Introduction / History Most likely a Jewish population existed in Morocco prior to the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 A.D; It may well be that a significant proportion of the earliest Jews in Morocco were Berbers who converted to Judaism, some of whom later entered Spain prior to or even following the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula in 711-715 AD.
Much of the migration of Moroccan Jews to Israel occurred after the Holocaust. After the Second World War and the establishment of the state of Israel, the Jewish Zionist organizations encouraged many Jewish families to leave Morocco and migrate to Israel legally, with the approval of the French rule at the time. Following the war, many young Moroccan Jews migrated to Israel and joined forces that were fighting the War of Independence. Between 1956-1961, some 30,000 Jews secretly made their way to Israel. With every Arab-Israeli war, tensions between Arabs and Jews rise, sparking more Moroccan Jewish emigration. By the time of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, the majority of Morocco's Jewish population had emigrated to Israel.
In sum, Moroccan Jews have resettled in Israel for religious reasons, some feared persecution, and others left for better economic prospects than they faced in Morocco.
Where are they located? Moroccan Jews in Israel are descendants of the immigrants of the Moroccan Jewish communities. Many now reside in Jerusalem, Haifa, and Tel-Aviv within the state of Israel. They have also settled in small peripheral towns in Galilee or the Negev or in agricultural villages. Jews of Moroccan descent can be found all across Israel.
What are their lives like? In Israel they constitute the second-largest Jewish community, after the Russian Jews. The Arabic language (Dzidi), Judeo-Moroccan, French, and Hebrew are spoken by Moroccan Jews in Israel today. They work in agriculture, shop-keeping, and craftsmanship.
What are their beliefs? The religious belief of Moroccan Jews in Israel is Judaism. There are no known believers in Christ, although there are printed and on-line resources in Hebrew, Arabic, and French, three languages which they often speak.
What are their needs? Arabic Jews in Israel, though surrounded by much historic and biblical evidence of truth, have not yet understood God's truth of the gospel. Their greatest need is to understand and embrace this lifesaving provision.
Prayer Points Pray that believers will see the desperate need of these Moroccan Jewish people, and connect with them to promote communication, understanding, and God's love.
Pray for Moroccan Jewish background believers to be discipled in the ways of Jesus Christ. * Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language. * Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.