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December 26, 2019 2:14 pm

Attendance of Moroccan Officials at Casablanca Hanukkah Celebration Described as Historic

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A menorah. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

In what was said to be a historic first, two Moroccan government officials attended a Hanukkah celebration held by the country’s Jewish community, reported on Wednesday.

Said Ahmidouch, the wali of Casablanca-Settat region, and his wife, and Rachid Afirat, the governor of Casablanca-Anfa prefecture, joined more than 800 Moroccan Jews and other dignitaries on Sunday at the community’s main Hanukkah event, which took place at a hotel in Casablanca.

Both the wali and governor are appointees of King Mohammed VI.

The Chanukah event was organized by Jeunesse Chabad of Morocco, the Council of Jewish Communities of Morocco, the SOC and David Hamelech Synagogue.

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“This sends a strong message of peace and tolerance,” Rabbi Levi Banon, director of Jeunesse Chabad of Morocco, said about the government officials being present at the event. “Morocco, under the leadership and inspiration of King Mohammed VI, has been a true example for the world of what coexistence between all peoples looks like.”

The festivities included a children’s performance of Hanukkah songs, guests were served sfenj, a Maghrebi fried doughnut traditionally eaten on Hanukkah, and Serge Berdugo, King Mohammed VI’s ambassador-at-large and president of the Council of Jewish Communities, lit a giant menorah.

Morocco’s Jewish population stands at 3,000 and the community mostly resides in Casablanca.

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