Jewish Maghrib Jukebox

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ready for Restoration - Synagogues in Er Rachidia and Oujda - Part 1

Exterior of Sla el Kbira in Er Rachidia (Hebrew reads Union/Unity Synagogue)

Around the Jewish high holidays a number of articles come out talking about the most beautiful synagogues in the world. The authors/contributers can be forgiven if they don't take every synagogue into account especially those that have fallen into disuse or disrepair. Years ago, few would have mentioned the Eldridge Street Synagogue, built in 1887 and restored in 2007, amongst the most beautiful but today it has regained its title of "jewel of a shul."

This year two synagogues in Morocco turn 80 years old or near 80 years old, both built in the 1930s, that I believe deserve mention.

Er Rachidia
The first, called Sla el Kbira, was built in the 1930s (some say 1932). It still exists today although it's roof has collapsed from heavy rains. Located in the center of Er Rachidia, it's Hebrew inscription is still visible from the outside. I will write more about this synagogue and the surrounding synagogues and cemeteries soon but please find photos and a video from my 2008 visit below:

Interior of synagogue. Bima/hekhal with hand painted decalogue back right. Light pours through the open roof.

Hand painted decalogue.

Ark. Filled with hay.

More to come on Er Rachidia and Oujda later this week including videos.

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