Is it possible to bring together Jews of Moroccan origin wherever they may live and convince them to keep in touch with Morocco? This is not merely a question of visiting the country for tourism but, above all, of convincing Moroccan Jews to serve as promoters of Moroccan diplomacy. To achieve this aim, it was imperative to make brave decisions, which is indeed what King Hassan II has done. To give more consistency and significance to the ties of loyalty, the Moroccan state is taking remarkable measures, organising hilloulot (Hb. ‘pilgrimages’), moments of intense spiritual experience evoking a long Jewish presence in Morocco spanning two thousand years.
Hanane Sekkat teaches Modern Hebrew and the history of the Jews in Muslim lands at the University of Fez. She is author of Terrorism and Martyr (Zamane, 2001), and co-author with Emanuela-Trevisan Semi of Memory and Representations of Jews in Morocco: Absent Neighbours of Meknes (Publisud, 2011). She is involved in projects aimed at preserving Jewish memory and promoting Moroccan Jewish culture.