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The Jewish Community of Gibraltar

Gibraltar

British crown colony, South of the Iberian Peninsula.

 

21ST CENTURY

Throughout the 21st century, Gibraltar's Jewish community has become increasingly observant, leading to some tensions between the generations. Since the community has ties to both Great Britain and Spain, the 2016 Brexit decision has also led to uncertainty.

As of 2004, about 600 Jews lived in Gibraltar, with the four synagogues and a communal rabbi. Almost all Jewish children attended the community's primary schools and girls went to the Jewish secondary school. The community published a weekly newsletter.

In 2017 there were approximately 200 Israelis living in Gibralter, in addition to Gibralter's native Jewish population. A number of Jewish immigrants have also arrived from Malaga and Torremolinos, seeking a stronger Jewish community.

Main Jewish organization:

Managing Board, Gibraltar Jewish Community (MBJC)
Phone: 350 200 72606
Fax: 350 200 40487
Email: mbjc@gibtelecom.net
Website: http://www.jewishgibraltar.com/

 

HISTORY

Jews lived in Gibraltar in the 14th century, and in 1356 the community issued an appeal for assistance in the ransoming of Jews captured by pirates. In 1473 a number of Marranos fleeing from Andalusia applied for permission to settle in Gibraltar. The treaty of Utrecht (1713), which ceded the fortress to England, excluded the Jews from Gibraltar in perpetuity. However by an agreement in 1729 between England and the sultan of Morocco, his Jewish subjects were empowered to come there temporarily for purpose of trade, and the establishment of a permanent community was not long delayed.

The majority of the Jewish settlers were from adjacent parts of North Africa. By 1749, when the legal right of Jewish settlement was recognized, the community numbered about 600, being about one-third of the total number of civilian residents, and there were two synagogues. During the siege of 1779-1783 many took refuge in London, reinforcing the Sephardi community there.

Subsequently, the community in Gibraltar resumed its development. During the period of the Napoleonic wars, Aaron Nunez Cardozo was one of the foremost citizens of Gibraltar; his house on the Almeida subsequently became the city hall. In the middle of the 19th century, when the rock was at the height of its importance as a British naval and military base, the Jewish community numbered about 2,000 and most of the retail trade was in their hands, but thereafter the number declined. During World War II, almost all the civilian population, including the Jews, was evacuated to British territories, and not all returned.

In 1968 the community numbered 670 (out of a total population of 25,000); it still maintained four synagogues and many communal organizations. Sir Joshua A. Hassan was the first mayor and chief minister of Gibraltar from 1964 to 1969.

In 1997 there were 600 Jews living in Gibraltar. The general population was 28,000.

Place Type:
Province
ID Number:
216056
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
Nearby places:

Related items:
Duration:
00:02:26

Yoducha Ra'ayonay ("My Thoughts Will Give Thanks to You" - in Hebrew)

Original recording from Kamti Lehallel: I Rise in Praise. Produced by Beit Hatfutsot in 2007.

This piyyut, composed by Rabbi Israel Najara (c. 1555-1625), consists of a refrain and four stanzas forming the acrostic "Israel". The rhyme scheme is ABABABC, with the last line of each stanza rhyming with the refrain. It is sung as a Shabbat table song in Amsterdam and New York. A variant of this melody is used for Adon Olam in the Sephardi community of Gibraltar. The recording includes the refrain along with the second and third stanzas.

Text by Daniel Halfon, originally published by Beit Hatfutsot in Kamti Lehallel: I Rise in Praise CD booklet.

Duration:
00:02:12

Tsur Mishelo Achalnu ("Rock, From Whose We Have Eaten" - in Hebrew)

Original recording from Kamti Lehallel: I Rise in Praise. Produced by Beit Hatfutsot in 2007.

The four stanzas of this piyyut, which is sung as a Shabbat table song, parallel the four blessings of the Birkat HaMazon (grace after meals). This melody from the repertoire of congregation Shearith Israel, New York, is also sung in Gibraltar where it is known as a setting for Kaddish, Hashkiveinu, and Lekha Dodi. In the fourth stanza the New York community's reading is "hamelukha titchadesh "("The kingdom will be renewed"), rather than the more common "vesham nashir shir chadash" ("And there we shall sing a new song"). This recording features the refrain, along with stanzas 1 and 4.

Text by Daniel Halfon, originally published by Beit Hatfutsot in Kamti Lehallel: I Rise in Praise CD booklet.

Festive prayer commemorating the bicentennial
of the Shaar Hashamayim synagogue.
Gibraltar, June, 1969.
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Yosef Almaliach, Rishon Le Zion)
Interior of the "Nefotsoth Yehuda" synagogue,
Gibraltar, late 1940's,
Also called "Esnoga Flomenga". The synagogue was established at the begining of the 19th century,
probably by Jews from Amsterdam
(AR.85.92)
(From the Beit Hatfutsot Photo Exhibition:
"Jewish Communities in Spanish Morocco", 1983)
Gibraltar's Chief Rabbi, Moshe Ben Naim (centre) and Members of the Community Council, at the laying of the cornerstone of the Old Aged Home.
Gibraltar, 1903.
(BETH HATEFUTSOTH PHOTO ARCHIVE).
At the wedding ceremony of Joseph Ben Naim and Dalia Toledano from Tangier.
Gibraltar 1948.
Photo: Dr. Isaac Benabu.
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Dr. Isaac Benabu)

Sapphiro's jewellery and watches shop on 129 Main Street, Gibraltar, 2016

 It specialize in fine jewellery and watches

Photo: Haim H. Ghiuzeli

The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot, courtesy of  Haim H. Ghiuzeli

Haim Bentolila (d.1863), merchant and ship-owner, born in Tetouan, Morocco. Bentolila was one of the first Jews from Tetouan to move to the city of Oran in western Algeria, then under French colonial rule. In Oran he established a commercial company that traded in oranges from Algeria to Gibraltar and to Spain. At the time of the Spanish-Moroccan war of 1860, he helped 176 Jews refugees from Tetouan in Gibraltar to move to Oran on board of one of his ships. The refugees were granted free passports by the French authorities. These refugees were followed later by other Jews from Tetouan who settled in Oran taking advance of the many business opportunities offered by the city’s port and growing economy. Bentolila died in the sinking of his ship in 1863.

Tangier

In Arabic: طنجة

Also known as Tangiers, Tanja. Known in antiquity as Tingis.

A Moroccan port city located at the entrance to the Straits of Gibralter.

The site that would become known as Tangier was inhabited first by the Phoenicians, and then by the Carthaginians. A number of historians believe that a Jewish community existed in Tingis, and archeologists have found ceramic objects with menorah stamps. Joseph Ha-Kohen mentions that the Jews were wiped out by the Almohads from Tangier to Mahdia around the year 1148.

Many refugees arrived in Tangier after the expulsion from Spain in 1492 and began establishing themselves in the city. For example, the Rote family maintained a commercial house in the town around 1535. In 1541, when the town was ruled by the Portuguese, small numbers from the communities of Azemmour and Safi settled there. The community, however, eventually came under attack by the Inquisition, which outlawed Jews from living in the city.

The Portuguese ceded Tangier to England in 1661, which brought another wave of Jews and Muslims to the city, particularly from the neighboring towns of Larache and Ksar El-Kabir. Additionally, a small number of Jews arrived from the Netherlands. In 1675 tensions boiled over between the Moroccan-born Jews and those born abroad who later arrived in Tangier. A cherem (excommunication) order was subsequently issued against the latter by the rabbis of Tetuan, who had jurisdiction over the Jewish community in Tangier. In 1677 the Jews were expelled from the town, and did not return until 1680.

Although the Jewish community of Tangier was generally poor, there were a number of notable figures that lived in the city. Solomon Pariente was the principal adviser and interpreter to four successive governors. Samuel de Paz, a British diplomat, lived in Tangier and Jacob Falcon, the leader of the Tetuan community, and the Falcon family, played an important role in building relationships between the English and the Muslims. Additionally, the Jews living in the town engaged in extensive trade. However, when the English abandoned Tangier in 1684, this trade came to an end. Because of the economic decline, most of the Jews left the town.

In 1725 a Jewish merchant, Abraham Benamor of Meknes, organized a new community of about 150 people. The community appointed Rabbi Judah Hadida, the first dayan (rabbinical court judge) of Tangier, as its leader in 1744. Moses Maman of Meknes, the sultan's treasurer, encouraged a number of important Jewish merchants of Tetuan, and particularly of Sale-Rabat, to send representatives to settle in Tangiers, where they would be exempt from certain taxes.

When Christians were excluded from Tetuan in 1772, a number of European consuls established their consulates in Tangier. They were followed there by their Jewish interpreters whose roles afforded them certain privileges. The majority of the community, however, lived in poverty. It was led by the dayan, Rabbi Aaron Toledano, who was succeeded by his son Rabbi Moses Toledano, and later his grandson, Rabbi Abraham Toledano.

As opposed to their European brethren, Moroccan Jews experienced little to no government-sponsored violence against them. This changed with the ascension of Sultan Mulay Yazid to the throne. Though Muslims were also massacred during this brief reign of terror, since many court Jews owed their positions to the previous sultan, and Mulay Yazid wanted to rid himself of people on whom the previous sultan depended, they were particularly vulnerable. A number of prominent court Jews were executed, including Jacob Attal who was executed in Tangier in 1783. Jewish residences were pillaged, people were killed, and women were raped.

The Jewish community of Tangier grew rapidly during the first half of the 19th century. There were fewer than 800 Jews living in Tangier in 1808; in 1835 that number had grown to 2,000. The community, however, was still poor, in spite of the presence of the Nahon family who were successful wax traders, Joseph Chriqui of Mogador, who had a great deal of influence within the community, and the Abensur, Sicsu, Anzancot, and Benchimol families, who were supported by the European powers to whom they rendered important services.

Though the Franco-Moroccan War of 1844 was difficult for the Jewish community, there were nonetheless some bright spots. That year, in commemoration of its escape during the French bombardment of Tangier, the Jewish community of Tangier celebrated a special Purim known as Purim de las Bombas ("Purim of the Bombs."). By 1856 the situation of the 2,600 Jews in Tangier was still difficult, but there was a definite improvement with the arrival of a new group of Jews from Tetuan. By 1867 the community had increased to 3,500 people, and it was headed by the learned dayan Rabbi Mordecai Bengio. A larger and more prosperous middle class financed the establishment of the French school Alliance Israelite Universelle in 1869.

A number of Moroccan Jews participated in the Moroccan press, whose sole center was in Tangier. These included Ben-Ayon, editor of the first newspaper in Tangier, Levy Cohen, founder and editor of the second newspaper, "Le Reveil du Maroc," Phinehas Assayay, Abraham Pimienta, and Isaac Laredo. Other newspapers appeared after 1886. This press, which was published in English, Spanish, French, and Arabic, called for the Europeanization of Morocco and supported the committee of the Jewish community. Jewish authors and poets, especially those who wrote in Spanish, also flourished in Tangier. The Jewish middle class founded hospitals and numerous welfare institutions. The Jewish intelligentsia, namely the historian Jose Benoliel, the kabbalist Sanuel Toldedano, and the last leader of the community, Abraham Laredo, brought about the revival of a distinctively Jewish culture. Zionism was also a major part of this revival.

In 1923 Tangier was declared an international zone under the joint administration of France, Spain, and Britain. At that time there were over 10,000 Jews living in the city, though many had emigrated to South America or settled in Casablanca.

Beginning in 1939, many Jews from Eastern Europe sought refuge in Tangier, and the community worked to help them settle there. A number of these refugees eventually established themselves permanently in Tangier.

Approximately 12,000 Jews lived in the international zone of Tangier in 1948, and by 1950 approximately 2,000 Spanish Moroccan Jews joined them, bringing the community to a total of about 15,000 people in 1951. After Morocco gained independence in 1956, several Jews, including Solomon M. Pinto, attempted to preserve the community of 17,000. A powerful movement towards emigration had, however, already been set in motion. Jews from Tangier helped build a new Jewish community in Madrid, while others settled in Geneva, Canada, or the United States. A few hundred also emigrated to Israel.

With the combination of the establishment of the State of Israel, Moroccan independence, and the annexation of Tangier by Morocco in 1956, the Jewish population fell. By 1968 the number of Jews in Tangier had falled to about 4,000. Before the annexation, the Jewish community had three representatives on the Tangier legislative council, and the head of the rabbinical court was the officially recognized representative of the community.

In spite of the population decline, during the 1950s and 1960s the Alliance Israelite Universelle and the Otzar HaTorah maintained schools in Tangier. A vocational school was supported by the Joint Distribution Committee. Additionally, the community supported a rabbinical seminary and several social welfare institutions.

There were only about 250 Jews left in Tangier in 1970.

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The Jewish Community of Gibraltar

Gibraltar

British crown colony, South of the Iberian Peninsula.

 

21ST CENTURY

Throughout the 21st century, Gibraltar's Jewish community has become increasingly observant, leading to some tensions between the generations. Since the community has ties to both Great Britain and Spain, the 2016 Brexit decision has also led to uncertainty.

As of 2004, about 600 Jews lived in Gibraltar, with the four synagogues and a communal rabbi. Almost all Jewish children attended the community's primary schools and girls went to the Jewish secondary school. The community published a weekly newsletter.

In 2017 there were approximately 200 Israelis living in Gibralter, in addition to Gibralter's native Jewish population. A number of Jewish immigrants have also arrived from Malaga and Torremolinos, seeking a stronger Jewish community.

Main Jewish organization:

Managing Board, Gibraltar Jewish Community (MBJC)
Phone: 350 200 72606
Fax: 350 200 40487
Email: mbjc@gibtelecom.net
Website: http://www.jewishgibraltar.com/

 

HISTORY

Jews lived in Gibraltar in the 14th century, and in 1356 the community issued an appeal for assistance in the ransoming of Jews captured by pirates. In 1473 a number of Marranos fleeing from Andalusia applied for permission to settle in Gibraltar. The treaty of Utrecht (1713), which ceded the fortress to England, excluded the Jews from Gibraltar in perpetuity. However by an agreement in 1729 between England and the sultan of Morocco, his Jewish subjects were empowered to come there temporarily for purpose of trade, and the establishment of a permanent community was not long delayed.

The majority of the Jewish settlers were from adjacent parts of North Africa. By 1749, when the legal right of Jewish settlement was recognized, the community numbered about 600, being about one-third of the total number of civilian residents, and there were two synagogues. During the siege of 1779-1783 many took refuge in London, reinforcing the Sephardi community there.

Subsequently, the community in Gibraltar resumed its development. During the period of the Napoleonic wars, Aaron Nunez Cardozo was one of the foremost citizens of Gibraltar; his house on the Almeida subsequently became the city hall. In the middle of the 19th century, when the rock was at the height of its importance as a British naval and military base, the Jewish community numbered about 2,000 and most of the retail trade was in their hands, but thereafter the number declined. During World War II, almost all the civilian population, including the Jews, was evacuated to British territories, and not all returned.

In 1968 the community numbered 670 (out of a total population of 25,000); it still maintained four synagogues and many communal organizations. Sir Joshua A. Hassan was the first mayor and chief minister of Gibraltar from 1964 to 1969.

In 1997 there were 600 Jews living in Gibraltar. The general population was 28,000.

Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
Beniso, Abraham
Yoducha Ra'ayonay

Yoducha Ra'ayonay ("My Thoughts Will Give Thanks to You" - in Hebrew)

Original recording from Kamti Lehallel: I Rise in Praise. Produced by Beit Hatfutsot in 2007.

This piyyut, composed by Rabbi Israel Najara (c. 1555-1625), consists of a refrain and four stanzas forming the acrostic "Israel". The rhyme scheme is ABABABC, with the last line of each stanza rhyming with the refrain. It is sung as a Shabbat table song in Amsterdam and New York. A variant of this melody is used for Adon Olam in the Sephardi community of Gibraltar. The recording includes the refrain along with the second and third stanzas.

Text by Daniel Halfon, originally published by Beit Hatfutsot in Kamti Lehallel: I Rise in Praise CD booklet.

Tsur Mishelo Achalnu - Congregation Shearith Israel in New York version

Tsur Mishelo Achalnu ("Rock, From Whose We Have Eaten" - in Hebrew)

Original recording from Kamti Lehallel: I Rise in Praise. Produced by Beit Hatfutsot in 2007.

The four stanzas of this piyyut, which is sung as a Shabbat table song, parallel the four blessings of the Birkat HaMazon (grace after meals). This melody from the repertoire of congregation Shearith Israel, New York, is also sung in Gibraltar where it is known as a setting for Kaddish, Hashkiveinu, and Lekha Dodi. In the fourth stanza the New York community's reading is "hamelukha titchadesh "("The kingdom will be renewed"), rather than the more common "vesham nashir shir chadash" ("And there we shall sing a new song"). This recording features the refrain, along with stanzas 1 and 4.

Text by Daniel Halfon, originally published by Beit Hatfutsot in Kamti Lehallel: I Rise in Praise CD booklet.

Festive Prayer in Shaar Aashamaim Synagogue, Gibraltar, 1969
Festive prayer commemorating the bicentennial
of the Shaar Hashamayim synagogue.
Gibraltar, June, 1969.
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Yosef Almaliach, Rishon Le Zion)
"Nefotsoth Yehuda" synagogue, Gibraltar, late 1940's
Interior of the "Nefotsoth Yehuda" synagogue,
Gibraltar, late 1940's,
Also called "Esnoga Flomenga". The synagogue was established at the begining of the 19th century,
probably by Jews from Amsterdam
(AR.85.92)
(From the Beit Hatfutsot Photo Exhibition:
"Jewish Communities in Spanish Morocco", 1983)
Gibraltar Chief Rabbi and Community Council, Gibraltar 1903
Gibraltar's Chief Rabbi, Moshe Ben Naim (centre) and Members of the Community Council, at the laying of the cornerstone of the Old Aged Home.
Gibraltar, 1903.
(BETH HATEFUTSOTH PHOTO ARCHIVE).
Wedding ceremony, Gibraltar, 1948
At the wedding ceremony of Joseph Ben Naim and Dalia Toledano from Tangier.
Gibraltar 1948.
Photo: Dr. Isaac Benabu.
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Dr. Isaac Benabu)
Sapphiro's jewellery and watches shop on 129 Main Street, Gibraltar, 2016

Sapphiro's jewellery and watches shop on 129 Main Street, Gibraltar, 2016

 It specialize in fine jewellery and watches

Photo: Haim H. Ghiuzeli

The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot, courtesy of  Haim H. Ghiuzeli

Haim Bentolila

Haim Bentolila (d.1863), merchant and ship-owner, born in Tetouan, Morocco. Bentolila was one of the first Jews from Tetouan to move to the city of Oran in western Algeria, then under French colonial rule. In Oran he established a commercial company that traded in oranges from Algeria to Gibraltar and to Spain. At the time of the Spanish-Moroccan war of 1860, he helped 176 Jews refugees from Tetouan in Gibraltar to move to Oran on board of one of his ships. The refugees were granted free passports by the French authorities. These refugees were followed later by other Jews from Tetouan who settled in Oran taking advance of the many business opportunities offered by the city’s port and growing economy. Bentolila died in the sinking of his ship in 1863.

Tangier

Tangier

In Arabic: طنجة

Also known as Tangiers, Tanja. Known in antiquity as Tingis.

A Moroccan port city located at the entrance to the Straits of Gibralter.

The site that would become known as Tangier was inhabited first by the Phoenicians, and then by the Carthaginians. A number of historians believe that a Jewish community existed in Tingis, and archeologists have found ceramic objects with menorah stamps. Joseph Ha-Kohen mentions that the Jews were wiped out by the Almohads from Tangier to Mahdia around the year 1148.

Many refugees arrived in Tangier after the expulsion from Spain in 1492 and began establishing themselves in the city. For example, the Rote family maintained a commercial house in the town around 1535. In 1541, when the town was ruled by the Portuguese, small numbers from the communities of Azemmour and Safi settled there. The community, however, eventually came under attack by the Inquisition, which outlawed Jews from living in the city.

The Portuguese ceded Tangier to England in 1661, which brought another wave of Jews and Muslims to the city, particularly from the neighboring towns of Larache and Ksar El-Kabir. Additionally, a small number of Jews arrived from the Netherlands. In 1675 tensions boiled over between the Moroccan-born Jews and those born abroad who later arrived in Tangier. A cherem (excommunication) order was subsequently issued against the latter by the rabbis of Tetuan, who had jurisdiction over the Jewish community in Tangier. In 1677 the Jews were expelled from the town, and did not return until 1680.

Although the Jewish community of Tangier was generally poor, there were a number of notable figures that lived in the city. Solomon Pariente was the principal adviser and interpreter to four successive governors. Samuel de Paz, a British diplomat, lived in Tangier and Jacob Falcon, the leader of the Tetuan community, and the Falcon family, played an important role in building relationships between the English and the Muslims. Additionally, the Jews living in the town engaged in extensive trade. However, when the English abandoned Tangier in 1684, this trade came to an end. Because of the economic decline, most of the Jews left the town.

In 1725 a Jewish merchant, Abraham Benamor of Meknes, organized a new community of about 150 people. The community appointed Rabbi Judah Hadida, the first dayan (rabbinical court judge) of Tangier, as its leader in 1744. Moses Maman of Meknes, the sultan's treasurer, encouraged a number of important Jewish merchants of Tetuan, and particularly of Sale-Rabat, to send representatives to settle in Tangiers, where they would be exempt from certain taxes.

When Christians were excluded from Tetuan in 1772, a number of European consuls established their consulates in Tangier. They were followed there by their Jewish interpreters whose roles afforded them certain privileges. The majority of the community, however, lived in poverty. It was led by the dayan, Rabbi Aaron Toledano, who was succeeded by his son Rabbi Moses Toledano, and later his grandson, Rabbi Abraham Toledano.

As opposed to their European brethren, Moroccan Jews experienced little to no government-sponsored violence against them. This changed with the ascension of Sultan Mulay Yazid to the throne. Though Muslims were also massacred during this brief reign of terror, since many court Jews owed their positions to the previous sultan, and Mulay Yazid wanted to rid himself of people on whom the previous sultan depended, they were particularly vulnerable. A number of prominent court Jews were executed, including Jacob Attal who was executed in Tangier in 1783. Jewish residences were pillaged, people were killed, and women were raped.

The Jewish community of Tangier grew rapidly during the first half of the 19th century. There were fewer than 800 Jews living in Tangier in 1808; in 1835 that number had grown to 2,000. The community, however, was still poor, in spite of the presence of the Nahon family who were successful wax traders, Joseph Chriqui of Mogador, who had a great deal of influence within the community, and the Abensur, Sicsu, Anzancot, and Benchimol families, who were supported by the European powers to whom they rendered important services.

Though the Franco-Moroccan War of 1844 was difficult for the Jewish community, there were nonetheless some bright spots. That year, in commemoration of its escape during the French bombardment of Tangier, the Jewish community of Tangier celebrated a special Purim known as Purim de las Bombas ("Purim of the Bombs."). By 1856 the situation of the 2,600 Jews in Tangier was still difficult, but there was a definite improvement with the arrival of a new group of Jews from Tetuan. By 1867 the community had increased to 3,500 people, and it was headed by the learned dayan Rabbi Mordecai Bengio. A larger and more prosperous middle class financed the establishment of the French school Alliance Israelite Universelle in 1869.

A number of Moroccan Jews participated in the Moroccan press, whose sole center was in Tangier. These included Ben-Ayon, editor of the first newspaper in Tangier, Levy Cohen, founder and editor of the second newspaper, "Le Reveil du Maroc," Phinehas Assayay, Abraham Pimienta, and Isaac Laredo. Other newspapers appeared after 1886. This press, which was published in English, Spanish, French, and Arabic, called for the Europeanization of Morocco and supported the committee of the Jewish community. Jewish authors and poets, especially those who wrote in Spanish, also flourished in Tangier. The Jewish middle class founded hospitals and numerous welfare institutions. The Jewish intelligentsia, namely the historian Jose Benoliel, the kabbalist Sanuel Toldedano, and the last leader of the community, Abraham Laredo, brought about the revival of a distinctively Jewish culture. Zionism was also a major part of this revival.

In 1923 Tangier was declared an international zone under the joint administration of France, Spain, and Britain. At that time there were over 10,000 Jews living in the city, though many had emigrated to South America or settled in Casablanca.

Beginning in 1939, many Jews from Eastern Europe sought refuge in Tangier, and the community worked to help them settle there. A number of these refugees eventually established themselves permanently in Tangier.

Approximately 12,000 Jews lived in the international zone of Tangier in 1948, and by 1950 approximately 2,000 Spanish Moroccan Jews joined them, bringing the community to a total of about 15,000 people in 1951. After Morocco gained independence in 1956, several Jews, including Solomon M. Pinto, attempted to preserve the community of 17,000. A powerful movement towards emigration had, however, already been set in motion. Jews from Tangier helped build a new Jewish community in Madrid, while others settled in Geneva, Canada, or the United States. A few hundred also emigrated to Israel.

With the combination of the establishment of the State of Israel, Moroccan independence, and the annexation of Tangier by Morocco in 1956, the Jewish population fell. By 1968 the number of Jews in Tangier had falled to about 4,000. Before the annexation, the Jewish community had three representatives on the Tangier legislative council, and the head of the rabbinical court was the officially recognized representative of the community.

In spite of the population decline, during the 1950s and 1960s the Alliance Israelite Universelle and the Otzar HaTorah maintained schools in Tangier. A vocational school was supported by the Joint Distribution Committee. Additionally, the community supported a rabbinical seminary and several social welfare institutions.

There were only about 250 Jews left in Tangier in 1970.