritage sites or protected by the Moroccan King and government. The Jewish Heritage sites in Morocco are regularly under renovation and preservation as to ensure they remain a part of Morocco’s Jewish Heritage.
Some examples of the sites visited on a Jewish Heritage tour are Jewish Synagogues: Temple Beth-El in Casablanca, Ibn Dannon Synagogue in Fes and The Lazama Synagogue in Marrakech. Guided by local experts on Jewish life, travelers will also visit the Jewish Mellah in Fes, famous for it’s sprawling out door terraces, the Jewish Mellah in Marrakech and two Jewish Cemeteries along with the Tomb of Solica in Fes. In Essaouira the renowned Chaim Pinto Synagogue is an important treasure along with the Slat Lkahal Synagogue, a former community synagogue, currently under a historic renovation. On a Jewish Heritage Tour Shabbat services at a synagogue and dinner at a Rabbi’s home can also be arranged to round out a private morocco travel experience.
Morocco is also home to the only Jewish museum in the Muslim World. The Museum of Moroccan Judaism is open daily six days a week with private appointments available during Sundays. The Museum of Moroccan Judaism was created by the Jewish community in Casablanca in 1997. It is a museum of both history and ethnography. Tucked away in a Casablanca neighborhood the Jewish Museum holds a treasure trove of collectables such as Hanukkah menorahs, oil lamps, marriage contracts and traditional costumes. It also has a library and video library.
The history of Moroccan Jews’ arrival dates back to pre Christian times as they accompanied the Phoenicians on their trade expeditions across Europe. Jews also joined the various waves of Muslims who escaped persecution during Christian contests of Southern Spain in 1492. Since the Arabic-Islamic colonization Morocco from the 7th century Muslims and Jews have coexisted peacefully together.