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 53 reviews
85%
(45)
13%
(7)
2%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
H
H.M. (San Rafael, US)
Mystery Club’s Great Adventure

Our club of 4 couples meets every other month. The mystery is most of us don’t know what we will do. This time, the husbands planned the adventure. We learned about the Jews of Morocco. As Jews, we loved learning about a place that we did not know had aJewish history. Learning about how they first got there and lived among the Berber people was a surprise. The group talked about what they learned that surprised them ( all). And put Morocco on the list of where they wanted to go.

A
A.B. (Oakland, US)
Wonderful course!

I learned so much from this course and can’t wait to go to visit Jewish Morocco. Dr. Gottreich is an interesting and compelling speaker with deep experience and knowledge. I’m looking forward to learning with her again.

A
A.G. (Cherry Hill, US)

Guest did not leave comment

J
J.H. (Santa Fe, US)
Inspires me to return to Morocco with fresh understanding

Very impressive knowledge and warm, smooth presentation

B
B.B. (Rock Springs, US)
Jewish Morocco

Excellent talk on the history and ethnography of Jewish morocco. I have seen this talk before, and it was a little different and has improved, and more mention of my particular interests in the Jewish Sufi saints and their veneration. Many other aspects of life and culture, including music, were brought in. A broadly-based presentation. Excellent.

Customer Reviews

Based on 53 reviews
85%
(45)
13%
(7)
2%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
H
H.M. (San Rafael, US)
Mystery Club’s Great Adventure

Our club of 4 couples meets every other month. The mystery is most of us don’t know what we will do. This time, the husbands planned the adventure. We learned about the Jews of Morocco. As Jews, we loved learning about a place that we did not know had aJewish history. Learning about how they first got there and lived among the Berber people was a surprise. The group talked about what they learned that surprised them ( all). And put Morocco on the list of where they wanted to go.

A
A.B. (Oakland, US)
Wonderful course!

I learned so much from this course and can’t wait to go to visit Jewish Morocco. Dr. Gottreich is an interesting and compelling speaker with deep experience and knowledge. I’m looking forward to learning with her again.

A
A.G. (Cherry Hill, US)

Guest did not leave comment

J
J.H. (Santa Fe, US)
Inspires me to return to Morocco with fresh understanding

Very impressive knowledge and warm, smooth presentation

B
B.B. (Rock Springs, US)
Jewish Morocco

Excellent talk on the history and ethnography of Jewish morocco. I have seen this talk before, and it was a little different and has improved, and more mention of my particular interests in the Jewish Sufi saints and their veneration. Many other aspects of life and culture, including music, were brought in. A broadly-based presentation. Excellent.