Bukharian Synagogues

83

New Bukharian synagogues established as community settles in new locations Queens has been a good home to Bukharian Jews, a place where the community has been able to settle and create not just its own Bukharian synagogues but a range of essential institutions. In this, the community that emigrated from the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan starting in 1972 was much like the Ashkenazi and other Jewish immigrant communities that found new homes in various New York neighborhoods over the course of nearly a century. Over these three decades, Bukharian Jews in the United States have established Bukharian synagogues in a number of cities. Many are, of course, in New York. Congregation Tifereth Israel, founded in the early 1900s by Ashkenazi, became a Bukharian synagogue in the 1990s. The Bukharian community renovated an existing Forest Hills building into Beth Gavriel synagogue in the late 1980s. Others are located in:

  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Aventura, Florida
  • Miami Beach, Florida
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Fresh Meadows, New York

Almost half of the world’s Bukharian Jews live in North America. Israel is home to 150,000; North America to 60,000; and almost none remain in Tajikistan, where the government destroyed the Bukharian synagogue and many associated community buildings in 2006 to make way for a new Palace of Nation (government office building). It is a great blessing to be located in a country where it is possible to worship in peace and enjoy the way of life and traditions we value.