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ʿAhd al-Amān

(1,007 words)

Author(s): Yaron Tsur
The ʿAhd al-Amān (Security Covenant) was a declaration on September 9, 1857 by Muḥammad Bey (r. 1855–1859), of the Husaynid dynasty, which commenced a period of Western-inspired legal reforms in Tunisia. It was often referred to in Europe as the Fundamental Pact ( le Pacte Fondamental) because it was a qānūn asāsī, which in contemporary Ottoman usage meant “constitutional law” (or constitution).Although the edict was issued because of a localized situation involving Jews, it must be understood within the framework of the reformist and modernizing policies of the Tanzimat period…

L’Avenir Illustré (Casablanca)

(383 words)

Author(s): Yaron Tsur
Published in Casablanca from 1926 to 1940 in French,  L’Avenir Illustré was the first long-lasting Jewish periodical in Morocco. It advocated reforms in the Jewish community and sought to instill the ideals of Jewish nationalism among the increasingly Westernized Jewish elite that had come into being in Morocco during the French protectorate. Its founder and editor was an Ashkenazi Jew, Jonathan Thursz (1895–1976), a native of Poland who was educated in Belgium and settled in Morocco in 1923. The French colonial authorities disapproved of Zionism but were unable to object to L’Avenir…

L’Union Marocaine (Casablanca)

(252 words)

Author(s): Yaron Tsur
Published in Casablanca from 1932 to 1940 in French, L’Union Marocaine was founded by members of the local Jewish establishment, with the help of the Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU) and French Jewish leaders, to counteract the influence of the pro-Zionist L’Avenir Illustré . Edited by Elie Nataf, the Tunisian-born secretary of the Casablanca community and a former principal of AIU schools, L’Union Marocaine defended Yahya Zagury and the small group of notables who comprised the communal leadership against attacks accusing them of being undemocratic, pa…

Conseil des Communautés Israélites du Maroc (CCIM)

(435 words)

Author(s): Yaron Tsur
The Conseil des Communautés Israélites du Maroc (CCIM), founded in 1947, was an umbrella organization that brought together the heads of the Jewish communities of Moroccoand filled the function of a central organization for Moroccan Jewry. It was established during the French protectorate (1912–1956) within the framework of the reforms carried out after World War II by the colonial administration. In the immediate postwar years the younger generation of Jewish leaders were calling for changes in the communal organizatio…

Noʿar (Casablanca)

(281 words)

Author(s): Yaron Tsur
Published in Casablanca from 1945 to 1952 in French, Noʿar (Heb. Youth) replaced the prewar pro-Zionist L’Avenir Illustré as the organ of the new generation of young local Zionists. The initiative to publish Noʿar came from the Charles Netter youth movement, whose leaders—Alfonso Sabah, Daniel Levy, and Maurice Timsit—were committed to communal work and belonged to the religious conservative camp of Zionism. From 1945 to July 1948, Noʿar served as the youth movement’s bulletin, calling for local social reforms, teaching Jewish and Zionist values, and reporting …


(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…