Serge Berdugo, Secretary General of the Council of Jewish Communities of Morocco was received by Mohammed M’Hidia, Wali of Tangier on 27 May 2021.
Mr. Berdugo was joined by a delegation of the Jewish Community Committee of Tangier, composed of Aron Abikzer, Vice-President and Mrs. Sonia Zagury, in charge of Cultural Heritage
The meeting with the Wali, one of Morocco’s twelve regional governors, focused on reviewing projects launched by the Jewish Community of Tangier.
In an introductory statement, Serge Berdugo told the Wali of his great satisfaction with the progress of the restoration of the Assayag Synagogue, in the framework of Phase II of the Rehabilitation of the Jewish Heritage, approved by HM Mohamed VI, King of Morocco, and of the programme for the Safeguarding of the Medina of Tangier.
This hundred-year-old place of worship is called upon, in accordance with the Royal Directives, to house the future Jewish Museum of Tangier, the rehabilitation project of which has been entrusted to the Architect, Malika Laroussi, and the realisation of the museum to Mrs Isabelle Timsit.
He recalled that the choice of this beautiful Synagogue, founded in 1890, in the “Siaghin” district opposite Dar Niaba, was a response to the concern to restore this site and to create a Museum to exhibit the artefacts, documents, photos and Judaica of Tangier, which the Jewish community of Tangier has safeguarded and inventoried in order to integrate it into a relevant circuit allowing visitors to the City of the Straits to appreciate the hours of glory of Jewish life in Tangier.
The [Moshe] Nahon Synagogue, the Akiba Synagogue, the Jewish Museum of Tangier and the Historical Cemetery of Portugal Street.
The work, which was launched by the “Dona and Haïm Benchimol” Foundation, the Jewish Community of Tangier and the Judeo-Moroccan Cultural Heritage Foundation, should last 10 months.
The working visit carried out in the presence of the officials of the Wilaya of Tangier, notably Alami, Secretary of the Cabinet of the Wali, Massoudi, Engineer of the Wilaya, Khadija Bari, Delegate of Urbanism at the Wilaya, Malika Laroussi, Architect, Sonia Zagury and Aron Abikzer of the Jewish community of Tangier and of all the building trades in charge of the construction, allowed to take stock of the state of advancement of these important works (see photos) and to make the useful and necessary modifications.
Mr. Berdugo informed the Wali of the Jewish community of Tangier’s decision to place at the disposal of the Wilaya the “Cuna” building, the emblematic maternity hospital of the Jewish Community of Tangier, which will be rehabilitated according to the norms in order to receive voluntarily the parturients of the City.
This philanthropic project will be carried out in collaboration with Dr Abbadi and will include a School of Midwives and Specialised Nurses, directed by Dr Sedraoui.
Finally, all the authorisations having been delivered, he announced the forthcoming opening of a kosher restaurant within the Jewish Circle of Tangier.
For his part, the Wali declared that the Jewish Community of Tangier has a rich history and cultural heritage that it is important to preserve as part of the common heritage of all Tangierites.
Mr. M’Hidia welcomed the collaboration with the Jewish Community Committee of Tangier and expressed his satisfaction for the good progress of the projects undertaken by the Committee, in particular the Jewish Museum and the “Maternity La Cuna” and welcomed the opportunity of the opening of a Kosher restaurant.
The Council of Jewish Communities of Morocco is the country’s EJC affiliate.