MOROCCO’S JEWISH HERITAGE
The Jews have occupied a legitimate place in the history of Morocco, so the Jewish heritage is strongly preserved and respected.
This heritage reflects the harmony of living together, the conviviality and harmony that has always reigned between Jews and Muslims in Morocco. So much so that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the two cultures.
Through its historical sites, synagogues, mellahs, cultural and artistic expressions, the Jewish-Moroccan heritage bears witness to a common and multi-secular history, and passes on to new generations a heritage of inestimable value.
Day 1: Arrival in Casablanca
Arrival at Casablanca airport. Welcome and private transfer to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Casablanca -Rabat :
After breakfast, departure for the visit of the economic capital of Morocco: the central market located in the art-deco district of the city. Continue to the Museum of Moroccan Judaism in Casablanca, a private museum of history and ethnography. Created by the Jewish Community of Casablanca on 1977, it is equipped with international safety and conservation standards to house national and international collections. The Museum is intended to collect and exhibit any religious, ethnographic or artistic object that may evoke the history, religion, traditions or daily life of the Jews in the context of Moroccan civilization.
Optional lunch, then departure to Rabat. Installation at your hotel before leaving for the city tour: the Royal Palace (the Mechouar), the Kasbah of Oudaya, the Mausoleum Mohamed V, the Hassan Tower and the Jewish quarter with its narrow streets and colourful courtyards, the nearby Mellah has a beautiful synagogue just inside its gates, while the main synagogue is a few blocks away in the new city.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 3 : Rabat - Meknes - Fez
Departure for Meknes and visit of the capital of the king Moulay Ismail, famous for its 40 kms of ramparts. Visit of Bab Mansour, the royal stables and the Jewish quarter, where the Jewish presence is attested by Hebrew epitaphs dating from the Christian era as well as by Greek inscriptions that still appear in the local synagogues. You may wish to visit the aging Talmud Torah in the Jewish Quarter and the new Mellah. Visit the tomb of Rabbi David Benmidan, who was the "Patron of Meknes", his tomb is another place of pilgrimage. In the new Mellah there are 11 synagogues, eight of them are still in use today.
Continue towards Fez, through the Roman city of Volubilis and the sacred village of Moulay Idriss. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 4 : Fez
The day is dedicated to the visit of this UNESCO heritage city. The visit of Fez includes the medieval medina and the Medersas Attarine and Bou Anania, the Nejjarine fountain, the mausoleum of Moulay Idriss and the Karaouine mosque.
The highlights of the visit are the Mellah and all its synagogues, not far from the Royal Palace where the Jews took refuge during the pogrom of 1912. The nearby cemetery contains the graves of more Jewish saints than any other cemetery in Morocco. One of the most important saints is Lalla Solica.
Roben Ben Sadou's synagogue, built in the 1920s, is decorated with exquisite plaster sculptures reminiscent of the decoration of traditional mosques and medersas. You will also visit the recently restored Iben Danan Synagogue.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 5: Fez - Beni Mellal - Marrakech :
Departure for Marrakech through the Middle Atlas Mountains and the Berber villages of Ifrane and Azrou. Free time for lunch and relaxation in Beni Mellal, an important agricultural center in Morocco. Arrival in Marrakech in the late afternoon. Arrival at the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Marrakech.
Day 6: Marrakech
Meeting with your guide and driver and transfer for the discovery of the must-see sites of Marrakech in the company of a certified guide of the red city. Your tour will include: "The Secret Garden", part of the great tradition of Arab-Andalusian and Moroccan palaces, The Jewish quarter (Mellah), home to the ancient and present day synagogues of Mellah, near which we will also find an original Jewish cemetery, several centuries old.
Then, visit the Bahia Palace with its magnificent ceilings and patios, the tinsmiths' square. Lunch in a restaurant in the medina.
After lunch, continuation of the visit of the city including the minaret of the Koutoubia and the mosque outside, the medina and the souks. You will end this city tour on the famous Jamaa El Fna square, part of the UNESCO heritage.
Day 7: Marrakech - Essaouira :
Departure to Essaouira - a coastal town (about 3 hours drive from Marrakech) which offers an excellent opportunity to relax on the beach. The medina of Essaouira is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, combining history and culture with modern cafes and restaurants. Essaouira has a long promenade with a large sandy beach. This is the ideal opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the cooler climate of the coastal town of Essaouira.
Visit the Synagogue and the Mellah: Jewish quarter.
The city of Essaouira was the place of residence of Rabbi Haïm Pinto Ha-Gadol (the great in Hebrew), born in Agadir on 1794, who spent a good part of his life in Essaouira. His tomb is considered today as a major place of pilgrimage. During his life he was known as a wise man and a miracle worker, he held the office of head of the Rabbinical Court of Mogador and the surrounding area for more than 70 years!
Night in Essaouira.
DAY 8: Essaouira - Casablanca
Morning free for individual exploration of the city, then transfer to Casablanca.
Night at the hotel
DAY 9: Casablanca / Flight Departure.
Departure transfer to the airport.