Moroccan Jewry heritage collection on Europeana
A recent addition to the Judaica Europeana network is the Center of the Judeo-Moroccan Culture (CCJM) in Brussels, whose collection has been published recently on Europeana via the AthenaPlus project. The Centre holds the Dahan Hirsch collection of Moroccan Judaism, one of the largest in the world. It is the result of twenty years of passionate collecting of an exceptional historical heritage, born from a mix of Jewish, Spanish, Berber and Muslim influences.
Wedding contract (Ketubba), Tetouan, 1844
The work of the CCJM is informed by a constantly renewed reflection and experiences of its founder Paul Dahan, a psychoanalyst. Aiming to educate, the Center organizes events in collaboration with other institutions and festivals. The events promote the study of relations between Jews and Muslims, problems of migration, integration and citizenship. Exhibitions, conferences, workshops and concerts in Belgium and elsewhere illustrate mutual enrichment of cultures and communities. They have attracted wide and diverse audiences, including many schools.
Especially successful was the exhibition entitled Morocco and Europe. Six Centuries in the Eyes of the Other which followed in the footsteps of diplomats, travellers, writers and craftsmen. The exhibition shed light on the importance of the imaginary and on the mutual fascination between both worlds. It was shown in Brussels, Antwerp, Lisbon, Madrid, Paris and Rabat.
The centre is based at the Jewish Museum of Belgium. The publication of the CCJM data on Europeana will give this valuable collection a wider international exposure.
Great wedding dress (Keswa el Kbira)¸ embroidered velvet, Rabat 19th C.
The Center’s main objective is to collect and preserve the memory of the Jewish communities of Morocco and disseminate the knowledge of traditional Jewish life in the 19th and 20th centuries. This varied collection includes works of art, clothing, jewellery, objects of worship and daily life, photographs, postcards and prints. There is also an extensive archive of documents and a collection of audio-visual materials, as well as a library holding books and manuscripts in French, Hebrew, Judeo-Arabic, Spanish and English.
Scroll of Esther, mixed technique on parchment, Tetouan, 18th C.
The Center has an interactive website (www.moroccan-judaism.org) centred on objects and documents in the collection and answers enquiries on a regular basis from those interested in the Centre of Culture Judeo-Moroccan and its outreach programs.