Sunday, June 3rd, 2012...11:09 am
Morocco Day #2
On our second day in Morocco, we visited Neve Shalom Ozar Hatorah, a Jewish primary school in Casablanca. The school staff and students were very excited to have us there. Throughout the course of the day, we got to visit and participate in their classes and activities, including Hebrew, French, Arabic, theater, geometry, sports, and arts.
It was especially meaningful to spend time in the computer class because before the trip we fundraised to buy computer operating systems for the school. We sold popcorn to Tufts students and their parents and raised a total of $650. We presented the check to the director of the school, who was very appreciative to both our group and the JDC for the support. We were very impressed with the quality of education, because the academics are at a much higher level than at most Moroccan schools. It was also great to see the enthusiasm of the students, who were engaged in their classes and were especially enthusiastic about singing songs.
The students’ smiling faces were gratitude enough, but on top of the fun day, Neve Shalom made us feel like royalty during lunch time. In traditional Arab custom, guests are shown respect by being presented with platter after platter of food. After we filled up on bread and salad and chicken the veggies came out. When we thought there could be no more food, out came the couscous and chick peas. Don’t forget about tea and dessert!
It seems like the Jewish schools are at the heart of Jewish life and identity in Morocco, as almost all Jewish children attend a school like this and receive a Jewish as well as academic education. JDC works with the community to make sure that this opportunity is accessible to everyone, subsidizing the tuition for families that can’t afford it.
The day was well spent, and we learned that playing with children requires no common language, just a willingness to connect.
We look forward to sharing the photos and stories with our friends and family at home.