NOVEMBER 17 (2019) — NOVEMBER 27,(2019)
Our group has our own special check-in at JFK International Airport, Terminal 1 at 6 pm sharp for Royal Air Maroc Airlines direct Flight #AT201, departing at 8:20 pm direct to Mohammed V Airport, Casablanca. Our Israeli contingent takes leave of Israel on Iberia Fl. 3317 @ 6 am sharp, arriving in Madrid at 10:30am where Our Madrid JHT Tour director, Carlos, will meet them and give them a fascinating 4 hour walking tour of the capital of Spain and return them to the airport at 3 pm . At 4:50 pm, the group will board Iberia flight : 8794 ,arriving in Casablanca @ 6:40 pm and will be then whisked off to their gorgeous hotel where a delicious dinner shall await them. After dinner, the entire evening is “free time” for them to orient themselves to the interesting nightlife of Casablanca.
We arrive at Mohammed V Airport, Terminal 1, Casablanca at 9:05 am, and will enter the city to daven Shacharit at Rav Shalom Edelman’s local Chabad Minyan (latest time for Kriat Shma is 9:13 am) where we will meet up with the Israel contingent. Shacharit will be followed by a very delicious breakfast with welcoming words from Rav Edelman SHLITA . We will then enjoy a thorough exploration of the magnificent Mosque King Hassan II– the second largest mosque in the world! Board our bus for a panoramic tour of this bustling city, visiting the Central Synagogue, Place Mohammed V, Avenue Hassan II and Place des Nation Unies V , lunch on the Cornish overlooking the Atlantic and then a wonderful 289 kilometer ride directly to Fez. After checking into our beautiful five-star hotel, some rest and wash-up, we will settle down for a well-deserved meal.
Late Shacharit. Embark upon a full day tour of Fez, the most complete medieval city in the world and home to the Rif (R’ Yitzchak Al-Fasi, 11th Century) and the Rambam (1160–1165). We the visit the Em HaBanim and Ibn Danan Synagogues, the “supposed” house of the Rambam, the very important large Jewish cemetery, opposite the Royal Palace (where “Solika the Righteous Woman”, the most famous woman in Jewish-Moroccan history, is
buried) and the Nejjarine Fountain. We explore one of the most fascinating and famous Souks in the Moslem world with its narrow, medieval, maze-like streets and absorb the mystique of this remarkable eighth-century city, the most ancient of the Moroccan Imperial cities, founded in 790 C.E. by Moulay Idriss II. After a brief rest, towards the end of this exciting day, we continue on our way to pray Mincha before sundown (5:35 pm) at the Tzion of the great “Miracle Worker” — the most famous Jewish marabout in Morocco – Rebbe Amram Ibn Diwanne, located 9 km northwest of Ouezzane. After Ma’ariv in the quaint synagogue of the cemetery, an immediate return trip of about two hours to Fez, a delicious late dinner and plunk into bed for a well-deserved rest after a very trying day!
Shacharit and then travel 60 km southwest to Meknes, the Versailles of Morocco, once home to thousands of Jews. We will take a very interesting walking tour of bustling Meknes, in its heyday coined “the Jerusalem of Morocco,” exploring all of its major attractions, having a quick overview of its unusually large Jewish cemetery and then have a Kumsitz lunch in front of the most beautiful, preserved gate in Morocco – the 17th century Bab El Mansour. This is followed by an afternoon excursion (on our return to Fez) 33 km northward to the city of Volubilis, founded in pre-Roman times, to properly explore the second- and third-century Roman ruins, some of the best preserved in the world! Time-permitting, we will visit the town of Moulay Idriss, about 4.5km from Volubulis. This town is named after Morocco’s most revered saint, the founder of the country’s first real dynasty. We will not stay there too long because non-Muslims are prohibited to stay there overnight. Dinner, Ma’ariv and free evening time in our last night in the Middle Atlas.
Early morning rise in our gorgeous 5 star hotel in order to maximize the day; and after check-out from hotel at 8:00 am ,we embark on our last longest bus ride of the tour, a very scenic 530 km trip due southwest to Marrakech . Shabbat preparation and free time to explore. Candle-lighting at: 5:12 pm sharp and Kabbalat Shabbat (sundown: 5:30 pm) at the Central Synagogue in the Gueliz. Seudat Shabbat; Dvar Torah: Ha’Rav Dr. Nosson Dovid Rabinowich. Oneg Shabbat with the Chief Rabbi and some of the locals.
Late Shacharit, (it is a pleasant 45 minute walk) to the Slat Laazama Synagoguein the Mellah, probably the oldest existing synagogue still in use every day in the entire Diaspora! This will be followed by a sermon given in Hebrew by Ha’Rav Dr. Rabinowich, Kiddush, Parsha class, Seudat Shabbat; Guest speaker: Yitzchak Ohayon, the esteemed Gabbai of this special synagogue and caretaker of the Marrakech cemetery, probably the largest and best-preserved in Morocco. Take a well-deserved shluf or explore this fascinating city on your own. Mincha, Seudah Shlishit. On Saturday night (Motzoei Shabbat is at 6:11 pm), discover the city’s nightlife on your own: try the famous casinos, or join us for an exciting evening program at the world famous Djamaa el-Fna Square — the heart of the city — with its storytellers, snake charmers, fire eaters and non-stop entertainment. Excellent swimming and exercise facilities are also available at our gorgeous 5 star hotel. Join us at 9:45 pm for a grand Moroccan-style Melava Malka with our wonderful Marrakech hosts.
Late wake-up call at 8:30 am, followed by Shacharit at the amazing Slat La’azama Synagogue in the Mellah. We begin our guided tour of this fascinating city with many visits to its monuments including but not limited to the Gardens of Agdal, the Menara, the Koutoubia, the Palais el-Badi and the Palais dela Bahia. Much time will be spent strolling through the colorful souks with their enticing array of spices, carpets, jewelry, and crafts. We will visit any important areas we did not “cover” on Friday. After a quick, hot lunch and some snacks, we will not waste time and we will do a mid-day exploration of Djamaa el-Fna Square, the heart of this magical city and perhaps, do some serious Marrakech shopping. Towards the end of the day, we’ll make an excursion to Ourika Valley in the high Atlas Mountains with its plush, green fields and peaceful Berber villages. We will visit another famous saint’s gravesite: the well-known “miracle worker,” Rabbi Solomon Bal Chehnch— the “master of the snake,” and will daven Mincha at the nearby synagogue. We will also visit a Berber friend of Dr. Rabinowich who will surely exhibit to us the famous Berber hospitality and we will learn all about their culture and lifestyle. A delicious dinner, with exotic Moroccan delicacies, awaits us. Ma’ariv. Then off to “ Fantasia”, a must-see on any visit to Marrakech.
Very early Shacharit ,once again at the Slat Laazama(synagogue) in the Mellah, hearty breakfast and an enjoyable swim in the hotel’s exquisite indoor pool (there is also an amazing outdoor pool ). We then embark on a very pleasant 110-mile trip directly westward to the popular 200 year-old coastal city of Essaouira, formerly known as Mogador after it was conquered by the Portuguese and once populated by many Jews. Walk along its famous beach, the ramparts, explore the Skala du Port, the Ile de Mogador and the famed Purple Isles. Visit the synagogue , where we will daven Mincha and then pray for “yeshu’ot” at the grave of the Holy Saint, Rabbi Chaim Pinto, of blessed memory. Visit to a factory that manufactures unbelievable items with the unique Essaourian wood and the prices are simply amazing. We continue our journey to the quaint town of Azamour (el-Jadida) on the Atlantic coast and then directly to Casablanca for a well-deserved delicious dinner at one of the finest restaurants in Casablanca. Free time to discover the night life in Casablanca the rest of the evening.
Late Shacharit once again with Rav Shalom Edelman, the Chabad Shaliach in Casblanca. A hearty breakfast at the Chabad House and then we are off to Rabat. Rabat, the modern capital of Morocco, is also known as the “white imperial city” and covered with its neatly laid out gorgeous flowers. We will also tour Sali, birthplace and early home of the saintly Or Ha’Chaim Ha’Kadosh and pay our respects to Rav Rafael Ankava, one of the last Moroccan saints, buried in Sali’s Jewish cemetery. . Afterwards, we take a tour of the splendid Mohammed V Mausoleum (and that of the late King Hassan), the Chellah, followed by a picnic lunch and splendid walk along the “Ramparts” and the Walls of Mechouar that surround the impressive Royal Palace. We end our remarkable day in Rabat with an hour ride back to Casablanca, for the tour’s banquet , our final dinner in Morocco
Late wake-up call at 8:15 am, followed by Shacharit with Rav Edelman shlita and a delicious breakfast. At 9:45am, our Israeli contingent will say their good-byes to their US brothers and sisters and be driven to the airport and board their Iberia Flight 8791 at 12:55 pm. After a short wait at the Madrid airport, they will take Iberia flight # 3310 at 5pm, landing in Eretz Yisrael at 10:45 pm. The next few hours are spent taking a walking tour with our wonderful guide Jamal of this bustling city. After a 1pm lunch, We depart for Mohammed V Airport for our Royal Air Maroc Airlines Flight # AT200 DEPARTING at 4:15 Pm , and arriving at JFK International Airport at 6:20 pm.