Traveling to a Morocco Jewish Tour, you encounter a fascinating culture that reflects both European as well as North African influences and traditions.
The image of Casablanca, the colours of Fez, Mosques, palaces and ancient markets function as an exciting contrast to the beauty of the Atlas and therefore the vast expanse of the Sahara Desert.
During your Morocco Jewish tour, you will meet the history and traditions of the Moroccan Jewish community, representing the splendor of the Sephardic Jewish community.
Your Morocco Jewish tour with an expert guide will allow you to travel carefree at your own pace, as you discover new sounds, tastes, and scents of this exotic land! …
When you go on a Morocco Jewish tour which is a part of the private programs organized by Moroccan guides, you will be undertaking a journey that will take you from vast urban centers such as Casablanca and Fez, to the most holy places like Moulay Idriss which is a small whitewashed town which was the site of the first Arab dynasty in the region in 787 AD.
You will travel through the forests and the Berber villages of the Middle Atlas as part of your Morocco Jewish tour.. Your private Morocco tour, billed as a Morocco Jewish tour, will take you to the most wonderful Jewish heritage sites
During your Morocco Jewish tour you will get to visit many places in Morocco and also travel to Marrakech which remains a city steeped in Jewish history. No Jewish visit to Morocco is complete without a visit to this legendary city …
The Moroccan Jewish community is the largest in the Arab world. Although the majority of Jews have emigrated to Israel over the past few centuries, traces of a strong Jewish presence are found in almost every city in Morocco that we will visit in our Morocco Jewish tour. These historical testimonies are found in inscriptions in Hebrew dating from Roman times, in Andalusian influences of architecture – in particular in Fez – brought to Morocco by the thousands of Jews who fled Spain in 1492, but also in the city Mellahs (former Jewish quarters), synagogues and Jewish schools. Another exception from Morocco: rabbinical courts are known to be competent to deal with any matter relating to the personal status of Moroccan Jews.
If you are interested in discovering the Moroccan Jewish heritage, we offer several organized and private Morocco Jewish tours , with a specialized and experienced guide, depending on the duration, the desired places, and the budget.
And now lets discover the most beautifu synagogues in Morocco to visit in your Morocco Jewish tour.
The 10 most beautiful synagogues in Morocco
Morocco, the mythical land of welcome for the Jews, today naturally has many synagogues. Some are still in good condition, others less, but all have unique architectures. Here is our ranking of the 10 most beautiful synagogues to see in your Morocco Jewish tour, which make up the richness of the Judeo-Moroccan heritage.
- Beth El Temple, Casablanca
Of the thirty or so synagogues in Casablanca today, this is without a doubt the most beautiful to see in your Morocco Jewish tour. Beth El or “Beit-El”, also called the Algerian Temple, is also the city’s best-known place of worship. This is also where most of the happy events in the local Jewish community are celebrated. With its colored windows, its giant chandeliers and its unique architecture, made of white and golden plaster, it attracts the curiosity of tourists every year.
- Slat Alfassiyine, Fez
It is the oldest synagogue in Fez to see during your Morocco Jewish tour. After two years of restoration, Slat El Fassiyine, which dates back to the 17th century, reopened in February 2013 in the heart of the famous El Mellah district. Today, it has nothing to envy to other synagogues on the planet.
- Moshe Nahon Synagogue, Tangier
“There is a very beautiful synagogue in Tangier built around 1860. The Nahon synagogue in need of renovation”, explained the Franco-Moroccan writer Jacob Cohen, in the summary of his book “A bridge over the Detroit“. He was not wrong. The Moshe Nahon synagogue is indeed one of the most admirable in Morocco to see during your Morocco Jewish tour. Jaime Pinto, an architect born in Montreal to Tangier Jewish parents, was recently called to renovate it.
- In Habbalim, Séfrou
The town of Sefrou, some 23 kilometers from Fez, also has a very beautiful synagogue. Its construction date is, however, unknown, but worth visiting during your Morocco Jewish tour.
- Slat Al Azama, Marrakech
It would have been built in 1492 by Jews expelled from Spain. The Salat Al Azama synagogue, located in the mellah of Marrakech, is considered one of the most beautiful in Morocco to see during your Morocco Jewish tour, but especially the oldest in the world. It is “integrated into a set of buildings organized around a large central courtyard” and has a Yeshiva, a center for the study of Torah and Talmud.
- The Simon Attias synagogue, Essaouira
Among the many synagogues in Essaouira, that of Simon Attias is the most representative of Jewish worship in the city. It would also be the second-largest synagogue in the kingdom to see during your Morocco Jewish tour. Built towards the end of the 19th century, by a local Jewish merchant who gave it its name, it is today in a state of total disrepair. A restoration project, supported by the Judeo-Moroccan Cultural Heritage Foundation and the German government, however, exists.
- The Aben Danan synagogue, Fez
In The Morocco Jewish tour you will discover this 17th-century synagogue in Fez is said to have been built by Mimoun Ben Sidan, a wealthy merchant from Ait Ishaq. Its last restoration dates back to 1999. Today it is considered one of the most precious jewels of Moroccan Judaism.
- Ishtaq Ben Oualid, Tétouan
in this Morocco Jewish tour you will visit Tétouan, in the north of Morocco, also has many synagogues. Among them, that of Ishtaq Ben Oualid, located in the town’s mellah, built-in 1889. His name corresponds to that of the former Chief Rabbi of Tetouan, who died 23 years earlier. Its architecture is directly imbued with the Andalusian style.
- The Great Rabbi Chalom Zaoui Synagogue, Rabat
With the Talmud Torah synagogue school located on Henri Popp street, it would be the last Jewish place of worship to remain in Rabat today. The Rabbi Chalom Zaoui Synagogue, also located at the mellah, is indeed considered to be the most famous in the capital, which once housed nearly 25,000 Jews. It is not known, however, whether prayers are still celebrated there. but it is a place that worth visiting during your Morocco Jewish tour.
- The synagogue of El Jadida
Located near the bastion of San Sebastian, the El Jadida synagogue is currently in ruins. Abandoned for years, the building can, however, count on its original facade, on which is drawn a Star of David, to attract the eyes of the most curious tourists a place to see during your Morocco Jewish tour.
Juifs heritage to visit during your Morocco Jewish tour:
- Founded in 1997 in Casablanca, the Museum of Moroccan Judaism is the only one of its kind in the Arab world. Exceptional, historical and cultural, this museum is worth to visit during your Morocco Jewish tour. Housed in an elegant villa built-in 1948 in the Oasis district of Casablanca, the Museum of Moroccan Judaism is a special place. “It is the only Jewish museum in the Arab world” declared its curator Zhor Rhihil before explaining “The objective of the museum is to preserve the Moroccan heritage in its entirety”. Spread over an area of 600 square meters, the Museum of Moroccan Judaism presents various objects such as oil lamps, costumes, photos, jewelry, paintings … all from crafts and Judeo art Moroccan. The ethnographic museum also consists of a library, a photo library, a video library and several multipurpose rooms where exhibitions are organized. Two rooms of the villa are also dedicated to the presentation of the synagogues.
- Probably born around 1839 and deceased, according to his great-great-grandson, Roland Benzaken, around 1918 at the age of 79, Rabbi Chalom Zaoui is considered a symbol of the Jewish community in Rabat. Although it is difficult to trace his biography, he was a respected and revered Rabbi by his community, according to the accounts. During his life, Rabbi Chalom Zaoui managed a synagogue which today bears his name, just like a street in the capital’s Mellah. The former home of this tasdik, the place of worship today testifies, alongside the capital’s Mellah, to a special period of the Moroccan Jewish community which your should see during your Morocco Jewish tour.
Jewish pilgrimages to see during your Morocco Jewish tour.
- The place that attracts the most pilgrims is certainly the sanctuary of Amrane Ben Diouane. This saint has rested for 250 years in a Jewish cemetery, planted in the middle of an olive grove on the heights of Ouazzane. To enter the sanctuary and take part in 5 days of festivities, you must show your white leg. Only Moroccans with a permit issued by the Jewish community are allowed inside.
- Despite the heat, the pilgrims, sing, pray share and are happy to be at the grave of their ancestors. Another major pilgrimage site to visit in your Morocco Jewish tour, the Hiloula, is Essaouira with the sanctuary of Rabbi Haim Pinto Ztasal, where the fervor of the pilgrim is expressed in songs and chants. It was therefore with the fervor that Moroccan Jews came to honor their ancestors. They do not forget to pray for peace, as all the rabbis and pilgrims interviewed reminded. Finally, on Sunday, after 5 days of hiloula, the Jewish solidarity community took the opportunity to raise funds through an auction of candles, to maintain and renovate the 1,200 tombs of Moroccan saints. The history that this heritage, this testimony of peaceful coexistence, remains alive and well.
- Seventeen kilometers from the town of Settat, a mountain called Dad hosted built a stone decorated with a camel, in addition to the sanctuary of Rabbi Abraham Awriwer, also known as Mwalin Dad. A name in honor of the exceptional geography on which it is buried, a wonderful place to visit during your Morocco Jewish tour.
Hiloula in memory of Rabbi Haïm Pinto
Every year, at the end of summer, the Moussem (= religious celebration) in memory of Rabbi Haïm Pinto, which brings together thousands of Jewish families who came to meditate on the tomb of the Rabbi of Essaouira, in the city’s Jewish cemetery that you will visit during your Morocco Jewish tour.
Born in the city of Agadir in 1749, Rabbi Haïm Pinto grew up and lived in Essaouira, which was already a multicultural city where all religions coexisted. In the Mellah district, the Rabbi built a synagogue in which he shared the teachings of the Torah and perpetuated Jewish traditions and beliefs in Essaouira.
This synagogue still exists. Located in the Mellah district of Essaouira (the old Jewish quarter), you can get there by taking the Bab Doukkala gate and going up towards the north of the ramparts. Two synagogues are today to visit in Essaouira in your Morocco Jewish tour. They have been recently renovated and are jewels of the historic heritage of Essaouira.
If every year, on the anniversary of the Rabbi’s death, faithful from all over the world come to meditate on his tomb in Essaouira, it is because of Haim Pinto granted miracles. The Hiloula (religious holiday) in September is also a way to remember the place of the Jewish community in the history of Essaouira and its involvement in the evolution of the city over the centuries a ceremony you should see during your Morocco Jewish tour.
During these 4 days of ceremony in memory of Saint Chaim Pinto, organized in collaboration with the city authorities, the Jews who came on a pilgrimage to Essaouira in the Morocco Jewish tour live moments of meditation and spirituality. This religious gathering in the blue city is an opportunity to recall universal values such as peace, tolerance, coexistence and peaceful coexistence between peoples regardless of their beliefs.