Bukharan Jews and the Dynamics of Global Judaism - download pdf or read online

By Alanna E. Cooper

ISBN-10: 0253006430

ISBN-13: 9780253006431

Part ethnography, half historical past, and half memoir, this quantity chronicles the complicated previous and dynamic current of an historic Mizrahi group. whereas in detail tied to the relevant Asian panorama, the Jews of Bukhara have additionally maintained deep connections to the broader Jewish global. because the neighborhood started to disperse after the autumn of the Soviet Union, Alanna E. Cooper traveled to Uzbekistan to record Jewish existence ahead of it disappeared. Drawing on ethnographic examine there in addition to between immigrants to the USA and Israel, Cooper tells an intimate and private tale approximately what it capability to be Bukharan Jewish. with her ancient study a couple of sequence of dramatic encounters among Bukharan Jews and Jews in different elements of the area, this vigorous narrative illuminates the tensions inherent in protecting Judaism as a unmarried worldwide faith over the process its lengthy and sundry diaspora history.

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23 Through this search, I discovered that a few academic scholars— including Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, Walter Fischel, and Michael Zand—had, in fact, written histories of Central Asia’s Jews. Through their works it became clear (or so I thought at the time) why I had been unable to find information about how their past intersected with that of the world’s other Jews. According to these three scholars, the social and religious ties between Central Asia’s Jewish communities and the rest of the Jewish world remained relatively strong for many centuries.

They instilled within me a strong appreciation for the freedom that I had to practice religion and identify proudly as a Jew, all the while maintaining my sense of belonging to America. In 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved and the Jewish world as I knew it underwent dramatic changes. The Jews of the USSR began to migrate en masse to the United States and Israel, and I was compelled to meet these people whose own experiences had so strongly shaped my under- 4 I n t roduc t ion standing of my own Jewish identity.

Relationship between Central Asia’s Jews and the Wider Jewish World Although the students I met while teaching in Queens brought their Jewish sense of identity with them, to me they seemed unfamiliar. They did not look like any Jews I had ever met; they spoke a language I had never heard; and the Jewish marriage and mourning customs that they told me about were different from any I had ever seen. I assumed that because we were all Jews, my students and I were historically connected, but wondered how, and began to search for information about the ways 22 I n t roduc t ion in which my Ashkenazi Jewish past intersected with theirs.

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Bukharan Jews and the Dynamics of Global Judaism by Alanna E. Cooper

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