– The first edition of the Moroccan Jewish Food Festival is a project funded by USAID, which is part of the Dakira program, whose objective is to promote the cultural diversity of Morocco. This is an opportunity to remember that Jewish cuisine is steeped in its Moroccan roots, deeply attached to the values of Judaism, as it is a model of fusion between Israel and Morocco.
Through the transmission of memory between generations, today Moroccan cuisine is very well known all over the world, but, unfortunately, the Jewish facet of this cuisine is not known in Morocco. The flavors of all childhoods have always been shaped by plural heritages.
Recipes develop and mature under the skies that have seen everyone born and grow, and our mission will be to bring them from beyond borders. It is therefore necessary to promote Jewish cuisine to professionals in the sector so as to prepare a favorable environment for this new target of Moroccan tourism, able to retain it, especially since the Kingdom is preparing to welcome more than 200,000 Israeli Jewish tourists who will wish to have kosher food, which requires training the Moroccan market in Kosher.
– How has Jewish Moroccan cuisine evolved over time?
– The values of Moroccan Judaism have always been reflected in its community, which, in its way of making a dish and even in its way of sharing them, has remained faithful to its ancient traditions. The Jewish Moroccan woman who reigned over her kitchen was unaware that her modest “kingdom” brought together treasures of words, gestures, proverbs, and know-how gleaned, inherited and then offered. A capital that travels from generation to generation, returned with loyalty. Old and authentic recipes that do not show pastism.
This shows that there is a great synergy between the older generation who know their traditions and their dishes well and the new generation who innovate and update them to our tastes, respecting their bases, without forgetting their adaptation to international needs for that our cuisine is international. The Moroccan Jewish community has been able to prolong this natural link and this memory continues, by keeping these customs which form the heart of the tables.
– Since the resumption of Moroccan-Israeli relations, we have noticed a massive influx of Jews to the Kingdom. What effect on the image of Morocco?
– These Jewish Moroccans of the World are excellent ambassadors of our culture and our heritage. Today, the return of these Moroccans will be very beneficial for our country, our tourism sector as well as the development of skills in several sectors. This return requires adaptation to this type of clientele who are very attached to their country of origin and who will do everything to give a better image of their customs.
– What is the importance of education in promoting Jewish culture in all its dimensions?
– The festival was an opportunity to sign an agreement between the supervisory authority and the ISITT which focused on three areas, namely the creation of a master’s degree in Judeo-Moroccan heritage within the institute, the training of guides practicing Hebrew and organizing cooking workshops and conferences on Judeo-Moroccan gastronomy. This plural Morocco began with this higher education, but this dynamic will have to be developed from national education.
Today, the Moroccan state is working on profiling the Moroccan Jewish clientele to meet its demands and respect its rules. Morocco’s strategy for religious freedom and multiculturalism is based on the dynamism of its long historical experience, the religious principles that call for moderation and solidarity, and the royal institution that strives to ensure the protection of local religious and ethnic minorities and interreligious dialogue.
The defining attribute of Morocco has been the mixture of civilizations, religions, peoples and races throughout history and across generations. It has shown that it is capable of coping with a wide range of migrations. Due to its appreciation of multiculturalism, the kingdom has created a space for coexistence and human connection.