Jewish Heritage Morocco Tour 14 days

Day 1:Arrival Transfer – Casablanca

Arrive at the Mohammed V airport in Casablanca. Casablanca, Morocco’s economic hub, is the focus of this orientation tour. We’ll go to the Habbous areaCasablanca’s Habous Quarter, otherwise known as New Medina, is an area of the city built in the 1930s by the French, so it is no surprise that it features a wonderful mix of French and Moroccan inspired architecture, complete with numerous things to see and do. Read on to discover the area’s most unmissable sights and activities. the United Nations Square, the Royal Palace’s exterior, and the Hassan II mosque’s interior, which is one of the Islamic world’s most beautiful and impressive structures. Casablanca is home to Morocco’s largest Jewish community, with multiple synagogues, active communal institutions, and a plethora of highly regarded kosher restaurants. Visit the Mellah (Jewish Quarter), which includes the Beth-El, Em Habanim, and Neve Shalom temples and synagogues.

Day 2: Casablanca – Rabat

After breakfast at the hotel, we head to the famed Hassan II Mosque to begin our tour. The Jewish community contributed to the construction of this mosque, which was inaugurated in 1994, and it is the largest in the world outside of Mecca (the only mosque that non-Muslims can attend). Then we’ll head to the Mellah (Jewish Quarter), where we’ll see temples and synagogues like Beth-El, the city’s largest synagogue and a major community center with seating for 500 people. The mullah’s Jewish cemetery is open and peaceful, with well-maintained white stone markers in French, Hebrew, and Spanish. We will visit the Casablanca Museum of Moroccan Judaism after lunch at a local Casher Restaurant (or a seafood restaurant). It displays religious, anthropological, and artistic artifacts that depict the history, faith, traditions, and daily lives of Jews in Morocco. Depart for Rabat and then on to Sale, Rabat’s twin city and the birthplace of Rabbi Hayyim Ben Moses Attar, the famed 18th century scholar and cabbalist, known throughout the Jewish world for his bible commentary, the “Or Ha-Hayyim,” the famous rabbi, Raphael Encaoua is buried in the Sale cemetery, Return to Rabat for dinner and a hotel stay the next night.

Day 3: Rabat – Tangier

Following breakfast. The incomplete Tour Hassan Mosque in Rabat is the counterpart of Marrakech’s Koutoubia Mosque and Seville’s Giralda Cathedral, both of which were built by the Almohad Dynasty, the persecutors of the Jewish people in the twelfth and twelfth centuries. The Mausoleum of King Mohammed V, which is adjacent to the Tour Hassan, has become a pilgrimage spot for Jews who remember his attempts to defend them from the French Vichy Government’s anti-Semitic policies. The Jewish district, with its tiny streets and colorful courtyards, will be our next stop. The nearby mellah has a lovely synagogue right inside its gates, while the major synagogue is a few steps away.Then we’ll go to the Kasbah des Oudaias, which is located on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and offers spectacular views. Departure for Tangier Larache and Asilah after lunch in a restaurant of your choice (suggestions will be offered). Arrival in Tangier, Morocco. Tour of the city’s sights. The “Rue des Synagogues,” which is a prime example of a compact unit of immense cultural importance, is well worth seeing. This world-famous thoroughfare is lined with places of worship. Some of the synagogues along this twisting, narrow route have closed their doors to the public. Temple Benatar, one of them, has been renovated and is beautifully adornedThe American Legation Museum, housed in the oldest continuously operating American embassy, is nearby. The old Jewish cemetery in Tangier, with some anthropomorphically formed tombstones, and the “Oued lihoud,” the bay where Jewish exiles from Spain landed, are two more areas of interest. At the hotel for dinner and the night.

Day 4: Tangier – Tetouan – Chefchaouen

Departure for Tetouan, city sightseeing tour: Tetouan’s Jewish community, which dates back to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, has long been the intellectual and religious heart of Morocco’s north. A well-kept mellah erected in the classic Andalusian architecture in 1808 houses more than half of the more than 500 Jews (7500 in 1950). Apart from the modern Mellah of Meknes, which was built more than a century later, the Tetouan Mellah is the only one that still accommodates a majority of the local population, who firmly maintain their Judeo-Spanish language, traditions, and ritualsAnother historical landmark of great interest is the city’s large and well-preserved cemetery, particularly the Castilian section, which is the burial ground for the city’s earliest settlers from Spain, and whose unusual anthropomorphically shaped and inscriptionless tombstones have provided material for a number of scholarly articles. There are three operating Synagogues in the Mellah, all of which are tourist attractions. The Synagogue Rabbi Isaac Ben Oualid, located on the bottom floor of the Rabbi’s home, is the most old and has the most attractive interior, as well as many legends surrounding it. The first Alliance Israelite Universelle School was founded in Tetouan in 1862, when Morocco reclaimed control of the city from the Spanish. Isaac Benoualide is a famous saint… Then proceed to Chaouen. At the hotel for dinner and the night.

Day 5:Chefchaouen – Ouazzane – Meknes – Fez

Breakfast at the hotel, followed by a visit to Chefchaouen before continuing on to Ouazzane, where you will see the sanctuary of Rabbi Amram Ben Diwan, a Jewish saint revered by both Muslims and Jews. His Hiloulah is the largest Jewish pilgrimage gathering in Morocco. It takes place in Ouezzane, amid the Rif Mountains’ foothills. After lunch, depart for Meknes, “the Moroccan Versailles,” founded by Moulay Ismail at the end of the 17th century, where the Jewish presence is evidenced by Hebraic epitaphs dating from the Christian era, as well as Greek inscriptions that can still be found in local Synagogues, and a place of pilgrimage where the tomb of Rabbi’ David Benmidan, “The Patron of the Jews,” can be found. Sightseeing trip of the city after lunch at a restaurant of your choice (recommendations will be offered). Meknes, which had 18.000 Jews in 1950, presently has a Jewish population of only 1000 people. Not to be missed during your visit: the busy old Mellah is particularly interesting because of the sense of past life it conveys through the traditional Jewish names that many of the streets have kept. The new Mellah is known for its many Jewish-named streets. Eight of the city’s eleven synagogues are still in use. Two of them are immaculately kept, with big, artistically constructed memorial oil lamps dimly lighting their interiors. We carry on to Fez through Volubilis, a well-preserved Roman city where researchers discovered the first evidence of Jewish settlement in Morocco. Then a quick visit to the Mausoleum of Idriss I, the founder of Morocco’s first Arab Dynasty. Hotel arrival, check-in, dinner, and overnight stay.

Day 6: Fez sightseeing city

 

The morning walk in Medina Tour will be followed by a full day of touring in Fez, Morocco’s oldest cultural and spiritual imperial city, which was founded in 790 B.C. by Moulay Idriss II. The mellah, with its synagogues (Rabbi Shlomo Ibn Danan Synagogue, Roben Ben Sadoun, the Jewish Museum of the Em Habanim Synagogue), will be followed by a visit to the Jewish cemetery, which has the tombs of more Jewish saints than any other cemetery in Morocco, including Yehuda Ben Attar, Abner Ha-Serfati, Solika Hatchuel, Monsenego… We’ll also go to Maimonides’ house, which has a fascinating water clock. From 1159 until 1165, Maimonides lived in Jerusalem.He fled the Almohad dynasty’s persecutions by emigrating to avoid forced conversion. Lunch at a nearby eatery. In the afternoon, we’ll see Medieval Medina, the Medersas, the El Qaraouiyyin Mosque, the mausoleum of Moulay Idriss II, the ninth-century founder of Fez who invited Jews to settle in Fez, and the exquisite Nejjarine fountain. Then we’ll go to the Arabian House to see how diverse craftsmen employ ancient techniques to conduct their work. Optional travel to Bhalil, including the Safrou Cemetery, which is home to Rabbi Lahou Harroch and Rabbi Raphael Moshe Elbaz. Staying at the hotel for dinner and the night.

Day 7: Fez – Midelt – Errachidia – Merzouga

 

Departure in the morning towards Merzouga Desert via Azrou, Ifrane, Midelt, Errachidia, and Ziz Valley… We’ll stop along the road to see the Jewish sites at Errachidia, which is encircled by dozens of ksour, or fortified settlements, where Jews and Berber tribes coexisted for centuries. The journey continues to Erfoud. From the seventh century, this town was the Tafilalet’s principal Jewish population center, where Jews resided and funded the caravan trade with Sub-Saharan Africa. Even in the twentieth century, Jews worked as merchants and artisans. The Jewish cemetery will be a highlight; it is sandy but otherwise well-preserved…We get out of the van and into the Land Rover, driving through Merzouga to lie down in the sun in the Erg Chebbi dunes, which are the corner’s main attraction. It’s a real moving sculpture in the shape of curtains, with colors that change depending on how bright the light is. They serve as living defence walls at the desert’s entrances, with the tallest reaching 150 meters… Dinner with the Berbers and a night in a nomadic tent.

Day 8: Merzouga – Erfoud- Tinghir – Rose Valley – Ouarzazate

 

Return to Erfoud for an orientation trip and then on to the Todra Gorges, which are noted for its spectacular naked escarpments, after witnessing a magical sunrise in the Sahara desert. The spectacular Todra Gorges are only 10 kilometers from Tinghir, at the end of a valley packed with palm groves and Berber communities. The gorge, which separates the High Atlas from the Jbel Saghro by a major fracture in the plateau and a crystal-clear river, climbs to 300 meters at its narrowest point. Upon arrival in Tineghir, we will tour the Mellah gateway as well as the city’s historic and vibrant Jewish district. Tinghir is said to feature one of Morocco’s oldest Jewish cemetery.Departure to Ouarzazate via El Kelaa des M’Gouna, with an optional stop to Tiliit (5 kilometers from El Kelaa des M’Gouna), also known as the Ancient City of the Dades Jews. From the end of the fourteenth century until the reign of Moulay Ismail in 1672, the castle of Tiliit was the heart of a Jewish territory governed by the Spanish-Jewish dynasty of Perez. A truly fascinating day, with only one valley to explore: the most beautiful valley in all of Morocco’s south, with cultivated mountains and a people that is always smiling, followed by the Dades Throats, Valley of Roses, Valley of the 1001 Kasbahs, Skoura, and Ouarzazate. Staying at the hotel for dinner and the night.

Day 9: Ouarzazate – Ait Ben Haddou – Marrakech

 

Breakfast at the hotel, tour to the Kasbahs of Taourirt and Tifoultout, Glaoui’s old dwellings (The former Pacha of Marrakesh), Then there’s a special excursion to the Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, which is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This walled hamlet, strewn with notched towers and adorned with lozenge-shaped motifs, is widely regarded as one of the country’s most magnificent. Hundreds of films have been made in this setting: The Nile Diamond, Lawrence of Arabia, The Mommy, Gladiator, Seven Days in Tebet, Babel… Departure for Marrakesh in the afternoon via the Tiz-in-Tichka pass (2260m) and Taddert. Optional trip to Rabbi David Oumouchy’s home. Optional: visit to David Lachkar, a Jewish saint (or Moulay Ighi). On our route to Marrakesh, we’ll stop by the shrine of Rabbi Habibi Mizrahi, a Jewish saint. Hotel check-in, dinner, and overnight stay.

Day 10: Marrakech City Tour

 

Enjoy a glimpse into the world of Jewish Marrakesh on the Jewish Heritage Tour. We will visit the Mellah and its synagogues, including the Negidim synagogue, which was built at the end of the 19th century, and the Salat el Alzama synagogue, which was built at the turn of the century, according to local legend, the synagogue was built during the Second Temple period by Jews who had never lived in Eretz-Israel and had not witnessed the Temple’s destruction… Then there’s the cemetery, which contains the graves of Rabbi Hanania Ha-Cohen, the Lion of Marrakesh, and Rabbi Pinhas Cohen. Then it’s on to the Palais el Bahia, where we’ll be taken on a guided tour of the vast rooms, gardens, and harem area…Our journey takes us to the eleventh-century Almoravide Koubba el Baroudiyn after lunch at a local Casher Restaurant in the mellah. It is one of the rare architectural relics of the dynasty that ruled over the Jewish “Golden Age” in Andalusia and Morocco. The Medersa Ben Yusuf, El Badi Palace, and Saadian tombs are stunning examples of 16th century Saadian art and architecture. The Saadians relied significantly on Jewish traders from Sub-Saharan Africa, especially Moroccan-controlled Timbuktu, to fund their campaigns against Portugal and the Turkish Empire. We depart for the amazing Chez Ali Fantasia after spending time enjoying the Djemâa’s sights and noises. Dinner/show Chez Ali is certainly a 1001 Nights’ experience and a perfect end to any trip in Marrakech. Staying in the hotel for the night.

Day 11: Day trip to Ourika- High Atlas Mountains

 

Departure for the High Atlas Mountains, where you will visit the Berber village of Ourika and get a taste of Berber culture by drinking tea with a Berber family… The road via Vallée d’Ourika is almost halfway completed. The tomb of tzaddik Rabbi Shlomo bel Hansh is located in Aghbalou, and it is a historic Berber Jewish sanctuary and synagogue. One of Morocco’s most important pilgrimages takes place at this grave… Optional: take a one- or two-hour climb up to a waterfall… Staying in the hotel for the night.

Day 12: Marrakesh– Essaouira (Mogador)

 

Departure in the morning for Essaouira, a Portuguese Mogador stronghold. The picturesque beauty of Essaouira drew music luminaries Jimmy Hendrix and the Rolling Stones in the 1960s, and it continues to entice musicians and artists alike to the glittering whitewashed fishing village trimmed with the brilliant azure of its skies… The Alaouite Sultan Mohamed Ben Abdallah tasked some notable Jewish families in the 18th century with promoting foreign trade from the port of Essaouira. Lunch at a fish restaurant in the area. The mellah of Essaouira comprises more than 10% of the city, while Jews made up about 40% of the population in the late 1880s. The number of Jewish stars on the mellah’s doors demonstrates how widely Jews were tolerated in Essaouira, to the extent where some of the city’s wealthier Jews didn’t even live there. Buildings where synagogues once stood are commemorated by plaques. Former Essaouira residents, the most of whom were Jewish, formed a committee to help the town reconstruct. Just outside the city gates lies a well-kept Jewish cemetery. “Slat Rabbi Ham Pinto” and “Slat Attias,” two historic synagogues, should be refurbished soon. The hotel is where we’ll be having dinner and spending the night.

Day 13: Essaouira – Safi – El Jadida (Mazagan) – Casablanca

 

After breakfast, drive to Casablanca along the scenic coastline road. Jews were active in business and handicrafts in the ports of Safi and El Jadida. Stop in Safi to see the Mellah, the shrine of Oulad Ben Zmirou, and the Portuguese fortress, which are all located in the northern portion of the medina. Then on to Oualidia for a fish meal at a small restaurant with a spectacular view of the bay. El Jadida is the next stop. The Portuguese castle of El Jadida, built in the 18th century, later became the Jewish district… The journey to Casablanca is now complete. The hotel is where we’ll be having dinner and spending the night.

Day 14: Departure Transfert – Casablanca

Depending on whether your flight departs from Casablanca or Marrakech. Your incredible 14-day Jewish Heritage Tour of Morocco has come to an end. Assist with check-in and boarding procedures. Our services have come to an end.

INCLUDES

Accommodations in the category of hotel chosen

English-speaking driver

Buffet breakfast

Tips at the hotels

Guided city tours and monument fees

Porterage of luggage

Private car

Taxes and service charges

EXCLUDES

All Flights

Any other items which is not mentioned above

Airport taxes, fees & Sep 11th security fee

Tips to the tour guide & driver

Drinks & meals not mentioned in the itinerary

Personal Expenses

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