January 4, 2021 — New York
ACCESS, American Jewish Committee's young professionals network, and the Mimouna Association, an organization of young Moroccan Muslim leaders, are partnering to educate and build ties among their American, Israeli, and Moroccan peers.
The two organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that focuses on:
- Annual joint missions to Israel and Morocco
- Convening virtual conferences on Jewish heritage and regional cooperation
- Creating English and Arabic videos highlighting diversity and commonalities between Jewish and Arab peoples
Cooperation between AJC ACCESS and the Mimouna Association began in 2014, and centered on the importance of Jewish heritage to Moroccan identity and culture. In 2017, the two organizations held a conference in Essaouira, Morocco, to discuss interfaith approaches to advancing common understanding in the Middle East. A follow-up conference in 2018 examined the importance of education and social media in promoting interfaith cooperation.
“Two thousand five hundred years of Jewish history in Morocco has created unique ties between Morocco and the Jewish people,” said Mimouna Association President Elmehdi Boudra. “AJC has been a committed partner of ours for many years. Together we are looking forward to strengthening the natural bonds between our communities and enriching the new period of engagement between Israel and Morocco.”
Founded in 2007, Mimouna seeks to educate the Moroccan people about the Jewish culture and encourage harmony between Jews and Muslims. Since 2015, the Mimouna Association has participated in all AJC Global Forums, including in Jerusalem in 2018.
AJC ACCESS Director Dana Steiner said, “Formalizing relations between our two organizations will allow our young professionals to unite and work toward creating positive shifts between Jews and Arabs. There is no better organization with which to accomplish this goal than the Mimouna Association.”
AJC delegations have been visiting Morocco regularly for decades. Last month, Morocco, home to a Jewish community that once numbered more than 300,000 and today remains the largest in the Arab world, became the sixth Arab country to normalize ties with Israel.
AJC for years has enjoyed an international association agreement with the Communauté Israélite du Maroc, the umbrella body of Moroccan Jewry, and consults and coordinates with its Secretary-General, Amb. Serge Berdugo, on communal, interreligious, and regional issues.
Building upon this vital foundation, AJC ACCESS and Mimouna will strive through their new partnership to usher in the next generation of cooperation and understanding among young Jews and Muslims.