Dear Community, I wanted to bring your attention to the restoration works taking place in the Jewish cemetery ‘de Castilla’ in Tetuan. It is one of the oldest and biggest Jewish cemeteries in Morocco. Dating back to the late 15th Century, the estimated on the number of tombs range between 10,000 to 35,000 tombs, with the recent works taking place many more tombs have been unearthed and I believe the actual number of tombs is on the higher end.
The community of Tetuan led by Mr. Alberto Hayon, Rabbi Baruj Garzon and others have set up an association named “Asociación Benéfica - Judíos Oriundos de Tetuán”. The purpose of the association is to care for the few Jews left in Tetuan and to completely restore the cemetery which is in dire condition after many decades of neglect. Please join the association. It does not cost anything to join and all you need to do is follow this link to a google doc: https://forms.gle/MNk8aEz8599SJpUu5 where you can enter your details.
The association is currently at around 800 people but we need more numbers as the bigger the association is the more influence we have in front of the Moroccan authorities in persuading them to assist in the future restoration of Jewish heritage in Morocco. So please sign up.
Recently a big discovery was made and the graves of three Saddikim were identified side by side, these are the tombs of:
• Rabbi and Kabbalist Jacob Marrache, died c. 1720
• Rabbi and Dayan Hasday Almosnino, died in 1727
• Rabbi and Dayan Jacob Benmalca, died in 1771
We now want to restore their tombs, clear and pave the area around them, build a hut over the graves, create a walkway and steps to access them easily as they are on a mountain and place a monument close by with their names, dates and accomplishments.
My request to you is that you please help with this project by donating to the association, no amount is too small as it all goes a long way in Morocco. You can donate here on my GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/memorial-for-the-saddikim-of-tetuan
The successes of the project so far have been:
• Clearing the overgrown vegetation and paving with cement between the tombs in about ¼ of the cemetery.
• Restoring the Keburah of Rabbi Isaac Bengualid.
• Identifying tombs of about 80 Saddikim.
• Repairing and painting the walls around the cemetery. Plan of action:
• Continue clearing the overgrown vegetation and paving with cement between the tombs.
• Repairing and cleaning the tombstones.
• Creating walkways and steps.
• Identifying and documenting the tombs.
• Dig up the tombstones which are covered by five centuries' worth of earth.
• Try to Identify the tombs of the Saddikim of the Aboab, Abudarham, Attias, Benaim, Benatar, Bentata, Benzaquen, Bibas, Coriat, Garson, Hassan, Israel, Levy, Nahon, Pariente, Sananes families and many others.
• Maintaining the cemetery in good condition. If you have any questions please feel free to write to me.
We got featured in the Jewish News Syndicate! "Rediscovering the graves of three ‘esteemed’ Moroccan rabbis after 60 years" Follow the link to read the full article: https://www.jns.org/jewish-israeli-culture/morocco/23/7/24/305107/
Thank you all in advance.