2023 Discovering Morocco

This Seminar is FULL.

This Seminar is FULL.:

October 25-November 4 2023

This Seminar is Full and No Longer Taking Applications



Discovering Morocco Study Seminar 2023
Introduction: Discovering Morocco Study Seminar 2023 offers a unique opportunity to explore the rich history, culture, and heritage of Jewish communities in Morocco. This study seminar aims to deepen participants' understanding of the Jewish experience in Morocco, fostering intercultural dialogue, and celebrating the contributions of Moroccan Jews to the country's diverse tapestry. Through engaging with historical sites, meeting local community members, and participating in educational activities, participants will gain insights into the vibrant past and present of Jewish life in Morocco.
  1. Historical Context:
    • The Jewish Presence in Morocco: Explore the long and diverse history of Jewish communities in Morocco, tracing their origins, migrations, and interactions with the broader Moroccan society.
    • Coexistence and Cultural Exchange: Examine the unique aspects of coexistence between Jewish and Muslim communities in Morocco, highlighting the traditions, customs, and shared cultural heritage.
  2. Cultural Immersion:
    • Synagogues and Jewish Quarters: Visit historic synagogues, such as the Lazama Synagogue in Marrakech or the Ibn Danan Synagogue in Fes, to experience the spiritual and architectural beauty of Moroccan Jewish heritage.
    • Jewish Museums and Institutions: Engage with local Jewish museums and cultural institutions that showcase the history, traditions, and artistic contributions of Moroccan Jews.
  3. Community Interactions:
    • Meet with Community Members: Engage in discussions and interactive sessions with members of the Moroccan Jewish community to gain insights into their experiences, traditions, and contemporary challenges.
    • Cultural Exchange: Experience the warm hospitality of Moroccan Jewish families through conversations, sharing meals, and participating in cultural activities to foster intercultural understanding and friendship.
  4. Educational Activities:
    • Lectures and Workshops: Attend lectures and workshops led by local scholars, historians, and experts on Moroccan Jewish history, culture, and religious practices.
    • Traditional Crafts and Music: Learn about traditional Jewish crafts, such as henna art, calligraphy, or pottery, and enjoy traditional music performances that showcase the cultural richness of Moroccan Jewry.
  5. Exploration of Heritage Sites:
    • Mellahs: Explore the historic Jewish quarters or mellahs in cities like Marrakech, Fes, or Casablanca, which served as centers of Jewish life and culture throughout history.
    • Jewish Cemeteries: Visit Jewish cemeteries, including the famous "Jewish Cemetery of Fes," to pay respects to prominent figures and learn about burial customs and rituals.
The Jewish Morocco Study Seminar offers a transformative educational experience that promotes cultural understanding, appreciation, and dialogue. By engaging with the vibrant history and contemporary reality of Jewish communities in Morocco, participants will gain a deeper appreciation for the diversity and interconnectedness of the Jewish experience in the country.  
  • Essential Questions for Jewish Morocco Study Seminar:
  1. What is the historical significance of Jewish communities in Morocco, and how did they contribute to the country's cultural, economic, and social fabric?
  2. How did Jewish and Muslim communities in Morocco coexist throughout history, and what were the factors that fostered this coexistence?
  3. What are the key traditions, customs, and religious practices of Moroccan Jews, and how have they evolved over time?
  4. What are the major historical events and milestones in the history of Moroccan Jews, and how did they shape the Jewish experience in Morocco?
  5. What are the unique architectural features of Moroccan synagogues, and how do they reflect the cultural fusion between Jewish and Moroccan aesthetics?
  6. What role did Moroccan Jews play in the arts, music, and literature of the country, and how did their contributions enrich Moroccan culture?
  7. How have Moroccan Jews preserved their religious and cultural identity over generations, and what challenges have they faced in maintaining their heritage?
  8. How has the concept of "Mellah" (Jewish quarter) shaped Jewish communal life in Morocco, and what are the historical and cultural elements associated with these neighborhoods?
  9. How did the migration of Moroccan Jews to Israel and other countries impact both the Moroccan Jewish community and the broader Moroccan society?
  10. What initiatives and organizations are currently working to preserve and promote Moroccan Jewish heritage, and what are their goals and achievements?
  11. How does Moroccan Jewish cuisine reflect the blending of Jewish and Moroccan culinary traditions, and what are the symbolic meanings behind specific dishes?
  12. What are the contemporary challenges and opportunities facing Moroccan Jews today, and what efforts are being made to address them?
  • By exploring these essential questions, participants in the Jewish Morocco Study Seminar can develop a deeper understanding of the history, culture, and experiences of Moroccan Jews, fostering intercultural dialogue and appreciation for the rich tapestry of Jewish life in Morocco.


Coming SOON!


Resource Guide: Jewish Morocco

  1. "Jews of Morocco: Memories and Identities" by Emily Gottreich and Daniel J. Schroeter
  2. "The Jews of Morocco: A History and Guide" by Michel Abitbol
  3. "Moroccan Sephardic Romancero: Anthology of an Oral Tradition" by Margaret Jull Costa and Angel Garcia Prieto
  4. "The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa in Modern Times" edited by Reeva S. Simon, Michael Menachem Laskier, and Sara Reguer
Documentaries and Films:
  1. "Tinghir-Jerusalem: Echoes from the Mellah" (2012) - Directed by Kamal Hachkar
  2. "The Last Jews of Libya" (2007) - Directed by Vivienne Roumani-Denn
  3. "My Land" (2012) - Directed by Nabil Ayouch
  4. "Jews and Muslims: Intimate Strangers" (2013) - Directed by Karim Miské and Emmanuel Blanchard
Websites and Online Resources:
  1. Moroccan Jewish Museum: Provides information about the history, culture, and contributions of Moroccan Jews. (https://www.mjm.ma/)
  2. Jewish Virtual Library - Morocco: Offers an overview of the history, communities, and notable figures of Moroccan Jews. (https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/morocco)
  3. SephardicGen - Morocco: A resource for genealogical research on Moroccan Jewish ancestry. (http://www.sephardicgen.com/morocco.html)
  4. World Jewish Congress - Morocco: Provides news and updates on Jewish life and communal activities in Morocco. (https://www.worldjewishcongress.org/en/communities/morocco)
  1. American Sephardi Federation: Promotes the preservation and understanding of Sephardic Jewish heritage, including Moroccan Jewish culture. (https://www.sephardi.org/)
  2. Center for Jewish-Moroccan Culture: Preserves and promotes Moroccan Jewish culture through events, exhibitions, and educational programs. (http://www.culturejudaisme.ma/)
  3. Mimouna Association: Aims to preserve and promote Jewish-Moroccan traditions and heritage. (https://www.mimouna.ma/)
Museums and Cultural Institutions:
  1. Museum of Moroccan Judaism: Located in Casablanca, the museum showcases the history, artifacts, and traditions of Moroccan Jews. (http://www.mjm.ma/)
  2. Moroccan Jewish Museum of History and Culture: Situated in Fes, the museum presents exhibitions on Moroccan Jewish history and cultural contributions.
These resources provide a starting point for exploring the rich Jewish heritage in Morocco. They offer historical context, personal stories, cultural insights, and research materials to deepen understanding and appreciation of the diverse Jewish communities in the country.


Coming SOON!

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