Tourism Ministry plans joint project with Morocco, Spain

New project will trace the footsteps of the Rambam (Maimonedes), the 12th-century Torah scholar and philosopher.

UK plane 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
UK plane 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
A new joint tourist project by Israel, Morocco and Spain will trace the footsteps of the Rambam (Maimonedes), the 12th-century Torah scholar and philosopher. "Israel is rich with historical, archeological, religious and cultural sites that can constitute a platform for popular tourist programs, and the Tourism Ministry plans to promote this sort of cooperation with the relevant states in the region," Shaul Tzemach, director-general of the Tourism Ministry, said this week. "This sort of cooperation will expand the Israeli tourism repertoire, deepen the cooperation with international forums and enable the joint efforts to market the experience the region has to offer," he added. Tzemach invited Moroccan Tourism Minister Muhammad Bushid on Monday to visit Israel to discuss cooperation and to examine the initiative to launch a regional tour based on the Rambam. The initiative was first presented to the Moroccan Tourism Ministry during the Euromed, a convention of the tourism ministries of Europe and Mediterranean countries that was held in Paris in March. The ministries have expressed their willingness to assist in the project. The tour will bring tourists to cities and sites identified with the Rambam's life, starting in Cordova, Spain, and continuing to Fez, Morocco, and Tiberias. Rabbi Moshe Ben-Maimon (1138-1204), was born in Cordova and served as a physician while being a spiritual leader and halachic authority for the Jews of Europe. Due to religious persecution, he and his family immigrated to Morocco. Although the Rambam visited Israel, he spent most of his years in Egypt. He is buried in Tiberias. Other tours being considered by the Tourism Ministry include a journey in the footsteps of the patriarch Abraham, which would entail visits to Israel, Turkey and Judea and Samaria, and a journey along the Incense Route via Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Turkey.