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Antebi (Antibi), Abraham b. Isaac

(12 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
see Antebi (Antibi) Family (also Community Leaders)Daniel SchroeterBibliography,


(3 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
see SousDaniel Schroeter

Berber Jews

(847 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
From the early Islamic period until the mid-twentieth century, Jews were scattered among the Muslim Berber-speaking populations of the Maghreb: in rural Morocco, especially in the Atlas Mountains and the south, Kabylia and Mzab in Algeria, Jerba in Tunisia, and the Jebel Nafusa in Libya. While contemporary evidence is lacking, it is likely that some Berbers converted to Judaism in late antiquity, before the expansion of Islam in the Maghreb. The idea that the Jews who lived in these regions were themselves part of the indigenous Berber population …


(3 words)

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

Macnin (Maqnīn), Meʾir

(581 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
Born in Marrakesh in the 1760s, Meʾir ben Abraham Cohen Macnin (Maqnīn; Mor. Ar. goldfinch) settled in Essaouira (Mogador) in the 1770s or early 1780s. He soon rose to prominence in the port as a merchant and key intermediary for the governor of Essaouira. In the winter of 1799 to 1800, he set sail for England during an outbreak of bubonic plague, leaving behind his wife whom he had recently married. This was the beginning of a long sojourn in London, during which Macnin joined the elite Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation, also known as the Bevis Marks Synagogue, eve…


(5 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
see Algeria;Morocco; Libya; TunisiaDaniel Schroeter

Ḥusaynī, Ḥājj Amīn al-

(6 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
See Anti-Judaism/Antisemitism/Anti-ZionismDaniel 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…

La Voix des Communautés (Rabat)

(13 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
see Conseil des Communautés Israélites du Maroc (CCIM)Daniel Schroeter

Jacob Hayyim ben Isaac Ben Na'im

(10 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
see Ben Nāʾīm FamilyDaniel Schroeter

Slouschz, Nahum

(827 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
Nahum Slouschz(ca.1872-1966), Hebraicist and explorer, was the first to write in-depth studies on the history, ethnography and archeology of the Jewish communities of North Africa. He was born near Vilna, grew up in Odessa, and became actively involved in Zionism and the Hebrew renaissance movement on which he wrote extensively. He spent time in Palestine in the 1890s, returned to Russia, and then went to study classical and French literature in Geneva.  He continued his studies in Semitics and …


(661 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
The town of Iligh, located in the district of Tazeroualt (Tāzarwālt) in the Anti-Atlas Mountains in the southwestern Sous region of Morocco, rose to importance when Būdamī‘a (d. 1659), the great-grandson of the venerated saint ( murābiṭ) and sharīf Sīdī Aḥmad ū-Mūsā (Sī Ḥmad ū-Mūsā) made it his capital in the 1620s. ‘Alī Būdamī‘a exploited the weakness of the Saʿdian dynasty after the death of Sultan Aḥmad al-Manṣūr to build a base of political power. He accomplished this largely through his control of trade in the western Sahara which was conducted by Jews from nearby Ifrane,…

ʿAyyāsh, Judah

(5 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
see ʿAyyāsh FamilyDaniel Schroeter

Essaouira (Mogador)

(2,286 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
Essaouira (Cl. Ar. al-Ṣuwayra; Mor. Ar. Ṣwīra; Port. Mogador), a city located on the southwestern Atlantic coast of Morocco, was the most important seaport of Morocco from the last decades of the eighteenth to the end of the nineteenth century. It was home to one the largest Jewish communities in Morocco in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 1. Jewish Merchants in the Town’s Early Development Jews were closely connected to the early development of Essaouira, which was founded in 1764 by Sultan Sīdī Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh as the port for the southern capital of Marrakesh…


(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…
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