Uzbek Jews have two distinct communities; the more religious and traditional Bukharan Jewish community and the more progressive Ashkenazi community. There were 94,900 Jews in Uzbekistan in 1989,1 but fewer than 5,000 remained in 2007 (most of them in Tashkent).2 There are twelve synagogues in Uzbekistan.3citation needed
Most Uzbek Jews are now Ashkenazi due to the emigration of Bukharian Jews to Israel and the United States.4
Judaism in the Ferghana Valley
Semyon Abdurakhmanov is the head of the Ferghana Jewish community. There are six synagogues in the Valley. There are several hundred Jews in Fergana, Namangan, and Kokand, with about 800 total in the area. Abdurakhmanov has said that the biggest problem faced by the Jewish Uzbek community is the economy.
During the Andijan Massacre in May 2005, the Israeli Embassy in Tashkent asked Abdurakhmanov to make a lists of Jews "in case there will be a need to airlift people to Israel."3citation needed
The Jewish population of Uzbekistan (then known as the Uzbek SSR) nearly tripled between 1926 and 1970, then slowly declined between 1970 and 1989, followed by a much more rapid decline since 1989, when the collapse of Communism began to occur. Between 1989 and 2002, over ninety percent of Uzbekistan's Jewish population left Uzbekistan and moved to other countries, mostly to Israel.5
|Historical Uzbek Jewish population