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Honoring the Moroccan King Who Saved the Jews | Forward

Honoring a Moroccan King for defending Jews:

ForwardThe line to enter New York City’s B’nai Jeshurun synagogue on Sunday night went around the block.

But the 700 people who crowded the sidewalk on West 88th street weren’t there for services. Or for a wedding. Or a late-night bar mitzvah.

They came to celebrate a king — a Moroccan king, to be exact.

The ceremony, organized by the KIVUNIM: The Institute for World Jewish Studies as part of their three-day 10th anniversary conference, celebrated the creation of The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. – Rabbi Abraham Heschel Award and its first recipient, the late King Mohammed V of Morocco, who protected the country’s 250,000 Jews from the occupying Vichy French forces and the Nazis during World War II.

In the early 1940s, Morocco was still a French protectorate controlled by the pro-Vichy government. When, in 1941, the occupying forces attempted to enact legislation discriminating against Jews, the king — only 32 at the time — refused. “There are no Jews in Morocco, only subjects,” Mohammed V reportedly said…[FULL STORY]

 

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