World Monuments Fund Presents

Who Left: Ongoing Significance to the Jewish Community

The Jewish Quarter has become a pilgrimage site for many former residents and descendants of Moroccan Jews, who visit the city in increasing numbers each year. Part of the 2001 World Heritage inscription of the Medina of Essaouira (formerly Mogador), the Mellah is also the focus of a local initiative to revitalize the city as a major tourism destination, particularly for those who still possess a strong connection to Essaouira.

After the emigration of the vast majority of the Jewish population by 1968, much of the urban fabric of Essaouira fell into disrepair and eventually was demolished. We spoke to Jewish descendents of former residents who, in spite of this, continue to find great significance in the neighborhood and its important role in their family’s history.