Re: Jewish Community of Baku #general

Roman Turovsky <r.turovsky@...>


There are two main groups of "Azeri" Jews in Azerbaijan. One group is
comprised of Caucasian Mountain Jews who have been in the area for many
centuries and speak a language called "Judeo-Tat" which is partly based on
northern Iranian. The other group is formed by Ashenazim who came to
Azerbaijan during the nineteenth century.
IN FACT MOST ASHK. JEWS settled there during WWII i.e. after 1941.

During the first years of the Soviet regime, the Tats had to change
their language to conform to the Latin alphabet instead of preserving the
Hebrew letters. A decade later, in 1938, they were made to use the
As modern TURKEY switched to Latin alph. Soviet auth. ordered CYrillization
as a tool to separate Azeris (who are turks ethnically) >from their brethren
across the border. AND the smaller nations by default, in keeping with
general russocentric policy.

Also, during the late 1930's many Tat Jewish cultural
institutions were shut down as well some synagogues.
IN FACT the TATS were not considered Jews by the Soviet authorities and
their assimilation is attributable to their previously MEDIEVAL lifestyle
(often of Corsican-Sardinian types of violence), and newfound possibilities.

Despite Soviet efforts to assimilate the Tats, they have managed to
preserve many of their old traditions, and there has been very little
There was INtermarriage and plenty of it. I personally knew several

Some Georgian and Bukharan Jews also live in Azerbaijan.

In Baku there are "ten or fifteen" Jewish organizations, including
Zionist and youth groups and an Azerbaijan-Israel Friendship Organization.,
and there are three Sysnagogues. The largest and oldest synagogue is for
"Mountain Jews," and it is The other two synagogues are used respectively
by the Ashkenazim and Georgians. The rabbis are locally educated.

in 1987 Hebrew courses were allowed to be offered in Baku and now
can be studied at two high schools and at the University.

There are five Jewish schools Baku and Quba and a Baku community

Despite the loosening up of restrictions against Jews, 27,650 Azeri
have emigrated to Israel since 1989.
There were few restrictions on Jews there as Azeris were not really
anti-semitic (they reserved their bile for Armenians). Jews lived very
comfortably in Azerb. as Moscow's long arm just wasn't long enough there.

MODERATOR NOTE: We are moving away >from genealogy here. Please continue
this discussion privately.

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