Rissani is an oasis town of about 20,000 people in the Tafilelt. After the destruction of the nearby city of Sijilmassa in the 14th century, it assumed the role of main port for the trans-Saharan caravan trade. Moulay Ali Cherif led the battles to overthrow the Saadian dynasty, thereby establishing the Alaouite dynasty, which continues to rule Morocco. Tourists, both Moroccan and foreign, frequently visit both the ruins of Sijilmassa and the mausoleum of Moulay Ali Cherif.
Jews were important to both the economy and the spiritual life of Rissani. One of the most important was Rabbi David Abouhatzeira, who is buried in the Rissani Jewish cemetery, just outside the walls of the city.
As part of King Mohammed VI’s project to renovate 160 Jewish cemeteries, Michel Sebag led the renovation of the Rissani cemetery, including construction of a shrine for the grave of Rabbi David Abuhatzeira.