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Friends of Morocco
Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

Judaism in Morocco

   The Languishing Language of Morocco's Northern Coast A Story of Stews, Siestas, Social Clubs, Spanish Exiles and a 1,300Page Jaquetia Dictionary The Food Maven
By MATTHEW GOODMAN Like an archaeologist painstakingly mapping the contours of a ruined city, Alegria Bendelac spent 10 years of her life creating a dictionary for a language that is no longer spoken. Ms. Bendelac, a petite, energetic woman who looks much younger than her years, was born and raised in Tangier, Morocco. Her family was among the last few hundred Jews in a city in which some 10,000 once resided. As André Aciman wrote about his own family living in Egypt, they were "at the very tail end of those whom history shrugs aside when it changes its mind.".................

   Reimagining a World of Bittersweet Splendor Poignant Morocco Exhibit Portrays a Lost Realm of Intermingled Cultures
Rabat, Fez, Mogador, Tangier the very names of these cities evoke the play of light and shadow on white stucco in narrow alleyways, ancient wooden doors opening on exquisitely tiled courtyards. Merely allude to Morocco and the imagination conjures up a host of associations romantic and orientalist, literary and musical, sensory and culinary. If one could only bottle the rich essence of the setting and its cultures! Many have, in fact, tried and failed, but The Jewish Museum's exhibition "Morocco: Jews and Art in a Muslim Land," on view through February 11, 2001, succeeds brilliantly, allowing more than 180 spectacular objects their own space to breathe. Each artifact, be it sumptuous or humble, stands on its own as an art object, an ethnographic document or a relic of a culture, yet all come together to form a coherent picture of a larger society.

    Slaying of Jewish merchant shocks Muslim Morocco's small Jewish community
CASABLANCA, Morocco September 11, 2003
Two masked men killed a Jewish wood merchant Thursday at point blank range, the first time in memory that a Jewish citizen of this Muslim kingdom in North Africa has been gunned down, the official MAP news agency said. The motive for the killing of 55yearold Albert Rebibo was not known. However, it came as a blow to Jewish leaders here. Morocco's small but ancient Jewish community some 3,500 members was targeted in five nearly simultaneous suicide bombings on May 16 that killed 33 bystanders and a dozen bombers. No Jews were killed in the attacks. However, a Jewish social club, a restaurant run by a Jew and a Jewish cemetery were among the targets. "The Moroccan Jewish community has been hit on this anniversary date of Sept. 11," said Serge Berdugo, head of the Council of Israelite Communities of Morocco. He was referring to Thursday's second anniversary of the terror attacks in the United States. "I hope our community will have the needed wherewithal to overcome this challenge," Berdugo said. Police were searching for the two masked men who fired with a pistol at Rebibo as he was closing his shop about midday. The men were then surrounded by a crowd, but dispersed the gathering with shots in the air, police said. The suspects were then reported to have stolen a car to flee via the highway. Morocco and Israel have begun a process of normalization, marked by the Sept. 2 visit of Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom. Copyright 2003 Associated Press Associated Press

    More Alike Than Different: GW's Muslim and Jewish Students Share A Ceremonial Meal at Sundown
By John Carroll
As the floor to ceiling windows of the Marvin Center Ballroom framed a magnificent dusk slowly blanketing Foggy Bottom, a warm feeling of brotherhood and understanding emerged inside. Muslim and Jewish students filled the room to capacity to share in an Iftar, the ceremonial meal at sundown, breaking the daily Ramadan fast.

    After 500 years, Jews leaving Spanish enclaves near Morocco.
By Hillel Landes
MADRID, Oct. 6 (JTA) - Growing anti-Semitism and poor economic prospects are threatening to extinguish two Jewish communities on the North African coast......

    Passover in Morocco: A story of East meets West.
By Linda Morel NEW YORK, Feb. 26 (JTA)
"When most Americans think of Morocco, they envision Casablanca," says Dani Moyal, discussing the mix of Muslim and French cultures among Jews in her homeland.....

    On Morocco´s mountains, elderly Jew watches the shrine of his holy rebbe.
By Bryan Schwartz OURIKA VALLEY, Morocco, March 7 (JTA) -
Hananiyah Elfassie is the last Berber Jew in the Ourika Valley of Morocco´s High Atlas mountains, two hours by bus from Marrakech. He used to have visitors during Passover - pilgrims.......

    Crafting a legacy in Morocco: Jews, officials share same goal.
By Peter Ephross CASABLANCA, Morocco, March 24 (JTA)
On a recent sunny day outside the Jewish elementary school here, Boris Azran watches as his two oldest children join hundreds of others colorfully celebrating Purim festivities......

    The Curse of the Saint.
Author/s: Daniel J. Schroeter Issue: Spring, 2001 Published by the American Jewish Congress, July 02 2001
IN THE SUMMER OF 1997, OUR RESEARCH THREESOME reached the village of Tillit in the Dades Valley, on the southern side of the Moroccan Atlas Mountains. My group included Joseph Chetrit, an Israeli scholar of Moroccan origin from Haifa, and Abderrahmane Lakhsassi, a Moroccan Berber scholar from Casablanca. It was the first of four summers of fieldwork at sites in rural Morocco that Jews once inhabited.


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