September 10, 2023 — New York, NY
American Jewish Committee (AJC), the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people, announced today donations to a range of organizations, including IsraAID, to deliver urgent aid to the people of Morocco following Friday’s devastating earthquake. AJC also saluted Israel for its offers to send a humanitarian relief delegation, a move that symbolizes the strong and growing ties between the two nations that in 2020 reestablished and upgraded relations.
“As a friend and admirer of the Kingdom of Morocco, I am heartbroken for the Moroccan people. All of us at AJC are mourning the loss of more than 2,000 lives and praying for the swift recovery of all the injured,” said AJC Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer Jason Isaacson, who in 2009 was bestowed the honor of Chevalier of the Order of the Throne of the Kingdom of Morocco by King Mohammed VI. “In solidarity with Morocco, as its people begin to recover from this tragedy, AJC is joining our longtime humanitarian relief partner IsraAID and contributing to additional efforts by Moroccan and Israeli organizations to directly help these communities recover from this horrific disaster. We remain in close contact with longtime friends in Morocco, including local Jewish community leaders, government authorities, and civil society to see what support is needed.”
AJC is making immediate contributions – totaling $100,000 – to a range of organizations helping the Moroccan people, including IsraAID to support the organization’s emergency relief response. IsraAID’s efforts include the direct distribution of urgent supplies and psychosocial support for the Moroccan people. The AJC contributions are made possible in part through the organization’s Harriet and Robert Heilbrunn Humanitarian Relief Fund. AJC has supported similar IsraAID response efforts in the past, including natural disaster relief for people in Indonesia, Philippines, Haiti, and Nepal.
AJC has a long-standing relationship with the people and government of Morocco. AJC has visited Morocco, home to a Jewish community that once numbered more than 300,000, regularly for more than three decades, conferring with government officials and partnering with civil society organizations and the Jewish community to honor the 2,000-plus years of Moroccan Jewish history and advance interreligious understanding. AJC’s first visit to an Arab nation was to Morocco in 1950. The Moroccan Jewish community is today estimated to be under 3,000 strong, with the Moroccan Jewish Diaspora, many of whom live in Israel, numbering some one million.
For more than 20 years, AJC has enjoyed an “international association” with the Council of Jewish Communities of Morocco – one of 38 Jewish communal organizations around the world with which AJC maintains partnership links. AJC leaders are in close contact with the Moroccan Jewish community and the leaders of the Council.
In June, Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita addressed AJC’s Global Forum. He said that Morocco took pride in its Jewish heritage and support for its Jewish community and institutions.
In 2022, as part of AJC’s efforts to widen the circle of peace between Arab nations and Israel, AJC launched the AJC-Mimouna Michael Sachs Fellowship for Emerging Leaders, a joint partnership between ACCESS, AJC’s young professional division, and the Mimouna Association of Morocco.
AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York City, 25 offices across the United States, and 14 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 38 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC's mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world.