Tangier had no formal mellah, but instead an unprotected Jewish quarter. On Rue des Synagogues, there are many closed synagogues. One of them, Temple Benatar, has been restored and is superbly decorated.
Near-by is the American Legation Museum, located in the oldest American consulate in continuous use. Between its founding in 1829 and the establishment of Tangier as an international city in 1923, many Moroccan Jews served as American protégés, putting them beyond the law of the Sultan. During World War II, the Legation played an important role in processing Jewish refugees from Europe.
Visible from the Legation Museum is Tangier’s Jewish cemetery, where the saint Mordehai Bengio is buried. The community center in the European city proudly displays a copy of the royal decree negotiated by Moses Montefiore in 1864 demanding that Moroccan Government officials provide equal treatment to Jews. Montefiore passed through Tangier on the way to negotiate the decree in Marrakesh.
Tangier has a very visible synagogue in the center of the European city, Chaar Raphael. On the ocean cliffs are found the stone outlines of the tombs of the Phoenicians, who came with Jews to Tangier almost three thousand years ago. A short ferry ride away from Tangier lies Gibraltar, with a large and historic Jewish community.