The Moroccan Earthquake of 2023

Moroccan Muslim and Jewish Women Collecting Funds for Victims of the 1960 Earthquake in Agadir

The September 8th, 2023 Moroccan earthquake, with its epicenter in the mountainous villages that once were the homes of many Jews, is likely to result in thousands of deaths and many more injured. Even those who are not injured are likely to experience shock and trauma. While Marrakesh is the largest city affected, the earthquake was particularly devastating in the rural and mountainous areas. Search and recovery for those missing will require the society to pull together. Moroccans, whether Arab, Amazigh or Jewish, must put aside their differences and collaborate during the recovery process. The kingdom should not delay requesting assistance from other countries. Israel, Arab countries, Europe and the US are ready to provide assistance, if asked.

The earthquake will reduce the country’s capacity to support tourism, which is vital to the economy and a major source of income for many Moroccans. Tour groups will need to avoid Marrakesh while the recovery process takes place.

Those of us who feel a sense of solidarity with Moroccans or who celebrate the country’s Jewish history and culture should contribute to organizations responding to the earthquake. The Moroccan Red Crescent has mobilized and is seeking funds from other national members of the Red Cross movement, including the American Red Cross and the Israeli Magen David Adom. The High Atlas Foundation works in the area of greatest impact and specializes in clean water, cultural preservation and women’s empowerment. To provide funds directly for the Moroccan Jewish community, please contribute to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

Published by rickgold2013

Rick Gold is a Jewish-American who lived in Morocco from 1988-1992, built a home there and visited dozens of Jewish communities and hundred of Jewish sites throughout the country

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