Traveling University
Jewish Heritage Adventure to Morocco
Led by Prof. Yale Strom & Elizabeth Schwartz
February 11-23, 2024


Tour Rates & Dates:

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Feb 11, 2024
Traveling University
Jewish Heritage Adventure to Morocco
Led by Prof. Yale Strom & Elizabeth Schwartz
February 11-23, 2024
[+ Hotel Details]
$5,665$5,500Sold Out
Feb 11, 2024
Traveling University
Jewish Heritage Adventure to Morocco
with Tangier & Chefchaouen Extension
Led by Prof. Yale Strom & Elizabeth Schwartz
February 11-25, 2024
[+ Hotel Details]
$7,050$6,845Sold Out
*Please note that all rates displayed are based on standard room double occupancy.
All rates above are in US Dollars, and are based on full payment by credit card unless otherwise noted.
Discount for check payment available after clicking "BOOK" above.
(Deposit can still be paid by credit card).
Upgraded room categories may be available to book later in the booking process.
If Land & Air price is displayed, the air portion includes tax and fuel surcharges, which are subject to change until ticketed.

*Click here to read more about your tour leader Yale Strom.


Tour Overview:

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Be ready for the journey of a lifetime in Morocco! We'll explore the ancient Jewish communities, meander through the medinas, savor the spices and flavors of the local cuisine and soak up the culture from Casablanca to Marrakech to Essaouira and beyond.  Our trip will be infused with elements of Jewish and Moroccan music by group leaders Yale Strom and Elizabeth Schwartz, along with local guest musicians throughout!

YOUR MOROCCAN ADVENTURE INCLUDES:

2 nights Le Casablanca Hotel, Casablanca 
4 nights
Hotel & Ryads Barriere Le Naoura, Marrakesh
3 nights
Marriott Jnan Palace, Fes
2 nights
Sofitel Jardin des Roses, Rabat
All touring and sightseeing in a deluxe air conditioned motorcoach with an expert English-speaking guide
Breakfast daily
9 lunches, including a cooking workshop & Berber home hospitality lunch
8 dinners, including Shabbat dinner home hospitlity in Marrakech
Jewish heritage tours throughout
Colorful market tours
Discovery of the Marrakech and Fes medinas
Mountain excursion with 4x4 ride
Entrance fees per itinerary
Porterage
Bottled water on the bus
Whisper hedasets

INCLUDED IN YOUR TANGIER & CHEFCHAOUEN EXTENSION:

1 night Sofitel Jardin des Roses, Rabat (check out after farewell dinner on main tour)
3 nights
Hilton Tanger City Centre, Tangier
Breakfast daily
1 lunch
1 dinner
Train from Rabat to Tangier with transfers
Entrance fees per itinerary
Porterage
Bottled water on the bus
Whisper headsets


Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Sunday, February 11, 2024: DEPARTURE

• We depart on our overnight flight to Morocco.

Day 2: Monday, February 12, 2024: WELCOME TO CASABLANCA!

• Those on group flight AT 201 arrive at 8:40am into Casablanca International Airport, where we are met by an Ayelet Tours representative who will walk us through customs and baggage claim.
• We drive toward the city of Casablanca, Morocco's cosmopolitan economic and business capital. Originally, a Phoenician and Roman city, Casablanca is home to the largest Jewish community in the Arab world.
• We pick up pre-arrivals at the hotel around 11am and meet our tour educator who will accompany us on this journey of education and inspiration.
Casablanca - The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship: Get your first glimpse of Casablanca on a tour of Morocco's economic hub and largest city. We'll experience its energy and discuss whether the modern and modernizing Casablanca you'll explore has anything in common with the version seen in the classic Hollywood film starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
The Glory of Moroccan Jewry: We walk through Morocco's rich Jewish heritage at the Jewish Museum of Morocco, the Arab world's first Jewish museum. According to legend, Jews arrived in Morocco as early as 800 BCE. By 1948, the Jewish population had grown to an estimated 250 - 350,000 and was the largest, and arguably most integrated Jewish community in any Muslim country. The museum includes displays of traditional Jewish-Berber clothing and a feature on goldsmiths, a common Jewish occupation in Morocco.
• We enjoy lunch together nearby.
• Following lunch, we visit Neve Shalom synagogue and school, where we meet with Rabbi Jacky Sebbag to hear about the challenges of living a Jewish life in Morocco today.
• After our introduction to the city and the Jewish community of Morocco, we check into our hotel with time to refresh.
• This evening, we enjoy our welcome dinner together! The evening and indeed our entire Moroccan adventure will be a chance to experience the unity and diversity of the Jewish world and people. While many of us are familiar with Ashkenazi Jewish culture, Morocco was for centuries one of the great centers of Sephardi Judaism. We'll hear from our tour educator about Morocco's once large and thriving Jewish communities, discuss why Jews left Morocco en masse beginning in the 1950s and find out about the Moroccan Jews of today.

Overnight in Casablanca (L, D)

Day 3: Tuesday, February 13, 2024: GETTING TO KNOW CASABLANCA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin our day with a lecture on local music by Professor Strom.
God's Throne Upon the Water: Fast-moving Casablanca is also a city of faith, as we'll experience at the Mosque of Hassan II. This modern mosque has room for over 100,000 worshippers. It is perched dramatically over the ocean to reflect a verse in the Koran that “God's throne was built upon the water.” Over 6,000 master craftspeople created its hand-carved marble walls, retractable roof and the tallest minaret in the world at almost 700 feet. See if you agree with the builder's patron, King Hassan II, that this is a monument that Casablanca will be proud of “until the end of time.”
• We continue to Bet El Synagogue, where we view the beautiful stained-glass windows and architecture and learn about the rich history of this synagogue that many consider the center of Judaism in Casablanca.
• We stop by the Fhal Jewish bakery to sample the delicious treats!
• Next, we visit Casablanca's Jewish old age home, Home Des Vieux La Villa. While here, we meet residents and connect with the elderly Jewish community members who receive full residential, medical and dental care, as well as social facilities. The home has also been a refuge for elderly who come from the provinces who can no longer take care of themselves.
• This afternoon, we enjoy lunch at Rick's Café, created to evoke the architecture and atmosphere of the classic film.
Mellah of Casablanca: The mellah was a former Jewish quarter similar to a European ghetto. It tantalizes the senses with a sea of women in brightly colored djellabas carrying and selling fruit and vegetables throughout the cramped, narrow streets. While Jews no longer live in the mellah, kosher butchers are found in the old market.
Boulevard Mohamed El Hansali: We stroll down the boulevard with its exotic bazaars, Mohammed V square, the new Medina Royal Palace and Anfa Hill, the meeting place of Roosevelt and Churchill at the Casablanca Conference during World War II.
• This evening, we enjoy dinner together at Umayya Restaurant.

Overnight in Casablanca (B, L, D)

Day 4: Wednesday, February 14, 2024: ON THE ROAD TO MARRAKECH

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We depart for Marrakech, city of palm trees and gardens at the edge of the Sahara Desert. Jews have lived in Marrakech since the first century. Marrakech sees a lot of Jewish visitors, including many flocking from Israel to experience its unique culture and Jewish history.
• Along our drive to Marrakech, we enjoy a lecture and music by Yale and Elizabeth.
• Lunch on own en route.
Carnivals and Piety: We enjoy an introductory tour of Marrakech and get our first glimpse into this whirlwind of a city, which combines the madcap energy of its marketplaces with the serene rhythms of its religious life.
Coexistence, Conflict or Both - Jews and Muslims: We tour the mellah (the Jewish quarter) of Marrakech. Until the 20th century, most urban Moroccan Jews, including in Marrakech, lived in walled, Jewish-only areas. We'll explore whether these quarters resembled the ghettos of Europe or were something quite different, as we discuss the sometimes close, sometimes brutal relations between Jews and Muslims in Morocco. Our tour will include:
     o Slat Al Azama Synagogue (“Synagogue of the Exiles”): This synagogue was established around 1492 by Jews who were expelled or fled from Catholic persecution in Spain and Portugal. The synagogue's ornamentation, attractive blue-and-white décor and small but still active community are all examples of how the Jewish traditions of Marrakech are being maintained.
     o Marrakech's Jewish cemetery: The cemetery has been recently restored after years of neglect. Here, we'll see monuments and graves commemorating children who perished during the epidemics that ravished the city's crowded Jewish Quarter in the 17th century. We learn about the great rabbis and kabbalists of Marrakech and discuss why many Jews from around the world make pilgrimages to their graves.
A Square That's Hip: The Djemaa El Fna Square is an enormous market and a thrilling experience. According to one theory, its name means “the assembly of the dead” and refers to the public executions that used to take place here. Today, this square teems with life. Locals gather to shop, talk and to eat some of the best street food in all of Morocco. There's always something going on, so get ready for a daily carnival of snake charmers, street vendors, musicians, storytellers and acrobats.
• After a chance to freshen up, we enjoy dinner together at Al Fassia Restaurant.

Overnight in Marrakech (B, D)

Day 5: Thursday, February 15, 2024: A DAY IN ESSAOUIRA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Early morning departure towards the coast.
Good for the Skin, Body & Soul: Along the way, we see many Argan trees, important to the region both economically and ecologically. At the women's cooperative of Argan oil, there will be an opportunity to learn about the wide-ranging applications of the oil from cosmetics to medicines.
Essaouira: We continue to Essaouira, once a majority Jewish city. Although originally Portuguese, Essaouira was fortified by a French-influenced architect named Vauban and also formed the settling ground for a large Jewish population, which is why the city has an eclectic, multicultural feel. The town was once over thirty percent Jewish and contained over thirty synagogues, some dating back to the 18th century.
Rabbi Chaim Pinto: The seaport city of Essaouira is still synonymous with the famed rabbi and remained his home all his life. Every year on the anniversary of Rabbi Pinto's death, Jews from around the world pilgrimage in the week preceding Rosh Hashanah and pray at the rabbi's grave situated in the old Jewish cemetery adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. Essaouira is also home to the Chaim Pinto Synagogue, the building that was once the rabbi's residence and is now a historic site.
• After lunch at a local restaurant, we check out the impressive Bayt Dalkira Jewish Museum.
• We return to Marrakech and enjoy dinner together at our hotel.

Overnight in Marrakech (B, L, D)

Day 6: Friday, February 16, 2024: THE DESERT/THE FRENCH CONNECTION

• Breakfast at our hotel.
The Holocaust and Morocco: Professor Strom will tell us about the Moroccan story of the Holocaust.
A Sea Made of Rock and Sand: We depart for the stark beauty of the desert of the Agafay region. Upon arrival, we board a camel for a short ride and take a trip into the past where camels were the main mode of transport in this region.
We enjoy a lovely desert lunch at one of the area's eco-camps before returning to the city.
The French Connection: Morocco is a melting pot of identities and influences ranging from its indigenous Berber tribes to more recent visitors including the French, who ruled over much of the country from 1912 to 1955. We'll spend time in the French Quarter and visit Majorelle Garden, designed by the French painter and botanist Jacques Majorelle. The garden and buildings took him 40 years to create, but you will think it was time well spent as we wander along paths by sparkling pools shaded by gorgeous trees and plants from around the world.
• Following our tour, we refresh for the night.
• This evening, we join together for Kabbalat Shabbat at the Marrakech Beit El Synagogue, followed by a festive Shabbat dinner hosted in the home of a local Jewish family with members of the Marrakech Jewish community.

Overnight in Marrakech (B, L, D)

Day 7: Saturday, February 17, 2024: SHABBAT SHALOM!

• Breakfast at our hotel. We'll enjoy a late start today. Sleep in, relax or enjoy time by the pool at our lovely hotel!
Preserving the Past, Building a Future: Named after the traditional Jewish Moroccan celebrations held at the end of Passover, Association Mimouna is an organization of Muslim students who honor the country's Jewish traditions and promote Jewish-Muslim friendship. We'll meet some of the students and hear of their activities, which range from kosher cooking workshops to organizing one of the Islamic world's first conferences commemorating victims of the Holocaust.
The View (and Taste) from the Inside - Bringing it Home With You: We take part in a Moroccan home-cooking workshop and enjoy lunch of our own making.
Royal Splendors: We tour the medina (walled city) of Marrakech, one of Morocco's four imperial cities, also known as the Red City for the red walls that surround it. The medina is a thrilling, multifaceted area which includes:
     o Bab Agnaou: A huge, superbly decorated gate allowing entrance into the royal city.
     o The Saadian Tombs: The tombs provide lavish insights into the wealth and power structure of the Saadian dynasty that ruled Morocco from 1549 to 1659. The greatest of their kings, Ahmed al-Mansour, is buried in the magnificent Chamber of 12 Pillars in a tomb made from Italian marble and gilded with pure gold. Less exalted princes and rulers from the dynasty are buried nearby. The royal wives, chancellors and the king's Jewish advisers were “relegated” to graves in the still impressive gardens.
     o Bahia Palace: Built in the late 19th century by Morocco's leading artisans, many consider this to be the finest palace built anywhere in the world during this time. Certainly, its architecture, gardens and design render it a remarkable achievement of Moroccan culture. Among its features is a harem, where vizier Abu Ahmed's four wives and 24 concubines lived.
• We meet again at sundown for a special musical Havdallah, followed by dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight in Marrakech (B, L, D)

Day 8: Sunday, February 18, 2024: EXPLORING BERBER LIFE IN THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS

• Breakfast at our hotel.
Taking the High Road: A 45-minute drive will take us from the thriving city of Marrakech to the spectacular nature and traditional villages of Toubkal National Park. These mountains are the highest in North Africa and provide a spectacularly different view of Morocco than we have encountered so far. The snow-capped peaks, dense forests and pure mountain air will make for a wonderful day.
4X4 vehicles: We set out on an adventure along the winding road that leads from the valley of Asni, in the foothills of the mountains, past the gorges of Moulay Brahim and the village of Imlil. Looming over us will be the spectacular sight of the 14,000-foot-high Toubkal Mountain.
The World of the Berbers: We will stop at the village of Aroumd to experience the world of the Berbers, an indigenous people of North Africa. This town, 6,000 feet above sea level and inhabited by around 2,000 people, provides an authentic example of how traditional Berber culture and language remains vibrant today, particularly in the mountain ranges of this area. We explore this remote village, find out about the local economy and learn about changes and continuity in the Berber way of life.
Where Hospitality is King: One of the features and joys of Berber life is their famed hospitality. We enjoy a traditional Berber lunch and meet local Berbers. With your guide as translator, we will hear about their background while drinking the beverage closely associated with hospitality and friendship in Morocco, mint tea.
• Later this afternoon, we enjoy a performance of traditional Berber music with a local band accompanied by Yale and Elizabeth.
• We return to Marrakech for a relaxed evening and dinner on own.

Overnight in Marrakech

Day 9: Monday, February 19, 2024: TO FES

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• Free morning to relax or explore Marrakech on own. Mid-day transfer to the airport for our short flight to Fes. A packed box lunch is included today.
“The Athens of Africa, The Mecca of the West”: We depart for Fes, one of the great medieval cities of the world. It gained its nicknames due to its scholars (both Muslim and Jewish), spirituality, trade and culture. In the 12th and 13th centuries, Fes was among the world's most populated cities and the home of the Marinid kingdom. We'll learn about the kings, communities and creativity that drove Fes as we experience the beauty and liveliness of the city today.
• Upon arrival in Fes, we check into our hotel and refresh before free time for dinner on own this evening.

Overnight in Fes (B, L)

Day 10: Tuesday, February 20, 2024: THE MYSTERIES OF FES

• Breakfast at our hotel.
A Thousand Years and More - Jewish Life in Fes: Despite suffering from periodic persecutions, Fes's Jewish Quarter was home to brilliant scholars, poets and innovators. We'll travel back in time to the Golden Age for Jews in Fes from the 8th to 12th centuries, when the community included some key figures in the Jewish world, including Rabbi Moses Maimonides (the Rambam), the great philosopher and religious thinker. We'll also find out why the name for a Jewish quarter comes from the Arab word for salt. Our tour will include a visit to the Ibn Danan Synagogue. Recently restored, this is one of the oldest and most important synagogues in North Africa.
The Fes Jewish Cemetery: We will hear stories of some of the city's legendary rabbis and leaders who are buried here and learn about the influence of the tzaddikim, Jewish holy men who were admired by both Jews and Muslims for their scholarliness and reputation as miracle-workers. We will also stop at a plaque commemorating Sol Hachuel, a young Jewish woman famed for her beauty who was decapitated in 1834 for refusing to convert to Islam.
Finding Fes: Fes's medina is a dense maze of alleyways and streets and the largest car-free pedestrian zone in the world. Don't worry, our tour educator knows the way through this UNESCO World Heritage site that still includes many buildings, mosques and gates from the 12th century. Our visit will include:
     o Local craftsmen: Catch a glimpse of the craftsmen at work in their shops as they weave, embroider, carve and chisel using ancient techniques.
     o University of Al-Karaouine: Believed to be the oldest continuously operating university in the world and founded as a mosque, today, non-Muslims can view it only from the outside. In the 12th century, the Rambam (Moses Ben Maimonides) studied medicine and philosophy here.
     o Nejjarine fountain: A traditional public fountain located in the center of Al-Najjarin  Square.
     o Madrasa Bou Inania: Fes contains some of the finest Islamic architecture in the world. This Madrasa (Islamic religious college) was established in 1351 and is famed for its minaret and geometric decorations. It is one of the few Islamic sites in Morocco that is accessible to non-Muslim visitors.
• We stop for lunch on own at a local restaurant along the way.
• We continue to the “Arabian house”, a gathering place for craftsman still working in the old oriental tradition.
• The Scent of Fes: Fes is known for its leather goods and its great stretch of tanneries that give the city its distinctive smell. We'll visit the Chouara Tannery, where traditional ways of making leather are still practiced.
• Dinner on own this evening.

Overnight in Fes (B)

Day 11: Wednesday, February 21, 2024: MEKNES

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• Today, we depart Fes and make our way towards Morocco's royal capital city of Rabat.
• First, we drive to Meknes, located on a fertile plain north of the Middle Atlas and the former residence of the Sultan.
City of a Tyrant: We'll examine the superb architecture of Meknes created during the long reign of Moulay Ismail, with its skillful blend of Islamic and European influences. At this finely decorated mausoleum, we'll also consider the less attractive characteristics of “Moulay the Bloodthirsty” who is said to have ordered the city walls to be decorated with the heads of 10,000 of his enemies.
• We enjoy lunch together at the Le Bistro Hotel Transatlantique overlooking the city walls.
Wives and Horses: While the Torah warns that a king should not acquire extra horses, a multitude of wives, or excessive amounts of silver and gold, Moulay Ismail took a different approach. He is believed to have had 2,000 wives and concubines who bore him 867 children, although he seems to have been fondest of his 12,000 horses. The Royal Stables here are under renovation and cannot be visited at this time, but we'll see the opulent Bab Mansour gate.
What Was and What Remains: We meet with the caretaker of a now-empty synagogue and discuss the transformation of Jewish life in Morocco. The mass migration of the country's Jews began after the establishment of the State of Israel and accelerated when Morocco gained independence in 1956 from its French rulers. Today, only a few thousand Jews remain. We will talk about Jewish life in Morocco in the past and today and find out why people, often Jews but sometimes Muslims, are determined to maintain these once-crowded places of worship.
• We continue to Rabat and check into our hotel before heading out for dinner at a local restaurant

Overnight in Rabat (B, L, D)

Day 12: Thursday, February 22, 2024: RABAT

• Breakfast at our hotel.
The Kings and the Jews: Our tour of Rabat will allow us to experience the huge role, historically and currently, that the king plays in Moroccan life. We will walk around the walls of Rabat's Royal Palace, the primary (although certainly not the only) residence of the current king, Mohammed VI, and ask whether modern Morocco is an autocracy, a democracy or something in between.
Insight to Remember: We'll enjoy lunch in a local restaurant and a presentation by Dr. Mohamed Chtatou, Professor of Education Science at the university in Rabat. He is currently a political analyst with Moroccan, Gulf, French, Italian and British media on politics and culture in the Middle East, Islam and Islamism as well as terrorism. He is also a specialist on political Islam in the MENA region with interest in the roots of terrorism and religious extremism.
“There are no Jewish citizens, there are no Muslim citizens; they are all Moroccans” - Mohammed V. Next, we visit the magnificent mausoleum of Mohammed V, Morocco's king during World War II, and hear why Moroccan Jews today believe that he should be recognized as one of the Righteous Among the Nations for helping to stop Nazis from deporting Morocco's Jews to the death camps of Europe. His burial building is considered an architectural masterpiece. Also buried here is his son, Hassan II, who ruled over Morocco during the so-called “Years of Lead” (1961-1999). We'll visit his tomb and hear about this period of conflict, human rights abuses and assassination attempts on the king's life. It was during Hassan's reign that most of the country's Jews migrated to Israel, Canada and France.
A Treat for the Eyes: We make our way up to the Kasbah des Udayas. This citadel is the oldest part of Rabat, dating back to the 12th century. Sitting high above the river and the Atlantic Ocean, it features gorgeously decorated gates, blue and whitewashed homes and French-influenced gardens.
What We've Seen and Felt During Our Journey: Savor, one more time, Morocco's terrific food, with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. There will also be an opportunity to share the experiences and discoveries that have inspired you during our Moroccan adventure as we get ready to say wadaeaan (goodbye) and see you soon to Morocco.

Overnight in Rabat (B, L, D)

Day 13: Friday, February 23, 2024: UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We transfer to the airport for our flight back to the United States, landing later today.

OR, UP YOUR ADVENTURE WITH AN EXTENSION TO…
TANGIER & CHEFCHAOUEN

Day 12: Thursday, February 22, 2024: RETURNING TO CASABLANCA

• After our dinner, we transfer to the Rabat train station for our non-stop train to Tangier.
• We are met at the train station and transferred to our hotel to check in.

Overnight in Tangier

Day 13: Friday, February 23, 2024: TANGIER, AN INTERNATIONAL CITY

• Breakfast at our hotel.
Tangier Jewish Heritage Tour & Community: The first Jews migrated to Tangier (once known as Tanja or Tingus) after the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem and settled among the Berbers. A second wave of migration from the Jews living in the Iberian Peninsula began with the 1492 Alhambra Decree and expulsion. This second wave of immigration changed Moroccan Jewry, as they largely embraced the Andalusia Sephardic liturgy, creating a population of Moroccan Jews that gained a primarily Sephardic identity. The Moors and the Jews intermixed in Tangier, living peacefully side by side. In 1856, Tangier had become the largest port in Morocco. During this time, the Jewish community of Tangier flourished and established schools, hospitals, charitable works and businesses. By 1925 Jews were assigned three out of the twenty-six seats on the Legislative Assembly offering them significant political power. After World War II, the Jews of Tangier enjoyed prosperous and cosmopolitan lives as they were minimally impacted by the war and offered protection by Mohammed V who referred to them as “Moroccans and not only Jews.” At its peak in the 1940s, there were 22,000 Jews in Tangier and Morocco's Jewish population exceeded 350,000. Immigration after the foundation of the state of Israel has diminished the numbers, but today there remains a small but vibrant community in Morocco which counts approximately 2,000 - 2,500 Jews.
• On our Tangier Jewish heritage tour, we start our morning by visiting Tangier's Jewish Sacred sites and then continue seeing the highlights of old Tangier. The synagogues, cemeteries, monuments and communal institutions of Tangier show how important the city has been to the Jewish community over the centuries.
• Behind a non-descript door, located on Rue Synagogue in Tangier is the Moshe Nahon Synagogue. This last remaining operating synagogue in Tangier is monumental and lavish, ranking among one of the most beautiful synagogues in Morocco. Built in the 1870's, the Nahon Synagogue remained as a working place for Jewish prayer until it fell into despair in the late 20th century. Then in 1994, it was renovated revealing intricately covered carvings that are illuminated by stunning hanging synagogue lamps and Jewish artifacts. At one time, there were over 20 synagogues in Tangier. On Rue des Synagogues, there are many former synagogues. One of them, Temple Benatar, has been restored and is superbly decorated.
• We continue to Chaar Rafael, one of the last surviving synagogues and remnants of Jewish heritage in Tangier. This Jewish owned villa was built in 1919 and it was converted to a synagogue in 1954 when the owner, Raphaël Bendriahm died. Located in the center of the European city, Chaar Rafael is nearby the ocean cliffs where we can see the stone outlines of the tombs of the Phoenicians who came to Tangier almost three thousand years ago.
• Historically unlike Morocco's other Imperial cities, Tangier did not have a formal Jewish mellah. Instead, it had an unprotected Jewish quarter that we will stop by for a short visit.
• We continue to the Jewish cemetery (“the old cemetery”) in Tangier, featuring more than one-thousand graves, some of which date back to the 16th century. There are many important individuals buried here. Owned by the Tangier municipality, the Jewish cemetery is open to the public and has caretakers who oversee it. While the cemetery has somewhat fallen to ruins with a combination of erosion and water issues, the tombstones have been digitized to offer those interested the opportunity to search the remains there online. The tombstones are in Hebrew, Portuguese and French.
• We stop for a “jam session” in Le Fils du Detroit with local musicians plus some hot tea and cookies.
• We enjoy the vantage point of the Colline de Bella-Vista then drive to see the Grand Socco, a popular nighttime square close to the Mosque of Sidi Bou Abib and the link between Ville Nouvelle and the medina.
Optional: Visit the American Legation Museum located in the oldest American consulate in continuous use. Since 1829/1923 when Tangier was established as an international city, there were many Moroccan Jews that served as American proteges, placing them beyond the law of the Sultan.
• Next, we enter the old medina at Rue Es-Siaghinie, the busiest part of this Roman medina, lined with cafes and bazaars, a Spanish church, jewelers' shops and an arts center displaying works depicting Tangier's social history. We walk Petit Socco, which was once the heart of the medina where businessmen and bankers frequented cafes, hotels, casinos and cabarets that have since relocated to Ville Nouvelle.
• We move on to visit the Grand Mosque, built on the site of a Portuguese cathedral, then stop to enjoy lunch in the Jewish cercle Chez Rica.
• Walking north, we next visit the Kasbah, decorated with mosaics, ornamental stucco and woodcarving.
• We continue to the Cave of Hercules, the point of intersection of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic and enjoy the 4km of sandy beach bordering Tangier. To enjoy the tranquility of the coastline, we suggest the East side of the bay.
• The balance of the afternoon and evening are at leisure for dinner on own.

Overnight in Tangier (B, L)

Day 14: Saturday, February 24, 2024: CHEFCHAOEN - THE BLUE CITY

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we drive to Chefchaouen to experience the old town's famous Jewish-inspired, blue-washed buildings. Originally built as a fortress in the 15th century, the town is picturesquely nestled in the Rif Mountains. We see the octagonal mosque and Spanish ruins, then explore the medina and the winding alleys of this charming village, reminiscent of an Andalusian village in Spain.
• Next, we visit the Plaza Uta El Hammam, the Ras el Maa and the wash houses, where locals handwash their laundry.
• We return to Tangier and have a chance to freshen up before a fun dinner together this evening.

Overnight in Tangier (B, D)

Day 15: Sunday, February 25, 2024: UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• Transfer on own to Tangier airport for flights home, landing later today.


THE MEMORIES LAST FOREVER!!
*Itinerary subject to change



ABOUT PROF. STROM:
Professor Yale Strom is an acclaimed violinist, composer, filmmaker, writer, photographer, playwright and a pioneer among revivalists in conducting extensive field research in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans among the Jewish and Romani communities. Initially, his work focused primarily on the use and performance of klezmer music among these two groups. Gradually, his focus increased to examining all aspects of their culture, from post-World War II to the present. For more than 3 decades and 75 such research expeditions, Strom has become the world's leading ethnographer-artist of klezmer music and history. In addition to his klezmer research Strom has researched, composed and played Jewish music that was influenced by various Arab cultures. This influence can be heard even in klezmer music. Strom will have his thirteenth book published (Shloyml Boyml and His Purim Adventure) in spring 2023. It will be a children's illustrated book (English/Yiddish) based upon his ethnographic research he did in Romania. Strom has lectured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and taught at NYU for 4 years, where he created the course “Artist Ethnographer Expeditions”. At present he is a professor in the Music Dept. at San Diego State.



ABOUT ELIZABETH SCHWARTZ: Elizabeth Schwartz has been called “The Edith Piaf of Yiddish” and “a revelation” with a superb mastery of klezmer ornamentations. As the vocalist for Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi and as a soloist, she has performed at festivals, synagogues and concert halls throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Her myriad acclaimed recordings of Yiddish, Ladino, Hebrew and English have been released on the Naxos World, Arc Music UK and Transcontinental Music record labels. On March 18, 2012, Schwartz was invited to become the first woman in history to sing at the 125-year-old Eldridge Street Synagogue in Manhattan, effectively breaking the ban of kol isha in this landmark cultural venue. Schwartz is the subject of the Romanian documentary film, "Searching for Schwartz", by Radu Gabrea (z”l). As a writer, Schwartz co-created the award-winning audio dramas “The Witches of Lublin” and “Debs in Canton” for Suemedia Productions. She contributed a chapter on klezmer vocal technique to “Shpil: The Art of Playing Klezmer” (Scarecrow Press). For more information, visit www.elizabeth-schwartz.com.