Bukharan Jewish in Israel

Main Language
Largest Religion
Ethnic Religions (Judaism)
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Bukharic refers to a Judeo Tajik dialect of Tajik-Persian. The Bukharic language is disappearing as young people prefer to speak Hebrew in Israel or English in the USA.

Bukharic Jews now living in Israel are descendants of Jews from Central Asia, mainly Uzbekistan. After the fall of the Soviet Union, most of them fled Uzbekistan, fearing a revival of Islamic fundamentalism in Uzbekistan and the surrounding former Soviet republics. Most of these Jews immigrated to Israel, but many others went to the USA. A small number are still in Uzbekistan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Bukharic Jews are part of Israeli society. Young people serve in the Israel Defense Forces. Bukharic Jews often choose to live in neighborhoods with each other in Israeli cities. In those areas, Bukharic Jews have their restaurants and cultural centers. Some of the Bukharic Jews are prominent in the international jewelry trade. Others work in the professions and own and restaurants and businesses. On holidays, Bukharic Jews dress in their traditional colorful clothing.

Bukharic Jews encourage their children to get university degrees and learn multiple languages. Monogamy or marriage to one partner is the norm. The old tradition of parents choosing the spouse of their children has given way to young people picking their spouse.

As powerful as the Israel Defense Forces are, Jews live under the constant threat of rocket and terrorist attacks.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Judaism is the ancient monotheistic faith based on God's revelation to Moses in the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament. The Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, includes the works of the Prophets and the Writings. Christians called these inspired books the Old Testament. Most of the Bukharic Jews in Israel do not practice the religious requirements of Judaism. They are cultural and ethnic Jews rather than observant ones. Most Bukharic Jews celebrate the Jewish holidays as being part of their heritage. The major holidays of Judaism are Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the New Jewish Year, the Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles. Religious Jews attend synagogue on Saturdays and practice the Sabbath rest.

What Are Their Needs?

Bukharic Jews need to see that Jesus is their Messiah. Their following of Jewish traditions will not forgive their sins or bring them into a personal love relationship with God. The number of Messianic Jews in Israel is growing. These Jews can share the good news about Jesus with their Bukharic neighbors.

Prayer Points

Pray that Christian materials and programs in the Bukharic language would become available.

Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to the mission agencies that are focusing on the Bukharic Jews. Pray that the Jewish people will understand that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah.

Ask the Lord to soften the hearts of the Jewish leaders towards Christians so that they might hear and receive the message of salvation. Pray that God will grant Jewish believers favor as they share their faith in Christ with their people.

Pray that strong local churches will be raised up among the Bukharic speaking Jews in Israel.

Scripture Prayers for the Jewish, Bukharan in Israel.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Jewish, Bukharan
People Name in Country Jewish, Bukharan
Natural Name Bukharan Jewish
Pronunciation boo-HAR-ik joo
Alternate Names
Population this Country 69,000
Population all Countries 142,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 12348
ROP3 Code 104244
ROP25 Code 303368
ROP25 Name Jewish
Country Israel
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Israel
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked

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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions (Judaism)
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
95.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
5.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Bukharic (69,000 speakers)
Language Code bhh   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Bukharic (69,000 speakers)
Language Code bhh   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Bukharic

Primary Language:  Bukharic

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2021)
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Bukharic Jesus Film Project
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  Rini Kools - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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