In an unprecedented initiative that confirms its tolerance, plurality and openness to different cultures and religions, Morocco has decided to integrate Jewish culture into the school curriculum from the early years of education. This is a step welcomed by members of the Jewish community in Morocco and in different corners of the world. It also adds to the historic milestone taken by the Kingdom in 2011, by recognizing the Hebrew component as a source of diversity of Moroccan culture.
Various facets of the Hebrew component and its history will be included in the school curriculum, particularly in the fifth and sixth grades. Such recognition is the result of an agreement between the Ministry of Education, the Center for Studies and Research on Hebrew Law and the Essaouira-Mogador Association for Diversity, Coexistence in Schools and Universities, for a renewable period of 3 years. The agreement includes the foundation, supervision and support of clubs for “tolerance and coexistence in diversity” in schools institutes. It also aims to strengthen school, cultural, scientific and research programs in order to enhance the cultural diversity of Morocco, the opening of institutes and research centers that support cultural projects that reinforce the values of tolerance, coexistence and diversity, and the launch of personal initiatives of talents and skills of children and youth in order to strengthen the components of cultural diversity of the country. In addition, pupils and students will be involved in national and international activities related to the topics of diversity and cultural exchange.
Indeed, the curriculum for the History and Geography subject in the sixth grade contains, in its new edition, sections on Jewish heritage and the history of Hebrew existence in the Kingdom. It even devotes a part to Bayt Dakira, a cultural and historical monument that aims to preserve the Moroccan Jewish memory, inaugurated by HM King Mohammed VI last year in Essaouira.
The curriculum also contains a lesson on the Jewish Museum of Casablanca, which opened in 1997 and is under the supervision of Zhor Rehihil, a Moroccan of Muslim faith, in addition to excerpts on Jewish traditions and customs, poetry and religious rituals.
The integration of Jewish history and the Hebrew component in the school curriculum has been supported by HM King Mohammed VI, in order to inform future generations of the existence of an important part of their history and to educate them on the values of tolerance of all religions. This includes Judaism, which has been present in the Kingdom for thousands of years. Several analysts have noted that this decision is a step of reconciliation that follows several other equally important initiatives, such as the restoration of Jewish temples.