Morocco: Discovering Jewish Morocco

Jewish Morocco is a blog in which a traveler to Morocco is tracking his experiences with Jewish sites and Morocco's few Jewish people. The blogger recently traveled to the east of the country for Passover.


  • clarisse

    I was born in the town of Arcila(now known as Azilah)
    my family there goes back to many many generations. As a child, there is were I lived with my family. My mom is from the Roffe family or say Roif, I just came across this site. Interesting, because my culture is based on that town. Now I live in the USA. I own a lot of music original to that region, as well as speak te dialect HAKETIA. Mom mom who is 95 still has a repertory os stories from that town. So many things to say, it will not fit here

    • chrystie sherman

      Hi Clarisse
      I am a photographer working on a long-term photography project on
      small and sometimes disappearing Jewish communities. I was just surfing
      the web and saw your comment from 2009. Do you have any relatives still
      residing in Morocco that I could look up; or know of anyone that does.
      Thanks, Chrystie

    • Jan Rodrig

      Hey Clarisse,
      I’m a sephardic jew, who just migrated to Israel and I’m also a researcher on the dialect of Haketia. I’m a native speaker of Judeo-Spanish of Istanbul and I know to some degree Haketia.

      The truth is I’ve never listened Haketia spoken by a native speaker and I’ve been searching for one, for a long time actually. Lately, I’ve been researching the subdialects of Haketia or rather the differences in the speeches of different communities living in Morocco.

      Until now I’ve located 16 communities that used to speak Haketia in Morocco:
      Agadir (and the nearby village of Inezgane), Arcila, Azemmur, Beni-Melal, Mogador (Essaouira), Fez, Alkazarkebir, Larash, Marrakesh, Mekines, Rabat, Safi, Sheshuan (Chefchaouen), Tanger, Tarudant and Tetuan.

      I’m planning to write down and register whatever is left of Haketia, so it doesn’t totally disappear. And I’m also planning to learn it totally and if I can, teach it to the young Moroccans that live in Israel. What I mean is that I want to do whatever I can so that the language doesn’t die.

      I’m also interested to the culture of Arcila and Morocco, at the times you used to live there… Is there any way I can contact you directly, through email or telephone? I speak French and modern Spanish as well. My email is

      Waiting impatiently your reply,
      I would be so happy if you could help this young researcher to promote Haketia :)
      Thank you very much in advance,
      Jan Rodrig

  • Alex

    My grandmother is a naturalized citizen originally from Morocco, and my father was born there (though he left and can’t really remember it.) I always feel sad, getting into the story of my culture, wanting to know what I would do if I were practicing stricter Moroccan minhag and how I would go about doing so.

    With the mass emigration that occurred, it seems a lot of the time looking at my family that a lot of Moroccan practices in the US are lost or at least incredibly difficult to find.

  • Cecily Hilleary - VOA News Middle East Monitor

    I’m interested in doing a story on Jewish Moroccans in US for the Voice of America — please email

  • mostafa chakiri

    To all moroccan and non moroccan jewish comunities , I say welcome all to your country morocco … a country where jewish culture is as rich as the muslim one …
    really a travel to morocco jewish sites is simply wonderfull …

  • Lee A.

    I found out only this past week that I am most probably descended from Moroccan Jews. Possibly Berbers? I have spent the past several months doing a geneological search on my family – the BenZuly’s. Or, as they sometimes were known…Benazuloui, Benazuly, or Azuly (later adding the pre-fix ‘Ben’ [son of].
    I want to know/read/hear from anyone who knows any more about the history of this family name. Please, respond!
    Thank you,

    • J. Azoulay

      Hello Lee, I’m an Azoulay born in Morocco in the City of Demnate and left Morocco in 1964 with my parents to Israel. Now I living in The Netherlands since 1979. If you have any question, your are welcome. May be I can help you with more information, and may I can answers your questions.

      Best wishes,


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