Jewish history and culture to be taught to Moroccan children in ‘first’ for Arab world

The announcement comes as political ties are normalised between the north African nation and Israel 


Jewish history and culture will soon be taught to 11-year-olds in primary schools in Morocco. 

The announcement – part of an ongoing revamp of the north African state’s curriculum – comes as it became the latest Arab nation to normalise ties with Israel. 

The decision to teach about Judaism in schools would have “the impact of a tsunami”, Serge Berdugo, secretary general of the Council of Jewish Communities of Morocco, told AFP. It would be “a first in the Arab world.” 

The move was announced by Morocco’s education ministry discreetly, the agency reported, with the aim to “highlight Morocco's diverse identity”, according to Fouad Chafiqi, head of academic programmes at the ministry. 

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump announced a US-brokered deal to normalise ties between Morocco and Israel, something later confirmed by the Arab nation. 

The deal was sealed by a phone call with King Mohammed VI, the White House said. Mr Trump tweeted that it was “a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East”.  

In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made reference to it being the first night of Chanukah, saying: “Peace has never […] shone brighter than today”. 

He added liaison offices would be reopened in Tel Aviv and Rabat, which were closed in 2000 at the outset of the second Palestinian uprising. 

Morocco’s Jewish community is one of the oldest, although has seen a sharp decline since the end of the Second World War, with many making aliyah following the creation of the state of Israel. 

In 1945, ten per cent of Morocco’s population – or 250,000 people – were Jewish. It is now estimated the community numbers around 3,000. 

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