creation of Jewish ethnicity in central asia

“Bukharian Jews” – 

(Central Asian Jews, Bukhori, Israel or India) – ethno-confessional and ethno-linguistic subgroup of the Jewish or Jewish diaspora; lived at the time of the expansion of the Russian Empire in Central Asia, in the cities of the Bukhara Emirate of the Kokand Khanate and Khiva Khanate; historically the bearers of the “Bukharian-Jewish” dialect.

The term Bukharan Jews means the Jews of the city of Bukhara and the Jews of the Bukhara emirate. The Jews lived not only in the Bukhara emirate, but also in the Khiva Khanate and the Kokand Khanate. Consequently, a general term was also used with respect to the Jews of Central Asia-Central Asiatic Jews. The self-name of the Jews of Central Asia was the Jew (Jew), Israel (Israel) and jivut. The surrounding population also used the ancient term dugut / juhud / juud / jute / jute (from johūd) from the time of Zoroastrian Sassanid Persia

Prior to the annexation of Central Asia to the Russian Empire, the term Asiatic Jews was applied to Jewish merchants from Central Asia. After the annexation of Central Asia to the Russian Empire in relation to the Jews of the former Kokand Khanate, the term native Jews was used, and the Bukhara emirate of the Bukhara empire was the Bukharian Jews. These terms had a legal connotation. Jews in the vassal Khiva Khanate were forcibly converted to Islam in the late 1700s and through mixed marriages with Muslims dissolved among Muslims (Turkmen and Uzbeks) towards the end of the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s.

After 1917, during the national delimitation of Central Asia in 1924, national republics were organized within the USSR. On February 10, 1925, the head of the government of the Uzbek SSR, Yuldash Akhunbabaev, issued a decree recognizing the Jews of Central Asia as an ethnic group and, most likely, precisely at that time the term Bukharian Jews or Central Asian Jews was entrenched as an ethnic definition, although in passports they were written down simply by Jews. The term Maida Millat, that is, the national minority, was also used.

During perestroika and after the collapse of the USSR, most Jews from Central Asia immigrated to the United States and Israel. In the US, self-names are used: Jews and Jews, Bukharan Jews and Bukharan / Bukharian Jews, Bukharians (Bukharians), Jews of Bukhara (Jews / Jews of Bukhara), Bukharian Community (Bukhara community). In Israel: Bukhara / Bukhara and Bukharim (Bukharans), Bukhara Jews, Bukhara community and eda Bukharit (Bukhara community), Yehudei Bukhara / Yakhudiyony Bukhoro (Jews / Jews of Bukhara), Yahadut Bukhara (Jewry of Bukhara). 

The traditional colloquial language, called Bukhara, is a Bukharian-Jewish version of the Bukhara-Samarkand dialect of FARS. Other languages ​​are Uzbek and Russian, Hebrew (among immigrants in Israel), and the languages ​​of the countries of residence. A new generation in the US, Canada, Europe and Israel is rapidly losing Uzbek and Farsi.

Since 1948, there have been three aliyahs of Bukharian Jews in Israel. The first began in 1948 and lasted until 1967. The second was in the 70s and early 80s. The third and most massive immigration began in 1985 and continues to the present day. Since 1985, tens of thousands of Bukharian Jews settled in their historical homeland, forming communities in many cities of Israel, one of them is Or-Yahud. On the territory of Israel Bukharian Jews live mainly in Tel Aviv and its suburbs, in the central part of the country, Beer-Sheva, and Jerusalem. In Israel there is the largest community of Bukharian Jews in the world, more than 100,000 people.

Bukhara Jews actively join the cultural, economic and political life of Israel, but at the same time maintain their customs and culture. There are various clubs and organizations whose purpose is to preserve the cultural heritage of the Bukharian-Jewish people. Organized cultural centers, theaters and folk groups, newspapers (Bukhara Gazeta and Hebrew, Russian and Bukharian, radio in the Bukhara language, Bukhara Jewish businessmen in the fields of economy and trade, businessmen, philanthropists, for example, one of them is well-known all over the world, Levi Levayev, who is also the president of the Congress of Bukharian Jews of Israel.Buhar Jews continue to engage in many traditional professors Among them there are jewelers, photographers, hairdressers, teachers, doctors, scientists. Recently, they are widely represented in the computer and information spheres. In politics and public authorities, Bukharan Jews are represented as deputies in the Knesset, in political parties and as mayors of cities. Bukharian Jews also serve in the army of the defense of Israel, and many fell during the Arab-Israeli wars.

BUKHARA: a city from the eastern fairy tale.

Bukhara’s age is more than 2500 years, this indicates that Bukhara along with Rome and other ancient cities is the cradle of civilization. According to the legend, the most ancient monument of Bukhara is the well of IOWA – Chashma-AYUB and the stronghold of the ARC, at the gate of which is the grave of the cult hero Siyavush. There is a version that the name “BUKHARA” comes from the Sughd word “Bukhark”, which means “a happy place”. About the culture and development speaks for the fact that in the II century BC coins were minted in Bukhara. In the 7th century, the Bukhara Union of Principalities was headed by a ruler with the title Bukhar Khudat, who rebuilt the Arch according to the plan of the constellation Ursa Major. At the beginning of the VIII century, the Arab commander ibn Kuteiba captured Bukhara and built the first mosque in it – Banu Khanzala. At the end of the IX century, the Arabs were defeated, the Central Asian Mesopotamia is liberated from the invaders and on this territory the state of Samanidis appears with its capital in Bukhara. During this time, the city and the suburbs are greatly expanding. The high walls, which have survived to our days, reliably protect Bukhara, its trade and craft people. Until now, part of the wall and gate of medieval Bukhara has been preserved.

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