Community in Tajikistan - World Jewish Congress

Tajikistan

Jewish life is centered in Dushanbe, the capital, but there is a smaller community in Shakhrisabz. About 40% of Tajik Jews are of Bukharian origin, and the rest are Ashkenazim who came from other parts of the Soviet Union during World War II. The Tajik affiliate of the World Jewish Congress is the Jewish Community of Tajikistan.

WJC Affiliate

The Jewish Community of Tajikistan

Email: sinagoga_tj@mail.ru
Telephone: +992 372 21 31 64, +992 372 21 31 64

President: Mr. Amnon Iyaev

Head of Community: Mr. Valeriy Davidov
E-mail: ariel15387@walla.com



History

Bukharian (Farsi-speaking) Jews first appeared on the territory of today’s Tajikistan in the 17th-18th centuries. Ashkenazi Jews joined them in the 20th century – many of them refugees during the Holocaust years. In 1959, the Jewish population of Tajikistan was estimated at 13,400. This number dropped to 11,000 in 1989. The only institutional setting functioning in the Soviet period were the synagogues in Dushanbe and Khujand (then Leninabad).

Because of the general instability in the late 1980s and early 1990s (there was a civil war between 1992 and 1997), most of Tajikistan’s Jews have emigrated, primarily to Israel, but also to the United States and Russia.

 

Demography

The Jewish population of Tajikistan is estimated at between 200 and 600, with most of them concentrated in Dushanbe, Khujand, and other regional centers of the country.

Community and Religious life

Two Jewish public organizations were established in Tajikistan at the end of the 1980s: the Khaverim Society of Friends of the Jewish Culture and the Religious Community of Tajikistan Jews. The goal of the Khaverim Society (later – the Jewish Cultural Center) was to revive the Jewish culture, language, traditions, and customs. After the JCC director Gavriel Gavriilov was murdered in 1998, the center ceased to exist.

Until recently the only functioning synagogue was in Dushanbe, but its building has now been dismantled. The synagogue in Khujand was closed in 1999.

 

Israel

Israel and Tajikistan have full diplomatic relations. Israel is represented by its ambassador in Uzbekistan.

Updated

 

April 2018

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