Research and cultivation of the heritage of all Jewish communities and their Integration into educational and social systems, while emphasizing the sense of belonging and partnership of each and every community.
The development of Hebrew law in Morocco is an under-researched area of Jewish heritage, and presents extensive efforts to help retain members of the Jewish community through inclusiveness. Research findings could support efforts to mend rifts in society between religious and non-religious Jews. In addition, placing a spotlight on the unique developments of Jewish law in Morocco could fill an educational and cultural gap in schools and universities, whose curricula do not fully reflect the contribution of Jews from Arab and Muslim lands. Greater recognition of the contribution of Moroccan Hebrew law can thus empower Israelis whose families came from Arab lands and help mend some underlying wounds between Israelis of such descent and the government, which for a long time was unaware or did not give significant attention to the contribution and heritage of Jews from Arab lands.
To advance research on Hebrew Law and Jewish Culture that was developed over centuries in Morocco by building academic cooperation between the Dahan Center and academic institutions in Morocco such as Bayt Dakira (a research center in Morocco dedicated to Moroccan Jewish heritage) and the University of Rabat. This academic effort will uncover the uniqueness of Hebrew Law developed in Morocco, its contribution to Jewish unity and mending of rifts, its methods to adapt to modern life and its innovation in strengthening the status of women. Hebrew law in Morocco is unique in the methods it developed, which exhibited responsibility towards the whole of the Jewish population there, taking into account the differences in observance as well as non-observance. It ensured the Jewish community’s unision and, by considering the needs of society as a whole and individuals within it, prevented separatist movements. We would like to leverage the current momentum in Morocco, where recently two research centers on Jewish heritage have been founded through the encouragement of the king of Morocco (Bayt Dakira and a Cathedra at the University of Rabat). Recently, we conducted international conferences with the University of Rabat and the University of Fez in Israel, with the participation of researchers on Jewish heritage from both countries. Currently, we are planning international conferences in Israel and Morocco that will broaden the framework for advancing research efforts by publication of joint articles on Hebrew law, creating student delegations, and hosting of visiting researchers in both countries. Around 50 people – researchers on Hebrew law and related topics from universities in Israel, Morocco and France, as well as dignitaries from Morocco and Israel – are expected to participate in the conference. The results of the conference are expected to impact a wider population: students participating in delegations, the general public and perhaps even policymakers whose awareness of the inclusive innovations of Hebrew Law in Morocco will increase, and, we hope, schoolchildren and university students through integration into educational curricula.
The objectives of the conferences are:
1) Joint research between Israeli and Moroccan academia on the topic of Hebrew law and Jewish Culture developed in Morocco (incl. joint academic publications, courses, and hosting of visiting researchers),
2) creation of student delegations from both countries, and
3) organization of further international conferences.