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Conference: The intense ties of the Moroccan-jewish community to the Kingdom

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

 The conference on "Moroccan Judaism: for a shared Moroccanity" started on Wednesday, October 14, 2018 in Marrakech, with a plenary session attended by several dignitaries from Morocco and abroad.

The meeting began with the blessings for the royal family by Chief Rabbi of Casablanca after the Moroccan national anthem sung by the frensh opera singer David Serero.

Mr. Abdellah Boussouf, Secretary General of the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad (CCME) welcomed, in his opening speech this event organized by the Council because it brought together a large number of members of the Moroccan Jewish community in the world .

"Morocco is a land of peace where Jews and Muslims lived together during two thousand years, a lesson for a world experiencing breaches in its societies", said Mr. Boussouf. He added that "we have gone beyond living together by sharing fraternity, habits and traditions".

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 The Secretary-General talked about his 20 years struggle for the living together of Jews, Christians and Muslims in French the city of Strasbourg, a major place of the European Union.  He said :"The Chief Rabbi was the first to contribute in a Muslim project and was hailed by the Muslim community for what he did in terms of inter-religious dialogue during the inauguration of the Great Mosque of Strasbourg" .

"The Jews of Morocco have helped to build and preserve this country for 2000 years and have, throughout history, as demonstrated in the CCME publication" Moroccans, Migrants and Travelers " always been a link for Morocco to the rest of the world ». He then, called the guests to intensify their efforts in order to raise awareness of Moroccan culture in the coutries where they live.

Finally, Mr. Boussouf called on public institutions to integrate the Jewish dimension in public policies, especially  the cultural one, for their priceless contribution, to protect young Jews from extremism, because "young Jews can, as well, as their Muslim neighbors, be a prey to radicalism ".

For his part,  Mr. Mohammed Laarej, Minister of Culture and communication, said : "We are proud of our Hebrew tributary that enriches our identity and we need to bring together all the efforts of individuals or organizations to build a better future for our country where Jews and Muslims live in peace,".

For his part, Mr. Serge Berdugo, Secretary General of the Council of the Israelite Communities of Morocco, welcomed "the CCME initiative of the for the organization of this symposium".

Mr Berdugo  said that "Our council had long thought out a gathering of the Jewish community to strengthen the emotional ties the Jews of Morocco to their country, and His Majesty gave us His encouragement by granting us His high patronage".

"The Moroccan Jewish community is the largest of all the Jewish communities in the Arab world," he said, adding that the moroccan jews chose Morocco, when the late Mohammed V granted them full citizenship.

"We are pleased to see that the integration of Jews has been successful in Morocco where several members have been able to access diverse positions of responsibility," said Berdugo, recalling that "the Moroccan Jewish community is active in host countries ". Adding, "What continues to distinguish this community is its "Moroccanity" and the price drawn from ancestral Moroccan traditions".

"Within the Jewish Foundation we decided to stuggle,  because of the risk that our community in Morocco disappears and get forgotten. We have helped to write a part of our history in the present," said the Secretary-General Council of Israelite Communities of Morocco, who gave a detailed statement of the actions that his council undertook.

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Mr. Berdugo continued "from 1975, new elites had emerged and we felt that the departure had left a vacuum, even within the Muslim community: I quote a Moroccan saying that "a market without Jews is like bread without salt ".

« We therefore choose for the integration in the Moroccan society. Our ethical and political line can be resumed in two principles, being loyal Moroccan citizens and make no compromises on our Jewish identity » said Mr. Berdugo,  adding : « Our actions consisted into  re-establishing ties with the diaspora, dialogue for peace and preservation of Moroccan Jewish heritage ».

Mr. Berdugo further said: "We are delighted to live in a country with a court where the law of Moses is pronounced in the name of King Mohammed VI," said Mr. Berdugo, adding that the city of Casablanca hosts 15 synagogues, 2 community centers, 2 school networks, where some schools admit 30% of the Muslim community ".  

Finally, he lauded Morocco, for it’s  sanctuaries which receive every year r thousands of pilgrims from the rest of the world :  nearly 40,000 pilgrims every year are welcomed by the moroccan jewish community in Morocco with the support of local elected officials who make grant us all the means for the serenity of the many pilgrims ".

The activities of the conference "Moroccan Judaism: for a shared Moroccanity" continues until November 18, 2018 in Marrakech with the participation of distinguished personalities of the Jewish community in the world.

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