One of Morocco’s most historic synagogues is being restored in an effort with the German Foreign Ministry.
The Essaouira shul is the second of its kind set to be refurbished as part of a unique German government program.
The news came Tuesday as Omar Zniber, the Moroccan ambassador in Berlin, opened an exhibition at his embassy’s cultural center. The exhibit includes photos of 1960s-era Moroccan Jews and images of synagogues in the country, both past and present.
In the 1960s, there were tens of thousands of Jews residing in Morocco, though that number today has dwindled to about 2,500.
“With this project, the Federal Foreign Office supports the preservation of Jewish heritage in Morocco, thereby helping to strengthen the national identity of the country,” a spokesperson for the German Foreign Ministry told JTA.
The new synagogue restoration is expected to be completed by 2015. A similar German restoration, aided by local groups, also took place at a Fez shul.