The Marrakesh Express
A Jewish Journey to Morocco
by CRS

Led by Rabbi Benjamin Spratt & Cantor Shayna De Lowe

Feb 11, 2024 - Feb 20, 2024

  • DESTINATION Morocco
  • Who’s Going Adults Only
  • Trip Type Congregational
  • Duration 10 DAYS
  • Group Size 30+
  • Price From $8,885
Program is tentative and subject to change. Connect with our Customer Care Team by calling: (888) 230-6008 Mon.-Thur. from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET).

YOUR journey

Join your CRS community*, with Rabbi Benjamin Spratt & Cantor Shayna De Lowe, for a trip of a lifetime to Morocco.

CRS & J² have crafted an experiential Jewish journey to Morocco that is both emotional and educational. We are guided by a simple but powerful concept. No two journeys are the same. Each experience should be personal, meaningful, and backed by exemplary service. Travel is not just about the places you visit but the discoveries you make along the way.

Please note that registration is currently closed and the trip is fully subscribed. We encourage you to register yourself to the waiting list by clicking here. Should a spot open up you will be contacted by a customer care representative in order to complete your registration.

Once you have registered for the trip, you can also register for the extension. Click here for details.

  •   Active
  •   Archaeology
  •   Art & Culture
  •   Current Affairs
  •   Food & Wine
  •   Heritage
  •   Local Specialists
  •   Special Access

Program Itinerary

DAY 1
ON THE WAY
Sun. Feb 11, 2024
  • Depart the US.
Overnight: Flight
DAY 2
LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL
Mon. Feb 12, 2024
  • Arrive at Casablanca International Airport and transferred to the hotel for check-in (hotel check-in time is generally not before 3:00 p.m.).
  • Guided city tour of Casablanca (optional for early arrivals).
  • 15:00 Visit the Neve Shalom Jewish day school and meet with the school's Rabbi, Jacky Sebbag.
  • An Inside Look at Moroccan Culture: Orientation with your Jewish educator, including an overview of your journey.
  • Welcome celebration cocktail & dinner overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at Umaya on the Corniche. This eatery, created by renowned Israeli Chef Shahaf Shabtay, offers a Middle Eastern & Mediterranean influenced culinary experience and is a testament to a new and exciting reality created by virtue of the Abraham Peace Accords.
Overnight: Casablanca, Morocco Meals: Cocktail Reception & Dinner
DAY 3
GIANT MOSQUES AND JEWISH LIFE
Tue. Feb 13, 2024
  • Check-out of the hotel.
  • Visit the famous Mosque of Hassan II, one of the largest mosques in the world.
  • Visit the Beth – El Synagogue, which is considered the “main” synagogue of Casablanca and is still very active. 
  • Lunch at a Jewish home.
  • Guided visit through the Museum of the Jews of Morocco.
  • Depart Casablanca for Fes, once the capital of Morocco, the most extensive medieval city in the Arab world, and the home of Jewish scholars and rabbis for hundreds of years.
  • Check into the hotel
Overnight: Fes, Morocco Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
DAY 4
THE MYSTERIES OF FES
Wed. Feb 14, 2024
  • Enjoy glorious views of Fes and its Medina (Walled City) from the Borj Sud fortress.
  • Travel through time as we explore:
    • The recently restored Ibn Danan Synagogue, one of the oldest and most important synagogues in North Africa.
    • The El Fassiyin Synagogue: This once-vital synagogue was used as a boxing ring and carpet factory until it was recently restored.
    • The Fes Jewish Cemetery, where we’ll hear stories of some of the city’s legendary rabbis who are buried here.
  • Fes’s Medina is a dense maze of alleyways and streets and the largest car-free pedestrian zone in the world. The visit includes:
    • A glimpse of local craftsmen at work in their shops.
    • A tour of the Madrasa Bou Inania, an ancient religious college and one of the few Islamic sites in Morocco that is accessible to non-Muslim visitors.
  • Lunch at a restaurant before continuing on our tour:
    • Stop at the University of Al-Karaouine, believed to be the oldest functioning university in the world. Non-Muslims can view it only from the outside.
    • Visit the Chouara Tannery.
  • *Optional visit to Poterry shop.
  • Return to the hotel.
Overnight: Fes, Morocco Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
DAY 5
CITY OF KINGS
Thu. Feb 15, 2024
  • Check-out of the hotel.
  • Depart for Rabat, Morocco’s capital:
    • Walk around the walls of Rabat’s Royal Palace, the primary residence of the current king Mohammad VI.
    • Visit the majestic mausoleum of Mohammad V, Morocco’s king during World War II, and hear how he helped prevent the Nazis from deporting Morocco’s Jews to the death camps of Europe.
    • Visit the mausoleum of his son, Hassan II, who ruled over Morocco during the so-called “Years of Lead.”
  • Lunch
  • Walk through the colorful streets of the Kasbah des Udayas.
  • Check-in to the hotel.
  • Meet with members of Association Mimouna, an organization of Muslim students who honor the country’s Jewish traditions and promote Jewish-Muslim friendship.
  • Dinner event at David Toledano house a senior government representative to discuss how the Abraham Accords have impacted Morocco and its ties with Israel.
Overnight: Rabat, Morocco Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
DAY 6
THE ROAD TO MARRAKECH
Fri. Feb 16, 2024
  • Check out of the hotel and drive to Marrakech.
  • Begin your visit in Marrakech with a panoramic tour of the city.
  • Visit the enchanting Majorelle Garden of the French painter and botanist Jacques Majorelle.
  • Visit the Berber Museum, also housed in the garden.
  • Check into the hotel with time to freshen up and prepare for Shabbat.
  • CRS in Marrakech - Kabbalat Shabbat services at the hotel.
  • Enjoy Shabbat Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Marrakech, Morocco Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 7
SHABBAT IN MARRAKECH
Sat. Feb 17, 2024
  • Optional Shabbat Services.
  • We’ll tour the Medina (Walled City) of Marrakech, also known as the Red City for the red walls that surround it. Highlights of the tour include:
    • The Dar El Basha is considered the greatest palace of its time. Its architecture, gardens, and design render it one of the great achievements of Moroccan culture.
    • The Madrasa Ben Youssef is certainly a gem of Moroccan architecture in Marrakech. This 16th-century school of theology was considered the largest in the country at the time.  This historic school and students’ campus ceased to function in 1960, but it was restored and remains one of the best examples of Moroccan traditional architectural arts.
  • Shabbat lunch at the hotel.
  • Discover Djemaa El Fna Square and enjoy the marketplace’s snake-charmers, street vendors, musicians, storytellers, and acrobats.
  • At nightfall, we will mark the end of a special Shabbat with a communal Havdallah ceremony
Overnight: Marrakech, Morocco Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
DAY 8
THE MANY LAYERS OF MARRAKECH
Sun. Feb 18, 2024
  • The Role of the Imam in Moroccan Society: What Is Islam in Morocco and What Makes It Different? Dialogue with a Professor of English who will facilitate a dialogue with a local Imam. 
  • Explore the Mellah (Jewish quarter) of Marrakech, with a chance to visit:
    • The Slat el Azama Synagogue, still active and bears witness to the glories of the past.
    • The Jewish Cemetery of Marrakech.
  • Enjoy a cooking workshop followed by a delicious lunch and mint tea.
  • Free time to explore Marrakech on your own or enjoy one of its fantastic hammams.
Overnight: Marrakech, Morocco Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
DAY 9
BERBER LIFE IN THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS
Mon. Feb 19, 2024
  • Enjoy a spectacularly different view of Morocco in the lush and dramatic Atlas landscapes of the Ourika Valley for an unforgettable Berber experience and an eye-opening, hands-on adventure. 
  • Experience the world of the Berbers, an indigenous people of North Africa, in their village. Explore this remote village and visit the charity pre-school center where the local children are educated. 
  • Find out about the local economy and learn about changes and continuity in the Berber way of life as you walk through the farmed terraces to see the ancient irrigation system and the subsistence farming methods. 
  • Get your hands stuck into wet clay in a ceramics workshop and try weaving a colorful kilim with the local women. 
  • See the traditional method of baking bread and try your own hand at this ancient skill. Afterward, sit down for a Berber lunch including tajine dishes, the slow-cooked savory stews that for centuries has been the taste of North Africa. 
  • Visit the grave of Jewish saint "Rabbi Shlomo BelHench" and learn about the many legends that surround the life of the rabbi known as the "Son of the Snake."
  • Return to Marrakech after a stunning day in the Atlas Mountains.
  • Closing conversation over dinner.
Overnight: Marrakech, Morocco Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
DAY 10
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN
Tue. Feb 20, 2024
  • Check out of the hotel and transfer to Marrakech Airport for your return flight to the US.
Meals: Breakfast

RATES & LODGING

participants
30+
Cost p/p in double room
$8,885
Cost p/p in single room
$10,785

Cost of accommodations for pre & post nights including breakfast and all taxes:
- Casablanca: Hyatt Regency $305,- per night per double occupancy room, $285,- per night per single occupancy room.
- Marrakech: La Mamounia $1,140,- per night per double/single occupancy room.

*All rates are subject to availability.
Registration closed

Casablanca: Hyatt Regency

Fes: Riad Fes

Rabat: Fairmont La Marina Rabat-Salé

Marrakech: La Mamounia

What to expect

  • 8 nights' accommodations.
  • 8 days of touring with a tour educator and local guide, in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
  • All gratuities.
  • Individual arrival transfer at the airport.
  • Individual departure transfer to the airport.
  • Daily breakfast, 5 lunches, 2 cocktail receptions & 4 dinners.
  • The J² adventures App available on the App Store & on Google Play (active 7 days before your departure and throughout your trip).
  • Water and snacks on the bus.
  • Porterage at the airport & hotels.
  • All site entrance fees & program fees as per your final program.
  • Flights to & from Morocco.
  • COVID related expenses, including tests.
  • Evening transportation when dinner is not included.
  • Amendments to the program: In the event that any sites, programs or meals etc. are added to the program, an additional fee may be required.
  • Personal extras: Items of personal nature such as laundry, wines, mineral water, beverages, coffee, tea, food other than the table d’hotel menu, passport and visa fees, insurance, and foreign port taxes, unless otherwise specified.
  • US and foreign airport taxes, Q fuel surcharge and border taxes when applicable.
  • Please review our terms & conditions (T&C’s) or request that we send you our full T&C’s. Until you do that, here is the small print, and other stuff you may want to know:
  • Validity | All prices quoted are based on exchange rates as of the proposal date and are subject to change without notice. Rates are per person and are based on shared twin room occupancy.
  • How to Make a Reservation | The quickest way to make a reservation is to register online or contact us by email. We accept VISA, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards. A non-refundable deposit of $1500.00 per person is required in order to complete the registration process.
  • For any assistance with this registration process or other trip-related queries, please email Customer Care: [email protected].
  • Payments | The balance of your payment is due 90 days before your trip begins, or as specified in your invoice. You will receive an email reminder 2 weeks before this date. Various payment options are available as follows:
  • Credit card | We accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Please check with your credit card provider regarding international processing fees. We are unable to process payments of over $1,000 over the phone. Please submit payment online via a credit card or by wiring funds via your bank.
  • Domestic bank wire transfer | Payment should be wired in the same currency that is listed on your invoice. Please add the name of your group or invoice number as a reference and forward a copy of the transfer receipt by email. The bank transfer should clearly state the beneficiary’s name on the wire transfer.
  • J² Adventures reserves the right to automatically cancel your reservation on that date and it may be subject to reconfirmation should the final payment not be received.
  • Cancelation Policy | All cancelations need to be made in writing. The cancelation fee depends on the date when we receive written notification of your request to cancel your booking. Please note that the deposit is non-refundable.
  • Cancelation fees | Cancelations made 90 or more days prior to departure incur the loss of the deposit. Cancelations made 89 to 46 days prior to departure incur the loss of 50% of the full trip cost. Cancelations made 45 days or less prior to the departure incur the loss of 100% of the full trip cost.
  • Cancelation fees may also include: Hotel or supplier cancelation fees. J² Adventures reserves the right to adjust its terms of payment, including cancelation policies and initial deposits.

DISCOVER NEW WORLDS.

JEWISH JOURNEYS.

A family vacation to Israel. An adventure of a lifetime traveling with friends to Morocco. A  trip to Poland or Portugal with your community. What do these trips have in common? No matter where you go, you will come back with a fresh perspective and appreciation of the place you visited as well as a heightened awareness of your identity as part of the global Jewish community. 

J2 STUFF.

We have everything you need to know before you go. Check out our Instagram my_j2adventures for cool updates and interesting tidbits.

 
 

Just like you we're concerned for the future. And like you, J2 stands for equality, tolerance, pluralism, and true democracy.