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Alliance Israelite Universelle and the Jewish Communities of Morocco, 18621962, The

Michael M. Laskier

Publication Year: 1983

The Alliance Israélite Universelle—an international organization representing a community of over 240,000 Jews—was founded in France in 1860. Its goal was to achieve the intellectual regeneration and social and political elevation of the Jewish people. This book examines the impact of the AIU on Moroccan Jewry. It answers such questions as: How did the AIU establish itself in Morocco’s communities? How did it go on to become a power not to be underestimated by either the Moroccan government or the Europeans? And more importantly, how did the AIU improve the conditions of the Jews in Morocco, creating an important Frenchspeaking urban elite? Also discussed are such topics as Zionism and JewishMuslim relations in Morocco.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Series: SUNY series in Modern Jewish Literature and Culture

Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. xi-xiii


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pp. xii-xiv

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pp. xv-xvi

This book, an outgrowth of a doctoral dissertation presented at the History Department of the University of California, Los Angeles, was rewritten and revised under the auspices of the Diaspora Research Institute and the Department of History of the Jewish People, at Tel-Aviv University. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to Professor Shlomo Simonsohn...

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pp. 1-7

The purposes of this study are (a) to analyze and document the educational, cultural, social, and political activities of the Alliance Israelite Universelle (AIU) in the Moroccan Jewish communities from the creation of the organization's first school (Tetuan 1862) until 1962, when after one hundred years of activity, despite emigration to Israel, France, and the...

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CHAPTER I: Background of the Activities of the Alliance Israelite Universelle in Morocco: The T'raditional Jewish Society

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pp. 8-28

At the time of Moroccan independence the Jewish communities there were by far the most important in the Muslim world. Moreover, they ranked among the world's largest along with North American, Soviet, French, Argentinean, South African, and British Jewry, and were estimated at between 210-240,000. The Moroccan Jewish communities, like their counterparts...


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CHAPTER II The Political Activities of the Alliance in Morocco Before the Protectorate Era

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pp. 31-79

During the first half of the nineteenth century Western European Jewry were determined to aid their less fortunate coreligionists. Although they were themselves in an inferior status for centuries following the dispersion, the age of the Enlightenment and a series of European revolutions elevated their position among Christians. Most of them began taking their place...

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CHAPTER III: The Alliance and the Struggle for Recognition within Moroccan Jewish Society

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pp. 80-99

When the AIU entered Morocco in 1862 and opened schools in the major communities of the Sherifian Empire, its task was far from simple. It is true that the Jewish communities were eager to benefit from the political lobbying efforts of the organization on their behalf, but they were at first less disposed to help the schools flourish. In fact, the period preceding 1890...

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CHAPTER IV: The Alliance and Its Sociocultural Influence on Moroccan Jewry

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pp. 100-148

When the AIU established its embryonic educational network, there was no clearly defined program for its schools. The archives, include lists of courses offered, but not information on the precise nature of the curriculum and its duration in number of years. Certain essential points, however, seem quite clear. No primary school certificates were issued by the AIU or any...


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CHAPTER V The Alliance and the Jewish Communities in the Protectorates' Political Arena

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pp. 151-193

It has been pointed out that Morocco was divided into three zones of influence: the French protectorate, the Spanish protectorate, and the international zone of Tangier. The latter was administered by a legislative assembly that represented the following nations: France, England, Spain, Portugal, the U.S.A., the Soviet Union, Belgium, Italy, and Holland. The...

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CHAPTER VI: Zionism and Assimilation: The Imergence of Zionist Influence in Morocco and the Position of the Alliance

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pp. 94-225

In Morocco as in numerous Jewish communities scattered throughout the diaspora, hope for a return to Zion, namely the land of Israel, has always existed. This hope rested on messianic and religious conc(!pts rather than on a political program, and Moroccan Jewry always maintained links of communications with Palestine. There were rabbis who came from Jerusalem to...

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CHAPTER VII: The Alliance and the Social and Cultural Evolution of the Jews: 1912-1956

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pp. 226-302

The AIU in Morocco intensified its social and cultural activities after 1912 and, after 1945, collaborated with a variety of international Jewish organizations. The political role of the school directors, on the other hand, diminished somewhat in the protectorate era, for the authorities in their colonial zones...

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CHAPTER VIII: The Jews and the Muslims: Comparative Aspects of Education and Problems of Social Conflict

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pp. 303-318

Jewish and Muslim traditional education was similar: the Jews attended the talmude tora and slas, while the Muslims attended Quranic schools. Both "Were taught by indigenous teachers: rabbi-teachers in the Jewish schools and fqihs in their Muslim counterparts. The educational approach of both was basically the same, recitation and repetition of biblical passages...


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CHAPTER IX: The Alliance and the Jewish Communities in Independent Morocco: 1956-1962

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pp. 321-346

The massive departure of Jews to Israel, France, and the Americas from both urban centers and from the Atlas mountains after the protectorates were dismantled and Morocco was unified, did not signify a complete dissolution of their communities. Whereas 240,000 Jews lived in Morocco in 1952, the communities remained sizable: 160,000 in 1960, with continued...

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pp. 347-354

In the period ranging from the early 1860s until 1962, the AIU maintained the lead in educating several important components of the modernized elite. The expansion of the schools into the cours compiementaire system and the contribution of the protectorates' schools...

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 355-364


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pp. 355-372

E-ISBN-13: 9781438410166
E-ISBN-10: 1438410166
Print-ISBN-13: 9780873956567
Print-ISBN-10: 0873956567

Page Count: 388
Publication Year: 1983

Series Title: SUNY series in Modern Jewish Literature and Culture