MembersInside the World of Israel’s North African Jewry

With the newly-forged peace between Israel and Morocco, the Jews of North Africa are back in the spotlight

By Rachel Avraham | | Topics: diaspora
Jews of North Africa have made a big impact on the State of Israel
Photo: Abir Sultan/Flash90

Down the Street from the Mamilla Shopping Mall outside of Jerusalem’s Old City, a hidden secret lies tucked away behind an alleyway. In the Mughrabi neighborhood, an Andalusian Garden full of beautiful red roses and Arabian style mosaics stands in front of a historic building, which houses the World Center for North African Jewry.

In 1854, the building that presently houses the World Center for North African Jewry was built by Rabbi David Shimon, who combined 19th century Ottoman Jerusalem architecture with styling from the Golden Age of Spain. Albert Guzlan, the center’s project manager, told Israel Today that the building used to house olim (immigrants) that had nowhere else to go: “Rabbi Shimon found groups of Jews in a bad situation. And then, he decided to bring them to live here, inside a neighborhood full of Jews from Morocco.”

David Amar, a distinguished leader in the Moroccan Jewish community, transformed this building into the World Center for North African Jewry, which is the only one of its kind in the...

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