All along a stretch of 108th Street in Forest Hills, Queens, the savory perfume of grilled meat, fried dumplings and cumin-spiced rice hangs heavy in the air. This is Bukharian Broadway, a strip dotted with kosher restaurants that serve the tens of thousands of Central Asian Jews who live nearby. The dishes offered inside are a richly layered amalgam of the community’s ancient Persian... » Read More
Learn the 5 COSTLY MISTAKES Families make in their Wills and Living Trust!NURSING HOME COSTS: Protect your nest egg from nursing home costs by learning how to qualify and use Medicaid to pay for those expenses, which average over $11,500 per month locally.DIVORCE: Preserve your children’s inheritance if they divorce…up to 50% of your assets could walk out the... » Read More
A jewelry designer who studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology and used to love walking wants nothing more than to move normally again — and to find out who nearly killed him — after surviving a hit-and-run crash last year in Kew Gardens. “I hate not walking,” Ronnie Aminov, now 31, told PIX11 Investigates at his parents’ home in Queens. “Because I... » Read More
On a recent weekday afternoon, LaBella Pizzeria & Restaurant is full of young mothers and exuberant children laughing, talking and eating – mostly eating. Enormous cheese pizzas seem to be the popular item of the day, and the children eagerly chow down on slice after slice of the warm, delicious-smelling pies. LaBella’s owner, Natan Uvaydov, knows a thing or two about pizza;... » Read More
On a quiet street in Rego Park, Queens, sits the small clapboard house of Aron Aronov, who speaks 10 languages, reads dictionaries for pleasure and once traveled as an interpreter for Richard M. Nixon. Mr. Aronov, a translator who was born in Uzbekistan when it was part of the Soviet Union, had promised me a recipe for plov, a medium-grain rice dish cooked with beef, onions, carrots and... » Read More
This home health aide is really sick. A nanny cam captured Ihor Krutovskyi abusing 78-year-old stroke victim Bentsion Murakhovsky inside his Queens home — after the aide unplugged the device in a failed bid to hide his alleged crimes. Video footage obtained by the Daily News shows the 38-year-old Krutovskyi grabbing Murakhovsky by the nose and violently shaking his head, yanking his... » Read More
Rabbi Yitzhak Aminov is, currently, a prominent Rabbi in a Jewish community in Israel. In the late 1960's he began to travel to New York to fundraise for his Yeshiva. Considering the time constraints, fundraising requires one to frequently leapfrog from one appointment to another. Occasionally, one gets lucky and receives a ride from the donors themselves, yet at times one would need to... » Read More
Be fruitful and multiply. The Biblical command sounds so straightforward, yet it can be anything but. In order to conceive a child, some aspiring parents — be they lesbian couples, single mothers, or straight men with poor sperm quality — need a little outside help… at least a few milliliters of help, to be precise, in the form of donated sperm. But the process, which can... » Read More
The Yuhan believes he might be Bukharian Jewry’s last great hope. “Assimilation will kill us,” Yuhan said. “We are drowning, but I still want to take a last grip of air.” Bukharian Jews held on to their traditions among the Muslim populations of Central Asia for more than 1,000 years. But maintaining Bukharian culture in the melting pot of Queens for more than... » 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.