The war of words between the well-attended Ohr Natan synagogue and its landlord continues to rage on even after the battle left the court system. The house of worship at 98-81 Queens Blvd. in Rego Park was served with a notice of eviction by Trylon LLC, its landlord, in early December because of alleged nonpayment of rent. After a court battle that saw a judge dismiss the civil case... » Read More
A Queens man who sold 98 counterfeit silver dollars to a Saugerties jewelry store faces several felony charges, state police said Tuesday. Joseph Musheyev, 28, was arrested Monday by state police at Ulster and charged with the felonies of possession of a forged instrument, grand larceny and scheme to defraud. Police said Musheyev carried out the same scheme at other jewelry stores in the... » Read More
In a city where officials say people are too often building first and asking permission later, Albert Pinkhasov and the $240,000, three-tiered retaining wall he built in his backyard in Newton’s Oak Hill section could be where the line in the sand is drawn. The Lovett Road resident said that he was assured by his surveyor the project would conform to all zoning regulations, but that... » Read More
A debt settlement companysettlement company and its operator on Tuesday pleaded guilty in New York to conspiracy charges of mail and wire fraud, capping the first criminal case referred to U.S. prosecutors by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Michael Levitis and his company, Mission Settlement Agency, entered the guilty pleas in Manhattan federal court, less than a year after... » Read More
Americans have their Thanksgiving and us, Jews, have our Passover. Pesach is a holiday of extreme importance where we make it our business to get together with family or be part and parcel with our fellow brethren. The Seder nights are designed to seek that togetherness so that by the end of the 15th step of the Seder (starting with kadesh, urchatz), we accomplished completeness within... » Read More
OF ALL THE PUNISHMENTS, WHY DID G-D CHOOSE FOR US TO BE SLAVES? WHY? This Dvar Torah was taken from a conversation I had with Rabbi Illan Feder of Yeshivat Chafetz Chaim. We Jews come from royalty. Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaacov, our forefathers, were not only well respected members of society, they were also materialistically wealthy. Avraham was tall and charismatic. Yitzchak was looked... » Read More
Isaak Khafizov, 27, was sentenced to nine years in federal prison for operating a fraudulent mortgage modification operation that defrauded hundreds of struggling homeowners out of more than half a million dollars. Khafizov was convicted in May 2012 of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, and two counts of wire fraud after a 10-day jury trial... » Read More
A rent dispute between Ohr Natan synagogue and the Rego Park congregations’ landlord has landed the two in court. Rabbi Nahum Kaziev, who leads the Bukharian house of worship, at 98-81 Queens Blvd., said Ohr Natan was served with an eviction notice after the property owners accused the temple of not paying rent. He said the synagogue continued sending monthly checks, but was told its... » Read More
A Queens Civil Judge has dismissed a lawsuit by developers to evict a major shul of Bukharian Jews in the Queens Blvd/Rego Park area. The landlords, developers who are planning to demolish the beautiful synagogue when its lease ends in 2017 in favor of a large development, were seeking to evict the synagogue immediately through trumped up legal charges of non-payment of rent, a charge Ohr... » Read More
The Ohr Natan Synagogue and Community Center, which serves more than 1,000 Bukharian Jews in Rego Park, said they face imminent eviction as a result of legal maneuvers by developers who are seeking to tear the building down. Founded in 1986, Ohr Natan invested more than $2.1 to renovate the old Trylon Theater on Queens Boulevard, as well as $1.2 million in rent as one of the major... » Read More
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History of Bukharian Jews
The Bukharian people are members of the Jewish ethnicity and originate from the region of Central Asia once known as the Emirate of Bukhara. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the majority of the Bukharian people have immigrated to the United States, Israel, parts of Europe, or Australia.
The first written account of the Jews of Central Asia was recorded in the Talmud by Rabbi Shmuel bar Bisna at the beginning of the 4th century CE. These Central Asian Jews had descended from Spanish, Persian, and Arab Jewish communities. Like other Jewish communities, they experienced periods of prosperity as well as periods of oppression. After coming into the Persian Empire after the Babylonian exile, the Bukharian Jews prospered. However, they began experiencing persecution around the 5th century with Jewish academies being closed and many Jews being killed or expelled. The Arab Muslim conquest of the region in the 8th century resulted in Jews and Christians alike being subjected to persecution.
Beset by several invasions over the next few centuries such as the Mongol invasion in the 13th century and the invasion of nomadic Uzbek Muslims in the 16th century, the persecution of the Bukharian Jews continued. Around the year 1620, the first Jewish synagogue in Bukhara city was constructed. Before this, the Jews had shared a mosque with Muslims called the Magoki Attoron. It is uncertain whether these Jews and Muslims worshipped together or separately, as sources give accounts of both. In the 18th century, Bukharian Jews once again came under persecution by ruling Muslims. The Bukharian Jewish population decreased to the point of extinction, and many of their Jewish traditions and customs were lost.
In the 18th century, waves of Jewish migration into the region caused resurgence in Jewish customs and traditions, reviving the almost extinct Bukharian community. During the mid 19th century, a large amount of Bukharian Jews immigrated to Israel. In the Bukhara region, Jews remained free from persecution until 1916 and 1917, when Soviet control of the region was cemented and persecution was resumed. This caused another wave of migration that lasted up until the 1980s and 1990s. Today, only about 1,000 Jews remain in what is now Uzbekistan, with the majority having emigrated to the U.S., Israel, Canada, and other more tolerant regions. Although having a long history of migration and persecution, Bukharian Jews still retain much of their identity, history and culture.