Exhibition Showcasing Bukharan Jews Opens At Jewish Center In Moscow

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MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 06th March, 2023) The exhibition “Bukharan Jews: at the Crossroads of Civilizations,” presenting the history and culture of the Central Asian ethno-religious group as a phenomenon of Jewish identity, has opened at Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center.

“The community of Bukharan Jews is an indicative and highly interesting example of how the identity of a sub-ethnic community is preserved, despite its resettlement from Central Asia around the world. The culture of Bukharan Jews is completely alive, active, it does not go into the past, honoring its unique historical content as a value, therefore it is especially important and necessary for a wide audience and young people to get to know it,” the Jewish Museum’s Director Alexander Boroda said.

The one-of-a-kind display, implemented together with the Museum of Jewish History in Russia (MIEVR), will feature about 200 exhibits, including samples of folk art and household items, handicrafts, ritual objects, amulets, as well as unique historical documents and photographs, the museums said in a statement. The core of the project will be various elements of the decor of traditional Jewish houses of the late 19th and early 20th century from Uzbekistan’s Samarkand and Bukhara. Visitors at the exhibition will also be able to see traditional Jewish garments from that era, pieces of weaving and gold jewelry.

“The exhibition “Bukharan Jews: At the Crossroads of Civilizations” is somewhat unusual for our museum. This time, we tried to recreate the oriental flavor and introduce you to history through artifacts, authentic household items and applied art.

The exhibition space resembles a narrow street and conveys the atmosphere of a hot eastern city. I am sure that our sunny and bright exposition will become a joyful and pleasant cultural event in Moscow,” Boroda said.

Most of the exhibits were donated by Jewish families during the museum’s expeditions to Central Asia. The Jewish museum says that the scale and scope of the exhibition are unprecedented, with many of the artifacts being put on public display for the first time ever. The exhibition will run through June 18, 2023.

Bukharan Jews are an ethnoreligious and ethnolinguistic Jewish subgroup that originated from Central Asia. They fully formed as an ethnic subgroup in the 18th century, living on the territory of such Central Asian Muslim states as the Emirate of Bukhara, and the Kokand and Khiva khanates. In the second half of the 19th century, the Russian Empire took control of these states.

Following the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917 and Soviet oppression against Judaism, thousands Bukharan Jews fled their historical homeland. Starting in the late 1980s, with eased migration restrictions in the Soviet Union, almost all remaining Bukharan Jews left Central Asia for the US, Israel and Europe. Currently, there are less than 2,000 Bukharan Jews in Central Asia. Hailing from Central Asia, the Bukharan Jews form a distinctive, tight-knit community with rich linguistic, musical and culinary traditions.

credit to urdupoint.com