Jewish Morocco with Dr. Emily Gottreich

Jewish Morocco with Dr. Emily Gottreich


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This seminar guides you through the history of Moroccan Jewish civilization from its Berber roots in the Saharan oases through the process of Arabization in the royal cities of Fez, Marrakech, and Meknes, and ultimately to its final transformation through the encounter with French (and Spanish) colonialism.

Morocco was once home to the largest Jewish community in the Arab world, as well as one of its oldest. We often call this community Sephardic, but in fact, the exiled Jews from Spain form just one part of the complex mosaic of Moroccan Jewry. This conversation will trace the full historical trajectory of Jewish Morocco from its beginnings in the pre-Islamic era to today. We will pay special attention to the spaces and places that Jews inscribed with meaning through the routines of daily life: the “mellahs” of the royal capitals, the only walled Jewish quarters outside of European ghetto; the trade routes and lively souks where Jews earned their living, and of course the synagogues and “saints’” tombs where Jews prayed.

Led by an expert in the history of Jewish Morocco, Dr. Emily Gottriech, this interactive seminar will provide an in-depth inquiry into the heritage and history of Jewish civilization in Morocco. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with increased knowledge about this rich and surprising history.

Emily Gottreich is an expert in Moroccan Jewish history and Muslim-Jewish relations in the Arab-Islamic world more broadly. She is the author of The Mellah of Marrakech: Jewish and Muslim Space in Morocco’s Red City, published in French translation by the University of Mohammed V Press in Rabat in 2016, and co-editor with Daniel Schroeter of Jewish Culture and Society in North Africa (Indiana University Press: 2011). Her most recent book is Jewish Morocco: A History from Pre-Islamic Times to the Present. She currently serves as Adjunct Professor in Global Studies and the Department of History at the University of California, Berkeley, where from 2014-2020 she also served as the Chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Prof. Gottreich received her BA in Middle Eastern Studies from UC Berkeley, and her MA and PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History from Harvard University. She is a three-time Fulbright awardee, a past president of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies, and a winner of the Phi Beta Kappa award for Excellence in Teaching.

Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 45 reviews
87%
(39)
11%
(5)
2%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
C
Cynthia Futter (Santa Monica, US)
This was great.

I thought this was a very interesting and timely discussion of the history of Jewish Morocco. I did not really know anything about it and the information and guide were both interesting and accessible.

D
Debra B. (Casper, US)
Jewish Morocco

Superb, in-depth and in organization, and knowledge and comprehension. And breath. I would so enjoy a Moroccan wander with her.

B
Barbara (New York, US)
Fascinating...can't wait to go! (again!)

Dr. G gave an excellent look at the history of the Jewish people in Morocco. I would love to travel with her and learn more about the country.

R
Randal Baron (Philadelphia, US)
Very Informative

I thought that it was very informative and she is an engaging speaker. I loved the inclusion of music. I would have loved more pictures of Jewish architectural sights to go see. I would also like a bit about Jewish food in Morocco. I find your classes too expensive however compared to other web offerings.

M
Margaret Fearey (Milton, US)

A truly excellent presentation. Fascinating history of a community as in-depth as possible within the time frame, very well-organized with excellent visuals.

Customer Reviews

Based on 45 reviews
87%
(39)
11%
(5)
2%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
C
Cynthia Futter (Santa Monica, US)
This was great.

I thought this was a very interesting and timely discussion of the history of Jewish Morocco. I did not really know anything about it and the information and guide were both interesting and accessible.

D
Debra B. (Casper, US)
Jewish Morocco

Superb, in-depth and in organization, and knowledge and comprehension. And breath. I would so enjoy a Moroccan wander with her.

B
Barbara (New York, US)
Fascinating...can't wait to go! (again!)

Dr. G gave an excellent look at the history of the Jewish people in Morocco. I would love to travel with her and learn more about the country.

R
Randal Baron (Philadelphia, US)
Very Informative

I thought that it was very informative and she is an engaging speaker. I loved the inclusion of music. I would have loved more pictures of Jewish architectural sights to go see. I would also like a bit about Jewish food in Morocco. I find your classes too expensive however compared to other web offerings.

M
Margaret Fearey (Milton, US)

A truly excellent presentation. Fascinating history of a community as in-depth as possible within the time frame, very well-organized with excellent visuals.