In the wake of the earthquake that shook Marrakesh, Morocco, members of the Israeli student organization, the Eyalim Association, along with Israeli youth center directors, joined forces to rebuild and renovate the Jewish cemetery in Morocco’s historic city of Sale, the Eyalim Association announced in a Tuesday press release.
This trip marked the organization’s seventh to Morocco. The association decided to continue with the annual trip in spite of the recent brutal earthquake that left nearly 3,000 people dead.
According to the Eyalim association’s website, since the organization’s founding in 2002, it has founded 22 student villages across Israel’s Negev, Galilee, and peripheral regions.
Eyalim describes itself as a Zionist organization that “believes that settlement in all parts of the land is of paramount national and moral importance” and crucial for the future of the country.
Refurbishing the graves
In the course of servicing the Sale Jewish cemetery, the Eyalim Association students did renovation and maintenance work. Additionally, they carried out restoration efforts in order to reveal previously illegible names on hundreds of time-weathered graves.
"Despite the earthquake experience we went through in Marrakesh, we decided to continue Eyalim's mission to Morocco and to complete the task for which we came here,” Eyalim Association head Nechami Guinness said. “[Volunteers from the] association's villages and youth center directors from Israel, together renovated and renewed the Jewish cemetery in Sale. We have been engaged in this important work for seven years already. We feel great pride and immense privilege to complete another part of this mission. This year, with our partners from the youth centers and against the backdrop of our experience in Marrakesh, these feelings are even stronger."
The press release added that during Eyalim’s trip to Morocco, the students had the opportunity to experience Marrakesh and were exposed to the city’s Jewish heritage and history, which is extensive.
At its peak, the city had a thriving Jewish community of 35,000 strong. An additional 40,000 lived in the surrounding areas.