Moroccan Jewish in Canada

Main Language
Largest Religion
Ethnic Religions (Judaism)
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The word Sephard was the name used by Jews in medieval times for the Iberian Peninsula. Sephardim Jews, then, are the descendants of the Jews who lived in Spain or Portugal prior to expulsion in 1492 by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Sephardim also have a distinctive language called Ladino, or Judeo-Spanish. This is a dialect of Castilian Spanish with Hebrew and Turkish elements. Many of the Jewish people who were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492 went south to Morocco where they intermingled with the Berber peoples. They lived in their own Jewish quarters. Jews were dhimmis, meaning a religious minority that paid special taxes. The Muslim sultan protected them; he viewed an attack on religious minorities as an attack on his power. Jewish people in Muslim Morocco fared better there than they did in "Christian" Europe. Those who speak their language, Judean-Moroccan Arabic, usually live in Israel. There are smaller communities in Morocco, Canada, and the United States.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Instead of speaking Hebrew or Ladino, they speak Judeo-Moroccan Arabic. This is a variation of the Arabic spoken in Morocco. Those in North America are usually proficient in English as well. Most likely they blend in with other Jewish people since their population is so low.

What Are Their Beliefs?

For religious Jews, God is the Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe, and the ultimate judge of human affairs. Beyond this, the religious beliefs of the Jewish communities vary greatly. Orthodox Jews generally follow the traditional religious beliefs and practices found in the Jewish literature that interprets Scripture regarding ethical, religious, civil, and criminal matters. Reform Jews do not believe that God reveals the Jewish Law. They are not restricted to kosher foods. They neither wear the skullcap (yarmulke) when praying nor use Hebrew in prayer. All religious Jews believe in the coming of a Messianic Age, but only the Orthodox Jews look for a personal Messiah. Many Jewish people keep cultural Judaism, but they have rejected the spiritual elements taught in the Old Testament. They might take part in cultural events and even religious ceremonies, but they are secular or New Age in their spiritual lives.

What Are Their Needs?

Jewish people have a wonderful understanding of their connection with the Abrahamic Covenant. However, they also have a history of rejecting Jesus Christ as Messiah, the one who has fulfilled that covenant. They tend to view Christianity as the religion of their oppressors rather than the fulfillment of what God promised all of humanity through Abraham centuries ago.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to give the Jewish people in Canada hearts that will want to please him. May they look to the Lord for guidance and truth, and not be satisfied with cultural traditions. Pray for Jewish people in Canada to begin a movement to Jesus Christ, finding ways to exalt him while honoring their culture.

Scripture Prayers for the Jewish, Judeo-Moroccan in Canada.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Jewish, Judeo-Moroccan
People Name in Country Jewish, Judeo-Moroccan
Natural Name Moroccan Jewish
Pronunciation mor-AH-kun joo
Alternate Names Arab; Arab, Judeo-Moroccan; Judeo-Moroccan Speaking; Moroccan Jew
Population this Country 5,200
Population all Countries 68,000
Total Countries 4
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 12374
ROP3 Code 104318
ROP25 Code 303368
ROP25 Name Jewish
Country Canada
Region America, North and Caribbean
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Canada
Region America, North and Caribbean
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked

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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions (Judaism)
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
100.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Arabic, Judeo-Moroccan (5,200 speakers)
Language Code aju   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Arabic, Judeo-Moroccan (5,200 speakers)
Language Code aju   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Arabic, Judeo-Moroccan

Primary Language:  Arabic, Judeo-Moroccan

Bible Translation Status:  Unspecified

Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Arabic Bible Online Arabic Bible Outreach Ministry
Text / Printed Matter Tools for faith conversations Campus Crusade for Christ
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  ChameleonsEye - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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