Thursday, March 30, 2023

Kosher travelers fascinated by the thought of visiting the picturesque and exotic country of Morocco no longer have to either set their dreams aside or limit their food to packages of tuna fish. CEO Mickael Knafo of Morocco Kosher Travel can plan your trip of a lifetime with tours ranging from seven to 14 days that cover multiple cities while incorporating cultural, historical and Jewish aspects into the itinerary. In addition to scheduled trips, you can custom design an itinerary based on the interests of your family or group that can include as many visits to museums, nightlife, nature hikes, graves of tzadikim and/or action activities as you would like. Your custom trip can be for as few as two people on a honeymoon or as many as a family or group of 10 or more.

Morocco Kosher Travel is the first company based in the United States under certification by the Orthodox Union that specializes in travel to Morocco and the Middle East. Knafo, a native of Morocco, knows the country and has boundless knowledge of the specialties of each city–from the breathtaking landscapes and deserts, to exciting cities and rich Jewish culture. As an American, Knafo also fully understands the needs and expectations of the American Jewish traveler and promises no compromise on luxury or comfort while presenting fresh meals with high-end kosher food. His background experience in the luxury business world and as a former founder in the UN Plaza Grill have been put to good use in the creation of a very special travel company.

Since the expansion of the relationship between Israel and Morocco, interest in Jewish travel to Morocco has increased significantly. In their nearly two years of operation, Morocco Kosher Travel has brought approximately 700 people on the vacation of their dreams. One family loved their Southern Morocco trip so much they are planning their next trip with Knafo to see Northern Morocco!

Several of their group trips include special events. A recent trip featured famed restauranteur (and native Moroccan) Levana Kirschenbaum to enjoy cooking on her “home turf.” No matter what trip you choose, all trips include luxury vehicle transportation, hotel, private tour guide, excursions and meals. Security is also a high priority at each tour stop and location.

For first time visitors to Morocco, Knafo recommends a seven-day comprehensive trip that includes Casablanca with its Jewish center; the capital city of Rabat; Essaouira, the first city of the historic Silk Road; and the beautiful palaces and gardens of Marrakech. The 14-day trip covers a total of nine cities in both the north and south of the country that includes Meknes, Fes and the famous blue city of Chefchaouen. It features cultural, historical and scenic sites, as well as some of the famed Moroccan nightlife and visits to locations where well-known movies were filmed. No matter what trip you choose, Morocco Kosher Travel will make you feel “right at home, away from home.” Your preferences for Ashkenazi or Syrian/Sephardi food and davening are taken into account.

Knafo’s prior career in the diamond business taught him the importance of luxury customer service and product differentiation. As a result, Morocco Kosher Travel is a tour company unlike any other. He understands the importance of delicious, fresh kosher food and has two kitchens in the north and south of Morocco that prepare the gourmet foods to his exacting specifications. Moroccan food is very special and deserves to be shared and enjoyed. He is also mindful of personal food tastes and preferences and will provide the customer with exactly what they desire.

Most American Jews are not aware of the special relationship the Moroccan Jewish community has with their country. In 2022, Moroccan King Mohammed VI recognized the country’s Jewish community as a significant component of the national culture and all it has contributed to the country from its very beginning. As such, even though the Jewish community is a very small percentage of the country’s population, the country’s citizens are aware of the Jewish contribution and welcome all Jewish visitors.

Every aspect of the trip is taken care of. Knafo and his team sends “welcome packets” of information to each participant, which include packing lists, weather and background information of sites to be visited. He is always available to answer questions and provide recommendations. The only thing the traveler needs to do is to book their airfare. The Moroccan Airline Royal Air Maroc offers direct flights to Morocco from New York, Washington and Miami. Knafo realized early on that many travelers have their own personal airline preferences based on mileage redemptions or other factors and one or another client might be unhappy no matter which company he would choose. As airfare to Morocco can vary dramatically in price, Knafo recommends booking that as quickly as possible.

Morocco Kosher Travel can also arrange for all-inclusive Shabbat and holiday visits (Passover in Marrakech or Sukkot with locally-sourced etrogim), as well as trips of varying duration featuring world renowned sites and special local attractions.

Morocco Kosher Travel specializes in private tours, but also offers guaranteed departures a few times a year; you can join their mailing list for all the dates.

The unique and distinctive sites visited can only be attributed to the knowledge of the country as determined by Knafo and his team. Discover Morocco with all it has to offer on the trip of a lifetime! Visit MoroccoKosherTravel.com and plan your trip today.

By Deborah Melman

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