Erfoud is an oasis and agricultural center of 30,000 people benefiting from the water of the Ziz River. In a desert area that was underwater hundred of thousands of years ago, Erfoud is built on fossils. Its fossils and fossil-based marble sustains an important industry.
Jews lived in the Erfoud region for millennia, sustaining learned rabbis in up to seven synagogues. There was no mellah in Erfoud. Jews and Muslims lived together in the medina. In 1960, the Moroccan census showed that the municipality of Erfoud had 3,239 Muslims and 1,183 Jews. All of them emigrated to Israel in the 1960’s.
The Moroccan Government has funded the refurbishment of the Jewish cemetery, including the construction of a shrine to Saint Rabbi Shmuel Abuhatzeira, the patriarch of a family of illustrious rabbis, including Rabbi Israel Abuhatzeira, the Baba Sali. The tomb of Baba Sali in Netivot, Israel, is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites for Israelis with Moroccan ancestry.
In addition, the Erfoud cemetery has a new synagogue for visitors and tourists, especially for those attending the rabbi’s Hiloula in the month of December.