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Historical Timeline

  • 70 – Wave of Jewish immigration following destruction of Second Temple in Jerusalem.

  • 694 – Queen Kahaina leads Berbers against invading Arab armies.

  • 1033 – 6,000 Jews killed in Fez by Muslim mobs.

  • 1106 – Ali ibn Yusuf ibn Tashifin founds Marrakesh, decrees death penalty for local Jews even as his military leader and physician are Jewish.
  • 1107 – Almoravide ruler Yusuf ibn Tashifin orders Jews to convert or be expelled from Morocco.
  • 1148 – Almohadin become rulers of Morocco, offer Christians and Jews the choice of conversion or expulsion. Many Jews convert, but continue to practice Judaism in secret.
  • 1165 – Almohad ruler declares all Jews must convert to Islam. Judah ha-Kohen ibn Shushan burned alive for refusing to convert. Maimonides flees Fez for Egypt.

  • 1276 – Riots targeting Jews of Fez stopped by Sultan.

  • 1438 – Jews of Fez forced into mellah (ghetto).

  • 1465 – Massive anti-Jewish rioting in Fez spreads across Morocco. Hundreds murdered. Only 11 Jews left alive in Fez.

  • 1492 – Jews fleeing Spanish Inquisition settle in Morocco.

  • 1500s – First Hebrew press established in Fez.

  • 1557 – Marrakesh mellah established.

  • 1682 – Meknes mellah established.

  • 1790 – Pogrom in Tetouan: All Jews stripped naked, many women raped, most homes ransacked.

  • 1808 – Mulay Suleiman orders Jews of Tetuan, Rabat, Sale, and Mogador into mellahs.

  • 1815 – Jews of Mogador ordered to pay sudden jizya poll-tax. Those who pay punched on the forehead after turning over coins, those who refuse thrown in dungeon.

  • 1834 – "Suleika affair": Jewish woman from Tangier refuses to convert and marry a high-ranking official. She is executed in Fez.

  • 1860 – Board of Deputies of British Jews establishes "Morocco Relief Fund" to assist Moroccan Jews.

  • 1862 – First Alliance Israelite school established in Tetouan, followed by a school in Tangier.

  • 1863 – British Jewish philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore visits Sultan Muhammad IV and requests equal rights for Jews. Sultan at first agrees, but after Montefiore’s departure nullifies any change in status quo.

  • 1867 – Alliance Israelite school established in Essaouira.

  • 1866 – Moroccan Jews in Palestine establish neighborhood outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls and build two synagogues near Western Wall.

  • 1883 – Levi Cohen starts publishing the Reveil du Maroc newspaper in Tangier.

  • 1884-1888 – 307 Jews murdered over four years by Muslims, yet no Muslims put on trial.

  • 1897 – Alliance Israelite school opens in Casablanca.

  • 1897 – Moroccan rabbis, in contrast to most Ashkenazi rabbis, support First Zionist Congress in Basel.

  • 1900 – Jews in Tetuan and Essaouira establish Zionist organizations (Shivat Zion and Sha’arei Zion)

  • 1903 – 40 Jews killed by Muslims during riots in Taza. More killed in Settat.

  • 1903 – New weekly Jewish journal Le Moghrebi launched in Judeo-Arabic and French.

  • 1907 – In Casablanca, 30 Jews killed, 200 women, girls and boys abducted, raped, then ransomed.

  • 1909 – Hivat Zion (Lovers of Zion) organization established in Fez.
    1910 – 12-year-old grandson of Fez’s Rabbi Abensur abducted and forcibly converted to Islam.

  • 1912 – Franco-Moroccan Treaty signed in Fez makes Morocco a French protectorate. Muslim rioters massacre 60 Jews in Fez, leave 10,000 homeless.

  • 1941 – France’s Vichy government anti-Jewish laws implemented in Morocco, a few internment camps for Jews briefly opened. (

  • 1942 – Synagogues in Casablanca desecrated in anti-Jewish riots. Allied forces liberate Morocco.
    1948 – Jewish Population approximately 285,000. Israel established. French officials ban aliyah of Moroccan Jews to Israel. Muslim riots in Oudjda and Djerada kill scores of Jews, wound 150.
    1949-1956 – Over 90,000 Jews emigrate via Jewish Agency office in Casablanca.

  • 1952 – Anti-Jewish mob violence. Jews flock to major cities, with 30,000 crowding Casablanca mellah.
    1954 – Pillaging of Jewish property and destruction of Jewish schools across country, including a pogrom in Petitjean.

  • 1956-1961 – 18,000 Jews smuggled out of Morocco.

  • 1957 – Exit visas for Jews abolished.

  • 1958 – Morocco joins Arab League, forbids any Jewish emigration. Number of Jewish officials in government deliberately decreased. All Zionist activity forbidden.

  • 1960 – Many Jewish schools nationalized.

  • 1961 – On the occasion of Egyptian President Nasser’s visits Casablanca, Jews beaten and arrested.

  • 1961-1964 – 80,000 Jews leave on chartered planes and ships in return for "compensation" to Moroccan government from Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.

  • 1965 – Government permits the publication of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion".

  • 1975 – 22,000 Jews remain in Morocco. King urges Jews to return; few do.

  • 2000 – 6,000 Jews remain in Morocco; an estimated 600,000 Moroccan Jews and their descendants live in Israel.

  • 2003 – Jewish community center in Casablanca bombed as part of an Al Qaeda attack.

  • offers a chronology of the leaders of Morocco in modern history (
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