North African Jewish Heritage Center


The David Amar Worldwide North Africa Jewish Heritage Center is a cultural hub and museum in Jerusalem, Israel. Established in 1865, it is located in the heart of the Mahane Israel (also Mahaneh Yisrael) neighborhood. Built in the mid-19th century by David ben Shimon, founder of the North African Jewish community in Jerusalem, the North African Jewish Heritage Center is housed in the quarter’s oldest building. The museum contains permanent and temporary exhibits, focusing on the history and heritage of the Jewish communities of North Africa, particularly in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The restoration was funded by the Casablanca, a Morocco-based businessman, David Amar, and was renamed in his honor. Construction was completed within four years and required Moroccan craftsmen to create the intricate zellige mosaic tile work. However, it was considered quite controversial to reconstruct the building in an authentic Moroccan style. Some saw it as “importing foreign architecture and damaging a historic building”, although it is expected to become one of Jerusalem’s top tourist sites. It opened in June 2011 in the presence of President Shimon Peres and former President Yitzhak Navon. Photo Attribution: Heritage Conservation Jerusalem Pikiwiki Israel, CC BY 2.5 <>, via Wikimedia Commons