Essaouira Jewish Heritage Private Tour
Duration: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Morocco Travel: In Luxury 4×4
English, French Speaking Driver, Guide
Esaouira Jewish Heritage Tour – Starting & Finishing Point: Your Hotel In Essaouira
Essaouira Jewish Heritage Excursion from Marrakech – Starting & Finishing Point: Your Hotel in Marrakech
Essaouira Jewish Heritage, Private Tour Inclusions: Licensed, Expert Multilingual Speaking Guide, Fluent in English, Arabic and French, Admission Fees to Monumennts & Attractions. This tour is Walking Tour. No vehicle is required.
Book a Tailor Made Essaouira Jewish Heritage Tour by calling (+212)-649 582 295. Let us be your Morocco Travel Guide.
ESSAOUIRA JEWISH HERITAGE PRIVATE TOUR – TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:
►Visit Jewish Synagogues, Chaim Pinto and 2 Other Renovated Synagogues
►Explore the Jewish Mellah, Stories of Essaouira’s Jewish Mellah, the Hiloula and Ancient Rabbi’s
►Discover UNESCO World Hertiage and the Soulful door paintings and carved emblems in the old Jewish Quarter
►Site see in Orson Welles Square and the Portugese Ramparts
►Visit Thuya Workshop, Art Galleries and enjoy a traditional Moroccan lunch or local catch at one of the fish-grill cafes
ESSAOUIRA JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR:
Essaouira also referred to as, Old Mogador, is one of the most famous cities visited by first time travelers to Morocco who are interested in Morocco’s Jewish Heritage and want to explore the historic Atlantic coast. Visiting the Jewish Heritage sites of Essaouira on a private one-day tour can serve as a rewarding was to discover Essaouira and the Jewish history of Morocco.
Explore Essaouira’s Jewish Heritage Sites on this one-day walking tour. Discover stories of Essaouira’s Jewish Mellah, the Synagogues of Essaouira, the Jewish Cemetery and the Historic Medina and Ramparts. Essaouira’s total population is 70,000 with fewer than 25 Jews. The Jewish community dates from around 1700.
ABOUT ESSAOUIRA’S’ JEWISH HERITAGE:
Essaouira used to be an example of a small town in which Muslims and Jews lived side by side in both rich and poor districts, working together but socially segregated – and in peace. The rise of Essaouira as a commercial port in the 19th century because of the cotton trade and the links with major ports such as Manchester and Liverpool saw the Jewish community involved in export –import trade in Essaouira reach its zenith. It was unique because there were almost as many Jews as there were Muslims, so the term “minority” did not really apply, as it did in every other town and city in Morocco and everywhere in the Arab world. Aside from ownership of the land in and around the town, which always remained in the hands of the caids and makhsen – local landed gentry and royal family clans – most urban-style import-export business was dominated by Jewish families.
In the new Morocccan constitution adopted in 2011 in the context of the Arab Spring , His Majesty King Mohammed VI reaffirmed the “Hebrew distinctive characteristic” of Morocco as ” one of the age-old pieces ” of “its national identity”” and he called for “the restoration of all the Jewish temples ” in the Kingdom. In a message at the restoration ceremony of the 17th century Slat al Fassayine Synagogue in Fes, King Mohammed VI reiterated his commitment to religious freedom and spiritual diversity, and emphasized the importance of the three-thousand-year-old Jewish legacy in Morocco..
ESSAOUIRA JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR ITINERARY:
► Essaouira’s historic sea-side medival town boasts a Jewish History that is captivating for Jewish and non-Jewish travelers. With a total population that once peaked at 70,000, in the 1700’s, there are fewer then 25 Jews in Essaouira today.
► Visit Jewish Essaouira: Synagogue & Mellah:Jacky Kadoch is the president of Essaouira’s Jewish community. Rabbi Chaim Pinto, the synagogue of the revered Pinto is located in Essaouira’s medina within the Jewish Mellah. The building is an active synagogue, used when pilgrims or Jewish tour groups visit the city. The hiloula of Chaim Pinto is held each September and is attended by many devout Jews from around the world.
►The Chaim Pinto Synagogue, is considered one Essaouira’s, most important Jewish Synagogues given it was the home and synagogue of Rabbi Chaim Pinto.
►The Chaim Pinto Synagogue is located on the second floor of a three-story, courtyard building inside the walls of the old city that also contained Rabbi Pinto’s home and office. The building is of whitewashed plaster over masonry. The synagogue consists of a single large room. There are two women’s sections, one across the courtyard and one on the third floor, both with windows looking into the synagogue. The synagogue room underwent a modern renovation in line with the policy of restoring Morocco’s Jewish synagogues announced by King Mohammed VI, concealing the ceiling and column capitals, and painting the wood of the Torah Ark and Bimah light blue. The other synagogue being renovated is Slat Attias.
►Visit the Essaouira Jewish Cemetery: Essaouira was founded in 1765. The oldest tombs date from 1776. Contrary to Jewish tradition and Mosaic Law, the tombs are sculptured with very marked human forms. These anthropomorphic tombstones sometimes bear epigraphic inscriptions and sometimes none. The monolithic tombstones are carved out of marine sandstone. This kind of tombstone can be found in other Moroccan towns located mainly on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts.
►In some towns such as Xauen (Tetouan) certain tombs have been dated to the 16th century. In Spain, these kind of tombstones has been found in Murcia and also in the Barcelona Montjuif Cemetery. One of the tombs dates from the 12th century. The oldest known gravestone dates from 1776. A burial database is under construction. About 4,000 to 5,0000 gravestones are in the cemetery, about 500 in the old cemetery and about 3,500 for the new cemetery. The marble, granite, and sandstone memorial markers are rough stones or boulders, flat, shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, and mausoleums. Some have traces of painting on their surfaces. Inscriptions are in Hebrew and French. The local Jewish community owns the site. The sea is adjacent to the cemetery.
►Visit the Essaouira Mellah: Essaouira’s mellah covers over 10 percent of the town, but Jews constituted almost 40 percent of the population in the late 1880’s.
►Jewish stars on the doors to the mellah show the degree to which Jews were accepted in Essaouira, to the point that some of the richer Jews did not even live in the mellah. Commemorative plaques indicate the buildings in which synagogues were located. Former inhabitants of Essaouira, most of them Jewish, formed a committee to rehabilitate the town. An important member of the committee is King Hassan II’s Economic Advisor, Andre Azoulay. The Jewish cemetery, just outside the city gates, is extremely well kept. The hiloula of Chaim Pinto is held in September.” Rabbi Chaim Pinto is buried there.
For more information about a Tailor Made Jewish Heritage Tour