From Samarkand to the Valley of the Sun: the history and culture of the Bukharan Jews


Daniel Stein Kokin
Stanley Mirvis
Harold and Jean Grossman Chair in Jewish Studies, Arizona State University

May 1 | 4-7 p.m. | in person
Beth El Phoenix | 1118 W. Glendale Ave., Phoenix
registration required

Masks are required for all in-person attendees. In-person seating capacity is limited, and registration for in-person attendance will be closed upon reaching capacity.

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A fascinating, if frequently overlooked, aspect of Phoenix-area Jewry is its substantial population of Bukharan Jews — the largest in North America after that of New York City’s Queens. Hailing from Central Asia (today’s Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan) — where they resided for over 1,500 years — Bukharan Jews form a distinct, tight-knit community with rich linguistic, musical and culinary traditions. Despite their presence in the desert, there has been little opportunity to learn about their history and culture, including the story of when and why so many of them came here. This event aims to rectify this situation, promoting awareness and analysis of the Bukharan Jewish experience among the Jewish community and general public. Through academic lectures; performance of traditional music and dance; and the opportunity to sample Bukharan food, this program will cast welcome light on a neglected aspect of the local Jewish scene. Valley of the Sun: Come meet the Bukharan Jews!

Organized by ASU Jewish Studies. Sponsored by the Harold and Jean Grossman Chair for Jewish Studies at Arizona State University in collaboration with The American Sephardi Federation