Moroccan king attends rededication of Casablanca Jewish sites
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Moroccan king attends rededication of Casablanca Jewish sites

State news agency says Mohammed VI’s presence ‘reflects the special interest’ in country’s Jewish community

King Mohammed VI of Morocco at the rededication ceremony of the Ettedgui Synagogue in Casablanca, Morocco, December 16, 2016. (Screen capture: YouTube)
King Mohammed VI of Morocco at the rededication ceremony of the Ettedgui Synagogue in Casablanca, Morocco, December 16, 2016. (Screen capture: YouTube)

King Mohammed VI of Morocco attended the rededication ceremony of the Ettedgui Synagogue in Casablanca last week.

The synagogue and the adjacent El Mellah Museum, which retraces Jewish history in Morocco, were reopened Friday. They were restored as part of the second phase of a government program aimed at rehabilitating Casablanca’s old city.

The Maghreb Arab Press, the official Moroccan state news agency, wrote that the renovation project “reflects the special interest” of the King of Morocco “in the cultural and spiritual heritage of the Moroccan Jewish community.”

A government grant of about $844,000 funded the restorations, according to the Maghreb Arab Press.

Serge Berdugo, secretary-general of the Council of Moroccan Jewish Communities and a former tourism minister, told the Maghreb Arab Press that the restoration of the synagogue and the museum “will also preserve the authentic Moroccan identity.” He also said the restoration shows the king’s commitment to conserving spaces of cultural dialogue and coexistence.

Also Friday, King Mohammed rededicated the Sidi Allal Al Karaouani Mausoleum, the Dar Annassij (weaving house) and the July 9 Health Center as part of the nearly $3.2 million project to upgrade the religious, historical and architectural heritage of the old Medina of Casablanca.

Times of Israel Staff contributed to this report.

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