The Moroccan Jewish community has suspended religious celebrations, or drastically cut their size over what the head of community in the Marrakech-Safi region described as a ‘depressing mood,’ amid the Gaza war.
“The Jewish community cannot take any action while the war continues,” Jackie Kadosh told MoroccoLatestNews AR.
The head of the Moroccan Jewish community in the Marrakesh announced that the annual religious celebrations of Hiloula, typically held outside the city of Taroudant, will adopt a more subdued tone this year, reflecting “the prevailing atmosphere of sadness.”
He said the yearly memorial held in honor of Jewish saint, Rabbi David ben Baruch HaCohen held Azrou n’Bahamou in December will see small attendance as “ the Israeli community in general will not be able to come to commemorate the death of Rabbi David ben Baruch HaCohen with us.”
Kadosh noted that the recent resurgence of religious tourism, spearheaded by Jewish visitors from Israel, may not fully rebound to its pre-crisis levels for at least a year.
The war “ has become the focus instead of thinking about organizing any activity or party,” he said.
Kosher Travelers, a prominent British travel company specializing in luxury travel experiences, has acknowledged this shift and announced the postponement of flights to Morocco and the UAE until next year.
In a statement to the press, the company’s general manager attributed the decision to a “high level of anxiety about travel among our Jewish clients.”
Tourism expert Zubair Bouhout acknowledged to MoroccoLatestNews AR the impact of the ongoing conflict on religious tourism in Morocco, emphasizing the diverse nature of the Jewish diaspora. He noted that “Jewish Moroccans, with their deep emotional connection to the country, may hesitate to participate in religious events organized by the Moroccan Jewish community or their customary seasonal pilgrimages to Jewish shrines and sanctuaries.” Bouhout underscored the importance of preserving and honoring this rich heritage.
In a statement to MoroccoLatestNews newspaper, Bouhout explained that the full extent of the impact will become clearer in the coming days, as the Jewish tourism market typically rebounds during the month of April. He characterized the current situation as ambiguous, making it difficult to predict the precise repercussions for religious tourism in Morocco. However, he expressed certainty that there will be a decline during the war period, with the potential for improvement if the conflict ends.