Yeshurun Missions

Mission 5 : Morocco 
23rd - 27th February 2014

Following our very successful Missions to Berlin, Lithuania and Latvia, and Northern and Southern Poland in previous years, Yeshurun is running its fifth Mission to places of Jewish heritage and interest abroad in February 2014.

This time, we're going to the main sites in Jewish Morocco - a country rich in Jewish heritage going back to the First Temple, and with many places of interest. And Of all the Arab countries, Morocco is very stable – their King is loved by all

The Mission will take place from Sunday 23rd February for five nights and four days, returning on Thursday 27th February (Purim is two weeks later). 

All the details are below. For any additional queries, please contact Yeshurun President Russell Grossman.

Booking the flights should be done directly by you. Once booked, these are non-refundable but do not do this until we have confirmed the Mission with 15 people booking with deposits of £150 (this is the minimum number we need to secure the Mission). Deposits should be sent with booking form to West End Travel (details below).


Yeshurun Mission to Magical Jewish Morocco

From Sunday 23rd to Thursday 27th February 2014
Marrakesh - Casablanca - Rabat - Meknes - Fez

Tell Me About Morocco

Jewish life in Morocco began in antiquity and legends relate about the settlement of Jews in Biblical times.

Evidence shows the existence of Jews in Morocco in the early centuries of the Common Era. Jews lived there with the Berbers long before the Muslim Arabs conquered North Africa. They succeeded in converting several Berber tribes and in establishing a powerful community.

Under Arab rule Jewish life underwent ups and downs. A period of decline starting in the 14th century was followed by a flourishing era with the arrival of the Jews expelled from Spain.

An exciting and interesting meeting of the local and the Sephardi Jews led to religious and cultural clashes. Morocco became a centre of mysticism and a haven for the conversos.

While Jews lived in their special quarters, the mellahs [ghettos], they developed a rich and fascinating way of life.

From the 18th century European influence affected deeply Jewish life and with the establishment of the French protectorate the Jews of Morocco underwent a serious transformation.

Our Mission will concentrate on the remains of fascinating Jewish past and sites of general historical interest. Israelis with Moroccans descent represent over a million people now and contribute greatly to the Jewish state. The Mission will examine the history, religion, culture, folklore and customs of Moroccan Jewry.

Our Guide Rafi

Rafi, who will be our guide, returned from Israel to live in Casablanca. Rafi is a Moroccan Jewish tour guide specialising in the 2,000 year old history of Morocco’s Jews. He is at the forefront of an effort to preserve Morocco’s Jewish heritage and keep the memory of former Jewish Moroccan communities alive.

You will learn and see his relentless efforts on the trip through Jewish sites around the country and his discovery of numerous exciting artefacts displayed in the Casablanca Jewish museum he has created. In fact, it is the only Jewish museum in the Arab world.

A captivating speaker, Rafi enthrals his listeners with remarkable stories and inspirational anecdotes. He is very entertaining and makes the Mission a joyful and rewarding experience.

Earlier this year his book on Jewish Morocco was presented by him to the King.

Initial Itinerary (Subect To Change)

Day 1 – Sunday 23rd February – EasyJet flight to Marrakesh from Gatwick. After arrival, we will check into the Almas Hotel in the town centre followed by visit to the Bahia Palace, Synagogue and cemetery and a walk to the world famous Djemaa El Fna Sqaure & Medina. Evening meal at the hospitality of Monsieur Aharon residence.

Day 2- Monday 24th: Leave for Casablanca. There see the street of seven shuls, the kosher bakery, the Jewish museum and the Beth el Synagogue. Walk on the Corniche. We will be staying at the Idou Anfa hotel and take our dinner at the kosher club [lamb in the oven a specialty] exclusive club and home of Jewish community of Casablanca that offers wonderful kosher cuisine

Day 3 - Tuesday 25th: We leave Casablanca after visiting the only Jewish museum in the Arab world, and travel up the coast to the capital Rabat and view its shul in the mellah in what was once a Portuguese port. We see shrines of the Moroccan kings on the way to Meknes. This is another of the Imperial Cities where we see the Mellah, labelled with Jewish names, which once contained 11 Synagogues before visiting the famous royal stables, once home to 15,000 Arabian horses. Arrive at the Ramada Hotel Fez and have an evening meal at the Maimionides kosher club, known as Chez Max. 

Day 4 - Wednesday 26th: We spend the day in Fez visiting the extraordinary Jewish cemetery in the Mellah, hear the legend of Salika, visit the Ibn Dayan shul and newly renovated Synagogue plus mikva plus Maimonides house. We then walk through the biggest medina in the world, home to the first university long before Oxford & Cambridge were even though of. We visit the famous tannery and lunch in the mellah before continuing the tour of the Medina, visiting local artisans. Before returning to our hotel we park on a hill to view the best view of the Medina - Evening we eat again at the Maimonides kosher club

Day 5 – Thursday 27th: Check out early to leave hotel with kosher lunch pack for the 07.45 flight home with RyanAir to Stansted that lands at 11.00am


(Once you confirm you will be coming, you need to book these yourself. Don't do this yet, but do this immediately once we have confirmed we have the minimum number of 15 people attending; the later you then leave it the more expensive the flights can be)

OUTWARD: Sunday 23rd February : EasyJet Flight 8893 Gatwick to Marrakech RAK depart 7.25am arrives 11.05. On 29th September this was £73.99 including £16.00 for a hold bag up to 20kg. Note - EasyJet allow only one hold bag in the cabin.

RETURN: Thursday 27th February : RyanAir FR2773 Leaves Fez at 7.45 am arrives Stansted 11am (There are no later alternative flights on any day on any airline from Fez to London otherwise we would be taking it). On 29th September this was the equivalent of £66.78 including the equivalent of £22.51 for a hold bag up to 20kg. .

The Tachlis

Not including flights which must be booked by yourselves (see above for indicative prices), the cost for the trip is £695 pp sharing a room. There is a single room supplement (imposed by the hotels) of £195.

The trip cost includes:

• Hotel accommodation 
• Lunch packs and 3 course evening meals with water
• Deluxe air conditioned transport
• Fully guided tour 
• Entrance fees to monuments and museums 
• Porterage and tips at the hotels
• Opportunities for Shacharis, Mincha and Maariv at the appropriate points in the day

If you wish to proceed please email our tour organiser, Marcel Manson ( at Jewish Heritage Tours, a division of West End Travel. He will send you a form to complete and a request for a £150 per person deposit that will secure your place.

As soon as 15 people have booked he will inform you and you should book your flights. 

Remember also that you will need to be covered by your own Travel Insurance.