Moroccan king attends historic synagogue inauguration in Casablanca


Rabbi Aharon Cohen, head of Casablanca’s Jewish community, in a sukkah on the holiday of Sukkot in the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Casablanca, Oct. 6, 2009. Credit: Abir Sultan/Flash 90.

( Morocco’s King Mohammed VI attended the inauguration of the historic Ettedgui Synagogue and the adjacent El Mellah Jewish Museum last week in Casablanca.

The ceremony to rededicate the synagogue museum is part of an effort by the Moroccan government to restore Casablanca’s Old Medina. A government grant of about $844,000 funded most of the restorations.

Serge Berugo, head of the Council of Moroccan Jewish Communities, told Maghreb Arab Presse that the restoration of the synagogue and the museum will include exhibits with paintings retracing the history of Judaism in Morocco and "will also preserve the authentic Moroccan identity."

“The synagogue and museum’s restoration display the King’s commitment to conserving spaces of cultural dialogue and coexistence,” Berugo added.

Morocco was once home to more than 250,000 Jews, many of whom immigrated to Israel in the mid-20th century. But recent efforts have been made by Morocco to protect its Jewish history and to encourage Jewish tourism.

Posted on December 20, 2016 .