May 29, 2023

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Tangier: Center for Research and Archives on Judaism opens in northern Morocco

Tangier – The Center for Research and Archives of Judaism in Northern Morocco (CJNM) was launched during the International Meeting on the History of the Jews of Northern Morocco, organized in Tangier from September 19 to 21.

In collaboration with Abdelmalek Esadi University, the center will aim to carry out scientific studies to better understand and present this community to a wider population in Morocco and abroad, in collaboration with Moroccan and international researchers. Residents or visitors, all faiths combined.

Administered by a committee that brings together individuals from Belgium, France, Spain, Brazil, Israel, the United States and Morocco, the CJNM is part of the initiatives of the Jewish community of Morocco, carried out specifically by the Jewish community. Tangier, Donna Foundation and Haïm Benchimol.

The CJNM will establish its headquarters in the office of the Tangier Jewish community, and will have a library and residential space dedicated to researchers.

“The center is dedicated to the study and research of Judaism in northern Morocco, including its customs, history and language,” said Serge Perdougou, head of Tangier’s Jewish community, noting that the establishment will have the task of collecting To preserve and promote the culture common not only to the Jews of Morocco, but also to the Andalusians.

On the sidelines of this meeting, Mr. Perduco, HM to defend Morocco’s pluralistic identity and the unprecedented high individualism of the sovereign. He underlined that the center was in line with the Enlightenment vision of King Mohammed VI. Ceasing to revolve around the subject of religion in general and places of worship in particular, he noted that this structure would give new luster to this culture.

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“Today we want to highlight this culture and make the people of Morocco and around the world benefit to a greater extent”, he stressed at the meeting attended by 30 experts, including 18 face-to-face and 12 remote experts. , was an opportunity to explore the ways and means needed to achieve the desired objectives.

For his part, Driss El Yasamy, president of the Moroccan Community of Abroad Council (CCME), noted that the meeting brought together distinguished speakers, including historians, academics and those interested in the memory of Jews from the north of Morocco. Its purpose was to create a center of interest in the peculiarities and culture of the Jews of the northern region, especially Tetouan, Asilla, Larache and Tangier.

Mr. El Yasamy noted.

He affirmed that this effort to enrich Morocco’s memory and history reflects the strong ties between the Moroccan, Muslim and Jewish communities. The positions, especially the history of the Moroccan people and memory with its various elements, indicate that the center will have the task of collecting archives from many countries and organizing cultural and intellectual activities.

Jama Baida, director of the Moroccan Archives, underlined for his part that this international meeting was an opportunity to bring together a limited number of experts from the archives of Morocco, Europe and the United States, face-to-face and remotely. With the aim of creating an archival center connected to Moroccan Jews, especially those in northern Morocco, the center states that it will launch a digital platform dedicated to collecting and presenting these archives to the public.

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The archives provided by this center are not only for research reasons, but they must have effects on the development of the north of Morocco, as they will be the focus of the concerns of researchers everywhere. world, which will contribute to the collection of scientific and traditional data.

“This initiative will make it possible to sanctify Morocco’s status, known to the world for its cultural, linguistic and religious diversity,” he continued, recalling that the 2011 constitution sanctifies the diversity of Moroccan identity.

For the philosopher Baruj Carson, the purpose of creating this research center and archives is to highlight the shared memory between Muslims and Jews in Morocco over the centuries, an example of coexistence and shared memories. the world

“These souls scattered all over the world have not left Morocco, but are attached to this country,” he said, urging members of the Jewish community around the world to help preserve this memory, memories, documents and objects that carry a part of their soul.

For Paul Dahan, head of the Judeo-Moroccan Cultural Center in Brussels, the new institution responds to the demand of Moroccans, including those of Jewish descent, to find their roots in Morocco, and aims to promote and preserve this common culture.

Organized by the Council of the Jewish Community of Morocco, the Judeo-Moroccan Cultural Center (Brussels) and Dr. Aviad Moreno of Ben Gurion University (Beresheva), the meeting was an opportunity to shine a light on memory and especially attention. The rich history of the Jews in the north of the Kingdom, as well as defining the future work of the CJNM.

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With members of the CJNM team, distinguished speakers, historians, academics, scientists, Judaism and migration researchers, and members of the Jewish community in Morocco and abroad, the meeting was marked by a visit to the iconic sites, especially in Asilah, Larachi. and Tangier, witnesses to the thousand-year-old history of the descendants of the Jews of Iberia living in the northern region, many of whom settled in Latin America over the centuries.

It should be remembered that this meeting was held a few days after the inauguration of the Assyaik Synagogue and the opening of the “Beit Yehouda” museum in the Medina of Tangier, aimed at restoring Jewish culture. -Preserving these elements of memory of Morocco and the Northern Region.