The only growing Jewish institution in Bukhara is the community’s walled-off cemetery.
Yakubov is one of the few young members of Bukhara’s Jewish community of 150.Her three siblings all live in Israel, where she and her husband, Arsen, plan to immigrate as soon as his elderly parents also agree to leave.Living on the Silk Road “has exposed Bukharian Jews to international skills, principles of trade, different cultures and perspectives that mean that, today, business runs in their blood,” Pozailov said.Zeev Levin, the head of the Hebrew University’s Central Asian Research Unit, takes such assertions with a grain of salt, citing the lack of scientific research on Bukharian Jews’ levels of income and their alleged immunity to assimilation.They serve one another the first of four cups of wine drunk during the Passover seder and present their wishes for one another.
The Queens Bukharian museum, located at the Leviev-funded yeshiva in Queens, includes traditional garb such as the jumah — a gold-threaded, colorful plaid kimono-like robe worn by men on major Jewish holidays.
Meanwhile, their children attend a Jewish school where only a few of some 200 students are Jews.
Both synagogues feature pictures from the 1997 visit to Bukhara of Hillary Clinton when she was first lady — part of an eclectic display of ornaments hanging on the their walls that include china vessels, portraits of community sages and, somewhat depressingly, an array of nonfunctioning clocks.
Thanks to donations from Leviev and others, the community in the United States has several newspapers, including the Russian-language Bukharian Times weekly.
The Queens community even has a museum — an amenity that the remnant community in Uzbekistan lacks.
“When I’m established and done paying back my family members who are already established in Israel and the States, I’ll lend money to a relative.