The Houses of Life project restored not only Jewish cemeteries, but also the shrines of Jewish saints. Moroccan Jews are unique in their reverence for deceased learned and pious rabbis. Throughout Morocco , there are about 630 Jewish saints, as these rabbis are called, whose tombs or mausoleums are usually located in Jewish cemeteries.
While some Jews regularly visit the saints’ tombs to pray, once a year groups of Jews hold a festival, known as a hiloula, at the gravesite. Here are photos of some Jewish saints’ tombs, mausoleums and prayer rooms restored by the project.
Jewish saints are located in all areas of Morocco, both in the regions inhabited by Amazigh Jews and those inhabited by Sephardic Jews. Some saints are located near big cities, such as Fez, Meknes, Marrakech, and Tangier. Others are located in small towns, such as Ksar El Kbir, Demnate, Erfoud, Tineghir, Sefrou, and Taroudant. Some are found in rural mountain areas, such as on the road to the Ourika Valley, south of Marrakesh, and in a deserted Jewish village near Ouirgane, on the road to Taroudant.