Mimouna Association: A Jewish Nostalgia

The Mimouna Association, chaired by Mehdi Bodra, a graduate of Al Akhawayne University in Ifrane, was founded in 2007 by a group of students from the same university, with the main objective of bringing the younger generation to discover the Jewish community as an integral part of Moroccan culture, especially since most young people do not know much about it. They hardly get any feedback from their parents or grandparents, who lived with Moroccan Jews before the latter emigrated to Israel or other countries.

The association, which chose “Mimouna” as its name, in reference to the feast which Jews regularly celebrate in Morocco and the Maghreb, invites rabbis, historians, researchers and Jewish personalities to give lectures and talk about the similarities between Judaism and Islam, while highlighting the various aspects of the harmonious coexistence between Jews and Muslims in Moroccan society.

The Mimouna Association collaborated with many important institutions, including the Jewish Museum in Casablanca, which was presided over by the late Shimon Levy, and which played a major role in preserving the various manifestations of Jewish life in Morocco and its influence on its culture, before opening branches in Fez, Rabat, Marrakech and Essaouira.

Since its foundation, the association has issued a number of brochures and publications about the history of Moroccan Jews and their gastronomy, in addition to photos, videos, maps and musical recordings. The association has also distributed numerous films and documentaries on the same subject.

In 2011, the Mimouna association organized an international symposium on the Holocaust. This event, which received royal support, was reported by Moroccan and foreign media, including the New York Times, which praised “this initiative, the first of its kind in the Arab world”.

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