December 15, 2020

UAE or Morocco, Israelis to Flock to Roots

Dubai…Now that Morocco and Israel will be normalizing relations, the kingdom can expect an influx of Jewish tourism, particularly from Israel, home to as many as 400,000 Moroccan Jews. In fact, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joked that selecting a destination for a vacation for Israelis has just become a lot tougher. In many respects, it is a no-contest as Morocco was once the home of the largest Jewish community in the Arab world and despite the absence of formal diplomatic relations, it has always been a Jewish heritage destination for years. Morocco has a rich Jewish heritage dating back to the Rambam (Maimonides) and even the Spanish Inquisition. Many Moroccan Jews return to Morocco for the High Holy days and even to celebrate a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

But even with the expected direct flights, availability of synagogues and kosher food, Morocco faces stiff competition from the latest Jewish charm destination, Dubai. Jewish groups are using Dubai as bait for large fundraising events. HASC will be hosting its annual A Time for Music in the magnificent opera house in the city. More Jewish weddings are being planned as are Bar/Bat Mitzvah. So, the new challenge for Israelis is to fly some 2 ½ hours or 3 1/2. Stay tuned for the winner!