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Juif du Maroc

Juif du Maroc

Voilà un blog qui décrira et donnera un aperçu de la vie quotidienne de la Communauté Juive au Maroc d'aujourd'hui mais aussi d'antan. La vie de la communauté d'un aspect intérieur, du judaïsme marocain, du Maroc, via la vue personnelle de Marocains de confession Juive ou autre, dans leur pays.

To meet the emergency, Heritage Foundation Judeo-Moroccan - by Simon Levy

Publié par Feuj Maroc sur 7 Mars 2002, 11:07am

Catégories : #JUIF AU MAROC

Heritage in. Structures and uses in different urban contexts -

Raffaele Cattedra Pascal Garret, Catherine Miller and Mercedes Volait (ed.)

Reference: Simon Levy, "To meet the emergency, the Heritage Foundation Judeo-Moroccan" in Raffaele Cattedra Pascal Garret, Catherine Miller and Mercedes Volait (ed.), Heritage situations. Structures and uses in different urban contexts, Beirut / Rabat, Ifpo Press / Jacques Berque Centre ("Contemporary publications"), 2010, [online], available online January 31, 2010, Accessed November 7, 2012. URL: http://ifpo.revues.org/896


French link

Hebrew link


1)       The preservation of cultural heritage requires a clear understanding of the challenge it represents. In Morocco, this awareness is an ongoing process that has not yet reached maturity, Moroccans have faced during the last century, the challenge of a sudden modernization "imported". The apparent conflict between 'asala and mo c Asara 1 , the first element is less developed in terms of wealth concrete, physical, except as part of religious tradition or linguistic "identity". From that point of view, a piece of furniture, a tool or old buildings will be easily considered 'old outdated ", a cemetery, with its sacred character, is more likely, they will lose interest a" dialect " to enhance the classical language or sacred is deflect the eyes of a site or building venerable but abandoned to reinvest in the field, or the proceeds of the sale to a company's profitability more obvious. Concerns are those of the present and the future, nostalgia and feelings are repressed as a new vision of the past does not restore its full heritage, prestige "civilizational", his dignity, his usefulness. Thus, for example, that the traditional craft is saved largely by the activity that is the modern tourism.

2)       It is necessary for this, that is resorbed contempt for what is "outdated" and relativized the prestige of modern, new, now commonplace.

3)       In Europe, the incremental changes from one historical period to another, were accompanied by the necessary conservation measures. The modern is added to the former and heritage awareness had time to train, develop, served by education and historical research.

4)       Such a consciousness is not born spontaneously in a domestic situation where things change slowly, seeming eternal. Modernity that arise and then have all the attractions, but then the former is in great danger of being despised as a sign of a past exceeded rejected. Consciousness heritage must first overcome this stage for self-deprecation, once the prestige of the "modern" relativized, the flavors of the old resume their charms ...

5)       In the case of Judeo-Moroccan heritage, aware of the delay has been made ​​more destructive by the abandonment of sites due to emigration. In less than thirty years (1948-1975), some Jewish communities have disappeared (Dra towns, Atlas, Debdou, Sefrou ...), others have abandoned their mellahs to live in neighborhoods safer. This abandonment has affected all the more serious because of its speed and massive character of departures, as well as the private property status of certain cultural property. Synagogues were sold, converted into local homes or workshops; beautiful ancestral homes have deteriorated to have been leased and sub-leased well below value. By cons, cemeteries and shrines were generally protected by their collective character and the respect they inspire, descendants as the neighboring populations.

6)       Heavy toll, exacerbated by the underestimation of traditional values ​​considered by the holders thereof as a "sub-culture" devalued by acculturation in Europe 2 , in the West, along with a sense of uncertainty has encouraged the sale of cultural property, or their escape when suspected to preserve them in the future.

7)       Judaism in Morocco today form a small community, but very lively and enterprising, linked to a Moroccan diaspora it remains the cradle, the reference, the purpose of many trips of remembrance, faith, feeling. We appreciate all the more that his heritage is separated ...

8)       Now, the Moroccan Jews realize the value of their heritage, rediscovering in the light of academic work and the interest of visitors: those of nostalgia, the second generation of Jewish tourism ... At the same time develops in the Muslim population of interest for this "other forms" of Moroccan culture.

9)       But it is urgent because many ancient synagogues have disappeared and others threaten to fall into ruin. The mellahs 3 decay and the qsours 4 , like any adobe construction, collapse ... If cemeteries are more resistant, some abandoned fade ...

10)   The next few years will be crucial to avoid the destruction of an entire segment of the multi-cultural heritage of Morocco. This urgency is included at the Ministry of Cultural Affairs for everything that concerns the political and moral support, technical assistance (architectural drawings), or participation in partnership by the direct intervention of specialized personnel in specific projects . But, with 0.28% of the budget, the Department of Culture should be supported by the initiatives of civil society.


11)   The Council of Jewish Communities, for its part, has created a specialized tool, the Cultural Heritage Foundation Judeo-Moroccan, whose objectives 5 ​​are:

  1. restore, conserve, maintain abandoned synagogues of architectural, historic or simply sentimental;
  2. preserve cemeteries, witnessing ancient Jewish communities;
  3. organize the collection of religious objects, books and manuscripts, ethnographic, photographic evidence and film;
  4. create and animate museum exhibitions;
  5. awareness of the Judeo-Moroccan and promoted through books, films, tapes, conferences and symposia;
  6. manage these assets over the long term and train supervisory staff required;
  7. mobilize financial and human resources, the call for grants and partnership, as the generosity and volunteering.

The advantages of awareness

12)       A foundation not alone "make the spring." Initiatives of UNESCO, with the powerful moral encouragement that is the classification of Moroccan cities and sites as "universal heritage", it provides technical support both to the scientific research of international sponsors have done much to raise some psychological blocks. Global recognition of a monument that is considered "trivial" is a major force in local decisions. The lists published by the World Monument Fund and its section specializes in Jewish heritage also played a major role in the case of Ibn Danan Synagogue in Fez.

13)       Another factor awareness heritage is undoubtedly the development and publication of research on the contribution of Moroccan Jewry to Jewish culture in general and its close relationship with the history and civilization of the West Arab-Muslim world. The work of Haim Zafrani 6 , especially thousand years of Jewish life in Morocco, widely disseminated in French and Arabic, were (re) discover the Moroccan public of both faiths, dimension, forgotten or hidden, the Moroccan reality. Today, we are witnessing the emergence of a flowering of research in our universities 7 , researchers showing a renewed interest in all tangible traces of the past Moroccan pan 8 .

14)       At the same time, among the diaspora Jewish Moroccan first or second generation, the desire to preserve the roots, to rediscover the cultural cradle has promoted initiatives such as the restoration of the synagogue Tangier Nahon 9 .

15)       Needs of tourism and, more specifically, the development of a Jewish tourism in favor of the peace process in the Middle East, finally restore the sites and monuments concerned practical interest. Jewish Moroccan expatriates and tourists, and other American Jews are attracted by visiting mellahs, urban or rural, as in hillolot 10 always celebrated with splendor in the ancient Moroccan tradition. Sites are even rediscovered, like the synagogue of adobe Arazan in full under 11 , or website in Ifrane Anti-Atlas.

Objective difficulties

16)       Losses, however, are an inescapable fact: libraries have been sold abroad, such as R. Youssef Benaïm Fez, transferred to the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, with his manuscripts and rare books, part of which was burnt ... Precipitation departures in collective amounts of objects have been abandoned (or stolen) and made ​​small profits of junk and the delight of collectors ...

17)       Such as the medinas, the houses have often been mellahs irreparable damage. Like so qsours in mud, depopulated rural or urban mellahs melted under the weather. As for disused synagogues, even those in large cities, they often suffered from their private land tenure. Sold, they were transformed into housing, shops and others. It is true that they were often part of a building transformed into a chapel by the owner.

18)       Synagogues belonging to community committees fared better, although some have suffered from misunderstanding leaders insensitive to cultural values, or a mixed status, both private and community source of many difficulties. In contrast, the case of a donation to the community for preservation are fortunately real.

19)       In all cases, there is an urgent need for intervention and conscious. Adobe buildings have only a short life if regular maintenance is lacking. Traditional masonry frames, abandoned for thirty or forty years are breathless. Their survival depends on an urgent intervention, immediate for some.

20)       The task is enormous, complicated by issues of land ownership and, ultimately, a matter of finances. Local or international sponsorship is valuable but it can not solve everything. It is not, however, astronomical sums, millions of cents spent wisely can often avoid spending more substantial later. Sometimes it is sufficient to intervention in the form of labor than urban communities could provide in their best interest. It is further necessary that the political ideology of advisors does not blind, as was the case when the streets of any mellah were débaptisées despite common sense, any sense of history or simple good taste, to the chagrin their inhabitants, all faiths 12 .

21)       If sound circular of the Ministry of Interior had beneficial results in the preservation of sites and the population is generally respectful of Jewish cultural property, it remains a formal orientation could raise awareness throughout of local communities to become more involved in the preservation of a heritage that the load does not rest solely on Jewish institutions.

Results and Prospects

22)       That said, the Council of Jewish Communities of Morocco and the Cultural Heritage Foundation Judeo-Moroccan have, in recent years, involved in a rescue mission, a mission of loyalty to the long and rich history of Moroccan Judaism , Mission dignity in the national concert. The action of these Jewish institutions is irreplaceable by its specificity as its value as an example of training and all relevant partners, whether public or private.

23)       At the center of this action is the creation of the Museum of Moroccan Judaism of Casablanca 13 which opened its doors to the public in autumn 1998. It is a museum function, 600 m 2 covered with the international standards of safety and conservation, which can host international collections. It is designed to collect all objects of worship, ethnographic and artistic make up the history of religious life, family customs, the work, the culture of Moroccan Jewry in its different forms, in the context of Moroccan civilization . It is intended for new generations Jewish Moroccan, Morocco and the Diaspora, to steep himself in their historical roots, foreign visitors curious about the Moroccan version of Judaism, and, more particularly, the public Moroccan Muslim to present the Jewish component of the national culture.

24)       The second part of Community cultural action, the editing is prior to the birth of the Foundation, with the publication of books which she continues to spread, such as the Jews of Morocco, Identity and Dialogue 14 and Jews Morocco - Images and Texts 15 .

25)       The Council of the European Communities, with participation of the Foundation is currently preparing the publication of a comprehensive CD-ROM on Moroccan Judaism.

26)       The Foundation also maintains an intense collection, storage and inventory of cultural heritage Judeo-Moroccan: texts in both Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Spanish, various documents, funds and liturgical music.

27)       As architectural heritage, after up an initial inventory, necessarily brief, the foundation develops an intense archival photo and video sites: mellahs, synagogues, cemeteries, sanctuaries, thanks to the talents of Madame Zhour Rehihil detached from the Ministry Cultural Affairs with the latter.

28)       Site restoration and is a fundamental objective of the Foundation. It has made ​​the restoration of the synagogue Arazan (35 km from Taroudant), the first intervention of the synagogue of Ben Walid Tetouan, statement Attias Synagogue of Essaouira.

29)       It develops a cooperative program with the IV Master patrimonio School of Architecture of Valencia in order to achieve the restoration of synagogues and Mansano Fassiyine Fez.

30)       Association with "Architecture and Development" in Paris, she prepares a rehabilitation program ancient site of Ifrane Anti-Atlas (cemetery and synagogue).

31)       Finally, the Foundation is involved in the restoration of the Ibn Danan synagogue in Fez (seventeenth - eighteenth century), underway. The realization of this project will serve as a model and reference for other projects. Unesco has inscribed with three other synagogues, among monuments to save the program "Fez universal heritage of humanity" and, as such, has facilitated contacts with potential sponsors. The Ministry of Cultural Affairs has commissioned surveys by Mohamed Hassani Ameziane, Inspector of Historic Monuments of Fez. The World Monument Fund participates in the financing. The main effort, however, to the credit of the Association for the Restoration of Ibn Danan synagogue in Fez and its president, Benjamin Danan who put up the association, and raised the necessary funds from the Danan family and other donors from Morocco. The Committee of the Association has around its president, Foundation representative (Mr. Simon Levy), President of the Jewish community of Fez (Dr. Armand Guigui) and Henry M. Danan which monitors the work. A partnership agreement binds the Heritage Branch and the Association, with the assurance of participation on the site of a team maallimin 16 of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the office of the architectural and scientific work M . Ameziane Hassani.

32)       Once the work is completed, maintenance, caretaking and open to visitors will be entrusted to the Foundation, part of the project from the outset.

33)       The Cultural Heritage Foundation Judeo-Moroccan is indeed an institution that was created to manage the long term, sites under its responsibility, which requires funding research and training of qualified personnel.

34)       Creation museum, restoration of Jewish sites made ​​accessible to the public, directly or through the written and audiovisual, such is the ambition and the concrete task of the foundation. His wish is to contribute to a more comprehensive vision of pluralistic civilization of Morocco, resulting contributions of all its historical components.

One between "authenticity" and "contemporaneity" (NDLE).

2 In the midst Jewish acculturation that began in 1862 with the creation of the first schools of the Alliance Israelite Universelle. This saw the emancipation of Moroccan Jews in access to French culture or French citizenship, how the Cremieux decree had made Algerian Jews French citizens. In 1912, the Alliance was created in 50 years a network of twenty-seven schools. It must be said that the traditional teaching of a religious, kept his followers, and, next to the French culture was maintained traditional culture, mainly Arabic-speaking (or Spanish or Berber) strongly supported by religion.

3 Mellah Jewish quarter.

4 Qsar, plural qsour: fortified village.

5 These goals are extracted from the pamphlet "Cultural Heritage Foundation Judeo-Moroccan heritage to preserve two millennia."

6 A tribute must be paid to the tremendous work undertaken by Haim Zafrani since the 1960s and has made ​​the scope of a public culture whose language had become French, while a brilliant heritage, more or less obscured or minimized so far, through works such as H. Zafrani, Pedagogy Jewish land of Islam The traditional teaching of Hebrew and Judaism in Morocco, Paris, Maisonneuve, 1969. H. Zafrani and P. Galand-Pernet, a Berber version of the Haggadah of Pesach. Text Tinghir Todra (High Atlas) Morocco, 2 vols, Paris, Supplement to Proceedings of GLECS, 1970. H. Zafrani, The Jews of Morocco, social, economic and religious - and Studies taqqanot Responsa from the late fifteenth to the early twentieth century, Paris, Geuthner, 1972. H. Zafrani, Poetry Jewish Muslim West, Paris, Geuthner, 1977. H. Zafrani, Dialect Literature and Popular Jewish Muslim West, Paris, Geuthner, 1980. H. Zafrani, A thousand years of Jewish life in Morocco, Paris, Maisonneuve & Larose, 1983 (Translated by A. Chahlan and Abd al-Ghani Abu-1-c azm, Casablanca, 1987). H. Zafrani, Kabbalah, magic and mystical life: Judaism Muslim West, Paris, Maisonneuve & Larose, 1986. H. Zafrani and A. Caquot "Ecclesiastes and its commentary," The Book of asceticism, Paris, Maisonneuve & Larose, 1989. H. Zafrani, Ethics and mystical Kabbalistic commentary of the "Treaty of the Fathers" J. Bu Ifergan, Paris, Maisonneuve & Larose, 1991.

7 The Centre for Research on Moroccan Judaism (MGCC) provides support to doctoral students and researchers through its offices in Rabat, Paris and Jerusalem.

8 To cite only a few examples we mention the work of Mr. Laghraib on the history of Judaism in Morocco Oriental, the thesis of Dr. A. Chahbar Jewish Poetry in Morocco between the influence of Andalusian and Moroccan originality, which also strives to provide the public with Arabic poetic works written original Judeo-Arabic as that of R. Moshe El Baz Sefrou nineteenth century, see Namadij shi c r min al-Maghribi al malhoun bi-1-al arabia Yahoudia, in review of the Faculty of Arts of Tetouan, No. 6, 1993, p. 85-102. See also S. Levy, Parlers Arab Jews of Morocco: Features and loans. History, Geography and Sociolinguistics dialect, thesis statement, Paris VIII, 1990, 1850 p.

9 Nahon synagogue was restored in 1994 thanks to the efforts of Mr. Sibony, Tangier restaurant in New York, the Committee of the Jewish Community of Tangier American donors and the Diaspora Jewish Tangier.

10 Hillulot, plural Hillula is the Hebrew name pilgrimages Judeo-Moroccan, celebrated every year in the tradition of moussems to Ouazane, Safi, Ouarzazate, Taroudant, Ntifa, Settat, Ben Ahmed Ait Ourir, Ourika Essaouira, Casablanca , Azemmour Oumnas, Sale, Beni Mellal, Demnate Gourrama, etc..

11 Arazan site, 35 km from Taroudant and the edge of the Oued Sous was abandoned by its Jewish population thirty years ago, the Mellah, adobe, collapsed with the exception of the synagogue, held up by the care of a Muslim neighbor, Mr. Harim. A young American architect, Mr. Joel Zack fell in love while preparing a book on Moroccan synagogues, on behalf of the World Monument Fund. It has been restored to the same under scientific leadership in partnership between the Department of Culture of the Council of Jewish Communities of Morocco (currently Cultural Heritage Foundation Judeo-Moroccan), the Littauer Foundation (USA) and the Jewish Community Casablanca.

12 This is the case in Marrakech and Fez. Names of streets, from the popular use with Derb their flavor as did al ferran tehti (Rue du Four to bottom) or 'Aqba of Ulad Abensur (Coast Abensur clan) were replaced by the blandness names of towns ... Needless to say, the present inhabitants of the Mellah retained and extended the life of these popular names ancestral ...

13 81, Rue Jules Hunter Gros, Oasis, Casablanca.

14 "Jews of Morocco, Identity and Dialogue", Proceedings of the International Symposium on Moroccan Jewry: culture, history and social evolution (Paris, 18-21 December 1978) editions of the Savage Mind, 1980.

15 Collective work directed by Andrew Goldenberg, The Jews of Morocco, Images & Texts, Paris, Editions du Scribe, 1992.

16 Master Artisans (NDLE).

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