Morocco to become first Arab nation to teach Jewish history, culture in schools

Israel' s PM Netanyahu, US President Trump, Morocco's King Mohammed VI. (Photo: JPost).

The Morocco-Israel peace deal has had “the impact of a tsunami,” says Moroccan-Jewish community head Serge Berdugo.

Morocco on Sunday announced that its schools will soon begin teaching Jewish history and culture. This will be part of the official curriculum—a first in the region and in the North African country, where Islam is the state religion.

The announcement follows King Mohammed VI of Morocco’s decision to normalize relations with the Jewish state. It’s another historic peace deal brokered by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration and announced last week.

The deal has had “the impact of a tsunami,” Serge Berdugo, secretary-general of the Casablanca-based Council of Jewish Communities of Morocco, told the French news agency AFP.

The curriculum plan was initially under wraps, even before Rabat and Jerusalem formally normalized relations.

According to AFP, the decision is part of an ongoing revamp of the educational curriculum in Morocco, which began in 2014.

The move aims to “highlight Morocco’s diverse identity,” according to Fouad Chafiqi, head of academic programs at Rabat’s Education Ministry.

AFP further cited two U.S.-based Jewish associations—the American Sephardi Federation and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organization. They stated they had “worked closely with the Kingdom of Morocco and the Moroccan Jewish community” on the “groundbreaking” academic reform.

“Ensuring Moroccan students learn about the totality of their proud history of tolerance, including Morocco’s philo-Semitism, is vital. It is an inoculation against extremism,” leaders of the two organizations said in a statement published on Twitter.

As part of the plan, two new books will be part of the curriculum. They include a description of the life and heritage of Moroccan Jews under Sultan Mohammed Ben Abdellah al-Khatib. The sultan was a descendant of the Alawite dynasty that rules the country to this day.

The books, intended for fourth and sixth grades, include historical accounts dating from the 17th century to the present day.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.


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