As Muslims around the globe continue to observe Ramadan, the month in the Islamic calendar when millions of people fast daily from dawn until sunset, Jews in Morocco are making an interesting contribution to this observance, which traditionally is also a time for civic engagement.
Knowing that their Muslim neighbors are unable to give blood while they are fasting, each year during Ramadan members of the 3,000-member Jewish community in Casablanca help ensure that the country’s blood supply remains adequate by responding to a drive for the Moroccan National Blood Bank.
The Jewish community’s contribution is coordinated through OSE, Oeuvre Secours aux Enfants, the Moroccan branch of the historic French Jewish humanitarian organization, which is the JDC-supported central health organization for Moroccan Jews.
OSE operates a health clinic in Casablanca and furnishes outreach services for welfare clients in smaller Jewish communities in the provinces. OSE also provides both emergency treatment and preventive medical care, diabetic treatment and supervision, health services in the Jewish schools, and 24/7 medical and nursing care for residents of Casablanca’s Jewish home for the aged.
In other recent humanitarian endeavors, the Moroccan Jewish community partnered with JDC and Amicale Marocaine des Handicapes, a local NGO, to distribute regular and sports wheelchairs in various cities, and to send a mobile outreach unit specializing in the distribution and fitting of orthopedic equipment to remote areas where people with disabilities lacked access to services.
For more information on JDC’s programs in Morocco, visit jdc.org.
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