Increase in Israeli visitors prompts restoration of synagogues and Jewish institutions in Morocco

The newspaper “La Croix”, affiliated with the “Congregation of Religions”, shed light on the reform of Jewish institutions in Morocco to accommodate an increasing number of visitors, especially after the normalization of relations between the Kingdom and Israel.

The newspaper said that the Jewish community in Morocco is the largest in the Arab world, with 3,000 members; Its outdated institutions must be reformed, especially to accommodate Moroccan Jews abroad, while Morocco and Israel have achieved an amazing rapprochement.

In this context, Abdelwahab Rafiki, a researcher of the Islamic religion, said that the development that occurred is due “to the development that occurred in diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel.”

Rafiki added, speaking to Hespress, that “even before these developments, Morocco was protecting these temples, guaranteeing their security and facilitating the establishment of rituals in them,” noting that “despite the absence of direct relations and airlines before, a series of delegations arrived in Morocco to perform religious rites”.

The same spokesman stated that the evolution that has taken place “is natural, since Morocco has known coexistence and tolerance between religious sects throughout history, without forgetting that it was considered a refuge for the Jewish community, when it was exposed to crisis and calamities in other countries.”

The same researcher also pointed out that it is a “continuous historical process”, stating that “the linking of relations between Morocco and Israel resulted in the intensification and acceleration of these activities, especially with the launch of direct airlines and the development of relations at different levels, not only at the political level, but also culturally”.

The newspaper said the Moroccan government announced, on June 13, the reform of Jewish institutions in the country, some of which were established at the time of the French protectorate, and have not been reformed since 1945.

“It is clear that it no longer responds to the needs of society: a change was necessary,” said Jacky Kadosh, leader of the Jewish community in Marrakech-Essaouira.

Until the end of the 1940s, some 250,000 Jews lived in Morocco, but the vast majority left the country for Israel, France or Canada. Today there are about 3,000 Jews living in the kingdom; They remain the largest community in the Arab world, headed by the Council of Jewish Communities in Morocco, which has a representative role and deals with issues of worship and social assistance.