"The Moroccans" in Morocco and Israel: Society, Culture and Memory.
The seminar will begin with a survey of the history of Moroccan Jewry in order to understand how this country turned to be the place where the largest Jewish community in the Arab world developed in modern times. We shall then discuss the characteristic traits of the Jewish community in Morocco at the end of the colonial era and the rising influence of nationalism. We shall follow the development of immigration waves to Israel and the demise of the Moroccan community. A special attention will be given to the original cultural diversity within the community and to the far-reaching changes that took place in it with the French occupation on the one hand and the penetration of Zionism on the other.
We shall also track the course of Moroccan Jews' absorption in Israel since 1948 and ponder on the roots of their low social ranking, the state's immigration policy vis-à-vis these Jews, their distinct places of settlment, their typical social characteristics and more. Here too, a special attention will be given to the cultural map of the immigrants and to the changes that took place in it. The historical discussion on the Moroccan Jews' fate in Israel will provide a framework for deliberations on questions related to general ideological, cultural and artistic trends in society , their reflection in the attitude toward the "Moroccans" and their influence on Moroccan Jews' collective memory of the of their past. The seminar will end by assessing the influence of the large Moroccan immigration on Israeli culture from the 1950s up to the present.