WJT

JEWISH Bukhara

Jewish city story of Bukhara

Bukhara is an ancient city in the central Asian country of Uzbekistan. It was a prominent stop on the Silk Road trade route between the East and the West, and a major medieval center for Islamic theology and culture. It still contains hundreds of well-preserved mosques, madrassas, bazaars and caravanserais, dating largely from the 9th to the 17th centuries. 

Get Inspired!

Get Google's city map with all of our info, sites and treats included!

SITES TO SEE

Sites

Bukhara Synagogue

The oldest part of the synagogue was called "Kanisa Mulla Mani", that is, the synagogue named after Mulla Mani. Mullah Mani is a venerable Jew who was a foreman in this synagogue in the 20s of the 20th century. Before the construction of the first synagogue, Jews prayed in the same room with Muslims in a mosque called "Mahak-i Attari." According to one version, Jews prayed with Muslims at the same time, but in different corners. According to another, Jews came there only at the end of Muslim prayers. This can explain the custom, which exists among Bukharian Jews, to end the morning prayer with the words "Shalom Aleihom." There is a version that the resettlement of Jews in the Jewish quarter is associated with the construction of a synagogue. Before the construction of the synagogue, Jews lived near today's Lyabi-Khauz, at a local Bazaar market. In an effort to concentrate around the prayer house, they gradually moved to this quarter, where a synagogue was built, so that not a single Jewish family remained in the Bazaar. According to another version, the Jews have been living in Jewish Mahallah since the time of their resettlement from the central regions of Persia. They say that this area was occupied by Muslims, and when it was empty, the quarters located here began to collapse, and the ruler of Bukhara gave this place to the Jews who came from Jerusalem in the interests of trade. The synagogue, in the Mahalli Kukhma quarter, with a 300-year history, was closed by the Soviet authorities in 1940. And only in 1945, at the insistent request of the population, the former building of the synagogue was returned to the Jewish community, which functions to this day. Image attribution: Adam Jones from Kelowna, BC, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Your site could be here
View All Sites

TOURS OF Bukhara

Tours

Uzbekistan Jewish Tour

The laws and traditions of the Jewish peoples of Uzbekistan have thrived for centuries in this mostly Islamic region. Unique communities of Jews carried on their distinctive traditions throughout the region for hundreds of years. Stories of their arrival in Central Asia vary from the 6th through the 19th centuries, but the Jewish quarters in the cities of Uzbekistan are well preserved. Experience the thrill of history and the story of a people in this truly amazing part of the world. Highlights: · Visit exotic oriental bazaars, traditional tea houses and ancient villages · Discover cultural treasures of Central Asia: magnificent synagogues and ancient palaces · Meet and interact with hospitable Central Asians · Enjoy traditional music, dance performances and fashion shows In Bukhara, explore Labi Khaus Complex (“the complex around the pond”), Nadir Divan Begi Khanaka (old hotel for merchants) And Medreseh. The LH pond dates from the XVIIth century when it was the principal source of water (built on the land of a Jewish widow, who then was given the land to built the synagogue and the Jewish Quarter). Visit an ancient Chaykhana, the sculpture of Khodga Nasriddin in bronze made by local Jewish sculptor Yaakov Shapiro, Synagogue, Jewish Quarter, school and kindergarten. You will be greeted with the words “Shalom Aleyhim” “Peace be with you”), a tradition not found among European Jews, visit traditional houses of nineteenth Jews later converted into hotels, Lunch at the house of Fayzullo Khodjaev with national costume show. The sightseeing continues with trade domes (XVI c) of money changers, hat sellers, silk, carpets, puppets and jewelry, Magoki Attari site which was originally a Zoroastrian temple, Abdulazizkhan Madreseh with its sandali (old version of house heating), Poi-Kalon Ensemble with the greatest minaret of Central Asia. Lunch. Visit the Ark (winter residence of local rulers from the first century), Bolo Khaus Complex, Ismail Samoniy Mosque.

Your tour could be here
Your tour could be here
Your tour could be here
View All Tours

CITY GUIDES

You could be here
You could be here
You could be here
You could be here
View All Guides

READ MORE BLOGS AND EBOOKS

World Jewish Travel Official December 25, 2022

The Jewish Story of Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Bukhara is an ancient city in the central Asian country of Uzbekistan. It was a prominent stop on the Silk Road trade route between the East and the West, and a major medieval center for Islamic theology and culture. It still contains hundreds of well-preserved mosques, madrassas, bazaars and caravanserais, dating largely from the 9th to the 17th centuries.  Though the community has decreased significantly over the years, the city of Jewish Bukhara once had a thriving Jewish population. The Bukharan Jews 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, Iran, Yemen, Syria, and Morocco migrated into Central Asia (by way of the Silk Road). [caption id="attachment_42916" align="alignnone" width="1268"] Jewish children with their teacher in Samarkand[/caption] While some Bukharan Jews relate their own ancestry to the period of the Assyrian captivity and exiles from the tribes of Naphtali and Issachar, basing this assumption on a reading of "Habor" at II Kings 17:6 as a reference to Bukhara, Bukharan Jewish tradition generally associates their establishment in the country with the emigration of Persian Jews, fleeing the persecutions of King Peroz I (458–485 CE). Some scholars believe Jews settled in Central Asia in the sixth century, but it is certain that during the eighth to ninth centuries they lived in Central Asian cities such as Balkh, Khwarezm, and Merv. At that time, and until approximately the sixteenth century, Bukharan Jews formed a group continuous with Jews of Iran and Afghanistan. Today, Bukharan Jews represent a small fraction of the total Jewish population in the United States, but the Bukharan  community is growing rapidly, especially in Queens, New York. In the past 30 years, the community went from one synagogue to thirty. Out of the total 70,000 Bukharan Jews that are estimated to live in the U.S, approximately 50,000 Bukharian Jews live in Queens, New York.  History of Jewish Synagogue in Bukhara In the Old Quarter of Jewish Bukhara only two synagogues remained: the nearest and far synagogues. And once there were thirteen. In the 70s, Jews began to leave the Soviet Union, including the countries of Central Asia, and the synagogues were closed. And in Bukhara, the Jewish community has declined significantly: if in the past it consisted of 35,500 people, now there are just over 400 Jews. The rituals in the Bukhara synagogue are virtually indistinguishable from those conducted in Israel. Only bright suzane hanging on the walls tell about the fact that after all this is the synagogue of Bukhara. The construction of a synagogue in Bukhara is closely connected with the building of a place quite famous all over the world in the city - the architectural ensemble Lyabi House. As Bukhara scientists assert for the first time this story was mentioned in writing by Z.A. Amitin-Shapiro in 1921. The locals told him about this tradition, and it is this, and no other, that is considered the most faithful to this day. In the XVII century, one of the viziers of Imam Quli Khan built a large mosque in the center of the city, the Honako Nodir Divan Begi. Next to the mosque there was a small courtyard belonging to a Jewish widow. Nodir Divan Begi, having decided that instead of her house a large reservoir could well have been built, he turned to her with a request to sell her yard for any fee. But the widow did not succumb to the vizier's persuasion and refused his offer. Then Divan Begi turned for help to the Khan, being sure that he would resolve the dispute in his direction, because, as is known, Nodir Divan Begi was the uncle of the Khan. But Imam Quli Khan handed over the consideration of this question to the colleges of muftis who forbade taking the house from the hostess, since the Bukhara Jews paid a tax of "jizya" for the right to preserve their religion and had the same rights as Muslims. The vizier had to confine himself to a reservoir of small size. Then his friends told him to take a small canal (aryk) from the city channel “Shokhrud”, so that it would pass near the Jewish house. The ingenious plan worked. When the water began to wash away the foundation of the house, the woman turned to Nodir Divan Begi, to which he responded with the same conditions. The widow had no heirs and she did not need the money. She agreed to a deal with an official on her own terms, which provided for the issuance of a site for the construction of a Jewish synagogue in Bukhara. Nodir Divan Begi agreed with the woman and gave her his plot of land, which was located not far from her old house. Jews built a synagogue here, and the vizier expanded his reservoir to its present size. It is known that the woman, after the construction of the synagogue, lived on its upper floor, but unfortunately her story did not preserve her name. Today, the synagogue is also a monument of antiquity and is under state protection. This Bukhara synagogue keeps the Torah, which is 500 years old. The synagogue in Bukhara is visited by many tourists, visitors to the city, and high-ranking officials. Members of the community of Bukhara Jews piously honor the memory of their ancestors. In the place of honor in the synagogue there are photographs of 18 rabbis who in different years lived in Bukhara.  The Bukharian Cemetery The Bukhara-Jewish cemetery is located in the area of the "Old town". The graves are dated back to 1945. The approximate number of graves exceeds 10,000 people. The cemetery consists of several sectors. The state of graves and tombs is good. The relatives who still live in the country visit the graves on holidays and at the date of death. There are some famous people whose graves are located at the cemetery: Composer, People's artist of Uzbekistan Suleyman Yudokov (died in 1990) Honoured coach of Uzbekistan R.R. Davidov (died in 1963) Honoured artist of Uzbekistan, professor Yu. Ishokov People's artist of Uzbekistan M. Leviev (died in 1990) Doctor of philology sciences, professor N.M. Mallaev (died in 1996) People's artist of Uzbekistan E. Kalantarov (died in 1984) People's artist of Uzbekistan M. Yakubova (died in 1987

Read More

HOTELS IN Bukhara

Hotels

Amelia Boutique Hotel

Amelia Boutique Hotel combines casual and luxury living, which reflects both its prime position inside of UNESCO heritage site area, and in walking distance to major sights of the city. Behind its 19th century gate, guests will discover an unexpected interior where new is blended with old to create a sober, sensual and luxurious atmosphere. Many of the building's historic details, such as original wall painting and wood carved ceilings are being carefully retained to ensure that this hotel loses none of its historic charm. This hotel's wonderful location is sure to make it a dream destination where travelers can't fail to be inspired by the magnificent views of the historic Minaret Kalon. Fully air conditioned and constructed in national style "Amelia Boutique Hotel" was Jewish merchant’s house which was build in 19th century and located near the synagogue. The house has 10 double rooms with king size beds. Also there are additional beds for children. And all rooms are traditional Bukharian style with national trimming. Each piece in our hotel made by hand by well-known workers and painters from Uzbekistan. The house also has a traditional yard with beautifully carved tall columns and charming "aivan", where during summer evenings Uzbek, Tajik, Russian or vegetarian cooking is arranged. Our family-run, owned and managed hotel offers a combination of traditional Bukharian style and atmosphere, with modern conveniences and personal attentive care. The hotel can arrange activities and excursions to suit each guest, enabling them to enjoy the area and discover the wonders in every corner of the city. "Amelia Boutique Hotel" with its unique architecture and decoration aims to provide an excellent service in a homey environment.

Your hotel could be here
Your hotel could be here
View All Hotels

#JEWISHBUKHARA

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins
Error: Hashtag limit of 30 unique hashtags per week has been reached.
Error: Hashtag limit of 30 unique hashtags per week has been reached.