Moroccan Jewish community celebrates Independence Day

For the first time in 10 years, the Moroccan Jewish community was able to publicly celebrate Israel's Independence Day.

 Independence Day celebrations in Marrakech, Morocco.  (photo credit: THE DIASPORA DEPARTMENT, WZO)
Independence Day celebrations in Marrakech, Morocco.
(photo credit: THE DIASPORA DEPARTMENT, WZO)

The Moroccan Jewish community had not celebrated Israel’s Independence Day publicly for decades. But this year, after the Abraham Accords, the Jewish community in Marrakesh celebrated it with a barbecue, Israeli flags in the synagogue and the traditional Independence Day prayer.

The Moroccan Jewish community used to be one of the largest in the world, but only about 2,000 Jews still live there. The small Jewish community in Marrakesh decided it was about time to stop hiding its celebrations for Israel each year and enjoy the fruits of the Abraham Accords. So in collaboration with the World Zionist Organization (WZO), it held a prayer service, a holiday meal and a musical performance.

Jewish Moroccans singing Hatikvah at Independence Day celebrations in Marrakech (credit: The Diaspora Department, WZO).

The participants also celebrated the establishment of relations between Israel and Morocco made possible by the Abraham Accords.

The attendees sang songs in Hebrew, blew the shofar and danced. At the synagogue, more than 100 participants sang “Hatikvah.”

Neria Meir, head of WZO’s Department of Zionist Activities in the Diaspora, spoke at the event via zoom.

 Barbeque in Marrakech in celebration of Independence Day.  (credit: THE DIASPORA DEPARTMENT, WZO) Barbeque in Marrakech in celebration of Independence Day. (credit: THE DIASPORA DEPARTMENT, WZO)

“The State of Israel is a continuing miracle,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “The fact that we can celebrate Israel’s independence in Morocco proves that the miracle of the revival finds new paths every year.”

“The Marrakesh community has contributed to Jewish spiritual and cultural treasures throughout history, and we are proud of our cooperation with them and with every Zionist community that supports the State of Israel,” Meir said.

WZO funded the event and allowed the Jewish community to order catering and a musical performance.

In addition, it produced the “Flag for every Jewish child” project. Tens of thousands of special Independence Day kits were sent to hundreds of Jewish communities, with Israeli flags and a booklet with Israeli songs and a barcode that allowed the children to hear the songs while singing them.

The kits were sent to Jewish communities in Argentina, Uruguay, Spain, Belgium, France, the US, Italy and Morocco.