Synagogue in Casablanca hosts event in memory of Holocaust victims

Synagogue in Casablanca hosts event in memory of Holocaust victims

A synagogue in Casablanca hosted Sunday a ceremony in the memory of the victims of the Holocaust on the occasion of the International Day of Commemoration of this large-scale and painful massacre that marked the Second World War.
The ceremony in Beth-el Synagogue was held under the theme “Mohammed V: protector of the Moroccan Jewish community during the Holocaust”.

This ceremony evidences, if need be, the attention Moroccan sovereigns have always granted to Moroccan Jews and their keenness to safeguard the Judeo-Moroccan heritage.

King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful, has carried on the torch borne by his grandfather, the late Mohammed V and by his father, the late Hassan II. He remained firmly committed to the legacy of his ancestors, preserving and promoting coexistence between Muslims and Jews in the Kingdom, and safeguarding the Judeo-Moroccan heritage.

Actually, the participants in the Sunday event hailed the major role played by King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful, in the dissemination of the values of peace, tolerance and inter-religious dialogue, and the Sovereign’s efforts to preserve the cultural and religious heritage of the Moroccan Jewish community and strengthen its influence.

The participants commended the efforts made by the King for the preservation of the Judeo-Moroccan heritage and the institutional modernization of the structures managing the daily affairs of the members of the Jewish community. The King’s enlightened vision has also made it possible to strengthen the ties of Moroccan Jews settled abroad with their mother country, they underlined.
In this context, participants recalled that King Mohammed VI spearheaded several actions to rehabilitate and upgrade Jewish places of worship, shrines, neighborhoods and cemeteries.
These royal initiatives which prompted the admiration of the international community, aim to promote the Hebrew component of national identity, and establish Morocco as a land of religious coexistence and living together in harmony and peace.
This is all the more important since at these times when the world is currently in the throes of doubt, antagonism, misunderstanding, intolerance, and rejection of the other, the King strives to embrace universalism, advocate inter-religious dialogue, and promote the living together.

Part of his endeavors, the King has set up three Institutions aimed at consecrating the Hebrew tributary as a component of the plural, rich Moroccan culture. These are the National Council of the Moroccan Jewish Community which is entrusted with the management of Jews’ affairs, the protection of Moroccan Judaism’s heritage and culture, and the safeguard of religious influence of Judaism and its authentic Moroccan values; the Commission of Moroccan Jews Abroad meant to consolidate the ties of Moroccan Jews established abroad with their country of origin; and the Moroccan Judaism Foundation which is in charge of promoting and preserving the Judeo-Moroccan intangible heritage.

Also, the Sovereign launched in 2010 a large-scale operation to safeguard and preserve the Jewish religious and cultural heritage. This valuable initiative has enabled the rehabilitation of 190 necropolises and sanctuaries.
In 2022, the king promulgated a forward-looking Dahir that establishes a new organization of Jewish communities in Morocco.

These initiatives all command respect at the international level and establish Morocco as a land of tolerance and living together, the participants in the Sunday event outlined, recalling the actions of the late Mohammed V and the late Hassan II, for the defense and protection of Moroccan Jews against the barbarism of the Nazis.

On the occasion of this commemoration organized by the Mimouna Association, the Council of Jewish Communities of Morocco (CCIM) and the United Nations Information Center in Rabat, the president of the association, El Mehdi Boudra, underlined the efforts of the late Mohammed V for the protection of Moroccan Jews against oppression under the Vichy regime.

In this regard, he hailed the “courage of the late Mohammed V, who did not give in to Nazi pressure”, noting that the Mimouna Association, which was founded at Al Akhawayn University by a group of young Muslims, aims to raise young people’s awareness to the importance of the Judeo-Moroccan cultural heritage.

For his part, the Secretary General of the CCIM, Serge Berdugo recalled the colossal efforts of the late Mohammed V, who stood against the Vichy regime when the Kingdom was under French and Spanish occupation.

Berdugo recalled the suffering endured by Moroccans, Muslims and Jews, during the period of colonization, adding that the Royal Palace, despite all the pressures it was under, ensured the defense of the rights and property of Moroccans, of all faiths.

For her part, the acting head of the Israel Liaison Office in Rabat, Alona Fisher Kamm, expressed her pride in participating in this event which commemorates the victims of the Holocaust, saying it is an opportunity to evoke this suffering in order to raise awareness of the dangers of hatred and racism.

In this regard, she highlighted the efforts made for centuries by the Moroccan Royal Family for the protection of Moroccan Jews.

For his part, the United States Ambassador to Morocco, Puneet Talwar, indicated that the late Mohammed V showed courage in the face of the Nazis to protect Moroccans of the Jewish faith during this difficult period in the history of the country, and the whole humanity, noting that the same approach was followed by the late Hassan II and now by King Mohammed VI.

He added that Morocco is a “model to follow” in the region and worldwide, especially since the world is currently witnessing a resurgence of certain manifestations of hatred and violence.

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