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Imperial Cities of
Casablanca, Meknes, Fez, Rabat and Marrakech
October 21– November 1, 2024


More than anywhere else in the Islamic world, Moroccan Jewry was embedded within the land’s greater culture, sharing community, art, and ideas with neighbors and interweaving lives together in peace for centuries. Today, with hundreds of shrines, restored synagogues, the Museum of Moroccan Judaism (the only Jewish institution of its kind throughout the Muslim world), and the Fez “Mellah” (the Jewish quarter from the 15th century), the Kingdom of Morocco actively preserves and honors its Jewish past, from the Judeo-Spanish communities that lived in the north to Casablanca’s urban Jews and all the diverse Judeo-Arabic and Judeo-Berber traditions that once flourished on the North West coast of Africa.

In the 1950s, shortly after the state of Israel was declared, 250,000 Jews lived in Morocco — forming the then-largest Jewish community in any Arab-Muslim country. Only a few thousand Jews remain, yet remnants of the Jewish Moroccans — and their economic, social, and cultural contributions — can still be found throughout the country. In search of that legacy, we’ll view Hebraic epitaphs, see the tombs of the ancient rabbis (some known as “saints”), meet with leaders of today’s Jewish community, and much more. We’ll visit Morocco’s famous mosques, important museums, and mausoleums of great dynasties, along with vibrant souks and archeological sites dating back to pre-Roman times. In addition, highlights of our trip will include a tour of Marrakech’s tropical Majorelle gardens and a lesson with a master of calligraphy, the most fundamental element of Islamic art, to learn techniques for drawing the Arabic alphabet.

We invite you to join us as we explore the glories of Morocco while uncovering the rich Jewish culture that thrived within the Muslim world.



  • 11 nights in deluxe accommodations
  • Visit many UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the archeological site of Volubilis, historic city of Meknes, Medina of Fez, Rabat Historic City, and Medina of Marrakech
  • Explore the Mellah of Fez, founded in 1438 and once home to tens of thousands of Jews
  • Discover the techniques of drawing the letters of the visually exquisite Arabic alphabet


Monday, October 21 | Arrive in Casablanca
Fly into Mohammed V International Airport and make your way to the Hyatt Regency Casablanca, a five-star luxury hotel just a few steps from the Old Medina market in the city’s historic center. In the evening, we’ll get acquainted with our fellow travelers, enjoy a welcome dinner, and receive an overview of our program and time together.

Meals Included: Dinner
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Casablanca

Tuesday, October 22 | Casablanca
Morning: After breakfast, the day will start with a tour of Casablanca. We’ll visit Temple Beth-El, the centerpiece of the city’s Jewish community, and the Museum of Moroccan Judaism, the only museum of its kind throughout the Islamic world. Opened in 1997 by the Judeo-Moroccan Cultural Heritage Foundation, the museum was once a former orphanage for Jewish children that now explores the histories of the Jewish communities of Morocco and their many contributions to Moroccan culture.

We’ll break for lunch together at Le Cebestan Ocean View. Located beneath the Corniche lighthouse on the Atlantic coast, this almost 100-year-old restaurant with breathtaking ocean views offers fine Mediterranean cuisine using fresh fish and produce from the city’s local markets.

Afternoon: We’ll continue to explore the city, starting with a visit to United Nations Square, the point of connection between the Old Medina and the new city, between the past and the present. After, we’ll tour the narrow, maze-like streets of the Medina with remnants of the old city walls and forts. The bazaar is lined with tiny shops and artisans selling leather goods, oils, linens, shoes, spices, and antiques. We’ll see the opulent Mosque of Hassan II, one of the largest and most beautiful mosques in the world, and walk through the French-built Quartier Habous, known as the New Medina, before passing the Gates of the Royal Palace.

In the early evening, there will be a meeting with a presentation by our scholar. Then, we’ll have dinner afterward on our own.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Casablanca

Wednesday, October 23 | Casablanca | Meknes | Volubilis | Fez

Morning: We’ll depart Casablanca for Fez, stopping along the way to visit Meknes to see its Old Medina and numerous tall and soaring minarets. One of the country’s four imperial cities, it was touted as the “Versailles of Morocco” after Sultan Moulay Isma’il, second ruler of the Alaouite dynasty, chose Meknes as his capital in the 17th century. We’ll visit the Mausoleum of Moulay Isma’il, a historic Islamic funerary complex with the sultan’s tomb located inside his former kasbah. Later, we’ll explore the narrow lanes and colorful courtyards of the city’s Mellah (Jewish Quarter), view Hebraic epitaphs dating back to the Christian era, and visit the tomb of Rabbi Benmidan, “the patron of Meknes.”

We’ll break for lunch and a wine tasting at Chateau Roslane, North Africa’s first vineyard and the country’s only château. Located between the gorgeous vineyard fields, the chateau’s L’Oliveraie restaurant presents the best organic Moroccan cuisine paired with wines from the surrounding crops.

Afternoon: We’ll continue to Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage site. One of Morocco’s largest and most important archaeological sites, Volubilis holds remains dating back to pre-Roman and early Islamic periods. We’ll view the many beautiful mosaics preserved in situ. Then, we’ll continue on to Fez, the most extensive medieval city in the Arab world and the home of Jewish scholars and rabbis for hundreds of years.

Evening: We’ll check in to the Fes Marriott Hotel Jnan Palace. Set in the heart of one of the biggest private gardens in Fes’s Ville Nouvelle (New Town), the hotel opened on the site of the former Jnane Palace. We’ll gather for dinner at one of the hotel’s fine restaurants — either L’Herbier de l’Atlas for regional cuisine or Dolce Vita for Italian fare.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations: Fes Marriott Hotel Jnan Palace

Thursday, October 24 | Fez
Morning: We’ll explore the maze of streets, ancient mosques, minarets, and souks that make up this amazing ninth-century city. We’ll tour the Dar Batha Museum, a former royal palace commissioned by Hassan I, the 19th-century sultan, that is now a historical arts and crafts museum with over 6,500 objects before visiting Mederesa Bou Inania. Built in 1350–55 CE by Abu Inan Faris, it is the region’s only madrasa featuring a minaret and one of the few religious sites in the country open to non-Islamic guests.

Afternoon: We will break for lunch independently before continuing together to the Medina, a UNESCO world cultural treasure. We’ll view the house of revered medieval Jewish scholar Moses Maimonides, now a Chinese-Moroccan restaurant. We’ll explore Nejjarine Square — one of the city’s most historic squares, best known for the Najjarine water fountain — and the colorful tanneries spread out along the banks of the Oued Fez.

Evening: We’ll enjoy a presentation by our scholar.

Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodations: Fes Marriott Hotel Jnan Palace

Friday, October 25 | Fez
Morning: We begin the day at the Mellah (Jewish Quarter) of Fez, founded in 1438 and once home to tens of thousands of Jews. We’ll visit the Jewish cemetery, a white-washed expanse of graves that is the final resting place for some of the city’s legendary rabbis.

After lunch at a local restaurant, we’ll continue to the Ibn Danan synagogue, one of the oldest and most intact synagogues in Morocco, which dates back to the 17th century. Built to serve the megorashim (Jews descended from those expelled from Spain), this beautifully restored building even includes a mikvah. Finally, we’ll visit the nearby El Fassiyeen synagogue, also constructed in the 17th century. When the refurbished building reopened ten years ago as a cultural center, Morocco’s prime minister read a message from King Muhammad VI praising the Jewish community and pledging to protect it.

Evening: After a day filled with sights and history, we’ll gather for the next presentation by our scholar, then enjoy a Shabbat dinner together at the hotel.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations: Fes Marriott Hotel Jnan Palace

Saturday, October 26 | Fez
We are free to enjoy a leisurely Shabbat or explore the neighborhoods of Fez on our own. An optional afternoon walking tour will be offered.

Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodations: Fes Marriott Hotel Jnan Palace

Sunday, October 27 | Fez | Rabat
Morning: We’ll drive to Rabat, the capital city resting along the Atlantic coast. We’ll enjoy views of the Moroccan countryside and stop for lunch along the way.

Afternoon: We’ll marvel at the ancient necropolis of Chellah, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once a thriving city for nearly 1,000 years, it houses both Roman and medieval Muslim ruins, including a medieval Muslim cemetery. Later, we’ll roam the streets and gardens of the Kasbah des Oudaias, originally built in the 12th century. Finally, we’ll visit the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, a masterpiece of modern Alouite dynasty architecture that holds the remains of three royal family members — the King Mohammed V and his two sons, King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah.

Evening: We’ll gather for a lecture and discussion, followed by dinner at our hotel. The newly-built and modern Fairmont La Marina Rabat sits on the banks of the Bouregreg River.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations: Fairmont La Marina Rabat

Monday, October 28 | Rabat / Marrakech
Morning: We’ll depart Rabat for Marrakech. Upon arrival, we’ll visit the beautifully tiled minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque, the Red City’s largest mosque, which is also known as the “Mosque of the Booksellers.”

Afternoon: After lunch, we’ll check into the modern Radisson Blu Marrakech in the vibrant Gueliz quarter, just steps away from the Hivernage neighborhood and ten minutes from the traditional souks. Once settled in, we’ll walk to the nearby Djemaa el Fnaa Square, a UNESCO Masterpiece of World Heritage site that brings urban legends and oral history to life nightly with the local performers: fire jugglers, musicians, dancers, fortune tellers, and storytellers.

Evening: We’ll have dinner together at Dar Moha, one of the city’s finest restaurants serving authentic Moroccan cuisine, set in a riad (traditional Moroccan house with an interior garden).

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Marrakech

Tuesday, October 29 | Marrakech
Morning: We’ll head to the historic Mellah of the old city and the Slat al-Azama Synagogue — originally built in 1492 AD and considered the city’s oldest temple — to meet with leaders of the Jewish community. We’ll then tour the Musee de Marrakech, housed in a 19th-century Menebhi Palace, and view its mosaic tilework and display of ceramics, followed by the Dar Bellarj Foundation, an institution dedicated to protecting and showcasing Moroccan culture. Finally, we’ll visit the brilliant 19th-century Bahia Palace filled with floor-to-ceiling extravagance, including intricate marquetry, plasterwork, and zouak (painted wood). At Dar Cherifa, a late 16th-century house in the Medina and one of the few well-preserved houses from the Saadian period, we’ll have refreshments and enjoy some delicious local delicacies. A Calligraphy master will join us for tea and share the techniques of drawing the letters of the visually exquisite Arabic alphabet.

Afternoon: After lunch (included), we’ll tour the famous souk, Marrakech’s bustling open-air market that gives each trade, including spices, carpets, jewelry, enamel, copper, brass, and more, its own unique quarter. Sights may include villagers bringing their handmade rugs to sell or artisans selling hand-tooled crafts made in the same traditional ways for centuries.

Guests will have dinner and enjoy a leisurely evening of their choosing on their own.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Marrakech

Wednesday, October 30 | Marrakech
Morning: We’ll set out for the lush, green Ourika Valley, where the temperatures cool in the shadow of snowcapped High Atlas peaks. We’ll visit the tomb of a tzadik, Rabbi Shlomo ben Hensh, who died 500 years ago but is still revered as a saint by both Muslims and Jews.

Afternoon: We’ll have lunch at a local restaurant before returning to Marrakech for the remainder of the day. Guests will have dinner on their own and will be free to enjoy a leisurely evening or explore the city.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Marrakech

Thursday, October 31 | Marrakech
Morning: To begin our final day together, we’ll journey to the tropical Majorelle Gardens, a botanical and artist’s landscape garden. Created in 1923 by the French artist Jacques Majorelle, the garden was restored under the patronage of the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. From there, we’ll move on to another UNESCO World Heritage site, the opulent Saadien Tombs, the mausoleum of the great dynasty that once ruled North Africa in the 16th century.

Afternoon: After lunch on our own, the afternoon is free for guests to explore Marrakech.

Evening: Our farewell dinner is at the luxurious Dar Yacout. Waiters in white djellabas and red fezzes serve traditional dishes in a stunning setting deep in the Medina.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Marrakech

Friday, November 1 | Marrakech
We depart Marrakech on independent flights today.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Traveling with you…

Each of our scholars are outstanding experts in their fields and play an active role in helping us design our journeys as well as accompanying us as we travel. 

Raymond P. Scheindlin, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Medieval Hebrew Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary and a former Guggenheim Fellow. Dr. Scheindlin’s main field of research is the encounter of Hebrew and Arabic cultures in Spain, especially as embodied in the poetry of the two traditions. His books on medieval Hebrew poetry — Wine, Women, and Death: Medieval Hebrew Poems on the Good Life, dealing with secular poetry; and The Gazelle: Medieval Hebrew Poems on God, Israel, and the Soul — reflect both the academic and the literary aspects of his career. He is the author of a widely-used textbook, A Short History of the Jewish People, and co-editor of The Literature of Al-Andalus and The Song of the Distant Dove: Judah Halevi’s Pilgrimage. His most recent book is Vulture in a Cage: Poems by Solomon Ibn Gabirol.


Hyatt Regency Casablanca

Casablanca’s most prominent hotel offers five-star accommodations next to United Nations Square. Overlooking the Old Medina and the Hassan II Mosque, the stately and ideally located Hyatt Regency has several fine dining options within the hotel and features many amenities, including a business center, an outdoor swimming pool, a spa, a nightclub, and a fitness center.

Fes Marriott Hotel Jnan Palace

Set in the heart of the residential area of the city’s New Town, just minutes from the Old Medina, this stylish resort with four restaurants is elegantly designed with authentic Moorish architecture. It offers a range of luxurious amenities, including a sparkling outdoor pool and a cutting-edge fitness center.

Fairmont Marina Rabat

Located right on the bank of the Bouregreg River, this “ultramodern” hotel is close to all of the city’s attractions. Brand new with tasteful decor and spaces “designed to strengthen the connection to the local environment and power of nature,” the Fairmont Marina Rabat invites serenity and relaxation “set to the rhythm of the waves and the breeze.”

Radisson Blu Marrakech

Designed by famous architect Imaad Rahmouni, the modern hotel sits in the heart of Marrakech, just ten minutes from the city’s historic quarter, Djemaa El-Fna Square, and traditional souks. Its leisure facilities include a spa, a fitness center, and an aquarium swimming pool surrounded by a spacious patio with sunbeds. 


Program Cost: $7450* includes:

  • 11 nights’ accommodations at deluxe hotels
  • Full breakfast daily; seven lunches; six dinners
  • All group transportation via deluxe air-conditioned coach
  • All lectures, guided tours, museums and site entrance fees

*Per person, double occupancy; single supplement: $1,370. Fees not included: Gratuities: $165. Museum of Jewish Heritage membership for nonmembers: $54. 

Secure your place

Book Now: use the link below to reach our easy online booking form.

By phone: 845-256-0197 Monday–Friday, 10am–4pm EST.

Payment Reserve your space with a nonrefundable deposit of $1,000 per person. Final balance is due 120 days prior to departure.

Membership Participation on these tours is a benefit for active members of our museum partners. During the registration process, you will be asked about your membership status with your affiliated museum. If you are not a current member, you will have a chance to activate your membership.

Participation Tour sizes are limited to 28 participants unless otherwise noted. Trips entail considerable walking including over uneven terrain. Participants need to be in good health, be able to keep up with the group, be able to experience group and cultural differences with grace. Please let us know if you have any physical conditions that may require special attention while on tour.

Cancellations All cancellations must be received by Jewish Heritage Travel in writing. Cancellations received 120 days or more prior to departure: full refund less nonrefundable deposits, per person; 119–90 days prior to departure: 50% refund per person after nonrefundable deposits. 89–0 days before departure: no refund.

Trip Cancellation Insurance Jewish Heritage Travel strongly urges all participants to purchase travel insurance for coverage of losses necessitated by having to cancel due to illness or accident. For your convenience, we are providing a link to Allianz Global Assistance, which many past participants have used. Please use code ACCAM/Agency ID# F026815 or feel free to use your own insurance agent. When purchasing insurance, please consider the plans carefully to familiarize yourself with what is covered. In this context, do take note that most insurance companies generally will waive exclusion for preexisting conditions only if your application is received by them within 14 days from the date of your program registration. If you have a preexisting medical condition and are interested in taking trip insurance, you should do so either with Allianz or through your own insurance agent within 14 days of registration.

Changes All rights are reserved by Jewish Heritage Travel to make scholar substitutions and/or to modify the itinerary (including hotels) as needed. Every reasonable effort will be made to operate the program as planned; however, should unforeseen world events and conditions require the itinerary to be altered, Jewish Heritage Travel reserves the right to do so for the safety and best interest of the group. Any extra expenses incurred in this situation are the responsibility of the participant.

Disclaimer of Responsibility By registering for this program, participant specifically waives any and all claims of action against the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Jewish Heritage Travel office and their respective staffs for damages, loss, injury, accident, or death incurred by any person in connection with this tour. The Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Jewish Heritage Travel office and their respective staffs assume no responsibility or liability in connection with the service of any train, vessel, carriage, aircraft, or other conveyance that may be used wholly or in part in the performance of their duty to the passengers. Neither will the Museum of Jewish Heritage or the Jewish Heritage Travel office or their staffs be responsible for any injury, death, loss, accident, delay, or irregularity through neglect or default of any company or person engaged in carrying out the purposes for which tickets, vouchers, or coupons are issued. No responsibility is accepted for losses or expenses due to sickness, viruses, weather, strikes, wars, and other causes. In the event it becomes necessary or advisable for any reason whatsoever to alter the itinerary or arrangements, including hotels or scholars, such alterations may be made without penalty. All rights reserved to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at his/her own expense when such an action is determined by the tour staff to be in the best interest of the participant’s health and safety and that of the group in general. Prices subject to change. Cost in effect at time of registration will be honored.

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