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Exotic Morocco Jewish Heritage Adventure with Rabbi Michael J. and Sharon Safra | Israel Tour
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Israel Tour / Exotic Morocco Jewish Heritage Adventure with Rabbi Michael J. and Sharon Safra

Exotic Morocco Jewish Heritage Adventure with Rabbi Michael J. and Sharon Safra

per person

Arrival at Casablanca’s Mohammed V Airport: Be met and assisted by ITC representatives. (Today’s programs depends on arrival time).Cosmopolitan Casablanca has roots dating to the Roman settlement of Anfa.


Day 1: Sunday, April 19

Departure from USA. Departure from USA. From Dulles. Airport on Royal Air Maroc on an overnight flight to Casablanca Morocco.

Day 2: Monday, April 20

Arrival at Casablanca’s Mohammed V Airport: Be met and assisted by ITC representatives. (Today’s programs depends on arrival time) • Cosmopolitan Casablanca has roots dating to the Roman settlement of Anfa. The port became a key trading post for the Sultan in the 18th Century and was greatly expanded during the French protectorate. Recent years have seen efforts to restore the once crumbling medina. Nearby, you will see various art deco facades. • 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. • Next we 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 in 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 Rhihil • Check in at Four Seasons Casablanca • Rest, refresh and meet later in the lobby for departure to dinner • Dinner at Cercle de L’Alliance. • Overnight: Four Seasons Casablanca

Day 3: Tuesday, April 21

After breakfast at the hotel, Visit Narcisse Leven Primary School, founded by the Alliance Israélite Universelle. Meet with teachers and students if available. • Lunch Cercle de l’Union. • After lunch, 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. • Enjoy a guided tour of the Medina. See the Bab Agnaou, the most beautiful gate in Marrakech. Continue to the Bahia Palace. Bahia (palace of the beautiful, the brilliant) is a nineteenth century palace on eight hectares of land located in Marrakech. It is one of the masterpieces of Moroccan architecture, one of the major monuments of the country’s cultural heritage, and one of the most visited sites in Marrakech. • We then
move 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 informal 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 & Riad Barriére Le Naoura Marrakech. Located at the gates of the medina and a few minutes from the souks, it is a 15 minutes’ walk to the Mellah. The hotel offers absolute tranquility. • Rest and refresh at your hotel then meet in the lobby for departure to the restaurant for dinner. • Dinner at Yacout Restaurant • Yacout Restaurant is a landmark of Marrakech. It was among the first opened in the medina around twenty years ago by Mohamed Zkhiri, who still manages this sumptuous venue. The decor is enchanting with private rooms and a breathtaking terrace view of the Medina and the Koutoubia Mosque. Yacout features traditional Moroccan cuisine with a menu incorporating an amazing succession of spices and flavors. With its world class service, it will be an evening to remember! • Overnight: Hotel & Riad Barriére Le Naoura Marrakech

Day 4: Wednesday, April 22

After breakfast, head to Dchiera Aghouatim (“Big Family”), a small Berber village. (about 40 minutes) Here we will have a private kosher, outdoor cooking class hosted by a famous local chef. Prepare your own traditional Moroccan kosher 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 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 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 get back to Marrakech. • 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. • Rest & refresh before
dinner. • Enjoy a festive dinner under the tents. • After dinner, head back to the hotel. • Overnight: Hotel & Riad Barriére Le Naoura Marrakech

Day 5: Thursday, April 23

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. • 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. • Lunch on your own. • After lunch, 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. • See the beautiful architectural Secret Garden, a recently restored complex showcasing Islamic art and architecture. The garden and adjacent buildings date back 400 years. The small café is a nice place to grab refreshment. • Then, break up to a smaller group 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. • Dinner will take place at Chazzan Isaac and Mrs. Ohayon‘s home. Members of local Jewish Community will join the group to discuss their life in Marrakech. • Overnight: Hotel & Riad Barriére Le Naoura Marrakech

Day 6: Friday, April 24

After breakfast at the hotel, head in land to Fes (estimated time of departure 8:00am, approx. 7 hour drive with stops) • Lunch on route, on your own • 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 Fes • Rest and refresh and get ready for Shabbat. • Reception with a Jewish Community. • Kabalat Shabbat Services and dinner with members of local Jewish Community who will join the group to discuss their life in Fes. • Overnight: Palais Medina Fes Hotel

Day 7: Saturday, April 25

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 at leisure, on your own. Suggestions happily given by your Moroccan staff. • Overnight: Palais Medina Fes Hotel

Day 8: Sunday, April 26

Breakfast at your hotel, then visit the Medersa Bou Inania–The name Bou Inania (Bū ūInūniya) 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. • 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. • Lunch on your own. • After lunch, visit the Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts & Crafts. • The museum is in a wonderfully restored fondouq (rooming house), a caravanserai for travelling merchants who stored and sold their goods below and took lodgings on the floors above. Centered on a courtyard, the rooms are given over to displays of traditional artifacts, craftsmen’s
tools, chunky prayer beads, Berber locks, chests, and musical instruments. Everything is beautifully presented, although the stunning building gives the exhibits a run for their money! The rooftop cafe has great views over the medina. • Continue to 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. • Return to the hotel to rest and refresh, then meet in the lobby for departure to dinner. • Dinner at Centre Maimonides • Overnight: Palais Medina Fes Hotel

Day 9: Monday, April 27

After breakfast at the hotel, head in land to Rabat making a stop before leaving Fes at 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. • You will make the following stops along the way: 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. Moulay Idriss – a scenic hill town just a few minutes from Volubulis. In the center of town is the Shrine of Moulay Idriss I, the man who brought Islam to Morocco. Though the shrine is not open to non-Muslims, one gets fantastic views from strolling the narrow streets above. • Lunch on route on your own. • 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. • Upon arrival to Rabat, you can start exploring the main attraction highlight of the city: Visit Hassan Tour (AKA Hassan Tower) – 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. • Continue to Chellah, the roots of which go back to Phoenician times. The Romans and the corsairs of later eras operated from this fortress located above the banks of the Bouregreg River. Today, Chellah is a collection of ruins, a citadel and lush gardens. • A must visit is the Mohammed VI Modern and Contemporary Art Museum. The Museum opened in 2014 and offers a look at Moroccan contemporary art as well as travelling exhibits. Visit the Kasbah des Oudaias – built by the Almohad Dynasty in the 12th century, is worth serious exploration. Stroll the narrow streets to the Andalusian gardens that sit on the site of the former palace and are something of a town square – especially in the summer months. • Continue on to Casablanca. • Upon arrival, Check in at the Four Seasons Hotel • Rest and refresh at your hotel then meet in the lobby for departure to restaurant. • Dinner at Cercle de L’Alliance • Overnight: The Four Seasons Hotel

Day 10: Tuesday, April 28

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 TBA. • Overnight: The Four Seasons Hotel

Day 11: Wednesday, April 29

Breakfast at your Hotel and then check out. We begin your last day with a visit to 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 TBA. • After lunch you will be escorted to Casablanca’s Mohammed V Airport for your departing flight back to the USA.

Discounted Price for Check Payment
Land Only Package – $3695 per person in a double room
Land and Air Package – *$4795 per person in a double room
Full Price for Credit Card Payment
Land Only Package – $3843 per person in a double room
Land and Air Package – *$4997 per person in a double room
Single Room Supplement – $1196

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