A taste of Bukharan Jewish cuisine in the streets of Queens.
As the sun set over Bukhara, Uzbekistan on a recent Friday evening, I joined the local community in welcoming the Sabbath. This was my first time back to the historic spot on the Silk Road since I first visited in the 1990s.
I don’t remember the name of the man who sold the dictionary to me. He was one of the many people I met in the 1990s who was getting rid of his belongings in advance of his migration from Bukhara.
Part ethnography, part history, and part memoir, this volume chronicles the complex past and dynamic present of an ancient Mizrahi community. While intimately tied to the Central Asian landscape, the Jews of Bukhara have also maintained deep connections to the wider Jewish world. As the community began to disperse after the fall of the Soviet Union, Alanna E. Cooper traveled to Uzbekistan to document Jewish life before it disappeared.
When the Soviet Union dissolved, Jews made their emigration plans, bundled up their household items, and brought them to market.