The Independence Trail is a walking route through the streets of Tel Aviv, connecting ten sites related to the history of the city and the establishment of the State of Israel. The length of the path is about a kilometer, and its circular route, along a section of Rothschild Boulevard and along a section of Ahad Ha'am Street, with short branches on Allenby Street and Nachalat Binyamin Street. The path is marked by a strip made of brass embedded in the sidewalks. The path was inaugurated as part of the celebrations of the 70th year of the State of Israel. The World City and Tourism Directorate (the municipal body in charge of the city's tourism strategy) under the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality initiated the construction of the trail.
Introduction to Jewish Tashkent Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan, known for its many museums and mix of modern and Soviet-era architecture. Located in the northeastern region of Uzbekistan, near the border with Kazakhstan, it’s the most populous city in Central Asia, with a population of 2,909,500. The name “Tashkent” comes from the Turkic tash and kent, literally translated as "Stone City" or "City of Stones". [caption id="attachment_46731" align="alignnone" width="960"] TV Tower in Tashkent, Uzbekistan | Attribution: Lukas Bischoff via Canva[/caption] In 1865, the city of Tashkent was conquered by the Russians, and the small community of Bukharan Jews living there at the time saw an improvement in their legal status. This led to a surge of Jews from neighboring Bukhara settling in Tashkent. Despite the Czarist rule prohibiting Jews from European Russia from settling in Tashkent, a small community of Russian Jews who belonged to categories that could settle outside the Pale of Settlement was formed during the latter half of the 19th century. Jewish Culture and History in Tashkent Early Jewish Life in Tashkent In 1897, there were 1,746 Jews in Tashkent, most of whom lived in the city. On the eve of World War I, there were about 3,000 Jews and the city maintained Jewish educational and cultural institutions where Hebrew was the primary language. In addition, a Tajiki-language Zionist newspaper, Raḥamim, was published. With the establishment of the Soviet regime, Jewish cultural and religious institutions were gradually liquidated and the Zionist newspaper was replaced by a communist paper called Bairaki Huriet ("The Flag of Freedom"). During the 1920s and 1930s, Tashkent became one of the centers where active members of the Zionist Organization and pioneering youth movements were exiled. Shortly after, during World War II, Tashkent became one of the most significant absorption centers for refugees from the German-occupied regions. As a result, a large Jewish settlement developed in the town after the war. Recent and Contemporary Jewish Life in Tashkent In 1959, 50,445 Jews remained in Tashkent, making up 5.5% of the total population. The majority of them were newly arrived Ashkenazi Jews, making the Bukharan Jews a minority in the community. There was one synagogue for Ashkenazim and two for Bukharans all located within the same compound. The synagogue buildings were all damaged in the 1966 earthquake and though the Bukharan Jews chose to repair their synagogues, the Ashkenazim moved to a new building. Life became harder for Jews living in Tashkent starting when organized matzo baking became prohibited in 1963. Around this time several Tashkent Jews applied for exit permits to Israel, and after the mass exodus of the 1990s, only a few thousand Jews remained in Tashkent. Though the Jewish community is now small, it has maintained active and welcomes Jews from around the world who come to visit their city. Iconic Attractions and Events in Tashkent The Jewish Quarter in Tashkent The Jewish Quarter of Tashkent is a special place full of history and culture. It is home to some of the oldest synagogues in Central Asia, many of which date back centuries. These places provide insight into the lives of Jewish people throughout Tashkent’s long history, from its origins as an ancient Silk Road city to its modern-day status as a thriving cultural center. The area also features several renowned attractions such as the Great Synagogue, or Choral Synagogue, which was built in 1866 and is one of the largest Jewish houses of worship in Central Asia today. Additionally, visitors can explore other historic sites including cemeteries and monuments dedicated to famous figures associated with the city who have made significant contributions in fields such as literature, art, science and politics. [caption id="attachment_46734" align="alignnone" width="1185"] Midieval Kukeldash Madrasah in Tashkent, Uzbekistan | Attribution: Monticello[/caption] Midieval Kukeldash Madrasah in Tashkent, Uzbekistan | Attribution: Monticello The Tero Synagogue The Tero Synagogue in Tashkent is one of two active Bukharian synagogues. Mr. Arkadiy Isakharov is the chairman of the synagogue who often leads tours of the building and can explain the brief history to guests who wish to learn about the Jewish community of Tashkent. The synagogue's arc contains numerous Torah Scrolls, several of which survived a fire and others that are more than 250 years old! This synagogue was formed because of the nearby Jewish cemetery, also known as the Textile Cemetery. In Tashkent there are two cemeteries that were used to bury Bukharian Jews: the Textile Cemetery and the Chigatai Cemetery. [caption id="attachment_46732" align="alignnone" width="1280"] Tero Synagogue in Tashkent, Uzbekistan | Attribution: ТЕРО Ташкентская Еврейская Религиозная Община европейских евреев via Facebook[/caption] The Textile Cemetery The European-Jewish cemetery, also known as the Textile Cemetery, is located in the central part of the City, next to the Textile Factory. The first graves here date back to 1944, but the number of people who choose to be buried here is decreasing each year. The total number of graves in this cemetery is 16,300, the majority of which (14,320) were placed between 1944 and 1965. The cemetery consists of 8 sectors: 6 sectors are Jewish and 2 sectors are Russian. Popular Folk Dance ensemble "Shalom, Tashkent" The folk dance ensemble “Shalom, Tashkent” is a popular dance group from the Jewish Quarter in Tashkent that has been performing for over 30 years. Founded by three brothers, the ensemble was created to celebrate and preserve traditional Uzbek-Jewish culture through song and dance. The performance features a colorful mix of music and movement inspired by both Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions, with costumes designed to evoke the rich history of Jewish life in Central Asia. In addition to their regular performances at local festivals and events, “Shalom, Tashkent” also offers special workshops for visitors interested in learning more about the city's unique cultural heritage. Iconic Personalities of Tashkent Barno itzhakova Barno Itzhakova was a famous singer born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, from a traditional Jewish family. She sang in various languages including Uzbek, Tajik, Bukhori, and Russian, reflecting the multicultural nature of Uzbekistan. She was known as the "Queen of Shashmaqam," a royal music developed to entertain the Emir of Bukhara and his court, in which Bukharan Jews played a prominent role. Itzhakova became a star of stage, radio, and television in Tajikistan, where she moved with her husband, who was also a singer. She won many government awards, including the Soviet Order of the Red Banner of Labor. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, she and her husband migrated to Israel due to the volatile nationalist atmosphere in Central Asia. She died in 2001, but the city of Petah Tikva in Israel decided to preserve her memory by naming a street after her in 2017. [caption id="attachment_46733" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Barno Itzhakova’s Grave in Jerusalem | Attribution: Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons[/caption] Ilyas Malayev Ilyas Malayev was a talented poet and musician who was considered a virtuoso in the tar, tambur, and violin. He mastered the traditions of Central Asian music known as Shashmaqam and became a national figure in Soviet Uzbekistan, particularly in Tashkent where he combined traditional Shashmaqam with his own songs, poetry, and comedy. However, anti-Semitism and Communist control of the arts limited his creative freedom, and he was unable to have his poetry published. Desperate to have his poetry published, he left Uzbekistan for the enclave of Bukharan Jews in Queens, New York, where he continued to perform, write, and lead ensembles. Despite being lionized by the local Bukharan community and praised by music scholars, he lived in relative poverty and anonymity, always wondering whether his move to New York was worth it. Summary of Tashkent's Jewish Story Tashkent is a city of great cultural and religious significance for the Jewish community. From its early beginnings as a significant center for Bukharian Jews to its modern-day attractions such as the Textile Cemetery and Tero Synagogue, it's clear that this Central Asian hub has played an integral role in shaping Jewish life throughout history. Whether you’re interested in learning more about ancient customs or experiencing contemporary culture firsthand, there are plenty of sites within this vibrant metropolis where visitors can explore the rich legacy of Judaism in Tashkent.
Introduction to Jewish Batumi Batumi, the capital of Adjara, Georgia is a city with an intriguing and vibrant Jewish history. Located on the eastern shore of the Black Sea, Batumi has been home to many Jewish families for centuries. From its earliest days as a major trading port in antiquity to its modern-day role as a center for tourism and culture, Batumi's rich Jewish heritage still remains evident throughout the city today. This article will explore Batumi’s historic Jewish quarter and important cultural sites related to Judaism, such as synagogues and cemeteries. We will also look at famous figures from this period who made their mark on the city’s history—from rabbis to writers—as well as contemporary Jews who have lived or died here in recent years. Finally, we will take a look at how Batumian Jews have contributed to local life through their food, music and arts over time. Join us now on our journey through Jewish Batumi! [caption id="attachment_46695" align="alignnone" width="960"] Batumi City | Attributions: Dmitry A. Mottl, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons[/caption] Jewish Culture and History in Batumi Early Jewish Life in Batumi Jews have been living in Batumi for centuries. The earliest known Jewish settlers arrived in the city as early as the 16th century, when it was a major trading port of the Ottoman Empire. These Jews were mainly traders and merchants who came to take advantage of its bustling economy. Life for these early Jewish inhabitants was difficult but also full of opportunity; they had access to education and religious freedom, yet faced discrimination from local authorities due to their religion. Despite this, many Jews prospered in Batumi during this period and made significant contributions to the city's culture and economy. Jews in Batumi were mainly traders and merchants who took advantage of the city's bustling economy. They also contributed to local life through their skilled crafts, such as goldsmithing and carpentry. In addition, they were involved in banking and moneylending, providing vital financial services to the community. Furthermore, Jewish culture had a strong influence on the city's art scene—from theater performances to music—and many Batumian Jews became famous writers, poets and musicians during this period. All these contributions helped make Batumi an important cultural center for centuries. Recent and Contemporary Jewish Life in Batumi Jews have a long and storied history in Georgia, with records of Jewish settlements dating back to the 6th century. The first known Jewish communities were established in Mtskheta and Tbilisi during this time. Over the centuries, more Jews migrated to Georgia from other parts of Europe and the Middle East, with many settling in Batumi by the 16th century. These early settlers mainly traded goods and provided financial services for their neighbors, as well as contributing to local culture through music, theater performances and literature. Today there is still a strong presence of Jews living in Batumi who are proud to be part of its vibrant cultural heritage. Today, Jews living in Batumi enjoy the same religious freedom and economic opportunities as other residents. The Jewish community is well-integrated into everyday life, with many of its members involved in business, politics and culture. In addition to celebrating traditional holidays like Passover and Hanukkah, there are also a number of organizations dedicated to preserving Jewish culture in the city such as the Batumi Jewish Heritage Center. This center works to promote awareness about local history through exhibitions, lectures and workshops on topics related to Judaism. Furthermore, it hosts various cultural events throughout the year which bring together people from different backgrounds for music performances, art shows and more. Iconic Attractions and Events in Batumi The Jewish Quarter in Batumi The Jewish Quarter of Batumi, Georgia is a charming and historically rich neighborhood that dates back to the 19th century. This neighborhood was once home to a thriving Jewish community that played a significant role in shaping the culture and economy of the city. The area's architecture is a beautiful blend of European and Oriental styles, which adds to the neighborhood's unique character. Visitors to the Jewish Quarter can explore its fascinating history, stroll along its narrow streets, and take in the stunning buildings that adorn the area. The synagogue located in the heart of the neighborhood is a must-see attraction and serves as a testament to the community's enduring heritage and culture. Batumi Synagogue Jewish people arrived in Batumi after the Russian-Turkish war in 1877-1878. In 1899, Emperor Nicholas II of Russia granted permission to the Jewish Diaspora to construct a stone synagogue in the city, which was named the "Ashkenazi" synagogue. The construction began in 1900 and was completed in 1904 under the supervision of architect Semion Vulkovich, who was inspired by the synagogues in Amsterdam and The Hague. The Batumi Synagogue served Ashkenazi Jews until 1923 when it was closed down by the Soviet Government and used for sports organizations. However, it was returned to the Jewish community in 1993, restored to its original function in 1998, and renovated the same year. In 2011, it was granted cultural heritage status. The synagogue is currently attended by about 70 Jews, and it is also visited by many tourist groups from Israel. Beit Chabad Batumi, which is located nearby, offers kosher Georgian and Israeli dishes and is particularly active during the summer influx of Israeli tourists. [caption id="attachment_46693" align="alignnone" width="2000"] New Jewish Synagogue in Batumi | Attribution: AEPJ[/caption] Jewish Graveyard in Batumi The Jewish Graveyard in Batumi is situated in the Beenze district, adjacent to the Georgian cemeteries. The graveyard is a significant historical and cultural site for the local Jewish community. It has been in use since the late 19th century when Jewish people settled in Batumi after the Russian-Turkish war. The graveyard is a reminder of the Jewish presence in the city and contains the graves of many prominent members of the community. Despite its historical and cultural significance, the graveyard has suffered from neglect over the years, and many of the graves have fallen into disrepair. However, efforts are being made to restore and preserve this important site for future generations. [caption id="attachment_46694" align="alignnone" width="2000"] Batumi Jewish Cemetery | Attribution: AEPJ[/caption] Popular Hanukkah Celebrations Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday that celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem by the Maccabees. During this time, Jews around the world light a menorah and exchange gifts to commemorate the miracle of Hanukkah. In Batumi, Hanukkah celebrations are marked with special events throughout the city such as parades, concerts and parties. The highlight of these festivities is the annual lighting ceremony that takes place on Beach Boulevard where people gather to sing traditional songs and watch as hundreds of candles come together to form a giant menorah. Other popular activities include visiting local synagogues for prayer services, playing dreidel games at home with family and friends, eating traditional foods like latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts), exchanging presents among loved ones, and more! Iconic Personality of Batumi Mr. Rafael Wilschanski Rafael Wilschanski was born in Radom, Poland in November 1924 but spent his formative years in Batumi. His parents came from the Lubavitch community in Ukraine, and due to their religion, they frequently moved to avoid arrest and Siberian exile. Rafael did not attend a Jewish school but instead went to an underground one in Kursk, Russia, where he remained for six years. During the German occupation of Russia, many Jews were arrested and killed, but Rafael managed to keep in contact with his family, who eventually reunited in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. They then moved to Poland, where Rafael learned about the extermination camps. The family escaped through Czechoslovakia to Vienna and then went to a displaced persons camp in Germany. Later, they moved to Paris, where Rafael lived for 25 years and assisted the Lubavitch office. He eventually got married and continued to practice his religion. Despite facing many challenges due to his Jewish faith, Rafael remained committed to his beliefs and worked tirelessly to preserve the memory and heritage of the Jewish community. Summary of Batumi's Jewish Story Batumi is an ancient city with a rich Jewish history and culture. From the early days of settlement to modern times, Jews have been an important part of Batumi's development and growth. Although it has experienced periods of decline, today there are many places where you can explore its unique Jewish heritage including synagogues, cemeteries, popular Hanukkah celebrations and iconic personalities like Rafael Wilschanski who proudly held on to his faith throughout turbulent times. Whether you’re looking for religious or cultural experiences in Batumi or simply want to take a walk back through time, this beautiful coastal town offers something special for everyone!
Jewish Heritage Tour of Kolkata includes visit to the most fascinating three synagogues viz. Magen David, Neveh Shalom and Beth-El. At the Beth-El Synagogue gallery there is an exhibition of the Kolkata Jewish Heritage giving the history of the Jewish Community of Kolkatta and the many events that glorified the community over the last Century. We shall arrange your visit to the Jewish Girl's School of Kolkata where you will meet with the Adminstrator of the School and the Jewish Community. You will be invited to the Nahoum's Bakery in the New Market of Kolkata where you will see a variety of Confectionery and can order a Challa Bread for the Shabbath. The last stop in the Jewish tour of the Kolkata is at the Cemetery where you will observe one of the most unique Geniza which is located at the Centre. While returning back via Park Street you will see some of the former homes of the Sassoons' or Elias or Meyer families who dominated the Jews of Kolkata.
The Hebrew word Mishpachah means family – we invite you to join ours. The day-long Mishpachah Festival will celebrate and explore Jewish genealogy, heritage, and immigration with JewishGen, the Museum’s genealogy arm, and other partners. Overlooking the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the stories of Jewish families and experiences around the world through time will converge in New York City at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. The festival will feature music, activities for kids and families, Jewish genealogy lectures, cooking demonstrations, Jewish heritage panels, and more.
Ambuja Neotia is one of the most prominent and respected corporate houses headquartered in Kolkata, with its forte in real estate and recent forays into hospitality, healthcare and education. The company, under the stewardship of Harshavardhan Neotia, has been responsible for landmark projects in and around Kolkata. Udayan, Kolkata’s first condo villa built on the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) model, made good living ‘affordable’ for the first time in the country and earned Harshavardhan Neotia the Padma Shri in 1999. Upohar~TheCondoville, one of the largest residential projects of Ambuja Neotia, brought together efficiency, comfort and luxury, transforming dreams into reality. With City Centre Salt Lake, the mall concept was revolutionized. Leisure destinations like The Fort Raichak and Ganga Kutir were created along the river Ganges. The Group also forayed into healthcare with the setting up of Bhagirathi Neotia Woman and Child Care Centre. Ecospace Business Park was developed to give the city smarter, greener workspaces for better work-life balance. The Conclave revolutionized the way business clubs were perceived; it’s the first of its kind to blend fine dining, decor and personalized service. With the vision of imparting education that transforms students into leaders for a global society, the Group embarked on a new journey with The Neotia University. The Group continues to launch strings of projects across Real Estate, Hospitality and Healthcare to add to the experiences and keep making a difference to the way people live.
Housed in a 1783 building with a colonial-era vibe, the memorabilia-filled iconic heritage hotel has been shaped by the hands and minds of generations of families whose memories and influences have contributed to the unique heritage. Since 1783, The Elgin Fairlawn has stood on the junction of Madge Lane and Sudder Street. This is the heart of the most cosmopolitan and vibrant part of the city. It is within two minutes walk from the famous New Market area, a 100 years old market. Heritage buildings like the Indian Museum, Victoria Memorial and the enthralling Park Street are just beyond. Park Street Metro Station is a few hundred meters away. The Hotel has received several awards that include Six National Awards from the Ministry of Tourism and the Green Hotelier Award. In an attempt to blend historic grandeur with contemporary class, The Elgin Fairlawn will undergo restoration for the next two years. Your stay will now be even more enhanced by upgraded guest rooms, lobby and the lounge area. Whether you are traveling for business or for leisure, we are excited to give our guests a better experience than ever before.
Nahoum & Sons is an Indian bakery shop situated in West Bengal. It is one of the oldest surviving shops in Kolkata owned by a Jewish family. The products of Nahoum & Sons at Christmas are a part of the culture of Kolkata. Various famous personalities of India have eaten this foods of this bakery. Nahoum Israel Mordecai was a Baghdadi Jew who was the founder of the shop. It was founded 26 years after the establishment of New Market in the city. The Hog Market could be seen from the front of the shop. He changed the location of the shop 14 years after the establishment of the bakery. His son Elias took the responsibility of the shop from second generation. After his death in 1964 his son David Nahoum from third generation of the family took up the responsibility to manage the shop. His brothers Norman and Solomon had the responsibility of store at various times. After death of David in 2013, his brother Issac took the responsibility.
Haji Syed Mohammad Kalim built a small eatery more than 40 years ago to provide lip-smacking Mughlai dishes at pocket-friendly prices. The place garnered immense popularity in no time because they delivered palatable delicacies consistently at a very reasonable range. Today the proprietors of India Restaurant, Syed Anwar Azeem, Syed Misbah Kalim, and Syed Shahmeer Kalim, took forward the legacy of their father to a different dimension. They have collected their father’s dream and changed it into a beautiful reality. The India restaurant currently provides a delightful and vibrant ambiance having a seating arrangement for 300 people. The restaurant now has added heterogeneity in its menu with Indian and Chinese cuisine. This place still holds its roots and swears by serving the best biryani in town. It is also exploring and experimenting with other flavours and cuisines to give new aspects to the place.
For over a decade Koshe Kosha (KK) has strived to bring back the authenticity of Bengal’s culinary heritage whilst bringing the cuisine to a more contemporary palate. As a unit of Proem Hospitality, KK was created with the single vision to promote the flavours that form this unique cuisine, to a wider audience. With multiple restaurants across India, the food at Koshe Kosha is known for its distinct “Bangaliana”*. Our signature dishes Kosha Mangsho, Chingri Malai Biryani and Bhekti Paturi have brought a smile to thousands of patrons. We are on a quest to bring this same smile and gastronomical experience to the world. Our original menu was limited to the age old “Kosha Mangsho and Basanti Polao” combination. The roots of this confluence originated from North Kolkata but its authenticity was on the verge of extinction. Therefore in the summer of 2007, KK was born with a small space in Hatibagan, Kolkata with the drive to bring this classic back. Over the years, we have added to the menu in order to represent the larger vision of taking this cuisine to new heights. KK has been able to add numerous restaurants in our portfolio and gained years of experience under our belt however, “Kosha Mangsho” will always remain our favourite and most popular dish! *”Bangaliana” – Although definitions can typically vary and be quite abstract, we regard this term as being associated with providing a true reflection of the traits that defines being a Bengali. A projection of the energy, sentiments, culture, thoughts & habits that originate from this historic region.
India is a vast country of dramatic contrasts, extraordinary cultural richness, and religious diversity. Any visitor to India can choose from a wide array of tours. What distinguishes ours is its "insider's perspective." I was born in Calcutta to a family with Baghdadi roots; I live in the United States today and speak widely about the Indian Jewish communities--always adding music wherever I go. My tour partner, Joshua Shapurkar, is a member of the Bene Israel community of Bombay and has been leading general and Jewish tours for twenty-five years. Together we have an intimate knowledge of the Indian Jewish communities and close relationships with its members. You, too, will be treated as part of our broader family. You will meet and interact with community members, enjoy local hospitality, experience India's magnificent cultural tapestry, and enjoy its rare Jewish treasures. We will attend Shabbat services together in Bombay and Calcutta. I will lead services in the Baghdadi-Indian tradition in the Maghen David Synagogue, where my father was rabbi, and share my memories with you as we walk together through streets and bazaars. Our accommodations are deluxe--and you won't have to worry about meals or transportation in India: almost everything is included. Please join us on this unforgettable adventure!