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(4 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
see Atlas MountainsDaniel Schroeter

Foum Zguid

(5 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
see Tata RegionDaniel Schroeter

Atlas Mountains (Morocco)

(2,799 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
There have been Jewish communities in various parts of the mostly Berber regions of the Atlas Mountains in the Islamic Maghreb since ancient times. The Atlas range includes mountain chains and massifs in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia that extend along the Saharan fault from the southwestern Moroccan Atlantic coast to the southeastern Tunisian Mediterranean coast, including the Rif and Tell Atlas, which border the Mediterranean. In Morocco, Jews were most widely distributed in the southern chains of the High At…

Corcos Family

(673 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
The Corcos family of merchants, entrepreneurs, and community leaders attained great prominence in Morocco from the eighteenth through the twentieth century. Originally from Spain and Portugal, the family settled in Morocco and Italy after the expulsion in 1492. The Moroccan branch of the family first established itself in Fez, but family members also settled in Tetouan, and Safi. It was in Marrakesh, the capital, that the Corcos family rose to prominence in the eighteenth century. Members of the family also …

Benoliel, Judah

(482 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
Born in 1772, Judah Benoliel was a wealthy Jewish merchant from a Tetouani family who served as the Moroccan consul general in the British colony of Gibraltar in the 1820s and 1830s under the Alawid (ʿAlawī) sultans Mawlāy Sulaymān and Mawlāy ‘Abd al-Raḥmān. Morocco maintained only a few permanent consulates in foreign countries before the twentieth century, but Gibraltar, a key entrepôt for commerce in the western Mediterranean, was strategically a crucial center for Moroccan financial and political dealings wit…

Ifrane (of the Anti-Atlas; also Ifran, Oufrane)

(866 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
Located in the Anti-Atlas Mountains in the southwestern Sous region, the town of Ifrane (from Berb. ifri, cave), called Oufrane by Jews, was, according to Moroccan Jewish tradition, home to the oldest continuously existing Jewish community in Morocco. Legend recounted that its origin ultimately went back to escapees from Jerusalem after the destruction of the First Temple in 586 B.C.E.  Over the years their descendants moved across Egypt and North Africa in search of a home. They eventually settled in Wadi Oufrane in…

Ouled Berrhil

(4 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
see SousDaniel Schroeter


(3 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
see SousDaniel Schroeter

Aliya, Clandestine

(4 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
see MoroccoDaniel Schroeter


(6 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
see Grana (Livornese), Tunis, TunisiaDaniel Schroeter

École Normale Hebraïque (ENH), Casablanca

(313 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
The École Normale Hébraïque (ENH) was founded inCasablanca in 1946 by the Alliance Israélite Universelle to train teachers in modern Hebrew and Jewish Studies. It was part of an effort to modernize the Jewish and Hebrew curriculum in Morocco, as well as to replace the more traditionalist rabbi-teachers who taught Hebrew and Jewish Studies in the Alliance schools, and to serve as a testing ground for the organization’s post–World War II program of reform. Its founders were Jules Braunschvig, the vice-president of the Alliance, Isaac Rouche, a rabbi from Oran and supporter of the AIU, and Re…

Beni Sbih

(4 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
see Dra’aDaniel Schroeter


(2,437 words)

Author(s): Andre Levy | Daniel Schroeter
The city of Casablanca ([al-]Dār al-Bayḍāʾ, Sp. and Ar. white house), Morocco’s principal seaport, was home to the largest Jewish community in the Maghreb in the twentieth century. Situated on the central Atlantic coast, it was known as Anfā in the Middle Ages. During the decline of the Marinid dynasty, its relative autonomy made it a safe haven for corsairs. The Portuguese destroyed the town in 1468 or 1469, and it was only rebuilt in the latter half of the eighteenth century by Sultan Sīdī Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh, who renamed it al-Dār al-Bayḍāʾ. Grain was its principal expor…

Sémach, Yomtob

(835 words)

Author(s): Mohammed Kenbib | Daniel Schroeter
Yomtob Sémach(1869–1940) was one of the most influential educators of the Alliance Israelite Universelle(AIU) system in Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire, and Morocco over a period spanning fifty years. He was born in Yambol, Bulgaria, in 1869 into a wealthy merchant family originally from Edirne (Adrianople) and was educated at the local AIU schools and then at the École Normale Israélite Orientale in Paris. He began his teaching career at an AIU school in Sousse, Tunisia, in 1891, but returned to Bulgaria two years later following the death of his father, and was appointed f…


(9,120 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter | Yaron Tsur | Mohammed Hatimi
1. Until 1912Origins of the Jews of MoroccoMorocco (Ar. al-Maghrib) is a country in the northwestern part of Africa, along the Mediterranean coast to the north, and stretching along the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The origins of Jewish settlement in al-Maghrib al-Aqṣā (Ar. far west, far Maghreb), as the westernmost country of North Africa was called by Arab geographers, is unknown. The Jewish communities of Morocco traced their roots back to ancient Israel; legends recount that the first Jews arrived e…
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