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Congregation Har Shalom of Maryland | A Journey to Morocco

price per person from $3255

to view departure dates and pricing click register now!

10 nights' accommodations at selected hotels.
9 touring days with a local English-speaking tour guide.
9 days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
1 group transfer and assistance from/to the airport.
Meals: Breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 5 dinners.
Portage at the hotel.
Da'at Travel tour educator accompanying the group throughout.
Water on the bus throughout the trip.

Day One: Sunday, June 21, 2020
 DEPARTURE

 

  • Depart the US.

 

Overnight: Flight


 

Day Two: Monday, June 22, 2020  
 ARRIVAL IN CASABLANCA

 

  • Arrive at Casablanca International Airport.
  • Meet your tour educator, who will accompany you on this journey of education and inspiration.
  • 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 another exhibit examines the 2011 Moroccan Constitution which explicitly acknowledges the “Hebraic” contribution to the country's national identity.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • 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: Casablanca

 


Day Three: Tuesday, June 23, 2020
GIANT MOSQUES AND ANCIENT CITIES - ON THE ROAD TO FES

 

  • 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 Beth - El Synagogue, which is considered the "main" synagogue of Casablanca and is still very active.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: Fes

 


Day Four: Wednesday, June 24, 2020      
THE MYSTERIES OF FES

 

  • Enjoy glorious views of Fes and its Medina (Walled City) from the Borj Sud fortress.
  • Fes's Medina is a dense maze of alleyways and streets and the largest car-free pedestrian zone in the world. Don't worry, your tour educator knows the way through this UNESCO World Heritage Site that still includes many buildings, mosques, and gates from the 12thThe 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 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 and enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch    
Overnight: Fes

 


Day Five: Thursday, June 25, 2020      
JEWISH FES & ROYAL RABAT

 

  • Check out of the hotel.
  • 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.
  • 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 prevent 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.

 

Meals: Breakfast    
Overnight: Rabat

 


Day Six: Friday, June 26, 2020      
THE ROAD TO MARRAKECH - ONE SENSE AT A TIME

 

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • Shabbat services at a local synagogue followed by home hospitality dinner with members of the local community.

 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner    
Overnight: Marrakech

 


Day Seven: Saturday, June 27, 2020      
FREE SHABBAT IN MARRAKECH | No Bus

 

  • (Optional) Shabbat morning services at Slat el Azama Synagogue, the synagogue of the Mellah.
  • Free day to explore Marrakech on your own - shop, enjoy one of the many spas or hamams in the city, or just relax.
  • Three Stars in the Marrakech Sky: At nightfall, we will mark the end of a special Shabbat with a communal Havdallah ceremony.

 

Meals: Breakfast    
Overnight: Marrakech



Day Eight: Sunday, June 28, 2020      
THE MANY LAYERS OF MARRAKECH

 

  • We'll tour 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 your tour will 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.
  • Explore Djemaa El Fna Square, an enormous marketplace, 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, storytellers, and acrobats.
  • Free time to explore Marrakech's enormous marketplace on your own.
  • 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 dinner 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.

 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner    
Overnight: Marrakech

 


Day Nine: Monday, June 29, 2020      
OURIKA VALLEY

 

  • Depart Marrakech and drive to the Ourika Valley. Enjoy the lush greens of the High Atlas foothills, local gorges, and beautiful scenery.
  • Drive through the beautiful, lush, green valley and visit a Berber village.
  • Visit the tomb of the Jewish tsaddik Shlomo Ben Hans.
  • Return to Marrakech.
  • 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.

 

Meals: Breakfast    
Overnight: Marrakech

 


Day Ten: Tuesday, June 30, 2020      
EN ROUTE TO ESSAOURIA

 

  • Check out of the hotel.
  • We'll swap the hustle and bustle of Marrakech for the serenity of Until the 19th century, this was one of Morocco's major ports, sending the goods of the Sahara Caravan trade to Europe and the world. Today, it's a charming fishing port, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its lovely combination of Moroccan and European - particularly Portuguese and French - architecture and influences.
  • They Struck (Argan) Oil: One of Morocco's great needs is to increase economic opportunities for women, especially in non-urban areas. On the way to Essaouira we'll see that many women in this region are taking on this challenge by forming Women's Argan Oil Cooperatives. The Argan tree grows plentifully in this area. Its pure oil is a staple of the local diet and renowned internationally in cooking as well as for cosmetic and health purposes. We'll see how local women still use traditional methods to extract the oil and hear how the new cooperatives are changing their lives. There will also be a chance for shopping.
  • Stop for wine tasting and lunch at a local winery.
  • Arrive in Essaouira and view the impressive town fortifications, consisting of a mixture of Portuguese and Berber architecture.
  • No trip to this port town is complete without a visit to its harbor to check out the fish auction as locals gather to buy and sell the day's haul from the sea.
  • Check into the hotel.

 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch    
Overnight: Essaouira


 

Day Eleven: Wednesday, July 1, 2020      
THE COASTAL CALM OF ESSAOUIRA

 

  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Where the Trade Winds Blow: Explore the medina (walled city) of We'll wander down spice-scented lanes and pass whitewashed houses with ornate wooden doors and hear how Jews - who once constituted about 40 per cent of the town's population - played a vital part in Essaouira's boom.
  • Features of the medina are its souqs (markets), street vendors, and carpentry workshops. We'll see the cabinetmaking and “thuya” wood carving that have been practiced here for centuries.
  • Essaouira is also a center of Moroccan art and sculpture and home to many of the country's best-known artists. We'll visit the galleries here and check out some of the major features of the local art scene, including the calligraphy and the so-called “naïve” painters with their vibrant colors and clarity. We'll also hear how the town was once a hangout for western hippies and pop stars.
  • Visit the Jewish cemetery, including a stop at the grave of Rabbi Pinto. 
  • Depart Marrakech for Casablanca.
  • Check into the hotel.
  • What We've Seen and Felt During Our Journey: Savor, one more time, Morocco's terrific food, with a closing dinner at a local restaurant. There'll also be an opportunity to share the experiences and discoveries that have inspired you during our Moroccan adventure as we get ready to say wadaeaan (goodbye) and see you soon to Morocco.

 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner    
Overnight: Casablanca


 

Day Twelve: Thursday, July 2, 2020      
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN

 

  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Transfer to Casablanca 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.

2020 Land Only Status  
Jun 21 $3255 On sale

Flight Details


Accommodation Details



ONOMO Hotel Casablanca Image

ONOMO Hotel Casablanca
Casablanca

Modern hotel idealy situated in the center of Casablanca.

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.

Le Diwan Image

Le Diwan
Rabat

Located in the center of the most royal of the imperial cities in Morroco, Le Diwan combines modernity and Morrocan touches for a luxurious and fine stay.

Radisson Blu Hotel Image

Radisson Blu Hotel
Marrakech

Set in the heart of Marrakech, the Radisson Blu welcomes visitors to the vibrant Gueliz quarter. A location in the newly built Carré Eden complex gives easy access to the complex’s internationally recognized stores and restaurants as well as to trendy nightlife nearby.

Hotel Le Médina Essaouira Thalassa Sea&Spa-MGallery Image

Hotel Le Médina Essaouira Thalassa Sea&Spa-MGallery
Essaouira

Inspired by the magnificent Moroccan riads, the Médina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea and Spa by MGallery is decorated in the traditional red of Mogador. Close to the sea, the medina and the port, this luxury 5-star hotel blends modernity with Moroccan styl e for a sophisticated stay. Ideal for exploring typical Essaouira areas and monuments.


REGISTRATION DEADLINE: February 3, 2020

Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 20 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 $500 per person, non-refundable, non-transferable is due at the time of reservation unless another amount is indicated for the particular trip or seminar.

Final payment is due February 21, 2020 (121 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:
  • 121 days or more prior to departure: the deposit
  • 120 to 46 days prior to departure: 50% of the total trip cost
  • 45 days to the day of departure/no-show: 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.


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.


PRICE EXCLUDES
  • Credit card fees.
  • 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 15-19 participants and more:
Da'at Tour Educator: $10 | Local Guide: $6 | Driver: $3 - per participant per day