Park Avenue Synagogue
Strangers & Friends: Jewish Life In The Muslim Kingdom Of Morroco
Led By Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove And Rabbi Charlie Savenor
Chaired By Lisa Grinberg And Sheri Rosenfeld

price per person from $5885

to view departure dates and pricing click register now!

Main Trip

Optional Group flights as listed in the air section of this program

7 nights' accommodation at select hotels.

7 touring days with local English-speaking tour guide.

6 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.

1 group transfer and assistance from/to the airport.

1 Field representative (hostess) throughout. 

Da'at Travel tour educator accompanying the group throughout.
 

Meals: daily breakfast, 4 lunches & 4 dinners.

Water on the bus throughout.

Portage is included.

Security guard throughout the trip (1 guard per bus) 

 

Atlas Mountains and Desert Extension

3 nights' accommodation at select hotels.

3 touring days with a local English speaking guide.

3 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.

1 group transfer and assistance to the airport.

1 Field representative (hostess) throughout.
 

Meals: daily breakfast, 3 lunches & 3 dinners.

Domestic flight between Errachidia and Casablanca.

Portage is included.

Day One: Sunday, October 18, 2020
ON THE WAY TO MOROCCO 

  • Depart the US. 

Overnight: Flight


Day Two: Monday, October 19, 2020
ARRIVAL IN CASABLANCA 

  • Arrival at Casablanca International Airport (we recommend arrival by 10:00 a.m. in order to join the morning program).
  • Welcome by your tour educator and local guide and assistance with arrival formalities.
  • Welcome coffee and orientation.
  • The Beginning of a Beautiful Journey: Begin your journey with a panoramic tour of Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco, its diverse neighborhoods, markets, and alleyways.
  • The Glory of Moroccan Jewry: Guided visit through the Museum of the Jews of Morocco, for a glimpse into the rich and colorful world of Moroccan Jewry. The museum is the Arab world's only Jewish museum. Its displays include ornate Jewish-Berber clothing and a reconstruction of a 13th-century The lives of Morocco's many Jewish goldsmiths are also explored while an exhibition examines the 2011 Moroccan constitution which explicitly acknowledges the “Hebraic” contribution to the country's national identity.
  • Visit the Beth-El Synagogue, which is considered the "main" synagogue of Casablanca and is still very active.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • LaDa'at Focus An Inside Look at Moroccan Culture: Dinner and orientation with your tour educator at a local Jewish club. Our Journey Together: During this introduction session, we'll look forward to the days ahead, preview some of the highlights and themes of our trip, and share personal expectations of what we will experience in Morocco. 

Meals: Dinner 

Overnight: Four Seasons, Casablanca


Day Three: Tuesday, October 20, 2020
GIAN MOSQUES AND ANCIENT RUINS - ON THE ROAD TO FES 

  • (Optional) Minyan.
  • The Jewish Community of Morocco - Past, Present, Future: Dialogue with Raphael Elmaleh, author of the book “Jews Under Moroccan Skies” (pending confirmation).
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Preserving the Past, Building a Future: Named after the famous Jewish Moroccan celebrations held at the end of Passover, Association Mimouna is an organization of Muslim students who honor the country's Jewish traditions and promote Jewish-Muslim friendship. We'll meet some of the students and hear of their activities, which range from kosher cooking workshops to organizing one of the Islamic world's first conferences to commemorate victims of the Holocaust.
  • Visit the famous Mosque of Hassan II, one of the largest mosques in the world. With hand-carved marble walls, a retractable roof, room for 100,000 worshipers, and the tallest minaret in the world, at almost 700 feet, this mosque is an incredible example of devotion and construction.
  • Lunch on own, en route.
  • Depart Casablanca and drive to the ruins of Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded in the 3rd century BCE, the town became an important outpost of the Roman Empire.
  • Continue to Fes, the most extensive medieval city in the Arab world, and the home of Jewish scholars and rabbis for hundreds of years.
  • Check into the hotel and enjoy dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Overnight: Marriott Jnan Palace, Fes 

Casablanca-Fes: approx. 290 km, approx. 4 hours' drive not including touring and stops en route


Day Four: Wednesday, October 21, 2020
THE MYSTERIES OF FES 

  • (Optional) Minyan.
  • Enjoy glorious views of Fes and its Medina (Walled City) from the Borj Sud fortress.
  • LaDa'at Focus Jewish Life in Fes: Travel through time as we explore the long-standing Jewish presence in Fes. Despite suffering from periodic persecutions, Fes's Mullah (Jewish Quarter) was home to a thriving community. Its influential rabbis, scholars, and teachers included Rabbi Moses Maimonides (the Rambam), arguably the greatest of all Jewish religious thinkers and philosophers. Our tour will include:
    • The recently restored Ibn Danan Synagogue, one of the oldest and most important synagogues in North Africa.
    • The El Fassiyin Synagogue: This once-vital synagogue had fallen into disrepair and was used as a boxing ring and carpet factory until it was recently restored with support from overseas funders and the Moroccan government.
    • The Fes Jewish cemetery, where we'll hear stories of some of the city's legendary rabbis buried here.
  • Fes's Medina is a dense maze of alleyways and streets and the largest car-free pedestrian zone in the world. Don't worry, our tour educator knows the way through this UNESCO World Heritage Site that still includes many buildings, mosques, and gates from the 12th The visit includes:
    • A glimpse of local craftsmen at work in their shops as they weave, embroider, carve, and chisel using ancient techniques.
    • A tour of the Madrasa Bou Inania. This Madrasa (Islamic religious college) was established in 1351 and is famed for its architecture, minaret, and geometric decorations. It is one of the few Islamic sites in Morocco accessible to non-Muslim visitors.
  • Lunch at a restaurant en route before continuing on our tour:
    • Visit the Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts and Crafts, a beautifully renovated caravanserai that preserves the tools and lifestyles of the traveling merchants who would lodge and sell their goods here.
    • Take a look at an ancient center of scholarship. The University of Al-Karaouine is believed to be the oldest continuously operating university in the world. Non-Muslims can view it only from the outside.
    • Fes is also known for its leather goods and the tanneries that provide its distinctive smell. We'll visit the Chouara Tannery where traditional ways of making leather are still practiced.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • Dinner on own and evening at leisure. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

Overnight: Marriott Jnan Palace, Fes


Day Five: Thursday, October 22, 2020
ROYAL RABAT 

  • (Optional) Minyan.
  • Check out of the hotel and depart for Meknes.
  • City of a Tyrant: Witness the greatness and brutality of Moulay Ismail (1634-1727), the king who turned Meknes into a royal city. We'll see some of the beautiful buildings built during his long reign with their skillful blend of Islamic and European architecture. But at his finely decorated Mausoleum, we'll also consider the brutality of “Moulay the Bloodthirsty” who is said to have ordered the walls of Meknes to be decorated with the heads of 10,000 of his enemies.
  • Wives and Horses: While the Torah warns that a king should not acquire extra horses, a multitude of wives, or excessive amounts of silver and gold, Moulay Ismail took a different approach. He is believed to have had 2,000 wives and concubines who bore him 867 children but he seems to have been fondest of his horses. We'll visit the Royal Stables which housed his 12,000 horses. Each horse had a separate groom-slave to look after it. We'll also see evidence of the huge earthquake that destroyed much of Meknes in 1755.
  • What Was and What Remains: Meet with the caretaker of an old Jewish synagogue and discuss the transformation of Jewish life in the city and the country. In 1948, Morocco had perhaps 250,000 Jews - the largest Jewish population in the Muslim world. Today, only a few thousand remain. We'll talk about the rich history of the Jewish community and the realities of Jewish life in Morocco today.
  • Lunch at a restaurant.
  • Depart for Rabat, Morocco's capital.
  • The Kings and the Jews: Our tour of Morocco's royal capital will allow us to experience the huge role, historically and currently, that the king plays in Moroccan life.
    • We'll walk around the walls of Rabat's Royal Palace, the primary (although certainly not the only) residence of the current king Mohammad VI, and ask whether modern Morocco is an autocracy, a democracy, or something in-between.
    • “There are no Jewish citizens, there are no Muslim citizens, they are all Moroccans” - Muhammad V. Visit the majestic mausoleum of Mohammad V, Morocco's king during World War II, and hear how he helped preventing the Nazis from deporting Morocco's Jews to the death camps of Europe.
    • We'll also visit the mausoleum of his son, Hassan II, who ruled over Morocco during the so-called “Years of Lead.” We'll hear about Morocco's divisions and human rights during this period and the assassination attempts on the king's life. It was during Hasan's reign that most of the country's Jews migrated to Israel, Canada, and France.
  • Walk through the markets, jewelry stores, and grand old diplomatic complexes of Rabat's Medina (Walled City) as we make our way up to the Kasbah des Udayas. This citadel is the oldest part of Rabat, dating back to the 12th Sitting high above the river and the Atlantic Ocean, it's a treat for the eyes with gorgeously decorated gates, blue and whitewashed homes, and French-influenced gardens.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Meet Andre Azoulay, a senior advisor to king Mohammed VI of Morocco and leader of the local Jewish community (pending confirmation).
  • Dinner on own and evening at leisure. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

Overnight: La Tour Hassan, Rabat 

Fes - Rabat: approx. 210 km, approx. 3 hours' drive not including touring and stops en route


Day Six: Friday, October 23, 2020
THE ROAD TO MARRAKECH - ONE SENSE AT A TIME 

  • (Optional) Minyan.
  • Morocco and the USA - What's Next? The US Ambassador to Morocco will talk with us about the contemporary relationship between the two nations and outline key issues for the future.
  • Check out of the hotel and depart for Marrakech.
  • LaDa'at Focus Carnivals and Piety in Marrakech: An introduction to this whirlwind of a city, which combines the madcap energy of its marketplaces with the serene rhythms of religious life.
  • Lunch on own, en route.
  • The French Connection: Morocco is a melting pot of identities and influences ranging from its original tribes to its more recent visitors including the French, who ruled over much of the country from 1912 to 1955.
    • We'll spend time in the French Quarter and visit the enchanting Majorelle Garden of the French painter and botanist Jacques Majorelle. The garden and buildings took him 40 years to create but you'll think it was time well spent as we wander by paths and sparkling pools shaded by gorgeous trees and plants from around the world.
    • The Berber Museum, also housed in the garden, is a tribute to the Berber tribes and people who have lived in North Africa for thousands of years. It includes beautifully curated exhibits of traditional Berber art, clothing, and jewelry. 
    • We'll continue to the Yves St. Laurent Museum. It showcases the haute couture culture and accessories of this legendary French fashion designer, who lived for many years in Marrakech.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Shabbat services at a local synagogue.
  • Shabbat dinner with members of the local community. 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Overnight: La Mamounia, Marrakech 

Rabat-Marrakech: approx. 325 km, approx. 4 hours' drive not including touring and stops en route


Day Seven: Saturday, October 24, 2020
SHABBAT IN MARRAKECH | walking tour 

  • (Optional) Shabbat services at Slat el Azama Synagogue, the synagogue of the Mellah.
  • Shabbat lunch.
  • Afternoon tour of the Medina (Walled City) of Marrakech, also known as the Red City for the red walls that surround it. The Medina is a thrilling, multifaceted experience. Highlights of the tour include:
    • Bab Agnaou - a huge, superbly decorated gate allowing entrance into this royal city.
    • The Bahia Palace is considered the greatest palace of its time. Its architecture, gardens, and design render it one of the great achievements of Moroccan culture.
    • The Saadian Tombs provide lavish insights into the wealth and power structure of the Saadian dynasty, which ruled Morocco from 1549 to 1659. Their greatest ruler Ahmed Al Mansour is buried in the magnificent Chamber of 12 Pillars in a tomb made from Italian marble and gilded with pure gold. Less exalted princes and rulers from the dynasty are buried nearby. The next circle in the Saadi power structure, including royal wives, chancellors, and some Jewish advisers, were “relegated” to graves in the still impressive gardens.
  • Ben Kodesh Lechol: Havdallah.
  • Rocking the Kasbah: Morocco has a rich musical tradition including Arabic Chaabi folk music and the mystical melodies of Gnawa. Hear the sounds of Morocco during this performance by an oud musician. The oud, sometimes called the grandfather of the guitar, is one of the key instruments in Middle Eastern and North African music.
  • Dinner on own and evening at leisure.

 Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

Overnight: La Mamounia, Marrakech


Day Eight: Sunday, October 25, 2020
THE TASTES AND SMELLS OF MARRAKECH 

  • (Optional) Minyan.
  • The Taste of Morocco: Savor the flavors, spices, and foods of Morocco in a cooking workshop, where fun and laughter are a crucial part of the menu. And after the cooking comes the eating with a delicious lunch of our own making. Our meal of the Maghreb will be accompanied by mint tea, the ubiquitous drink of Morocco and a symbol of its famed hospitality.
  • Enjoy a guided tour of the Mellah (Jewish quarter) of Marrakech:
    • Visit the Slat al-Azama Synagogue, the synagogue of the Mellah.
    • Explore the Jewish Cemetery of Marrakech.
  • LaDa'at Focus Saints and Holiness from Morocco to Israel: The Transference of Traditions with your tour educator.
  • Explore The Djemaa El Fna Square, an enormous marketplace, is one of Africa's most astonishing sites. According to one theory, its name means an assembly of the dead and refers to the public executions that used to take place here. However, this is a place teeming with life. Get ready for amazement and a daily carnival of snake-charmers, street vendors, musicians, story-tellers, and
  • Free time to explore Marrakech's enormous marketplace on your own.
  • What We've Seen and Felt while Exploring Morocco: Our farewell to Morocco dinner will include the chance to share experiences and discoveries that have inspired us during our journey. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

Overnight: La Mamounia, Marrakech


Day Nine: Monday, October 26, 2020
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN 

  • Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out.
  • Transfer to Marrakech International Airport for your return flight to the US.

 

 


Da'at Educational Expeditions itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.

To book this package, please contact one of our reservation agents at 888-811-2812.

Extend Your Stay

Flight Details


Accommodation Details



Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca Image

Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca
Casablanca

Located in Casablanca, beside Anfa Place Living Resort, Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca boasts a spa centre and fitness centre. The hotel has a year-round outdoor pool and hammam, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar.

Fes Marriott Hotel Jnan Palace Image

Fes Marriott Hotel Jnan Palace
Fes

Discover elegant accommodations, exceptional service, and a prime city location here at the Fes Marriott Hotel Jnan Palace. Our hotel is ideal for both business travelers and families on vacation, and features a range of amenities designed to make your stay here in Fes truly memorable.

La Tour Hassan Image

La Tour Hassan
Rabat

The Tour Hassan is ideally located in the heart of the Moroccan Kindom's capital, close to the district of ministries and embassies, but also to the principal monuments: the Mausoleum Mohammed V and the Tour Hassan.

Hotel La Mamounia Image

Hotel La Mamounia
Marrakech

The legendary Moroccan Palace, La Mamounia is sheltered within the walls of the old city. It is a haven for relaxation under the sun of Marrakech. This palace is the quintessence of the Moroccan Art de Vivre.


REGISTRATION DEADLINE: November 25, 2019

Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 90 full paying participants. Should the number of participants drop below the minimum listed above, we will adjust the cost of the trip to reflect the additional expense of operating the program. 
Tour prices are per person in U.S. dollars. All hotel accommodations, motor coach transportation, special dinners, sightseeing, admissions, luggage handling and the services of local guides, drivers, and the tour guide/educator are included.

PAYMENT POLICY

Da'at Educational Expeditions reserves the right to adjust its terms of payment, including cancelation policies and initial deposits. Notification of any changes will be made explicitly to the participants where relevant.

Initial deposit of $1,000 per person, non-refundable, non-transferable is due by November 25, 2019. The deposit is refundable for cancellations received until December 1, 2019.
Final payment is due June 30, 2020 (110 days before the scheduled trip begins), or as specified in your invoice.

CANCELATION POLICY 
Cancelations need to be made in writing. Cancelation fees will be based on the date that the written cancelation is received.

Cancelation fees:

  • From December 2, 2019 until 110 days prior to departure (ie, until June 30, 2020): the deposit
  • 109 to 60 days prior to departure (from July 1, 2020 until August 19, 2020): 50% of the total trip cost
  • 59 days to the day of departure/no-show (from August 20, 2020): 100% of the total trip cost

Cancelation fees may also include:

  • Hotel or supplier cancelation fees.
  • Group airfare penalty fee.

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE

We strongly recommend that you purchase your own travel insurance. Please discuss land, air and health insurance options with your insurance provider or contact Travel Insured at 1-800-344-6226, ext. 257. Some insurance programs provide more comprehensive coverage when the policy is purchased in close proximity to the initial trip deposit. We therefore recommend that you secure insurance within 14 days of your initial deposit payment date.

 AIR SERVICES

Airport Taxes & Fuel Surcharges are estimated and subject to change at any time.
Airport Taxes & Fuel Surcharges are not guaranteed unless the group air tickets have been issued. Group air tickets are issued approximately 35 days prior to departure. Group air tickets are only issued upon receipt of full payment from all of the trip participants.
Air and land packages are open for registration until July 10, 2020 (based on availability), thereafter the tour will be available for land-only services. Cancelation of group air reservations after July 10, 2020 (and before the group flight tickets are issued) will entail a penalty of $100 per ticket.
Airfare to the tour departure point and from the tour ending point is not included.
Airfare may be purchased from us for travel originating in the United States. Please see the Flights tab in the right-side toolbar.
Once issued, tickets are non-refundable. Airline schedules and flights are subject to change without notice. We will not be responsible for penalties incurred for tickets, international or domestic, not issued by us due to schedule and/or flight changes. Airlines reserve the right to demand immediate issuance of tickets whenever they determine that specific flights are heavily booked even when normal ticketing rules do not require tickets to be issued until a later date. In this instance, we will require immediate and full payment of the airfare and airport taxes and fees as itemized on the invoice. This situation overrides invoice terms and conditions and payment due dates. If full payment is not received, seats will be canceled by the airline and may not be available to be rebooked on the same flights or at the same airfare. Any replacement air arrangements and airfare will be the sole responsibility of the passenger. We suggest you contact your travel agent or the carrier several weeks prior to departure for seat assignments. Passengers are responsible to reconfirm their flights 72 hours prior to departure for all flights.
 

HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS

The trip price includes hotel accommodations. 
Our standard is to provide the best available hotels while considering value. Although the level of accommodations may differ slightly from hotel to hotel, we are committed to your comfort. 
We reserve the right to make substitutions with hotels of equal standard. No refunds will be issued for differences between hotel prices. 
The standard hotel room in Israel is generally smaller than in the US, comfortably accommodating two people in either one queen-size bed or two single beds. Some hotels offer triple rooms consisting of standard twin beds plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for the third person. 
Special requests such as room selections, bed types, and smoking preferences are subject to availability and are strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. 
All hotel rates are non-negotiable and are based on the agreements made between Da'at Educational Expeditions and its suppliers. 
Hotel check-in time is generally not before 3:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you are taking a late-night flight, make sure to organize adequate arrangements for accommodation until you are ready to leave for the airport. If a day room is included in the itinerary, check-out time will usually be at 6:00 p.m.

 

MEALS  
are included as specified in the itinerary.

 

TOUR EDUCATOR OR GUIDE 
All trips are conducted by our tour educators or local guides who remain with the group throughout the tour.

 

GRATUITIES INCLUDED:  
All gratuities for restaurant staff at group meals are included.

 

PRICE EXCLUDES

  • Transportation in evening when dinner is on own.
  • Amendments to the program: In the event that any sites, programs or meals etc are added to the program, an additional fee may be required.
  • Personal extras: Items of personal nature such as laundry, wines, mineral water, beverages, coffee, tea, food other than the table d'hotel menu, passport and visa fees, insurance, and foreign port taxes, unless otherwise specified.
  • Snacks on the bus (unless indicated otherwise)
  • US and foreign airport taxes, Q fuel surcharge and border taxes when applicable.
  • Gratuities for Tour Educator (Guide) and Driver. We recommend the following guidelines for tips (amounts indicated in US dollars):

TRIPS TO DESTINATIONS OUTSIDE OF ISRAEL:

Group of 20 participants and more:

  • Da'at Tour Educator: $8 | Local Guide: $5 | Driver: $3 - per participant per day

Hostess (when included in the package):

  • $4 per participant per day 

Security guard and/or a youth counselor (when included):

  • $1 per participant per day per security guard, per youth counselor