Yesterday afternoon, diplomats and community leaders from Canada, Morocco, Israel and the U.S. came together to celebrate a new exciting partnership between Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) and Association Mimouna. Dedicated to honouring and preserving Morocco’s rich Jewish heritage, Association Mimouna is Morocco's leader in fighting antisemitism and strengthening ties between Muslims and Jews.
The partnership was marked with a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that's based on the organizations' many shared goals and aspirations, including:
- Combating antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of hatred and discrimination
- Public education highlighting the important role of the Jewish community in the history and heritage of Morocco and other Arab countries
- Education programs focused on the horrors of the Holocaust as a lesson on the dangers of hatred and intolerance
Featured speakers included FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt, Association Mimouna President El Mehdi Boudra, Canadian Ambassador to Morocco Nell Stewart, Moroccan Consul General in Toronto Rachid Zein, Israeli Consul General in Toronto Galit Baram, Simon Wiesenthal Center's Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Jewish Moroccan Community of Toronto President Simon Keslassy, and Moroccan Association of Toronto President Faouzi Metouilli. A special ceremony followed to present community leadership awards to Keslassy and Metouilli in recognition of their exceptional work in the Moroccan community.
A number of initiatives are already in the works, including a virtual training session for approximately 20 Holocaust educators in Morocco, hosted by FSWC. Next January, Mimouna educators will attend FSWC's annual National Policy Conference on Holocaust Education, followed by a visit to Morocco by FSWC lay leaders to participate in a Holocaust education conference.
Numerous Arab countries and Israel have been coming together in ways that were once thought impossible, largely spurred by the historic signing of the Abraham Accords. This partnership between FSWC and Association Mimouna is the result of this new climate and growing collaboration between Jews and Muslims in Morocco, the Middle East and beyond. FSWC is thrilled to be building on the foundation of friendship and cooperation the Simon Wiesenthal Center has established with Arab partners over the past decade and beyond.
Thank you to all of the diplomats, community leaders and dozens of community members who joined us in support of this much-valued partnership.
On June 8th, join us at Spirit of Hope for a celebration of the Abraham Accords and to hear more about FSWC's great achievements over the past year and exciting future plans.