BUKHARA JEWS — Living History

Though a mere fraction of their numbers before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a small Jewish community in Bukhara Uzbekistan maintains a synogogue and observances of orthodox Jewish traditions.  Non-Jewish neighbors help preserve their history in both a reconstructed house of a wealthy Jewish merchant with a proto-museum within, and the Jewish cemetery on the edge of town.

Look closely at the top left picture. You may notice that Hillary Clinton preceded you when you visit the Bukhara Synogogue.

One of the more interesting Bukhara tour sites is a proto-museum about Bukhara's Jews in the lower levels of a restored home once owned by a wealthy Jewish merchant, and now with a hotel on the upper floors.

A film- which is screened alternately in Russian and English- explains the history of Bukhara's Jewish community.
An upper floor room has decorated ornate niches in its walls, that you also see in restored palaces and other homes of the wealthy..
One of the semi-restored rooms is used as a store to sell typical Uzbek costumes and crafts.
In the basement of the mansion you see remnants of the past life in the building-- doors, chests, wine bottles. You also see pillars that are helping to support the floors above.

A Jewish cemetery in historic Bukhara is being renovated and appears to be frequently visited by tour groups.  Currently you mostly see  recovered but unmarked headstones, reportedly identified by a map at the cemetery entrance.

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