800-247-7235 info@israeltour.com

You are invited to join  Congregation Agudath Sholom’s Jewish Heritage Tour of Exotic Morocco

Led by Rabbi Daniel and Diane Cohen

May 7-17, 2023

Don’t miss out! Space is still available.

Day 1: Sunday, May 7

Departure from USA

Departure from JFK Airport to Casablanca Airport in an overnight flight (flight details TBD).

Day 2: Monday, May 8

• Arrival at Casablanca International Airport. You will be met and assisted by your ITC representative (today’s program depends on arrival time)

Lunch at the Soc Restaurant.

After lunch, continue on to the Jewish Museum in Casablanca, the first Jewish Museum in a Muslim country. The exhibits tell the story of a community that once numbered 250,000 strong. It documents two millennia of Jewish heritage, both in the Imperial Cities as well in the lesser- known Berber Jewish communities spread through the Atlas Mountains and Sahara. You will be escorted through the museum by the “curator” who is responsible for the exhibitions. Speaker: Museum Curator Zhor Rhihil, upon availability. • Visit the French- built Quartier Habbous, constructed to relieve overcrowding in the medina.

Today, the Habbous is a mix of
shops and parks just outside the city center.

Check in at Kenzi Tower Hotel, a centrally located hotel with great services and views of the entire city.

Rest and refresh at your hotel then meet in the lobby for departure to dinner. • Dinner at Le Cercle de l’Union • Overnight at Kenzi Tower Hotel.

Day 3: Tuesday, May 9

Kosher breakfast at the hotel, then begin your day with a Visit to Nev Chalom School.

In 1961 OZAR HATORAH had 15,000 students in Morocco. It was on this date and under the leadership of a young rabbi, just 30 years old, Rabbi Aharon MONSONEGO zatsal, that the present Névé Shalom school was built. In all these decades, NEVE SHALOM has worked tirelessly despite budget cuts, year after year, for the well-being and development of its students, who are now, for the most part, eminent Rabbis, Rachei Yéshivot, community leaders, doctors, engineers, university professors, business leaders, etc… The quality of the teaching  they received, allowed them later to flourish in their professional life while assuming their Jewish identity without complex. • Visit the Temple Beth-El in Casablanca. The city boasts more than 30 synagogues and Beth-El is often considered the centerpiece of the once vibrant Jewish community. Its stained-glass windows and other artistic elements attract many tourists to this synagogue. The temple was completely refurbished in 1997.

Head in land to Marrakech.

Lunch on route (Kosher box lunch provided). We will make stops along the way for lunch and restroom breaks. • Upon arrival, visit Dar el Bacha Confluences Museum in Marrakech. Palace Pacha Glaoui, located in the medina of Marrakech, is one of the most beautiful palaces of the red city. Also called “the governor’s palace”, or Dar el Glaoui, it was built at the beginning of the 20th century.

Visit the opulent Saadien Tombs, the mausoleum of a great dynasty which once ruled North Africa. The site has some of the most eye-popping mosaic work in Morocco.

Visit the Djemaa El Fna Square, one of the most colorful and mysterious sites in all of Africa, with its snake-charmers, street vendors, musicians, jugglers, fortune-tellers and storytellers.

Continue on to the Mellah of Marrakech. The Mellah is considered as one of the largest in Morocco. Its history and geography surprises and impresses! Visit the Synagogue with Jewish Cemetery.

You will be received by Issac Ohayon, the person responsible for all upkeep and repair, who will hold an impromptu discussion. The name of cemetery is Rabbi Hanania Hacohen Cemetery, also the burial place of Rabbi Mordekhai Ben Attar and Rabbi Pinhas Hacohel.

Check in at Hotel Sofitel Marrakech Lounge and Spa.

Rest and refresh at your hotel then meet in the lobby for departure to the restaurant for dinner.

Dinner at Dar Ima, a wonderful Kosher restaurant in the heart of Marrakesh.

Overnight at Sofitel Marrakech Lounge and Spa.

Day 4: Wednesday, May 10

Kosher breakfast at the hotel,
then head to a small
Berber village (about 40 minutes) for a private kosher outdoor cooking class hosted by a famous local chef. Learn about Moroccan spices, including Ras al Hanout, the definite spice of Moroccan cuisine. Bake bread the Moroccan way using a traditional earthen wood-fueled stove. Prepare traditional Moroccan kosher dishes and enjoy them for lunch! Your organic vegetables are grown in the garden on site! While your kosher tagine is cooking over the fire, take a walk (about 20 minutes) across a wide valley, where sheep graze, wild cactus fruit grows, and the day goes on untouched by modern life. There is time to wander through the local village and visit with the villagers. They will talk to you about the history of the village and their daily life.

After lunch, say your farewells to the cooking class staff and villagers and continue in the Ourika valley to the sanctuary of Rabbi Shlomo Bel Hench that lived 500 years ago. His name has been associated with a number of legends and mysteries that marked the inhabitants of the region and his many visitors that come from all over the world.

Dinner at the home of Mrs. Ohayon.

Overnight at Sofitel Marrakech Lounge and Spa.

Day 5: Thursday, May 11

Breakfast at your hotel. Meet with Jacky Kadoch, who is the head of the Jewish community of Marrakesh at the Bet El Synagogue in the new section of the city. He will convey the history of the Jewish community and culture and heritage in Marrakesh and Morocco.

Visit Jardin Majorelle. The garden was a gift to Marrakech from Yves-Saint Laurent. Purchased from the painter Jacque Majorelle, the garden is adorned  with Majorelle blue, the color named for him.

Move next door to the newly opened YvesSaint Laurent Museum. The museum highlights the life’s work of the designer and his connection to Marrakech.

Lunch  at Wasabi restaurant, featuring kosher Asian freshly made dishes.

After lunch, explore the endless souks of Marrakech. Each trade and specialty clustered together over the many alleyways and squares. You will be hosted by Richard DeMayo, an American designer who has called Marrakech home for almost 20 years. You will have access to local workshops and wholesalers which are closed to the public but are special contacts  of your host. The day will be planned around what is most interesting to the group! On your path, you may want to stop in one of the Argan cooperative shops. Argan oil is gaining notoriety for its cholesterol reducing qualities and use in beauty products.

Rest & Refresh at your Hotel.

When you are ready, head to the Desert of Agafay for the evening.

The Desert of Agafay is an arid, rocky area that

is ideal for a taste of Moroccan desert culture.

You will be welcomed with Moroccan wine and a scarf like those worn by Saharan nomads.

Enjoy a Sunset Camel Trek.

You will then enjoy a marvelous vegetarian Moroccan couscous overlooking the desert sunset.

Overnight at Sofitel Marrakech Lounge and Spa.

Day 6: Friday, May 12

After breakfast at the hotel, head in land to Fes (estimated time of departure 8:00am). Approximately  7-hour drive with stops 

Kosher lunch boxes will be provided.

Upon your arrival in Fes, take a panoramic view of the Medina from Borj Sud Fortress. Visit the Jewish Cemetery and the walk in the Mellah.

Check in at Marriott Jnane Palace Fes.

Rest, refresh and prepare for Shabbat. Reception with the local Jewish Community.

Shabbat Dinner with members of local Jewish Community who will join the group to discuss their life in Fes. (Maimonides Center)

Overnight: Marriott Jnane Palace Fes.

Day 7: Saturday, May 13

Breakfast at your hotel.

Shabbat Morning Services at Ben Saadoun Synagogue.

Shabbat Lunch at Maimonides.

After lunch take a walking tour through the Mellah (Jewish Quarter) of Fes. Visit the 17th century Ibn Danan Synagogue, the oldest existing synagogue in the city. The synagogue underwent a restoration as part of a UNESCO project in 1999.

You will cross through an area known for its goldsmithing and continue across the street to Fes Jadid passing ancient homes to the entry called Bab Semmarine. The entryway was built by the Marinid Dynasty in the late 13th century. Continue through the famous public Jnane Sbil Gardens to the Blue Gates of the old city, known as Bab Bou Jeloud.

Follow a different route back to enjoy the scenery. Return to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Havdalah with Rabbi Cohen

Dinner at Dragon Kosher in the Palais Medina and Spa hotel.

Overnight in Marriott Jnane Palace Fes.

Day 8: Sunday, May 14

Breakfast at your hotel, then visit the University of al-Qarawiyyin, also written Al Quaraouiyine or Al- Karaouine. It is the oldest existing, continually operating, and the first degree-awarding educational institution in the world according to UNESCO and Guinness World Records.

Visit the Medersa Bou Inania – The name Bou Inania (Bū ‘Ināniya) comes from the first part of the sultan’s name Abou Inan. The medersa (school) functioned both
as an educational institute and as a congregational mosque, much like a private boarding school of today. This is the only medersa in Fes with a minaret. Opposite the main doorway, is the entrance to the
dar al-wudū (ablutions house) for washing limbs and face before prayers. Left and right of the central court there are classrooms.

Kosher Lunch in Riad Reda.

After lunch, visit the iconic Chouara Tannery, one of the three tanneries in the city of Fez, Morocco. Built in the 11th century, it is the largest tannery in the city. It is located in the Fes el Bali, the oldest medina quarter of the city, near the Saffarin Madrasa, along the river. Since the inception of the city, the tanning industry has been continually operating in the same fashion as it  did in the early centuries. It’s best to head up to the balcony of the shop that will welcome you with a sprig of mint and a memorable view.

Dinner at maimonides.

Overnight: Marriott Jnane Palace Fes.

Day 9: Monday, May 15

After breakfast at the hotel, start the day by visiting one of the famous tile and ceramic factories. Ceramics and tile production here have been world famous for centuries due to unique soil composition of Fes, which is perfect for the production of these indigenous art creations. See from start to finish how these wonderful mosaic tile creations are made and have an opportunity to bring home a souvenir before continuing on from Fes. Head in land to Casablanca making the following stops along the way:

Volubilis – the ruins of the late Roman era capital of the province of Mauritania. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Volubilis overlooks the fertile plains of the Meknes region near the foot of Mt. Zerhoun. Intact mosaics, restored arches and olive oil presses give one a sense of the importance of this outpost on the fringes of the empire. Visit the Triumphal Arch, Basilica, Diana and the Bathing Nymphs.

Meknes – Tour the imperial capital of Sultan Moulay Ismail, founder of the ruling Alaouite Dynasty. Explore Meknes’ massive granaries and stables, ornate city gates and the grand Place El Hedim. The Bab Mansour is often mentioned as Morocco’s most beautiful city gates. Visit the Dar Jamaï Museum, a palace of powerful Viziers that now houses a collection of antique ceramics and crafts.

Kosher boxed lunches will be provided.

Upon arrival to Casablanca, check in at Kenzi Tower Hotel.

Kosher dinner at Cercle de l’Alliance.

Overnight: Kenzi Tower Hotel.

Day 10: Tuesday, May 16

After breakfast, enjoy a day trip from the city of Casablanca to the coastal city El Jadida, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover the Portuguese style ramparts and buildings. In this city, you’ll discover the Jewish historical sites and take a walk in the medina. We’ll explore the mosque, the churches, and many other spots.

Box kosher lunches will be provided.

Enjoy your time in the city, and then head to a small city near El Jadida, features a Portuguese medina, which has three parts, a Jewish mellah, a kasbah, and the old medina.

Return to Casablanca.  

Rest and refresh at your hotel then meet for departure to restaurant.

Farewell Dinner at Cercle de l’Union. (Entertainment: Moroccan and Jewish Music + Belly dancer)

Overnight: Kenzi Tower Hotel.

Day 11: Wednesday, May 17

Kosher breakfast at your Hotel.

\\After breakfast take the morning at leisure. Your guide will be at your disposal if you would like to do some last-minute shopping for souvenirs, or just walk around the busy district of Casablanca where your hotel is located.

Checkout and prepare for departure. Lunch at the SOC restaurant on way to airport. You will then be escorted to Casablanca Airport for your departing flight.

Discounted Price for Check Payment

*Land Only Package – $5495 per person in a double room

Land and Air Package – $6670* per person in a double room

Single Room Supplement – $1395

Full Price for Credit Card Payment

Land Only Package – $5714 per person in a double room

Land and Air Package – $6937* per person in a double room

Single Room Supplement – $1450