Photo Credit: Angela Stefanoni / Panoramio
Silat al-Azama Synagogue in Marrakesh, July 2012

At least two historic synagogues were damaged in the massive 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Morocco late Friday night, both of them in the ancient Jewish Quarter of Marrakesh.

One of the two was the Chabad Al Fassayn Synagogue; the second was the Silat al-Azama Synagogue, built by Sephardic Jews in 1492 upon their expulsion from Spain.


Each year, thousands of Jewish tourists visit Marrakesh, Morocco’s fourth largest city, with the income from those visits totaling at least seven percent of the country’s national economy.

More than 2,000 people were killed and close to an equal number were injured in the catastrophic temblor; of the injured, more than a thousand were reported in critical condition. Officials said many people are still missing and the death toll is expected to rise.

Israeli teams have prepared to deploy to the site to help the search and rescue efforts, along with providing medical care and humanitarian aid.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.