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Tangier Jewish Heritage

Tangier Jewish Heritage Private Tour 
Duration: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Morocco Travel: In Luxury Vehicle, Driver & Multilingual, Expert Jewish Heritage Guide 
Casablanca Private Tour - Starting & Finishing Point: Your Hotel In Tangier
Tangier Shore Excursion - Starting & Finishing Point: The Port of Tangier
Tangier the capital of the Tétouan Region has a rich Jewish history due to the historical presence of many civilizations and cultures that conquered this area from the 5th century BC. Tangier sits at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel. Visiting the Jewish Heritage sites of Tangier on a private one-day tour can serve as a rewarding way to discover Tangier and the Jewish History of Morocco. Whether you are visiting Tangier while at Port for a Shore Excursion or desire a Guided experience from your hotel, there's much to see in this cosmopolitan city, many refer to as "The Bride of the North."  
(Book a Tangier Jewish Heritage Tour or Tangier Shore Excursion by calling (800) 787-8806). Let us be your guide to Morocco Travel Guide.
Pick up at the Your Hotel or The Port in Tangier at 9:00am.
Tangier Jewish Heritage Tour & Community: 
The first Jews migrated to Tangier (once known as Tanja or Tingus) after the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem and settled among the Berbers. Jews of Tangier were later met by a second wave of migration from the Jews living in the Iberian Peninsula during the 1492 Alhambra Decree. During this time the Jews were expelled Spain and Portugal. This second wave of immigration changed Moroccan jewry, as they largely embraced the Andalusian Sephardic liturgy, creating a population of Moroccan Jews that gained a primarily Sephardic identity.
The Moors and the Jews intermixed in Tangier, living peacefully side by side. In 1856, Tangier had become the largest port in Morocco. Alongside the Jewish community of Tangier flourished and established schools, hospitals, charitable works and businesses. By 1925 Jews were assigned three out of the twenty-six seats on the Legislative Assembly offering them significant political power. Post World War II the Jews of Tangier enjoyed a prosperous and cosmopolitan lives as they were not affected by the war and offered protection by Mohammed V who referred to them as “Moroccans and not only Jews.” At its peak in the 1940s, there were 22,000 Jews in Tangier and Morocco’s Jewish population exceeded 350 000. Today, there is a vibrant community in Morocco which counts approximately 2000 – 2500 Jews.
►Tangier Arrival. Pick Up at Tangier Med Ferry Port, Airport or at your Hotel.
►On this Tangier Jewish Heritage Tour you will start your morning off visiting Tangier’s Jewish Sacred sites and then continue seeing the highlights of old Tangier. The synagogues, cemeteries, monuments and communal institutions of Tangier show how important the city has been to the Jewish community during the past centuries.
Visit the Moshe Nahon Synagogue in Tangier:
Behind a non descript door, located on Rue Synagogue in Tangier is the Moshe Nahon Synagogue. This last remaining operating synagogue in Tangier is monumental and lavish, ranking among one of the most beautiful synagogues in Morocco. Built in the 1870’s the Nahon Synagogue remained as a working place for Jewish prayer until it fell into despair in the lat 20th Century. Then in 1994 it was renovated revealing intricately covered carvings that are illuminated by magical hanging synagogue lamps and Jewish artifacts. At one time there were over 20 synagogues in Tangier. On Rue des Synagogues, there are many closed synagogues. One of them, Temple Benatar, has been restored and is superbly decorated. 
Next Visit Chaar Rafael Synagogue:
Chaar Rafael is one of the last surviving synagogues and remnants of Jewish Heritage in Tangier. Located on 27 Boulevard Pasteur in Tangier this Jewish owned villa was built in 1919, and it was converted to a synagogue in 1954 when the owner, Raphaël Bendriahm died. Located in the center of the European city, Chaar Rafael is nearby the ocean cliffs where the stone outlines of the tombs of the Phoenicians, who came with Jews to Tangier almost three thousand years ago.  
Synagogues of Tangier, No Longer in Use, Option to Pass By During Visit:
Temple Chocron, rue du Mexique, (old Tangier) 
Tangier Jewish Mellah:
Historically unlike Morocco’s other Imperial cities, Tangier did not have a formal Jewish Mellah. Instead it had an unprotected Jewish quarter.
Tangier Jewish Cemetery:
The Jewish Cemetery in Tangier, referred to as the “old cemetery” has move then one-thousand graves, some of which date back to the 16th Century. There are many important individuals buried there. Owned by the Tangier municipality, the Jewish Cemetery is open to the public and has caretakers who oversee it. While the cemetery has somewhat fallen to ruins with a combination of erosion and water issues, the tombstones have been digitized to offer those interested the opportunity to search the remains there online. The tombstones are in Hebrew, Portuguese and French.
►Explore the vantage point of the Colline de Bella-Vista. Then, drive to see the Grand Socco, a popular nighttime square close to the Mosque of Sidi Bou Abib and the link between Ville Nouvelle and the medina.
►Option to Visit the American Legation Museum, located in the oldest American consulate in continuous use. Since 1829/ 1923 when Tangier was established as an International city, there were many Moroccan Jews that served as American proteges, placing them beyond the law of the Sultan.  
►Next, visit the old medina, enter the medina at Rue Es-Siaghinie, the busiest part of this Roman medina lined with cafes and bazaars, a Spanish church, jewelers’ shops and an arts center displaying works depicting Tangier’s social history. Walk Petit Socco which was once the heart of the medina where businessmen and bankers frequented cafes, hotels, casinos and cabarets that have relocated to Ville Nouvelle. Move on to visit the Grand Mosque, built on the site of a Portuguese cathedral. Walking north, you will then visit the Kasbah decorated with mosaics, ornamental stucco and woodcarving.
Lunch Recommendations:
El Morocco Club – Designed by Vincent Coppe and Oscan Badji, two Tangier lovers, this restaurant and piano bar are located in the Kasbah district in a historic house within the Millennium neighborhood. Originally built by Stuart Church, a renowned architect, painter and decorator who lived in Tangier, this restaurant was once a haven to many of the Beat Generation starts like Mick Jagger. Cozy and sophisticated atmosphere it serves Mediterranean cuisine.  
Le Saveur du Poisson – Popularized by foodie, Anthony Bordain and renowned for it’s local, unique fare, offered by Chez Mohamed from El Hocima, this restaurant is a hidden jewel of Tangier. Le Saveur du Poisson offers a prefixed menu for a reasonable price inclusive of Appetizers is inclusive of fish soup, olives, nuts, home baked bread and spicy chili sauce accompanied by a special drink made from a special blend of fig, prune, and herbs. The entrée is either a blend of spinach, baby shark, and baby squid flaming hot or daily catch. Desert fresh strawberries, raspberries, and pine nuts drizzled with honey. Don’t miss it.  
Traditional Moroccan lunch in the city center then explore Quartier du Marshan, once an attractive residential area west of the Kasbah.
►Next, visit the Anglican church of St. Andrew built to cater to Tangier’s growing British population. After, make a stop to appreciate fine works of art at the Musée d’ Art Contemporain showcasing contemporary Moroccan paintings.
►Explore the Caves of Hercules (Grottos) and Cap Spartel, a majestic part of Tangier and one not often seen by those passing through.
►Visit Cape Spartel is northernmost point of mainland Africa. The cape rises to a height of 326 meters. At the top of Jebel Quebir there is a near to the end of the cape which serves as a lighthouse. Below the cape are the Caves of Hercules. The caves have shown evidence of neolithic occupation and before they were a tourist attraction they were brothels. Historically the rock was mined and this was the result of the caves creation. Near Cape Spartel is Spartel Bank, a sunken island hypothesized by some as the location of the legendary island of Atlantic.
►In the late afternoon, take a break and experience Tangier’s cafe scene at the Cafe de Paris, a popular meeting place for Tangier residents, a former favorite of Paul Bowles and other famous foreigners.
►Option to end your tour with views at the Moroccan Cafe Hafa, an attractive restaurant with a terrace and gardens that overlook Gibraltar –perfect at sunset and a former writing spot for Paul Bowles.
►Transfer to Airport, Ferry Port or your Hotel. Your Travel Exploration Tour ends here.
(Book a Tangier Jewish Heritage Tour or Tangier Shore Excursion by calling (800) 787-8806). Let us be your guide to Morocco Travel Guide.
About Tangier:
►This beautiful city, only 35 minutes from Spain by modern hydrofoil or two hours by normal ferry boat service, has a hugely multicultural society, predominantly Muslim, but with small Christian, and Jewish communities who express tolerance for one another.  In the 1950's, Tangier was a place --and, sometimes a refuge-- for many artists and writers from America and Europe.
►This port city that is shaped by the sea has attracted famous writers including Paul Bowles, Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote. Writers of the “Beat Generation” who visited or lived in Tangier include Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Brion Gysin, who was also a painter. Notable artists who lived and painted here were Eugene Delacroix and Henri Matisse.
►Celebrities who have stayed in Tangier include The Rolling Stones, who also recorded with the Master Musicians of Jajouka and Bachir Attar in the kasbah in 1989. Tangier was a favorite home to Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton, whose lavish parties at Sidi Hosni put Tangier on the map in the international press during from the 1950s through the early 1970s. Forbes magazine publisher Malcolm Forbes held his 70th birthday party in 1989 at his Palais Mendoub for 800 guests, flown in from all over the word, spending over $2.5 million in a week-end celebration.
► Tangier is undergoing rapid development and modernization. Projects include new 5 star hotels along the bay, a modern business district called Tangier City Center, a new airport terminal and a new soccer stadium.
► Two other important investments in the region are in port of Tangier where millions of passengers and goods flow through it every year and also a new bullet train which will enable future tourists and Moroccans to travel from Tangier to Casablanca in just under 2 hours. 
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