Apart from its picturesque landscapes and vibrant markets, Morocco is also home to hundreds of amazing Jewish heritage sites that are either under the protection by the government and the Moroccan king or listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Jewish people may have misgivings about visiting a Muslim country, but beautiful Morocco is not only safe, it is welcoming. Even with the decline of the Moroccan Jewish population after the formation of Israel, Jews have continued to live here, eating kosher food, attending Jewish schools, and attending one of many synagogues
Visit a land which has enjoyed the influence of Jewish life for centuries, incorporating it into its very fiber. Most cities in Morocco feature a Jewish Quarter (or Mellah), and many were the birthplace of some of our most prominent Rabbinical scholars and Kabbalists. What other country offers a touch of Arabia, a touch of Africa, the starry Sahara desert (with a luxurious tent camp experience), a beautiful Sephardic presence and a sweet, welcoming populace ? Come to Morocco and feel the magic yourself.
Jewish culture has been interwoven throughout Morocco for centuries. INCOMING MOROCCO offers a golden opportunity for Jewish travelers to discover Stories of the Jewish Mellah’s, a vibrant Jewish community, Synagogues, Andalusian and Moorish architecture, beautiful landscapes, Tombs and Holy places, and the only Jewish Museum in the Islamic world.
With the collaboration of the best Kosher Caterer and the best Jewish Guides, your trip to Morocco will be an unforgettable Jouney.
These are the top heritage Sites to visit while in Morocco
Temple Beth-El in Casablanca
Casablanca is home to the largest Jewish population of Morocco, and the Temple Beth-El is definitely the centerpiece of this Jewish community. With its impressive glass windows, it is one of the city’s most famous historical treasures.
Ibn Dannon Synagogue in Fes
The city of Fes had a large Jewish community back in the 17th century, so it comes as no surprise that the Ibn Dannon synagogue is the city’s most famous Jewish site. With the help from the American Express and the World Monuments Fund, the synagogue was refurbished about 20 years ago.
The Slat Lazama Synagogue in Marrakech
Follow a narrow street to find the tiny blue-and-white Lazama synagogue in Marrakech. Originally built in the 15th century, this beautiful synagogue boasts a nice riad-style courtyard
Chaim Pinto Synagogue Essaouira
Although the Jewish community is not active nowadays in Essaouira, the lovely Chaim Pinto Synagogue is still active. It is used when Jewish tour groups and pilgrims are visiting Essaouira
The Museum of Moroccan Judaism in Casablanca
Did you know that Morocco houses the only Jewish museum in the Muslim world? Created in 1997 by the Jewish community in Casablanca, the museum boasts everything from Torah scrolls and Hanukkah menorahs to old photographs of synagogues, oil lamps, and Moroccan caftans embroidered with gold. You will also come across many traditional costumes and other objects of Jewish-Moroccan cultural heritage
The mellah in Casablanca is a good place to start your Jewish heritage journey. With community centers, kosher restaurants, and Jewish day schools, the city is home to the vast majority of Morocco’s Jewish population.
Often described as a maze within walls, the mellah in Fes is the oldest mellah in all of Morroco. Dating back to the 15th century, the area offers dozens of interesting sites including 400-year old tombstones and the Ibn Danan synagogue from the 17th century.
Since the old Mellah was built on a sloping gorge, the Jewish community together with the Berdugo family decided to build a new mellah in the 1920s. The first houses and the Rabbi Yeoushoua synagogue were built in the late ’20s, while the Talmud Torah was completed in 1930. Nowadays, the mellah attracts Jewish tour groups and is famed for its distinctive architecture.
According to the census in 1947, Marrakesh was home to more than 50,000 Jewish people. Nowadays, there are less than 100 of them. However, the Old Jewish Quarter is an exciting place to visit. From shops selling herbs and spices to vendors offering jewelry and crafts, there is plenty to look forward to when visiting the mellah in Marrakesh. Here, you will find many tourists from Israel.
The mellah in Essaouira has become a popular pilgrimage site for thousands of descendants of Moroccan Jews. This comes as no surprise since the Jewish community was the second largest population in the city.
Although it is not a Jewish neighborhood these days, the mellah in Taroundant is a place where you will find many crafts cooperative with Jewish themes & Hebrew lettering. Expect to see dozens of souks selling everything from clothes to art objects.