Young Jews and Morocco: The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship

Darren, a member of JFNA's young leadership division cabinet, helps clean, paint, and weed a local Jewish cemetary in Marrakesh.
Darren, a member of JFNA's young leadership division cabinet, helps clean, paint, and weed a local Jewish cemetary in Marrakesh.

Last week, sixty-five young Jewish leaders from across the U.S. visited Jewish communities in Casablanca, Marrakesh, and Rabat. As part of their study mission to Morocco, The Jewish Federations of North America’s (JFNA) National Young Leadership Cabinet engaged first-hand with JDC programs, including a Jewish old age home, the Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE) medical clinic, and thriving Jewish day schools, all run in partnership with this vibrant and historic community.

We’re grateful that this committed group of young philanthropists reached into their own pockets to fund the OSE diabetic clinic’s operation for the coming year. And they rolled up their sleeves, too, spending a “mitzvah day” helping to repair the Jewish cemetery in Marrakesh (for which they also made a donation)! “What a fabulous opportunity to learn about the Jews of Morocco and to perform a meaningful mitzvah,” said Darren Lederfine, a participant who hails from Minneapolis.

We totally agree with Darren, and invite young Jewish professionals in NYC to check out more about JDC’s work in Morocco at the upcoming JDC Dimensions event, Then & Now: Jewish Morocco (Tuesday, May 11th, 7:30-10:30 p.m. at Gallery Bar on the Lower East Side). It’ll be a neat opportunity to view an exclusive photography exhibit featuring newly released JDC archival prints from Morocco, alongside modern images taken by young Jewish professionals who have traveled to North Africa with JDC. Hope to see you there!

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