Morocco opens Arab world’s first university campus synagogue

A Moroccan university inaugurated the first campus synagogue in the Arab world last week.

A place of worship, called Beit El Synagogue in Hebrew and Beit Allah in Arabic, was inaugurated at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University of Morocco.

The project was jointly implemented by the Mimouna Association and the American Sephardic Federation. Both organizations work to promote and preserve Jewish culture in Morocco and the Middle East.

Get our free daily edition by email so you don’t miss the best news! Sign up for free!

The North African country, which was not an original member of the Abraham Accords, joined the peace initiative in December 2020 and has since supported numerous initiatives to promote the local Jewish population and boast about its wealth.Jewish history.

Mimouna founder and president Elmehdi Boudra told The Media Line that the new synagogue was built next to the new campus mosque, and the two structures share a wall as a symbol of religious unity.

“It is not a big synagogue, but it can accept a minyan [un quorum de 10 hommes minimum, requis pour la prière juive] ; Torah scrolls and all religious items were donated by the Jewish communities of Fez and Morocco,” he said.

“Moroccan Judaism has been an integral part of Moroccan society for 2,000 years. Morocco is also a Jewish country and we traditionally celebrate Moroccan diversity. »

Boudra said that King Mohammed VI has restored 167 Jewish cemeteries and 20 synagogues in the country in the last decade; he even restored the various Jewish neighborhoods of the country.

Elie Abadie, chief rabbi of the Jewish Council of the Emirates, attended the swearing-in ceremony, which brought together Jews and Muslims. mezuzah a folded roll of parchment attached to the doorpost of a building – Jewish homes and businesses.

“The opening of a synagogue in a university in Morocco is of great importance, especially if it bears the name of His Majesty the King,” Abadie said.

Illustration: Defense Minister Benny Gantz, left, with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in Rabat, Morocco, November 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Mosaab Elshamy/File)

“This leads to the recognition of the Jewish community and Judaism as an integral part of the Moroccan population and academic institutions. »

Although no Jewish students are currently enrolled at the university, recent agreements between the university and Israeli academic institutions indicate that Jewish education on the Moroccan campus may soon become a reality.

After the signing of the peace agreement between Israel and Morocco, the countries continued to develop and strengthen their relations.

In 2021, Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited the kingdom and signed a memorandum of understanding formalizing defense ties between the two countries and facilitating arms sales to the northern kingdom of Israel.-Africa.

In March, senior Israeli military officials completed their first official visit to Morocco, where the parties signed an agreement to bring the two armies together, and in June, Israeli officers and Defense Ministry officials participated in a major military exercise as observers in Morocco.

You are one of our loyal readers!

That’s what we strive for every day: to provide intelligent readers like you with relevant media coverage of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world. Unlike many other outlets, our content is free – no paywall visible from the first paragraph. But our work is getting more and more expensive. Therefore, we invite readers, who can and for whom Israel times Joining the French to support us has become important community Israel times in french. For an amount of your choice, once a month or once a year, you too can contribute to this quality independent journalism and enjoy ad-free reading.

Join the community Join the community Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this message

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *