Revisiting Morocco from Israel and Argentina: contrasting narratives about the "Trip Back" among Jewish immigrants from Northern Morocco

Angy Cohen, Aviad Moreno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The characters in this novel interpret the absence of Jews in Morocco as a historical shift that has turned the country into an unrecognizable place, both for them as Jews who left and for those Muslim Moroccans who stayed behind.3 When first-generation immigrants speak about their visits to their former homeland they often go through an identitary experience that involves an evaluation of their pre-migration past vis-à-vis their post-migration present. [...]as we saw in Benarroch's novel, the trip back might also trigger narratives of alienation, disappointment, and a general feeling of discomfort or even fear.5 We aim to show the differences, in both content and form, between Israeli and Argentine narratives and their dependence on the social scenarios in which they circulate. The recurrence of certain memories in Israel and Argentina slowly revealed a structure of a shared collective memory that was deeply rooted in the process of ethnicity formation in each country.7 "Moroccanness-es" in Argentina and Israel One of the core differences between northern Moroccan immigrants in Israel and Argentina lies in their social patterns of organization in their new communities after immigration. Jews who emigrated from northern Morocco to Argentina throughout the second half of the twentieth century encountered organized communal structures through which they could reestablish their lives after migration.8 These communal structures had been established by the first waves of immigrants from Morocco to Argentina, between 1860 and 1930.9 Therefore, the Moroccan-Jewish community had stable meeting places within organized institutions and social practices that encouraged social solidarity by keeping their specific Moroccan-Jewish habits and customs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-197
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Jewish Identities
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • 20th century ; Aliens ; Emigration ; Immigration ; Interviews ; Israelis -- Interviews ; Israelis -- Travel -- Morocco ; Jewish life & ethics ; Jews ; Jews, Moroccan -- Argentina -- Social conditions ; Jews, Moroccan -- Israel -- Social conditions ; Migration ; Research ; Synagogues


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