Until today, the only sign of Casablanca’s Jewish community I saw was this;
I don’t think this building is used any more. Like the first synagogue I saw in Tangier, there are no symbols of anything to show the Jewish faith, just a temple looking place which looked all locked up.
There is actually 17 synagogues in Casa, apparently there is just one that is still active. Had to walk about an hour and 15 mins to the other side of town to the Jewish museum.
Its very quiet here, there are no other visitors apart from me.
Nicely looked after artifacts, Torah scrolls, lamps, clothing
I think this museum is run by the Moroccan government as they are keen on preserving history including non-Islamic cultures. This is fairly unusual in a lot of Muslim countries. The lady who took my money and asked for a tip was a religious Muslim who was friendly and kept the place immaculately clean and offered to take pictures of me.
There is no mention of the Shoah (Holocaust) I don’t know if any Jews fled to North Africa from Europe. There is no real mention of Israel, Jerusalem, Zionism or antisemitism. There is no mention why Jews have left Morocco. There seems to be very few left.
What I did learn is this community have had a few tragedies, a typhoid break killed thousands. Many of the Jews left in 1956 when Morocco came independent. Later, I read online there were multiple suicide bombings in Casablanca in 2003, the same time as the intifada in Israel. Still, I think Jews in this country have been treated better than much of the rest of the Islamic world.
There has been a problem with Jizya – this is the Arab name for a term for a unfair tax paid by non-Muslims, this happens other parts of the Arab world.
Check out this blog for music and historical culture of Moroccan Jews http://jewishmorocco.blogspot.co.uk/
I’ll explain more of the Jewish history of Morocco by the time I get to Fez.
Previous 15. Islamic toilets
Next 17. Scooter shops