Purim Celebrated in Bishkek

by Laurence on 3/26/2005 · 2 comments

FJC News reports this seasonal human interest story:

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan – Protestors stormed the presidential compound in Kyrgyzstan on Thursday, apparently seizing control of the symbol of power after clashing with riot police in the capital. Rabbi Arye Raichman, the Chief Rabbi of Kyrgyzstan and Chabad Lubavitch emissary to the republic, said that despite the unrest, Purim celebrations will take place in Bishkek tonight.
As evening set in Bishkek Thursday, the Synagogue began to fill up with persons wishing to hear the customary ‘Megilat Esther’ readings and to participate in a festive Purim celebration.

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Curzon March 26, 2005 at 10:50 am

Rabbi? How many Jews are in Kyrgystan?

upyernoz March 26, 2005 at 12:31 pm

historically, there was a small kyrgyz jewish community (some history is here). i’m not sure how many are still around.

it should be noted, however, that the chabad lubavich movement is dedicated to finding and “saving” lost jews around the world (my mother sent them after me when i first started to stray in high school). it’s essentially a foreign organization and the closest thing jews have to missionaries. rabbi raichman may not be from kyrgyzstan originally.

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