Bukharan Jews Bukharan Jews around 1890. Jewish communities in Bukhara and Samarkand were first described by travelers in the 12th and 13th century. With the establishment of the Bukharan khanate and the spread of Islam at the end of the 16th century, Jews were restricted to live in special quarters, forced to wear a badge and pay a special tax.
In the 18th century, many Jews were forcibly converted to Islam. Bukharan Jews speak a Tajiki-Jewish dialect. In the 1920s newspapers and books were published in the dialect. Because of the more restrained Soviet policies toward the Republic of Uzbekistan, Bukharan Jews could practice their religion and customs more freely than other Jewish groups in the Soviet Union. Today, no more than 12,000 Jews are left in the Republic.

Photo ca. 1890