US Jewish Freedom Award in Recognition of Late King Mohammed V

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The “Martin Luther King Jr. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel” Freedom Award given posthumously to late HM King Mohammed V is a recognition of the “deep convictions” and “brave actions” of the late Sovereign, said Moroccan Ambassador-at-Large Serge Berdugo.

This is a “recognition of the deep convictions, the moral approach and brave policy” of the late king, who protected his Jewish subjects “during a critical phase of our history,” said Berdugo, who was speaking at the award ceremony.

During the ceremony held on Sunday in New York, HRH Princess Lalla Hasna received on behalf of HM King Mohammed VI the “Martin Luther King Jr. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel” Freedom Award, given posthumously to late HM King Mohammed V.

Thanks to the strong decision of the sovereign, “Moroccan Jewish community was neither detained nor deported or murdered in concentration camps,” recalled Berdugo, noting that when divisions based on race predominated in Europe, the late king refused this categorization, saying that “all Moroccans, Jews or Muslims, enjoyed His full protection.”

The award ceremony, which took place at a glittering event held in B’nai Jeshurun Synagogue in the heart of New York, was marked by the reading of a message of HM King Mohammed VI by HM the King’s Advisor Andr√© Azoulay.

The ceremony was attended notably by Morocco’s Ambassador to the United States Rachad Bouhlal and Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations, Omar Hilale.

Presenting the award to HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa, on behalf of the students, staff and executives of the prestigious Kivunim Institute, co-chair of the conference of the graduates of this institute, Eliana Lauter, recalled that Late HM King Mohammed V objected the racist laws of the Vichy government, expressing his “firm opposition” to any segregation between his subjects regardless of their religions.

The evening was wonderfully wrapped up by a Jewish-Arab music concert with the participation of Mira Awa and David Broza.

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