The Moroccan King famously stated that “there are no Jewish citizens, there are no Muslims citizens; they’re all Moroccans”.

Throughout history, Morocco has been a land for many civilizations and peoples. The Jews are among the most important religious groups that inhabited Morocco. Their presence in the land of Morocco goes as far as the Roman era (2,500 years ago). The Moroccan Jewish heritage still lives today, manifested in many Jewish monuments.

Across Morocco, you’ll find many proofs of the presence of Judaism, even though there are only 2,200 Jews who live in Morocco as of 2018. However, there are over 1,000,000 Jews in Israel who are descendants of Moroccan origins. So, there’s a big chance that your origins are Moroccan if you’re Jewish and live in Israel or any other country. Visiting the Moroccan Jewish Heritage will feel like bonding with your ancestors.

In this article, you will explore the most remarkable Jewish landmarks in Morocco. Stay with us to discover which ones you might want to visit on your next trip to Morocco.

Mellahs (Jewish Quarters)

The mellahs are the Jewish quarters that you can find in all of the big cities of Morocco. Originated in the 15th century, the mellahs were designated to the Jewish population. They were not allowed to live alongside Muslims. The mellahs are usually located near the Royal and governor palaces for protection because the Jews were very important for the local economies of the cities. The mallahs are usually surrounded by walls and have fortified gateways. Nowadays, the mellahs are mainly inhabited by Muslims.

Agadir city

Jewish quarters


The oldest of the Jewish Quarters is Fezmellah. Before the 15th century, Jews used to live among Muslims. However, for economic, political, and security purposes, Jews were transferred to live in the mellah. The original mellah was a saline area. But, the name soon became associated with every district where Jews lived all over Moroccan cities.

The mellah of Fez is home to many monuments such as houses with Moroccan Jewish architecture, synagogues, and cemeteries; all of which are tourist attractions and places of religious rites.


Agadir Fishing Port

Mellah in Fes


Meknes is the only Moroccan city where there are two mellahs. There’s the old mellah and the new one. The old one has very narrow streets and it’s also considered a threatening place.  


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Old jewish school in meknes


The narrow alleyways of the mellah of Marrakech with their tiled courtyards and lively markets are a great spot for drinking coffee or dining. The Miaara Jewish cemetery and the Lazama Synagogue are two spots where you can pay respect to Jewish tradition.


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old jewish quarter in Marrakech


The mellah of Rabat is relatively new; it was established in the 19th century. This mellah is home to Rue Chaloum Zaoui, Rue David Cohen, Impasse Attias, Rue du Mellah, and synagogue Rabbi Shalom Zaoui.


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Jewish heritage in rabat


 The newest mellah, which is founded less than a century is found in Casablanca. It’s a great place to do shopping if you’re interested in Moroccan Souks (markets).


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Old jewish quarters in casablanca


When Essaouira was established in the 18th century by the Alaouite Dynasty on the site of the Old Portuguese fortress, it became a major trading port in the region. The mellah of Essaouira was established for protecting the Moroccan Jews, who were 40% of the population. Jews played a huge role in the flourishing economy of Essaouira. You will find Jewish homes all over the place with the Star of David decorating their doors.


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Jewish heritage in Essaouira

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                There are many synagogues across Morocco. Here are the most notable ones.

Temple Beth-El Synagogue :

Temple Beth-El is the largest synagogue in Casablanca. It’s one of the major centers of the local Jewish community. The beautiful internal and external designs make this temple a major tourist attraction among Jewish people.

There are over 30 synagogues in Casablanca, but Temple Beth-El stands out as the most iconic one.

Paradise Valley

Temple Beth-El Synagogue

Slat al-Azama Synagogue


Slat al-Azama Synagogue is one of the famous synagogues in Marrakesh. Located in the mellah of the old city, this synagogue was associated with Sephardic Jews. They lived in the mellah of Marrakech after they were expelled from Spain in the 15th century.

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Slat al-Azama Synagogue

Ibn Danan Synagogue


                The Ibn Danan Synagogue is a 17th-century temple that was built by a wealthy Jewish merchant. It’s one of the Jewish Heritage Sites in the Medina of Fez.


Crocoparc Agadir

Ibn Danan Synagogue

Simon Attias Synagogue


                The Simon Attias Synagogue of Essaouira is a 19th-century temple that is now part of the Bayt Dakira Museum. The architecture of this temple is very sophisticated.

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Simon Attias Synagogue Essaouira

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The cemetery of Casablanca


The Jewish cemetery of Casablanca is one of the iconic places for the Jews in the city. The local Jewish community of Casablanca celebrates hiloula once a year at the tomb of the Jewish Saint, Eliahou.

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Jewish cemetry in casablanca

The cemetery of Fez


The Jewish cemetery of Fez has thousands of shining white tombs, except for one blue painted one that belongs to the saint Solica.

Solica is a venerated martyr that was tortured and beheaded. She was 17 years old when she refused to convert from her religion under the orders of the local governor. Her beauty was fascinating and the governor wanted her to convert to Islam so that he can have her for himself. After she declined, she was sentenced to death. Her martyrdom is still venerated by Jewish People and Muslim women.   

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Jewish cemetry in fes

The cemetery of Marrakech


The Jewish Cemetery in Marrakech with its fascinating and well-preserved tombs is the largest one in Morocco. Even though it’s the largest cemetery, there are three burial layers for each grave to make up for the limited space.

It’s a very important Jewish landmark in the world because many famous and well-respected Tsadikkims lie in peace there.


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Jewish cemetry in Marrakech

The Casablanca Museum of Moroccan Judaism


Being the only significant Jewish museum in the Arab World, this iconic place is a must-visit for all the Jewish people all over the world. This rich landmark hosts artifacts and items that trace the 2,000-years history of Jews in Morocco.



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The Casablanca Museum of Moroccan Judaism

Check out this Moroccan history overview for more information about Moroccan history.

If you want to organize a tour across all of these landmarks and more, please feel free to contact us.


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