The Dahan Center for Culture, Society and Education in the Sephardic Heritage at Bar-Ilan University and the Center for Studies and Research on Hebraic Law in Essouiara, Morocco, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Monday for wide-ranging cooperation, made possible by the Abraham Accords.
In December 2020, Morocco became the fourth Arab country to join the Abraham Accords.
The agreement was signed by Dr. Shimon Ohayon, Director of the Dahan Center, and Dr. Abdellah Ouzitane, founding President of the Center for Studies and Research on Hebraic Law.
The MoU was signed in the framework of a two-day international conference on Jewish Law and Culture hosted by the Dahan Center at Bar-Ilan University with the participation of Dr. Ouzitane and a large delegation of Moroccan researchers who arrived in Israel to take part in the conference.
The agreement stipulates that the two research institutes will collaborate on joint research and publications, and academic programs “relating to the universalism of values and the pluralism of cultures,” and organize joint conferences on culture and Jewish law in Morocco.
“We anticipate that this collaboration will lead to the revelation of cultural works, especially in the field of Jewish law, which have not yet been researched and to which we have not had access. We hope that the Royal Library in Morocco will open a window for us to promote research and cooperation,” said Ohayon.
“Through this agreement with Bar-Ilan University, we look forward to enhancing the memory, customs and institutions of Moroccan Hebraic law, and initiating studies on Hebraic law particularly with Muslim law, thus highlighting the Judeo-Islamic legal heritage of Morocco. We will also highlight the place, role and influence of Andalusian Hebrew,” said Ouzitane.
Abderrahim Beyyoud, Head of the Moroccan Liaison Office in Israel, addressed the conference and noted that it is “the first of its kind since resuming relations, holds great significance for Morocco-Israel relations.”
Beyyoud said that the Abraham Accords “is in line with Morocco’s historical role in encouraging coexistence and establishing security and peace in the Middle East.”
He noted that the conference takes place in the midst of the Moroccan people’s celebrations of two important feasts in the history of the Kingdom — the celebration of The Green March and Independence Day. “These two occasions are testimony to the coexistence and solidarity that prevails between Jews and Muslims in Morocco,” he said.
Beyyoud added that the conference was “created to emphasize the urgent desire to preserve Moroccan-Jewish cultural heritage and will serve as a mechanism for strengthening relations between the two nations.”
Hebrew-Moroccan law is “one of the elements that highlight the policy of moderation and coexistence and characterize the Kingdom of Morocco. The Moroccan State considers all Moroccans equal and guarantees their rights regardless of their beliefs. The nation-state of Morocco is distinguished by the presence of a Hebrew court, whose rules are issued by Jewish judges in the name of His Majesty, the King,” he said.