The East


Entrance to abandoned synagogue in the
mellah of Debdou.

  The Oujda mellah has a modern appearance, since it was rebuilt following the pogrom of 1948. Oujda's Jews make hiloula to the saint Saadiah Haddati in nearby Nador. Nador is on the frontier with Melilla, a Spanish enclave. Of Melilla's 14 synagogues, nine are in the old city. Further west along the Mediterranean coast is Al Hoceima, where in the late 1950's, Jews boarded boats to emigrate illegally to Israel. In 1961, a boat carrying 42 persons capsized and the bodies of 22 victims were buried in the Christian cemetery. In 1993, the Moroccan Government allowed the remains of these Jews to be reburied in Israel.

Southwest of Oujda is Debdou, a town which had a significant Jewish population, as shown by its large mellah and two Jewish cemeteries. Debdou saints include Youssef Bensimon, Jacob Cohen, Ishak Ben Moche Cohen, Mardochee Ben Moche Cohen, and Moche Ben Sultan.

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