Thursday, February 25th, 2010...10:00 am
Inside Jewish Morocco: The Needs of Morocco’s Elderly Jews
Inside Jewish Morocco, JDC’s first-ever National Jewish Young Professionals Trip to Morocco, is underway! Below, participant Dina Kadisha walks us through day 2 in Morocco.
For reflections on day 1, click here.
I’m incredibly exhausted tonight. Today was a long day, but so exciting at the same time. The most interesting thing for me today was when the group visited the Levine Residence, which is a new apartment building where 60 Moroccan Jewish elderly were relocated, following years of living in an unsafe neighborhood, in which living conditions were unbearable.
Our group put mezuzot on the doorways of two tenants’ apts. You could look into their eyes and see how grateful they were to us for our thoughtfulness. Without the support of JDC and the Moroccan Jewish community, these elderly would not have anyone to aid them in their later, more difficult years of life. Made me feel proud to be a part of something so special.
The group then stopped by the Jewish old age home around the corner, where we danced, laughed, sang — we could see the loneliness of these women and men who so craved for our time and youth. Some of the elderly were mentally and physically challenged. But the crew triumphed in seeing past their hardship and lit an inner happiness to those around them.
Alisa (my partner in crime in filming a documentary of our trip) and I left the group with the JDC Country Director for Morocco to quickly stop by the unsafe neighborhood that the 60 relocated Jews had come from. We went into the old building they used to live in to shoot footage from the apartmentt window. It was clear people on the street weren’t so welcoming. There was a pungent odor that seeped through the wooden staircase as we slowly made our way to the fifth floor.
The bathroom/ kitchen was incredibly dirty, wet floor, some flies, and made me realize what a blessing it is that Jews in need no matter how impoverished or unsafe conditions may be, anywhere in the world, have an organization like the JDC to help and support them. We seem to be like the Jewish Red Cross meets the UN- we are soooo capable of doing unbelievable things. If we don’t do what it takes, nobody will.