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Arrival at Casablanca International Airport and be met and assisted by your ITC representative (today’s program depends on arrival time) lunch at the Soc Restaurant. After lunch, visit the French-built Quartier Habbous, constructed to relieve overcrowding in the medina.

We are joining Bet Shira Congregation’s Exotic Morocco Jewish Heritage Tour
Led by Rabbi Ben Herman
October 18th – 28th, 2020

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1

Day 1: Sunday, October 18th:

  • Departure from USA from Miami Airport on Royal Air Maroc on an overnight flight to Casablanca Morocco.
2

Day 2: Monday, October 19th:

  • Arrival at Casablanca International Airport and be met and assisted by your ITC representative (today’s program depends on arrival time)
  • Lunch at the Soc Restaurant.
  • After lunch, 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.
  • ITC Touch: We continue on to tour the Museum of Moroccan Judaism, or El Mellah Museum, the first Jewish museum in a Muslim country. The exhibits tell the story of a community that once numbered 250,000 strong. The museum documents over two millennia of Jewish heritage. It encompasses the Imperial Cities, as well as the lesser-known Berber Jewish communities which are spread through the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara. We will be given a guided tour of the museum by the museum’s curator.
  • Speaker: Museum Curator Zhor Rhehil. (Upon availability)
  • Check in at Radisson Blu Casablanca Rest and refresh at your hotel then meet in the lobby for departure to dinner.
  • Dinner at Cercle de l’Union.
  • Overnight at Radisson Blu Casablanca
3

Day 3: Tuesday, October 20th  

  • ITC Touch: After breakfast at the hotel, begin your day with a Visit to Neve Shalom School.
  • In 1961 OZAR HATORAH had 15,000 students for 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.
  • Lunch at Cercle de l’Alliance.
  • After lunch, head in land to Marrakech.
  • Upon arrival, experience 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 Radisson Blu
  • Rest and refresh at your hotel
  • Dinner on your own. Your guide and hotel staff will be happy to provide suggestions.
  • Overnight at Radisson Blu.
4

DAY 4: Wednesday October 21st:

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • ITC Touch: After breakfast we head to Dchiera Aghouatim (“Big Family”), a small Berber village. (about 40 minutes) Here we will have a private, outdoor cooking class hosted by a famous local chef.  Prepare your own traditional Moroccan dishes and enjoy them for lunch!  Learn about Moroccan spices, including Ras al Hanout, the definitive spice of Moroccan cuisine. Bake bread the traditional Moroccan way using an earthen, wood-fueled stove.  The organic vegetables used in your dish are grown in the garden on site! While your 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 days go on seemingly untouched by modern life. We will wander through the village and visit with the local villagers who are happy to talk about the history of the village and their daily life.
  • After lunch, say your farewells to the cooking class staff and villagers and head back to your hotel in Marrakech..
  • Continue by bus to 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.
  • Catered dinner will take place at the hotel
  • Overnight at Radisson Blu
5

Day 5: Thursday, October 22nd:

  • Breakfast at your hotel and then a reception with a Jewish community. 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 Yves-Saint Laurent Museum. The museum highlights the life’s work of the designer and his connection to Marrakech.
  • Lunch TBA
  • ITC Touch: After lunch, break up to a small groups to explore the endless souks of Marrakech. Each trade and specialty clusters 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.
  • ITC Touch: 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.
  • Rest & refresh before dinner.
  • Enjoy a festive dinner under the tents.
  • After dinner, head back to the Hotel.
  • Overnight at Radisson Blu Marrakech
6

Day 6: Friday, October 23rd:

  • After breakfast at the hotel, head inland to Fes (estimated time of departure 8:00 am).
  • Approx. 7-hour drive with stops.
  • Lunch on route TBA
  • 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 Palais Medina & SPA Fes.
  • Rest and refresh and get ready for Shabbat. Reception with members of the Jewish Community.
  • Kabalat Shabbat Services and dinner with members of local Jewish Community who will join the group to discuss their life in Fes. (Maimonides Center)
  • Overnight at Palais Medina & SPA Fes.
7

Day 7: Saturday, October 24th:

  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • Shabbat Morning Services at Ben Saadoun Synagogue.
  • Shabbat Lunch.
  • 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.
  • Dinner on your own. Your guide and hotel staff will be happy to provide suggestions.
  • Overnight at Palais Medina & SPA Fes.
8

Day 8: Sunday, October 25th:

  • 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-wuḍūʾ (ablutions house) for washing limbs and face before prayers. Left and right of the central court there are classrooms.
  • Lunch in the Medina of Fes.
  • 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.
  • ITC Touch: Visit one of the famous tile and ceramic factories.  Moroccan ceramics and tile production are, and have been, world famous for centuries.  This is partially due to the unique soil composition of Fes, which is perfect for the production of these artistic creations. The other part of course, is talent! See from start to finish how these wonderful mosaic tile creations are made, and have an opportunity to bring home a beautiful handmade ceramic Kiddush cup, tagine(a customary Moroccan cooking vessel), or other amazing souvenir.
  • Dinner at Hotel Sahrai.
  • Overnight at Palais Medina & SPA Fes.
9

Day 9: Monday, October 26th:

  • After breakfast at the hotel, head in land to Rabat 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.
  • Enjoy lunch at La Grilladiere Restaurant of Meknes. On your own.
  • Upon arrival to Rabat, you can start exploring the main attractions highlights of the city:
  • Visit Hassan Tour - Rabat’s iconic landmark, is the half-finished minaret of a planned mosque whose remnants attest to its ambitions. Drive by the Royal Palace, the residence of the current reigning king Mohamed VI, and see the luxury of this sprawling palace.  Then, visit the The Kasbah of the Udayas in Rabat.  Continue on to Casablanca.
  • Upon arrival, check in at Radisson Blu Casablanca
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight at Radisson Blu Casablanca
10

Day 10: Tuesday, October 27th:

  • 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. There will be also a tour at the beach while having your lunch there.
  • Enjoy your time in the city, and then head to a small city near El Jadida, Azemmour.  Azemmour 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 at Radisson Blu
11

Day 11: Wednesday, October 28th:

  • Breakfast at your Hotel.
  • This morning, visit the massive Hassan II Mosque. Completed in 1993, the Mosque can accommodate up to 25,000 worshippers making it the second largest in Islam today.  This is the only mosque in Morocco which is open to non-Muslims visitors. You will be amazed by the detailed craftsmanship and the overall grandeur of the structure.
  • Lunch on own.
  • You will then be escorted to Casablanca Airport for your departing flight.
Included in your land package:
  • Nine nights’ Accommodation at Five Stars Hotels.
  • Air-conditioned modern bus with Wi-Fi.
  • Water on the bus.
  • Airport transfer and assistance.
  • Private Cooking Class with Chef Tarik.
  • Expert guides and professional drivers.
  • Expert designer.
  • All admissions while accompanied by your guide.
  • The services of our Marrakech office and 24/7 emergency contact.

Land Only Package $3840 Discounted rate payment by check
Land and Air package $4939 Discounted rate payment by check
Single Room Supplement $1020 Discounted rate payment by check
Land only Package $3995 Full cost for credit card payment
Land and Air package $5136 Full cost for credit card payment
Single Room Supplement $1060 Full cost for credit card payment

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