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Visiting Morocco

Jewish Heritage Trip in Morocco (9 Days)

Discover_the_jewish_heritage_in_morocco

The first organized religion in Morocco came 3000 years ago.  The Berber indigenous embraced Judaism and the two communities have lived side-by-side since the first Jewish settlers arrived in Morocco. They have coexisted as two communities within Morocco, sharing a cultural background as the greater "Moroccan" people, yet differing in their religious beliefs. Because of the openness that each community had towards the other, Morocco has become a unique place for Jewish heritage, culture and history. Join us to explore a society rooted in Jewish rituals and beliefs!  

 

 

Day 1: New York / Casablanca
Depart in the evening from JFK to Casablanca (6-1/2 hr flight). 

Day 2: Casablanca
You are scheduled to arrive at 7:10 AM at Mohamed V airport in Casablanca. Your host guide will be waiting to greet you and will then transfer you to the hotel. After checking in and refreshing at your hotel, we will visit the recently completed Mosque Hassan II, the largest mosque in world outside Mecca. We will then tour French-built Quartier Habous, Law Courts, and the Gates of the Royal Palace. We will see the Island of the Marabout Sidi Abderrahman (at low tide). After, we’ll have dinner at the hotel and an overnight in Casablanca. 
    
Day 3: Casablanca / Rabat / Volubilis / Fez
Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

We will depart for Rabat, about a one hour drive from Casablanca. Once we arrive, we will visit Hassan Tower, the Chellah Necropolis, and the Kasbah des Oudaias, which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. We will visit the Mausoleum of Mohamed V. It was Mohamed V - father of King Hassan II - who achieved independence for Morocco in 1961. Revered by both Muslim and Jew alike, his bravery in the face of the occupying Vichy regime during WW2 saved Moroccan Jews from the fate of their European brethren. We will then begin our excursion to a newly opened, private museum just outside of Rabat. It houses among the finest collections of Moroccan crafts and relics in the world, opened by a third-generation craftsman and collector responsible for restoring the 27 domes of the mosque at the Medina. This gentleman is the recipient of the 1991 Prix díOr from His Majesty King Hassan II. His collection includes a number of items of Jewish interest. Tea and Moroccan cookies will be offered at the museum. Afterwards, we will continue east (2 hours) to Moulay Idriss: the most venerated Muslim site in Morocco. For those without the means to make the pilgrimage, the hajj, to Mecca, five trips to Moulay Idriss is of equal merit. Next, we’ll visit Roman ruins at nearby Volubulis, among the most extensive in the world! We will have an evening arrival in Fes and check-in at the hotel in the Ville Nouvelle. We’ll conclude the day with dinner and overnight at the hotel. 
    
Day 4: Fez
Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

We’ll explore Fes J'did and the mellah (Jewish district). We’ll also visit synagogues - unmarked on their exteriors - dating from the 17th century, among the most unique in the world. The Mellah of Fes once had 40 synagogues. We’ll see the vast and picturesque whitewashed Jewish cemetery adjacent to the gates to the Royal Palace and the nascent Jewish Museum at the Em HaBanim synagogue. Then we’ll tour Fes el-Bali and visit the medressa (koranic university) Bou Inania, the Fondouk Nejjarine, the Zaouia (mausoleum) of Moulay Idriss II, the Medressa Attarine, the famous tanneries, the colorful silk dyers and countless other sites, including the House of Maimonedes with its mysterious water clock. The narrow and cobbled streets of Fes are filled with ancient mosques, towering minarets, crumbling fandouks (inns for medieval travelers and their animals) and narrow openings into the private world beyond: an architecture of carved cedar portals, brilliantly colored mosaic tiles, delicately carved stucco ornament, and green glazed roofs. In Fes, veiled women still hurry through the streets, donkeys, laden with their wares, take their time, and craftsmen forge objects much as they did centuries ago. We’ll have special arrangements to visit interior of a spectacular privately-owned 18th century Riad, or traditional Islamic courtyard house, once one of the wealthiest mansions in Fes. At the end of the day, we’ll return to hotel. There will be an optional Erev Shabat services near the hotel. There will be a special Erev Shabat dinner at the Maimonedes Club, a kosher Jewish club and center of the community. Our overnight will be in Fes.   
    
Day 5: Fez / Meknes / Fez
Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

The day will be at leisure with optional services offered. We’ll have lunch at hotel. Your guide and private car will be available, if you wish, for an excursion to Imperial Meknes; its famous City Gates and the Tomb of Moulay Ismail, which are magnificent examples of Islamic architecture in North Africa. We’ll see the Imperial Quarters of Moulay Ismail, including the renowned Imperial Stables. We’ll later have dinner at hotel in Fes. 
    
Day 6: Fez / Khenifra / Marrakech
Breakfast will be served at the hotel. 

We’ll travel in the morning to Marrakech across the Middle Atlas mountains and Ifrane for your drive to Marrakech. We’ll visit the Cascade of Ouzoud. We’ll arrive in Marrakech in the late afternoon. Next, you’ll check-in at the hotel. We’ll spend the early evening at Djemaa el Fnaa, when the square comes alive with storytellers, snake charmers, magicians, and street performers: a unique spectacle. We’ll have dinner at the hotel in Marrakech. 
    
Day 7: Marrakech
Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

Today, we’ll explore exotic Marrakech: the towering Koutoubia minaret, the Saadien Tombs, the Menara Gardens, the Medersa ben Youssef, the domed Koubba, and the Dar Si Said Museum. We’ll visit the Maison Tiskiwin, the Bahia Palace, and the Majorelle Gardens of Yves St. Laurent. We’ll see the colorful souks of Marrakech - spices, carpets, jewelry, handicrafts produced in some cases the same way it was made hundreds of years ago. Our overnight will be in Marrakech.   
    
Day 8: Marrakech / Eurika valley / Seti Fadma / Marrakech
Breakfast will be served at the hotel. 

This will be a full day excursion to the scenic Ourika Valley of the High Atlas mountains. We’ll walk through earthen adobe villages decorated with bas-relief indigenous patterns. Light a candle at the tomb of tzaddik Rabbi Shlomo bel Hansh in the High Atlas! This tomb is the site of one of the biggest pilgrimages in Morocco. Pilgrimages to the tombs of saints are unique to Judaism in Morocco. There are over 600 such sites; this is one of the most important. Once a year in the spring, Jews of Moroccan descent return from all over the world to sites like these for a weekend of festivities and celebration. The Muslims in Morocco do the same thing, a tradition inherited, it is believed, from the indigenous pre-Islam Berber traditions. After, we’ll return to Marrakech. There will be an optional evening of folklore and entertainment at Fantasia dinner, under tents in a palm grove outside Marrakech. Our overnight will be in Marrakech. 
    
Day 9: Marrakech
Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

We’ll make a morning visit to Mellah (Jewish district) to see the synagogues and cemetery. Afterwards, lunch will be provided at the hotel, then the afternoon will be at leisure. There will be an optional farewell dinner at renowned Yacout restaurant, Morocco’s finest. We’ll spend our last night in Marrakech.     

Day 10: Marrakech / Casablanca / New York
Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

Transfer to Marrakech airport for your 7:40 AM departure to Casablanca, where you will change planes for your 10:00 AM return home.   

What's Included:

  • Land transportation in deluxe chauffeured vehicle. 
  • Accommodation in 4 star hotels 
  • Breakfast daily 
  • Fees to monuments and museums, guides and escort 
  • All taxes.  

Hotels Used

  • Casablanca: 1 night, Hotel Swiss
  • Fez: 3 nights, Riad el Yacout
  • Marrakech: 4 nights, Hotel El Andalous 

College Study Tours rates are available

Jewish Heritage in Morocco Package Price: $2865
Single Supplement: $665

Minimum 4 Participants