From Casablanca to New York: A Celebration of Moroccan-Jewish Partnership
By Morocco World News
Published on Morocco World News
New York – On Tuesday, May 17, young American Jewish professionals from the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) young professionals chapter ACCESS NY, along with their colleagues at the American Sephardi Federation (ASF), came together with their Moroccan counterparts for a groundbreaking night of history and culture.
This night celebrated the strengthening of the relationship between the two communities in New York, and launched a new partnership with the Consulate General of the Kingdom of Morocco in New York. With the support of the Mimouna Association, the Consulate, Tourism Office, and a Moroccan Jewish distillery Nahmias et Fils, Americans and Moroccans marked this momentous occasion after having coordinated a series of smaller dinner gatherings over the past several months.
Following a VIP cocktail hour with some of the AJC young professionals, as well as diplomats from the Consulate and Morocco’s Permanent Mission to the UN, the audience gathered in the auditorium of the Center for Jewish History for the start of the formal program.
Despite delays caused by a massive train fire that disrupted thousands of New York commuters, several hundred people were in the audience.
A special guest speaker from Morocco – the Parliament’s Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Mehdi Bensaid – had missed two flights, but was still able to make it to the event in time to speak at the panel, fresh off the airplane.
The event opened with welcoming remarks from Consul General Mohammed Benabdeljalil, which underscored the Consulate’s interest in the continuation of its joint programming with the AJC and the ASF. He recalled his own memories of celebrating Mimouna, a traditional Moroccan Jewish holiday marking the end of Passover, where Muslim neighbors would join their Jewish friends in cooking delicious food, singing, and dancing. Now, Mimouna is being revived in Morocco thanks to the efforts of the Mimouna Association and its college-age partners, some of whom were present in the audience.