GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Jewish community under threat...

There goes yet another Jewish community...
The Uzbek Justice Ministry has refused an accreditation request by the country's chief rabbi, Abe Dovid Gurevich. The ministry says Gurevich failed to provide proper documentation, while others say the move represents an attack on religious freedom.

The dwindling population of Jews in Central Asia represents one of the oldest religious communities in the region -- established more than 2,000 years ago, even before the predominant Muslim faith.

Though there are only thousands of Jews left in Central Asia, they still have a chief rabbi. But as of April 10, Gurevich has no official right to serve the Jewish community.

The Jewish community in Uzbekistan has seen several setbacks in the last decade. When Uzbekistan adopted a new law on religion in 1998, it abolished the rabbinate, the Jewish community's administrative office. Subsequent attempts to reopen the rabbinate have failed, leaving the Jewish community without theological schools to train rabbis.

In February 2006, Avraam Yagudaev -- a Jewish leader from Tashkent -- was killed in an automobile accident that some said was suspicious. A few months later, tragedy struck again when Gurevich's secretary and her mother were found strangled to death in Tashkent.

As for the Bukharan Jewish community, it numbered some 40,000 when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Today, it is about half that as thousands took the opportunity to move to Israel, the United States, or elsewhere.

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