Some two million Israeli Jews will participate today in Mimouna, the traditional Moroccan festival marking the end of Passover, according to the World Federation of Moroccan Jewry.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara celebrated Mimouna with the Fahima family in Or Akiva, where Netanyahu said "We will continue developing in the north and the south, and certainly in Jerusalem."
Federation chairman Sam Sheetrit said the group would like to see less of a focus on food as the central aspect of the holiday.
"We're bothered by how the celebration is reflected in the press - barbecues, belly dancing and wine drinking. All that reveling does not dignify Moroccan Jewry," he said.
Rather than the usual mass gathering at Sacher Park in Jerusalem, the festival's central event will be held at the Jerusalem International Convention Center, where a display on Moroccan Jewish culture will be featured.
The Mimouna celebration started yesterday in the capital with an event sponsored by Beyahad, the association of North African Jewry. President Shimon Peres attended the event as well as other dignitaries.
"This is the best Passover the Jewish people has ever known," Peres said. "Never before has their been so many Jews in Israel, nearly seven million Hebrew-speaking Jews. Never has there been such a flourishing economy and never has their been such security."
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