Bukharan Jews
Overview
 
Bukharan Jews, also Bukharian Jews or Bukhari Jews, ( Yahūde-ye Bukhārāī ; Bukharskie evrei ; Bukharim ; Tajik
Tajik language
Tajik, Tajik Persian, or Tajiki, is a variety of modern Persian spoken in Central Asia. Historically Tajiks called their language zabani farsī , meaning Persian language in English; the term zabani tajikī, or Tajik language, was introduced in the 20th century by the Soviets...

 and Bukhori Cyrillic: яҳудиёни бухороӣ Yahūdieni bukhoroj (Bukharan Jews) or яҳудиёни Бухоро Yahūdieni Bukhoro (Jews of Bukhara), Bukhori Hebrew Script: יהודיאני בוכאראי and יהודיאני בוכארי), also called the Binai Israel, are Jews from Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 who speak Bukhori, a dialect of the Tajik-Persian language
Tajik language
Tajik, Tajik Persian, or Tajiki, is a variety of modern Persian spoken in Central Asia. Historically Tajiks called their language zabani farsī , meaning Persian language in English; the term zabani tajikī, or Tajik language, was introduced in the 20th century by the Soviets...

.
Encyclopedia
Bukharan Jews, also Bukharian Jews or Bukhari Jews, ( Yahūde-ye Bukhārāī ; Bukharskie evrei ; Bukharim ; Tajik
Tajik language
Tajik, Tajik Persian, or Tajiki, is a variety of modern Persian spoken in Central Asia. Historically Tajiks called their language zabani farsī , meaning Persian language in English; the term zabani tajikī, or Tajik language, was introduced in the 20th century by the Soviets...

 and Bukhori Cyrillic: яҳудиёни бухороӣ Yahūdieni bukhoroj (Bukharan Jews) or яҳудиёни Бухоро Yahūdieni Bukhoro (Jews of Bukhara), Bukhori Hebrew Script: יהודיאני בוכאראי and יהודיאני בוכארי), also called the Binai Israel, are Jews from Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 who speak Bukhori, a dialect of the Tajik-Persian language
Tajik language
Tajik, Tajik Persian, or Tajiki, is a variety of modern Persian spoken in Central Asia. Historically Tajiks called their language zabani farsī , meaning Persian language in English; the term zabani tajikī, or Tajik language, was introduced in the 20th century by the Soviets...

. Their name comes from the former Central Asian Emirate of Bukhara
Emirate of Bukhara
The Emirate of Bukhara was a Central Asian state that existed from 1785 to 1920. It occupied the land between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers, known formerly as Transoxiana. Its core territory was the land along the lower Zarafshan River, and its urban centres were the ancient cities of...

, which once had a sizable Jewish community. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...

, the great majority have emigrated to Israel
Aliyah
Aliyah is the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel . It is a basic tenet of Zionist ideology. The opposite action, emigration from Israel, is referred to as yerida . The return to the Holy Land has been a Jewish aspiration since the Babylonian exile...

 or to the United States (especially Forest Hills, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

), while others have emigrated to Europe
Immigration to Europe
Immigration to Europe increased from the 1980s onward, as a result of people from developing countries wanting to escape war, oppression, natural disasters or poverty. Some EU countries saw a dramatic growth in immigration after World War II until the 1970s. Most European nations today have...

 or Australia.

Background

According to some ancient texts, there were Israelities that began traveling to Central Asia to work as traders during the reign of King David of Jerusalem as far back as the 10th century B.C.E. There is a tradition among the Bukharan Jews tracing their ancestry to the Tribe of Napthali and to the Tribe of Issachar
Tribe of Issachar
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Issachar was one of the Tribes of Israel.Following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes after about 1200 BCE, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes...

 of the Lost Tribes of Israel who may have been exiled during the Assyrian captivity of Israel
Assyrian captivity of Israel
The Northern Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Neo-Assyrian monarchs, Tiglath-Pileser III and Shalmaneser V. The later Assyrian rulers Sargon II and his son and successor, Sennacherib, were responsible for finishing the twenty year demise of Israel's northern ten tribe kingdom. Sennacherib...

 in 7th century BCE. A third wave of Jews into Central Asia are said to have been descendants of the Israelites who never returned from the Babylonian captivity
Babylonian captivity
The Babylonian captivity was the period in Jewish history during which the Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah were captives in Babylon—conventionally 587–538 BCE....

 after exile in the 6th-5th century BCE.

The Bukharan Jews of Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 were essentially cut off from the rest of the Jewish world
Jewish diaspora
The Jewish diaspora is the English term used to describe the Galut גלות , or 'exile', of the Jews from the region of the Kingdom of Judah and Roman Iudaea and later emigration from wider Eretz Israel....

 for more than 2,500 years but somehow managed to survive and preserve their Israelite
Israelite
According to the Bible the Israelites were a Hebrew-speaking people of the Ancient Near East who inhabited the Land of Canaan during the monarchic period .The word "Israelite" derives from the Biblical Hebrew ישראל...

 identity and heritage in the face of tremendous odds. They are considered one of the oldest ethno-religious groups of Central Asia and over the years they have developed their own distinct culture. Throughout the years, Jews from other Eastern countries such as Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, and Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 migrated into Central Asia (usually by taking the Silk Road
Silk Road
The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

), as did Jews who were exiled from Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 during the Spanish Inquisition
Spanish Inquisition
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition , commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition , was a tribunal established in 1480 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the Medieval...

; all these joined the Central Asian Jewish community and were later collectively known as Bukharan Jews. In Central Asia, the Bukharan Jewish community survived for centuries, despite being subject to many conquering influences and much persecution.

Most Bukharan Jews lived in the Emirate of Bukhara
Emirate of Bukhara
The Emirate of Bukhara was a Central Asian state that existed from 1785 to 1920. It occupied the land between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers, known formerly as Transoxiana. Its core territory was the land along the lower Zarafshan River, and its urban centres were the ancient cities of...

 (currently Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

 and Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

), while a small number lived in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

, Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan , officially the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world's six independent Turkic states . Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east...

 and some other parts of the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. In the Emirate of Bukhara, the largest concentrations were in Tashkent
Tashkent
Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan and of the Tashkent Province. The officially registered population of the city in 2008 was about 2.2 million. Unofficial sources estimate the actual population may be as much as 4.45 million.-Early Islamic History:...

, Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

, Bukhara, and Khokand. In Tajikistan, they similarly were mainly concentrated in the capital, Dushanbe
Dushanbe
-Economy:Coal, lead, and arsenic are mined nearby in the cities of Nurek and Kulob allowing for the industrialization of Dushanbe. The Nurek Dam, the world's highest as of 2008, generates 95% of Tajikistan's electricity, and another dam, the Roghun Dam, is planned on the Vakhsh River...

.

Prior to the Partition of India
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

, some Bukharan Jews could be found among the Afghan
Demographics of Afghanistan
The population of Afghanistan is around 29,835,392 as of the year 2011, which is unclear if the refugees living outside the country are included or not. The nation is composed of a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society, reflecting its location astride historic trade and invasion routes between...

 population of Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

, a city in what is now Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. After partition and the creation of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, nearly all of these Jews left for Israel and other countries. One synagogue still exists in Peshawar, though it is non-functioning.

Name and language

The term Bukharan was coined by Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an travelers who visited Central Asia around the 16th century. Since most of the Jewish community at the time lived under the Emirate of Bukhara
Emirate of Bukhara
The Emirate of Bukhara was a Central Asian state that existed from 1785 to 1920. It occupied the land between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers, known formerly as Transoxiana. Its core territory was the land along the lower Zarafshan River, and its urban centres were the ancient cities of...

, they came to be known as Bukharan Jews. The name by which the community called itself is "Isro'il
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

" (Israelites).

The appellative Bukharian was adopted by Bukharan Jews who moved to English-speaking countries, in an anglicisation
Anglicisation
Anglicisation, or anglicization , is the process of converting verbal or written elements of any other language into a form that is more comprehensible to an English speaker, or, more generally, of altering something such that it becomes English in form or character.The term most often refers to...

 of the Hebrew Bukhari. However, Bukharan was the term used historically by English writers, as it was for other aspects of Bukhara
Bukhara
Bukhara , from the Soghdian βuxārak , is the capital of the Bukhara Province of Uzbekistan. The nation's fifth-largest city, it has a population of 263,400 . The region around Bukhara has been inhabited for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time...

.

Bukharan Jews used the Persian language
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 to communicate among themselves and later developed Bukhori, a distinct dialect of the Tajiki-Persian language
Tajik language
Tajik, Tajik Persian, or Tajiki, is a variety of modern Persian spoken in Central Asia. Historically Tajiks called their language zabani farsī , meaning Persian language in English; the term zabani tajikī, or Tajik language, was introduced in the 20th century by the Soviets...

 with certain linguistic traces of Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

. This language provided easier communication with their neighboring communities and was used for all cultural and educational life among the Jews. It was used widely until the area was "Russified
Russification
Russification is an adoption of the Russian language or some other Russian attributes by non-Russian communities...

" by the Russians and the dissemination of "religious" information was halted. The elderly Bukharan generation use Bukhori as their primary language but speak Russian with a slight Bukharan accent. The younger generation use Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 as their primary language, but do understand or speak Bukhori.

The Bukharan Jews are Mizrahi Jews
Mizrahi Jews
Mizrahi Jews or Mizrahiyim, , also referred to as Adot HaMizrach are Jews descended from the Jewish communities of the Middle East, North Africa and the Caucasus...

 and have been introduced to and practice Sephardic Judaism
Sephardic Judaism
Sephardic law and customs means the practice of Judaism as observed by the Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews, so far as it is peculiar to themselves and not shared with other Jewish groups such as the Ashkenazim...

.

History

The first primary written account of Jews in Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 dates to the beginning of the 4th century CE. It is recalled in the Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

 by Rabbi Shmuel bar Bisna, a member of the Talmudic academy in Pumbeditha, who traveled to Margiana (present-day Merv
Merv
Merv , formerly Achaemenid Satrapy of Margiana, and later Alexandria and Antiochia in Margiana , was a major oasis-city in Central Asia, on the historical Silk Road, located near today's Mary in Turkmenistan. Several cities have existed on this site, which is significant for the interchange of...

 in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

) and feared that the wine and alcohol produced by local Jews was not kosher. The presence of Jewish communities in Merv is also proven by Jewish writings on ossuaries from the 5th and 6th centuries, uncovered between 1954 and 1956.

Having developed over the millennia from Spanish Jewish and northeastern Persian
Persian Jews
Persian Jews , are Jews historically associated with Iran, traditionally known as Persia in Western sources.Judaism is one of the oldest religions practiced in Iran. The Book of Esther contains some references to the experiences of Jews in Persia...

 and Arab Jewish communities, this Central Asian community has experienced alternating periods of freedom and prosperity, as well as periods of oppression. With the establishment of the Silk Road
Silk Road
The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

 between China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and the West
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 in the 2nd century BCE that lasted well into the 16th century, many Jews flocked to the Emirate of Bukhara
Emirate of Bukhara
The Emirate of Bukhara was a Central Asian state that existed from 1785 to 1920. It occupied the land between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers, known formerly as Transoxiana. Its core territory was the land along the lower Zarafshan River, and its urban centres were the ancient cities of...

 and played a great role in its development. After the Babylonian exile, they came under the Persian Empire, as they prospered and spread through the area. However, around the 5th century, began a period of persecution. Famous Jewish academies in Babylon
Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

 were closed, while many Jews were killed and expelled (see Mishnah
Mishnah
The Mishnah or Mishna is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. It was redacted c...

). After Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 conquest in the early 8th century, Jews (as well as Christians) were considered Dhimmis and were forced, among other things, to pay the jizya
Jizya
Under Islamic law, jizya or jizyah is a per capita tax levied on a section of an Islamic state's non-Muslim citizens, who meet certain criteria...

head tax. The Mongol invasion in the 13th century also adversely affected the Jews of Bukhara.

Sixteenth to eighteenth centuries

In the beginning of the 16th century, the area was invaded and occupied by nomad
Nomad
Nomadic people , commonly known as itinerants in modern-day contexts, are communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world. Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but...

ic Uzbek
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

 tribes who established strict observance of Islamic religious fundamentalism. Confined to city quarters
Ghetto
A ghetto is a section of a city predominantly occupied by a group who live there, especially because of social, economic, or legal issues.The term was originally used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were compelled to live. The term now refers to an overcrowded urban area often associated...

, the Jews were denied basic rights and many were forced to convert
Chala (Jews)
Chala is a Tajik term meaning "neither this nor that," referring to Bukharan Jews who were allegedly forcibly converted to Islam beginning in the late eighteenth century. In response, these Chala Jews outwardly practiced Islam, but secretly retained their Jewish traditions...

 to Islam. Under the Uzbeks, they suffered considerable discrimination. They were forced to wear a distinctive black and yellow dress to distinguish themselves from Muslims. Since the Bukharan Jews were considered Dhimmis, their heads of households had to be slapped in the face by Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s during the annual tax collection.

Around 1620, the first synagogue had been constructed at Bukhara city. This was done in contravention of the law of Caliph Omar who forbade the construction of new synagogues as well as forbade the destruction of those that existed in the pre-Islamic period. There was a case when Caliph Umar had ordered to destroy a mosque, which was built illegally on Jewish land http://pagetour.narod.ru/bukhara/Magoki.htm. Before the construction of the first synagogue, Jews had shared a place in a mosque with Muslims. This mosque was called the Magoki Attoron
Lyab-i Hauz
Lyab-i Hauz , or Lyab-i Khauz, is the name of the area surrounding one of the few remaining hauz that have survived in the city of Bukhara...

 (the "Mosque in pit"). Some say that Jews and Muslims worshipped alongside each other in the same place at the same time. Other sources insist that Jews worshipped after Muslims. The construction of the first Bukhara synagogue was credited to two people: Nodir Divan-Begi, an important grandee, and an anonymous widow, who reportedly outwitted an official.

During the 18th century, Bukharan Jews faced considerable discrimination and persecution. Jewish centers were closed down, the Muslims of the region usually forced conversion on the Jews, and the Bukharan Jewish population dramatically decreased to the point where they were almost extinct. Due to pressures to convert to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, persecution, and isolation from the rest of the Jewish world, the Jews of Bukhara began to lack knowledge and practice of their Jewish religion. They only had three of five books of the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

, did not know Hebrew, and replaced Bar Mitzvahs with Tefillin-banons.

By the middle of the 18th century, practically all Bukharan Jews lived in the Bukharan Emirate.

Rabbi Yosef Maimon

In 1793, Rabbi Yosef Maimon
Yosef Maimon
Rabbi Yosef ben Moshe Mammon Maravi is the spiritual leader credited with helping strengthen religious observance and introducing the Sephardic liturgy to the Bukharian Jewish community. The title Maaravi signifies his North African ancestry...

, a Sephardic Jew from Tetuan, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 and prominent kabbalist in Tzfat, traveled to Bukhara
Bukhara
Bukhara , from the Soghdian βuxārak , is the capital of the Bukhara Province of Uzbekistan. The nation's fifth-largest city, it has a population of 263,400 . The region around Bukhara has been inhabited for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time...

 and found the local Jews in a very bad state. He decided to settle there. Maimon was disappointed to see so many Jews lacking knowledge and observance of their religious customs and Jewish law. He became a spiritual leader, aiming to educate and revive the Jewish community's observance and faith in Judaism. He changed their Persian religious tradition to Sephardic Jewish tradition. During this time, the Jews of Bukhara were almost extinct, and Middle Eastern Jews came to Central Asia and joined the Bukharan Jewish community. Maimon's work and the Middle Eastern Jewish move to Central Asia helped revive the almost extinct Bukharan Jewish community. Maimon is an ancestor of Shlomo Moussaieff
Shlomo Moussaieff (businessman)
Shlomo Moussaieff is an Israeli millionaire of Bukharian Jewish descent who has lived in London since the early 1960s. He is the son of Rehavia Moussaieff, and grandson of Shlomo Moussaieff of Bukhara. He made most of his fortune by selling precious jewelry to international royalty and high...

, author Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
Dr. Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson is an American author, residing in New Zealand. Masson is best known for his conclusions about Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis...

, and the First Lady of Iceland
First Lady of Iceland
Wives and husbands of the presidents:*Georgia Björnsson wife of Sveinn Björnsson*Dóra Þórhallsdóttir wife of Ásgeir Ásgeirsson*Halldóra Eldjárn wife of Kristján Eldjárn*Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was not married...

 Dorrit Moussaieff
Dorrit Moussaieff
Dorrit Moussaieff is an Israeli-born British jewellery designer, editor and businesswoman. She is the First Lady of Iceland, married to Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of Iceland.-Biography:...

.

Nineteenth century

In 1843 the Bukharan Jews were visited by the so-called "Eccentric Missionary", Joseph Wolff
Joseph Wolff
Joseph Wolff , Jewish Christian missionary, was born at Weilersbach, near Bamberg, Germany. He travelled widely, and was known as the Eccentric Missionary, according to Fitzroy Maclean's Eastern Approaches...

, a Jewish convert to Christianity who had set himself the broad task of finding the Lost Tribes of Israel and the narrow one of seeking two British officers
Charles Stoddart
Colonel Charles Stoddart was a British officer and diplomat. He was a famous British agent in Central Asia during the period of the Great Game....

 who had been captured by the Emir, Nasrullah Khan
Nasrullah Khan (Bukhara)
Nasrullah Khan was the Emir of Bukhara His father was emir Khaydar . After Khaydar's death Khusain came to power. However he also died two months later.Nasrullah came to power in April 1827....

. Wolff wrote prolifically of his travels, and the journals of his expeditions provide valuable information about the life and customs of the peoples he travelled amongst, inclluding the Bukharan Jews. In 1843, for example, they collected 10,000 silver tan'ga and purchased land in Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

, known as Makhallai Yakhudion, close to Registon.

In the middle of the 19th century, Bukharan Jews began to move to the Land of Israel
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the Biblical name for the territory roughly corresponding to the area encompassed by the Southern Levant, also known as Canaan and Palestine, Promised Land and Holy Land. The belief that the area is a God-given homeland of the Jewish people is based on the narrative of the...

. The land on which they settled in Jerusalem was named the Bukharan Quarter
Bukharim
Bukharim is a neighborhood in the center of Jerusalem, Israel. Many of the residents of Shkhunat HaBukharim , as it is known, are Haredi Jews...

(Sh'hunat HaBucharim) and still exists today.

In 1865, Russian troops took over Tashkent
Tashkent
Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan and of the Tashkent Province. The officially registered population of the city in 2008 was about 2.2 million. Unofficial sources estimate the actual population may be as much as 4.45 million.-Early Islamic History:...

, and there was a large influx of Jews to the newly created Turkestan
Turkestan
Turkestan, spelled also as Turkistan, literally means "Land of the Turks".The term Turkestan is of Persian origin and has never been in use to denote a single nation. It was first used by Persian geographers to describe the place of Turkish peoples...

 Region. From 1876 to 1916, Jews were free to practice Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

. Dozens of Bukharan Jews held prestigious jobs in medicine, law, and government, and many Jews prospered. Many Bukharan Jews became successful and well-respected actors, artists, dancers, musicians, singers, film producers, and sportsmen. Several Bukharan entertainers became artists of merit and gained the title "People's Artist of Uzbekistan," "People's Artist of Tajikistan," and even (in the Soviet era) "People's Artist of the Soviet Union." Jews succeeded in the world of sport also, with several Bukharan Jews in Uzbekistan becoming renowned boxers and winning many medals for the country.

Twentieth century

Prior to the establishment of the state of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, the Bukharan Jews were one of the most isolated Jewish communities in the world.

With the establishment of Soviet rule over the territory in 1917, Jewish life seriously deteriorated. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, thousands of Jews, fleeing religious oppression, confiscation of property, arrests, and repressions, fled to Palestine. In Central Asia, the community attempted to preserve their traditions while displaying loyalty to the government. World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and the Holocaust brought a lot of Ashkenazi Jewish refugees
Jewish refugees
In the course of history, Jewish populations have been expelled or ostracised by various local authorities and have sought asylum from antisemitism numerous times...

 from the European regions of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 through Uzbekistan. Starting in 1972, one of the largest Bukharan Jewish emigrations in history occurred as the Jews of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan emigrated to Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, due to looser restrictions on immigration. In the late 1980s to the early 1990s, almost all of the remaining Bukharan Jews left Central Asia for the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, or Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 in the last mass emigration of Bukharan Jews from their resident lands.

After 1991

With the disintegration of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and foundation of the independent Republic of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

 in 1991, there was an abrupt growth of nationalism
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

, chauvinism
Chauvinism
Chauvinism, in its original and primary meaning, is an exaggerated, bellicose patriotism and a belief in national superiority and glory. It is an eponym of a possibly fictional French soldier Nicolas Chauvin who was credited with many superhuman feats in the Napoleonic wars.By extension it has come...

, and xenophobia
Xenophobia
Xenophobia is defined as "an unreasonable fear of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange". It comes from the Greek words ξένος , meaning "stranger," "foreigner" and φόβος , meaning "fear."...

 in Uzbek public consciousness. The advent of Islamic fundamentalism
Islamic fundamentalism
Islamic fundamentalism is a term used to describe religious ideologies seen as advocating a return to the "fundamentals" of Islam: the Quran and the Sunnah. Definitions of the term vary. According to Christine L...

 in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

 and Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

 caused a sudden increase in the level of emigration of Jews (both Bukharan and Ashkenazi). Before the collapse of the USSR, there were 45,000 Bukharan Jews in Central Asia.

Today, there are about 100,000 Bukharan Jews in Israel (mainly in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area including the neighborhoods of Tel Kabir, Shapira, and Kiryat Shalom
Kiryat Shalom
Kiryat Shalom is a residential neighborhood of Tel Aviv, Israel. It is located in the southern part of the city....

), 50,000 in the US (mainly Queens, New York), about 100-1,000 still remain in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

, about 500 in Canada (mainly Toronto, Ontario), and almost no Bukharan Jews remain in Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

 (compared to the 1989 Jewish population of 15,000 in Tajikistan).

United States

Currently, Bukharan Jews are mostly concentrated in the U.S. in New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

, Atlanta, Denver, South Florida, Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, San Diego. New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

's 108th Street, often referred to as "Bukharan Broadway" or "Bukharian Broadway" in Forest Hills, Queens, is filled with Bukharan restaurants and gift shops. They have formed a tight-knit enclave in this area that was once primarily inhabited by Ashkenazi Jews
Ashkenazi Jews
Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim , are the Jews descended from the medieval Jewish communities along the Rhine in Germany from Alsace in the south to the Rhineland in the north. Ashkenaz is the medieval Hebrew name for this region and thus for Germany...

 (many of the Ashkenazi Jews have assimilated to wider American and American Jewish culture with each successive generation). Congregation Tifereth Israel in Corona, Queens
Corona, Queens
Corona is a densely-populated neighborhood in the former Township of Newtown in the borough of Queens in New York City, New York, United States...

, a synagogue founded in the early 1900s by Ashkenazi Jews, became Bukharan in the 1990s. Kew Gardens, Queens
Kew Gardens, Queens
Kew Gardens is a triangular-shaped neighborhood in central Queens bounded to the north by the Jackie Robinson Parkway , to the east by Van Wyck Expressway and 131st Street, to the south by Hillside Avenue, and to the west by Park Lane, Abingdon Road and 118th Street...

, also has a very large population of Bukharan Jews. Author Janet Malcolm
Janet Malcolm
Janet Malcolm is an American writer and journalist on staff at The New Yorker magazine. She is the author of Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession , In the Freud Archives and The Journalist and the Murderer ....

 has taken an interest in Bukharan Jews in the U.S., writing at length about Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
Dr. Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson is an American author, residing in New Zealand. Masson is best known for his conclusions about Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis...

 and, in Iphigenia in Forest Hills, about the 2007 contract murder of Daniel Malakov organized by his ex-wife Mazoltuv Borukhova.

In December 1999, the First Congress of the Bukharian Jews of the United States and Canada, led by Boris Kandov convened in Queens, New York City, USA. At the start of the Jewish New Year 5765 (2005), the Bukharan Jewish community of Queens (mainly Rego Park
Rego Park, Queens
Rego Park is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens.-Geography:Rego Park is bordered to the north by Elmhurst and Corona, the east and south by Forest Hills and the west by Middle Village.-History:...

 and Forest Hills) celebrated the opening of the Bukharian Jewish Community Center. This establishment further reflects the growing Bukharan community in Queens and their desire to preserve their identity in an ever-changing world.

In 2007, Bukharan-American Jews initiated lobbying efforts on behalf of their community. Zoya Maksumova, president of the Bukharan women’s organization "Esther Hamalka" said "This event represents a huge leap forward for our community. I am so grateful to God that we are here, that I was able to witness this. Now, for the first time, Americans will know who we are." Senator Joseph Lieberman intoned, "God said to Abraham, 'You'll be an eternal people'… and now we see that the State of Israel lives, and this historic [Bukharan] community, which was cut off from the Jewish world for centuries in Central Asia and suffered oppression during the Soviet Union, is alive and well in America. God has kept his promise to the Jewish people."

Tajikistan

In early 2006, the still-active Dushanbe synagogue
Dushanbe synagogue
The Dushanbe Synagogue, also known as the Bukharian Synagogue, located in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, was constructed in the 19th century in one of the two Jewish Quarters in Dushanbe at the time. It was part of the Jewish community compound, which also included ritual buildings and a school...

 in Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

 as well as the city's mikveh (ritual bath), kosher butcher, and Jewish schools were demolished by the government (without compensation to the community) to make room for a new Presidential residence. After an international outcry, the government of Tajikistan announced a reversal of its decision and publicly claimed that it would permit the synagogue to be rebuilt on its current site. However, in mid-2008, the government of Tajikistan destroyed the whole synagogue and started construction of a Presidential Palace. The Dushanbe synagogue was Tajkistan's only synagogue and the community were therefore left without a centre or a place to pray. As a result, the majority of Bukharan Jews from Tajikistan living in Israel and the United States have very negative views towards the Tajik government and many have cut off all ties they had with the country. In 2009, the Tajik government rebuilt the synagogue in a different location for the small Jewish community.

Dress Codes

Bukharan Jews had their own dress code, similar to but also different from other cultures (mainly Turco-Mongol
Turco-Mongol
Turko-Mongol is a modern designation for various nomads who were subjects of the Mongol Empire. Being progressively Turkicized in terms of language and identity following the Mongol conquests, they derived their ethnic and cultural origins from steppes of Central Asia...

) living in Central Asia. On weddings today, one can still observe the bride and the close relatives donning the traditional kaftan
Kaftan
A kaftan is a man's coat usually reaching to the ankles with long sleeves, and which buttons down the front. It can be made of wool, cashmere, silk, or cotton. It is often worn with a sash....

 (Jomah-ҷома-ג'אמה in Bukhori and Tajik) and the richly embroidered fur-lined hats for the wedding dances.

Music

The Bukharan Jews have a distinct musical tradition called Shashmaqam
Shashmaqam
Shashmaqam is a Central Asian musical genre, , which may have developed in the city of Bukhara. Shashmaqam means the six Maqams in the Persian language, dastgah being the name for Persian modes, and maqams being the name for modes more generally.It is a refined sort of music, with lyrics derived...

, which is an ensemble of stringed instruments, infused with Central Asian rhythms, and a considerable klezmer
Klezmer
Klezmer is a musical tradition of the Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern Europe. Played by professional musicians called klezmorim, the genre originally consisted largely of dance tunes and instrumental display pieces for weddings and other celebrations...

 influence as well as Muslim melodies, and even Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 chord
Chord (music)
A chord in music is any harmonic set of two–three or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously. These need not actually be played together: arpeggios and broken chords may for many practical and theoretical purposes be understood as chords...

s. Shashamqam music "reflect the mix of Hassidic vocals, Indian and Islamic instrumentals and Sufi-inspired texts and lyrical melodies."http://www.thewanderingmuse.net/musicians/shashmaqam

Cuisine

Bukharan cuisine consists of many unique dishes, distinctly influenced by ethnic dishes historically and currently found along the Silk Road
Silk Road
The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

 and many parts of Central and even Southeast Asia. Shish kabob, or shashlik, as it is often referred to in Russian, are popular, made of chicken
Chicken
The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird...

, beef
Beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

 or lamb. Pulled noodles, often thrown into a hearty stew of meat and vegetables known as lagman, are similar in style to Chinese lamian
Lamian
Lamian is a type of hand-made or hand-pulled Chinese noodle. It is also the name of the dishes that use these noodles.-Etymology and preparation:...

, also traditionally served in a meat broth. Samsa, pastries filled with spiced meat or vegetables, are baked in a unique, hollowed out tandoor
Tandoor
A tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven used in cooking and baking. The tandoor is used for cooking in Azerbaijan, India, Turkey, Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, the Balkans, the Middle East, and Central Asia, as well as Burma and Bangladesh.The heat for a tandoor was...

 oven, and greatly resemble the preparation and shape of Indian samosa
Samosa
A samosa is a stuffed, deep fried,snack that is very popular in the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Southwest Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, the Mediterranean, the Horn of Africa, North Africa and South Africa...

s.

Plov is a very popular slow-cooked rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

 dish spiced with cumin
Cumin
Cumin is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native from the east Mediterranean to India. Its seeds are used in the cuisines of many different cultures, in both whole and ground form.-Etymology:...

 and containing carrot
Carrot
The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, red, white, and yellow varieties exist. It has a crisp texture when fresh...

s, and in some varieties, chick peas, and often topped with beef or lamb. Another popular dish is Baksh which consists of rice, chicken breast and liver cut into small cubes, with cilantro, which adds a shade of green to the rice once it's been cooked. Most Bukharan Jewish communities still produce their traditional breads including Lepeshka, a circular bread with a flat center that has multiple pattern of designs, topped with black and regular sesame seeds, and the other, called Non Toki, bears the dry and crusty features of traditional Jewish matzah, but with a distinctly wheatier taste.

Notable Bukharan Jews

  • Yisrael Aharoni
    Yisrael Aharoni
    Yisrael Aharoni is a famous Israeli chef. He was a pioneer of high quality cuisine in Israel and a prominent figure in the development of its culinary culture.- Biography :Aharoni, the son of Bukharian Jews, grew up in Haifa...

     – Israeli chef
    Chef
    A chef is a person who cooks professionally for other people. Although over time the term has come to describe any person who cooks for a living, traditionally it refers to a highly skilled professional who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation.-Etymology:The word "chef" is borrowed ...

     and restaurateur
    Restaurateur
    A restaurateur is a person who opens and runs restaurants professionally. Although over time the term has come to describe any person who owns a restaurant, traditionally it refers to a highly skilled professional who is proficient in all aspects of the restaurant business.-Etymology:The word...

  • Jacob Arabov – Proprietor of Jacob & Co.
  • Ari Babakhanov
    Ari Babakhanov
    The Central Asian musician Ari Babakhanov of Uzbekistan masters excellently the long-necked lutes tanbur, qashqari rubab and dutar. In 1934 he was born in Bukhara into a Jewish family which can look back on an outstanding dynasty of traditional musicians. It was founded by his grandfather Levi...

     – Musician
    Musician
    A musician is an artist who plays a musical instrument. It may or may not be the person's profession. Musicians can be classified by their roles in performing music and writing music.Also....* A person who makes music a profession....

     from Uzbekistan
    Uzbekistan
    Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

  • Amnon Cohen
    Amnon Cohen
    -Biography:Born in Samarkand in the Soviet Union , Cohen made aliyah to Israel in 1973. He gained a BA in business administration at the Center for Academic Studies in Kiryat Ono and took a two-year course at the Institute for Local Government in Bar-Ilan University.Cohen served as deputy mayor and...

     – Israel
    Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

    i politician and member of the Knesset
    Knesset
    The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

     for Shas
    Shas
    Shas is an ultra-orthodox religious political party in Israel, primarily representing Sephardic and Mizrahi Haredi Judaism.Shas was founded in 1984 by dissident members of the Ashkenazi dominated Agudat Israel, to represent the interests of religiously observant Sephardic and Mizrahi ...

    .
  • Rena Galibova
    Rena Galibova
    Rena Galibova was a Tajikistani actress and opera singer who was named the People’s Artist of Tajikistan. She was born in the city of Kokand in 1915 to a progressive Bukharan Jewish family...

     – Soviet actress, "People's Artist of Tajikistan" (an awarded title, alluding to national prominence)
  • Meirkhaim Gavrielov
    Meirkhaim Gavrielov
    Meirkhaim Gavrielov was a journalist murdered in Tajikistan.- Life :Meirkhaim Gavrielov was a prominent member of Tajikistani media for fifty years. Gavrielov was born in 1927 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. He studied philology at Samarkand State Pedagogical Institute...

     – Journalist murdered in Tajikistan in 1998
  • Shimon Hakham
    Shimon Hakham
    Rabbi Shimon Hakham was a Bukharian rabbi residing in Jerusalem who promoted literacy by translating Hebrew religious books into Bukhori....

     – Bukharan-Israeli Rabbi/ Writer/ One of the founders of the Bukharan Quarter
  • Robert Ilatov
    Robert Ilatov
    Robert Ilatov is an Israeli politician and member of the Knesset for Yisrael Beiteinu.-Biography:Born in Andijan in the Soviet Union to a Bukharian Jewish family, Ilatov made aliyah to Israel on April 10, 1985...

     – Israeli politician and member of the Knesset for Yisrael Beiteinu
  • Barno Itzhakova
    Barno Itzhakova
    Barno Iskhakova is a famous Bukharian Jewish musician from Tajikistan...

     – vocalist, famous for her rendition of traditional Shashmaqom songs in Tajik and Uzbek
  • Lev Leviev
    Lev Leviev
    Lev Avnerovich Leviev is a Bukharian-Israeli billionaire businessman, with a net worth of roughly $1.5 billion following the 2008 global financial crisis. Leviev is one of the most prominent Mizrahi Jewish individuals in the world and has been a major philanthropist for Jewish causes in Eastern...

     – Billionaire businessman, investor, philanthropist, president of the World Congress of Bukharian Jews
  • Boris Kandov
    Boris Kandov
    Boris Kandov is the President of the Bukharian Jewish Congress in the United States and Canada.He is currently one of the richest men in the world rated #17 on the Forbes Billionare list. The president resides in a 42,000 square foot mega mansion in New York....

     – President of the Bukharian Jewish Congress of the USA and Canada
  • Malika Kalontarova
    Malika Kalontarova
    Malika Kolontarova is a Tajik-American dancer. She is known as the "Queen of Tajik & Eastern Dance." - Biography :Kolontarova was born with the name Mazol to Yashuva Kolontarov and Tamara Khanimova Kolontarova , a religious Bukharian Jewish family in Dushanbe, Tajikistan and was the youngest of...

     – Dancer, "People's Artist of Soviet Union" (Queen of Eastern Dance)
  • Fatima Kuinova
    Fatima Kuinova
    Fatima Kuinova is a Bukharian Jewish Shashmakom singer. She was named "Merited Artist of the Soviet Union".Kuinova was born in Samarqand, Uzbek SSR, but moved to Stalinabad, Tajik SSR with her seven brothers and two sisters when she was thirteen years old, after their father was jailed and...

     – Soviet singer, "Merited Artist of the Soviet Union"
  • Yosef Maimon
    Yosef Maimon
    Rabbi Yosef ben Moshe Mammon Maravi is the spiritual leader credited with helping strengthen religious observance and introducing the Sephardic liturgy to the Bukharian Jewish community. The title Maaravi signifies his North African ancestry...

     – Religious leader
  • Ilyas Malayev
    Ilyas Malayev
    Ilyas Malayev was an Uzbekistani musician and poet.Malayev was born in Mary to Efraim and Yelizaveta Malayev, a Bukharian Jewish family and raised in the Uzbek town of Katta-Kurgan near Bukhara...

     – Musician and Poet from Uzbekistan, "Honored Artist of Uzbekistan"
  • Dorrit Moussaieff
    Dorrit Moussaieff
    Dorrit Moussaieff is an Israeli-born British jewellery designer, editor and businesswoman. She is the First Lady of Iceland, married to Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of Iceland.-Biography:...

     – First Lady of Iceland
    First Lady of Iceland
    Wives and husbands of the presidents:*Georgia Björnsson wife of Sveinn Björnsson*Dóra Þórhallsdóttir wife of Ásgeir Ásgeirsson*Halldóra Eldjárn wife of Kristján Eldjárn*Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was not married...

  • Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
    Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
    Dr. Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson is an American author, residing in New Zealand. Masson is best known for his conclusions about Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis...

     – Author
  • Shlomo Moussaieff (businessman)
    Shlomo Moussaieff (businessman)
    Shlomo Moussaieff is an Israeli millionaire of Bukharian Jewish descent who has lived in London since the early 1960s. He is the son of Rehavia Moussaieff, and grandson of Shlomo Moussaieff of Bukhara. He made most of his fortune by selling precious jewelry to international royalty and high...

     – Israeli millionaire businessman
  • Shlomo Moussaieff (rabbi)
    Shlomo Moussaieff (rabbi)
    Shlomo Moussaieff was born in the city of Bukhara in 1852 in what is today Uzbekistan and was one of the founders of the Bukharian Quarter in Jerusalem...

     – Co-founder of the Bukharan Quarter in Jerusalem
  • Yudik Mullodzhanov
    Yudik Mullodzhanov
    Yudik Mullodzhanov is a tenor, violinist, and music teacher. He is known, within his community, as the "Bukharian Pavarotti".-Biography:Yudik Ribievich Mullodzhanov was born in 1942 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan to a Bukharian Jewish family....

     – Tenor and teacher. Also known as "Bukharian Pavarotti"
  • Rosa Mullodzhanova
    Rosa Mullodzhanova
    Rosa Mullodzhanova is a Tajik-American opera singer.-Biography:Mullodzhanova was born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan to a Bukharian Jewish family. Her father, Itzakhor, was a stage actor, and her mother, Zelpo, originally derived from neighboring Uzbekistan...

     – Opera Singer "Honored Artist of Tajikistan"
  • Shoista Mullodzhanova
    Shoista Mullodzhanova
    Shoista Mullojonova was a renowned Tajik-born Bukharian Jewish Shashmakom singer.-Early life:...

     – Shashmakon singer, "People's Artist of Tajikistan" (Queen of Shashmakom music)
  • Gavriel Mullokandov
    Gavriel Mullokandov
    Gavriel Mullokandov is widely regarded as the greatest Bukharian Jewish singer and musician. He was the People’s Artist of Uzbekistan....

     – Popular Shashmakom artist, "People's Artist of Uzbekistan"
  • Jacob Nasirov
    Jacob Nasirov
    Jacob Nasirov is a prominent Bukharian rabbi residing in Jamaica Estates, Queens, New York. His family originated in Bukhara and immigrated to Afghanistan in 1932. He was born in 1944 and at age 5, his family made aliyah to Israel...

     – Bukharan-American Rabbi from Afghanistan
    Afghanistan
    Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

     (member of the Bukharian Rabbinical Counsel)
  • Anthony Yadgaroff
    Anthony Yadgaroff
    Anthony H Yadgaroff is the founder and Managing Director of Allenbridge Group PLC, and Director of Anglo-Pacific Group, both based in his offices in Mayfair, London....

     – British Businessman, Jewish community leader
  • Idan Yaniv
    Idan Yaniv
    Idan Yaniv is an Israeli singer born in Tel Aviv to Bukharan Jewish parents. He has successfully recorded two albums with many popular singles from both albums. His debut single was "Hoshev Aleya" and it was a hit that generated a lot of attention in Israel and in other Jewish communities in the...

     – Israeli singer, "2007 Israeli Artist of the Year"
  • Suleiman Yudakov – Soviet composer and musician, "People's Artist of the Uzbek SSR"

See also

  • Africa Israel Investments
    Africa Israel Investments
    Africa Israel Investments Ltd. - AFI GROUP - is an international holding and investment company based in Yehud, Israel.AFI Group consists of several private and public companies active in areas such as real estate, construction, infrastructure, manufacturing, tourism and leisure.The company’s...

  • Bais Yaakov Machon Academy
  • Dushanbe synagogue
    Dushanbe synagogue
    The Dushanbe Synagogue, also known as the Bukharian Synagogue, located in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, was constructed in the 19th century in one of the two Jewish Quarters in Dushanbe at the time. It was part of the Jewish community compound, which also included ritual buildings and a school...

  • Emirate of Bukhara
    Emirate of Bukhara
    The Emirate of Bukhara was a Central Asian state that existed from 1785 to 1920. It occupied the land between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers, known formerly as Transoxiana. Its core territory was the land along the lower Zarafshan River, and its urban centres were the ancient cities of...

  • History of the Jews under Muslim Rule
  • History of the Jews in Russia and the Soviet Union
    History of the Jews in Russia and the Soviet Union
    The vast territories of the Russian Empire at one time hosted the largest populations of Jews in the diaspora. Within these territories the Jewish community flourished and developed many of modern Judaism's most distinctive theological and cultural traditions, while also facing periods of...

  • Ohr Avner Foundation
    Ohr Avner Foundation
    Ohr Avner Foundation is a philanthropic foundation that was established in 1992 by the Israeli billionaire and emigre from the former Soviet Union, Lev Leviev and is managed by its Director Rabbi David Mondshine. The foundation was named in memory of Lev Leviev's father Rabbi Avner Leviev...


External links

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