Moroccan Jews - 3rd Grade Teachers Guide

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Their Prayer


Saadon Synagogue in Fez

How do Moroccan Jews pray?

They pray according to the Sephardic tradition, which is similar to Orthodox. Men and women are in separate areas. The entire service is in Hebrew.

What special things do Moroccan Jews do for the holidays?

  1. For Chanukah, they eat doughnuts and light wicks in olive oil in menorahs.
  2. They have established special Purims to remember times when the Jewish community was saved, such as when the Americans arrived during World War II to begin fighting the Nazis.
  3. The most unique Jewish holiday is called Mimuna, at the end of Passover, when Muslims visit, and Jews go from house to house visiting friends and family, to eat lots of sweets and bread.

 Their culture




Painting of Jewish woman                      (Eugene Delacroix, "Saada, the Wife of Abraham Benchimol")


Young Jewish Man wearing a Yalak - the traditional costume for Jewish men, Tetuan, c. 1920 

Beth Hatefutsoth Photo Archive, 

courtesy of Ahuva Avital, Israel.

What type of food is special to Moroccan Jews?

Moroccan Jewish cooking is kosher, so they donít eat milk and meat together or eat any shellfish. It is almost the same as Muslim cooking, including couscous, cooked salads, stews and fantastic pastries.

How do Moroccan Jews dress?

Moroccan Jews will often wear traditional clothes, such as djellabas and caftans.

What special artwork is associated with the Jews?

Brass art and jewelry. One shared symbol is the hamsa, or the hand of Fatima. This is just as much a Jewish symbol as the star of David or the menorah. 


What are Moroccan Jewish weddings like?

Jewish marriage ceremonies feature Moroccan music, especially Andalusian music, which was developed by Jews and Muslims in Spain over 500 years ago. At marriages, Jewish women wear traditional Moroccan robes and have their hands and feet covered with tatoos made of henna.

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