Museum of Judaism: A forward-looking vision of an important tributary of national memory

The Museum of Moroccan Judaism in Casablanca was created more than two decades ago, reflecting the Moroccan exception par excellence in terms of the conservation of Jewish heritage, in the light of a forward-looking vision for the preservation of all the tributaries of the national memory.

Morocco, the only Arab-Islamic country to pay special attention to its Hebrew heritage, has constantly distinguished itself by its concern to establish a plural and inclusive national identity, which has earned it a reputation as an example in international forums when it comes to living together and national cohesion.

Over the years, this philosophy has been materialised by avant-garde initiatives and actions at regional and world level, such as the creation of the Museum of Judaism in 1997 -at the same time as the one in Paris-, at a time when geopolitical tensions and ideological conflicts were raging in the region.

The interest in this heritage will be consolidated by the 2011 Constitution, which has consecrated the Jewish tributary as one of those constituting the identity of the Kingdom of Morocco, giving greater scope to the initiatives undertaken by HM King Mohammed VI in order to promote the cultural and religious legacy of the Moroccan Jewish community wherever it is found and thus enrich the diversity of the Kingdom’s spiritual components.

The Museum, located in the Oasis district of Casablanca, contains some of the components of the local Moroccan Jewish heritage, including traditional clothing and jewellery, as well as wedding dresses from different regions of the Kingdom.

It also includes recordings of Jewish singers unknown to the public, alongside the main stars of this musical repertoire, such as Salim El Hilalli, Sami Al Maghribi, Zahra El Fasia and Maxime Karoutchi.

The museum’s collection includes a collection of documentaries and films on Moroccan Jews, several Moroccan calligraphies written in dialect but with Hebrew letters, in addition to documents and manuscripts of historical value.

In addition, the Museum also contains objects reflecting Jewish crafts related to bronze sculpture, textiles, ready-to-wear, wool combs, saddle embroidery, forging, carpentry, shoes, among others.

Created and managed by the Foundation for Jewish-Moroccan Cultural Heritage, the Museum exhibits several characteristics of the professional, family and religious life of Moroccan Jews.

In short, this structure is a natural extension of the great care given by Morocco and its Kings to the Moroccan Jewish component, in its various manifestations, but also a space for cultural, scientific and social interaction turned towards the future, and a symbol of cohabitation and tolerance that has marked the lives of Moroccans since antiquity.

As the only institution of its kind with a Muslim curator, in this case Mrs. Fatima Rahihel, the Museum is a symbol of the cohabitation and tolerance inherent to Moroccans of different faiths in mutual respect.

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