The Em Habanim Sephardic Congregation and Community Center organized the gala dinner in tribute to Morocco’s Alouite royal family, the “Dynasty of Tolerance.”
Several diplomats attended the event, including Morocco’s ambassador to the US Lalla Joumala Alaoui, and the King’s roving ambassador Serge Berdugo.
The organizing committee played the national anthems of both the US and Morocco at the beginning of the ceremony, followed by a proclamation to announce November 19 in Los Angeles as Morocco Day.
The proclamation is in recognition of Morocco’s commitment to tolerance and peace.
The text congratulates King Mohammed VI and Morocco for “their unwavering commitment to fighting against anti-Semitism in North Africa through education, and for creating an environment conducive to inclusion, tolerance, and peace,” Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) reported.
Former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa read the proclamation to the Moroccan princess and the attendees before handing it to her.
The ceremony also marked the decoration of several businessmen, including Maurice Marciano, who received the commander insignia of the Throne Medal, or Wissam al Arch in Arabic.
Jack Rimokh, Businessman, Sidney Chriqui, Founding President of the Em Habanim Congregation, and Rabbi Joshua Bitton, Spiritual Leader of the Habanim Sephardic Congregation received Wissam Al Arch of the third class (officer).
The wissam recipients expressed “great pride at being decorated” by King Mohammed VI, lauding the monarch’s crucial role in preserving Morocco’s Jewish community and heritage.
Most of the businessmen to win awards were born in Morocco, including Rimokh (Fez), who founded one of the “largest” leather companies in the world, MAP said.
Sidney Chriqui was born in Casablanca, while Rabbi Joshua Bittan was born in Ouazzane.
During the ceremony, the organizers also presented a “Golden Book” to Lalla Hasnaa, consisting of an album of testimonies from the Moroccan Jewish community that “perpetuates Moroccan heritage” in the US.
In addition to Los Angeles, several US states also celebrate Morocco day, including Washington D.C. The mayor of Washington D.C., Muriel Bowser, declared March 29 “Morocco Day” to celebrate the North African country’s culture and diversity.
The American city of Alexandria, in the southern state of Virginia, also celebrates Morocco in an event sponsored by the Moroccan American Network every year on June 9.