Bukhara Synagogue

Bukhara Synagogue

Bukhara Synagogue
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4.0
71 reviews
Excellent
26
Very good
20
Average
23
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2
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Mamed Askerov
Tashkent, Uzbekistan588 contributions
Friends
This is one of the two synagogues in Bukhara. It's a well-maintained place with good caretakers. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the Jewish community of Uzbekistan had to leave the country mainly for economic reasons. However, those who stayed make sure the synagogue(s) and the cemetery are in good condition and being taken care of. Some of the Torahs they have are approximately 2,000 years old.

In 2000, Secretary Madeleine Albright visited this synagogue and, according to Rabbi Aaron Siyanov who she talked to, she promised to tell her Middle Eastern counterparts of peaceful co-existence of Muslims and Jews in one community as exemplified by the synagogue and a mosque located in one neighborhood.
Written October 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Andrew M
7,160 contributions
The Synagogue is located at 20 Saraffon Street. It is one of only two synagogues remaining in Bukhara. It is an easy five minute stroll south of Lyabi hauz. There are a few directional signs on the way. The ancient wooden white doors are on the right, and a blue and white sign is above the door. A gold plaque is on either side of the door stating that the 16th century building is under state protection. It is free to enter but donations are accepted. As you enter, the traditional gold candelabra and Star of David are seen. We were the only visitors, so took a few photos and departed.

Another synagogue is a 20 minute walk away on Nomozgokh Street, but will not be as easy to locate. In the 1920's over 10% of the Bukhara population were Jewish and 13 synagogues existed. Most of the Jews left when visa restrictions were made easier in the 1970's and many more left at the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990's. There are a few families remaining in the city and it is reported that the synagogue sometimes struggles to have a minyan (quorum). The first synagogue was built in the 17th century, and the Jewish community endured through the trying times of the Emirs and then Soviet rule.

We had visited the Jewish cemetery on Ibrokhim Muminov Street earlier in the day. This synagogue is a unique part of the history of Bukhara and a recommended sight to visit. Other nearby attractions include the Puppet museum, Nasreddin monument and Toqi Sarrofon Bazaar.
Written October 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

gregsf11
San Francisco, CA723 contributions
Solo
It seemed pretty quiet and empty when I stepped inside to take a look. I put a couple of bills into the donation box, then suddenly a door opens up, and I was greeted by the president of Bukhara's Jewish community himself.

He gave me a tour of the place including their prized ancient torah and photographs of all the dignitaries who've paid their respects (note the photo of Hillary Clinton), as well as a passionate history of the Synagogue and the Jewish community of Bukhara... mostly about how terrible things were under the Communism and how wonderful things are now.

But FWIW, much of his congregation has voted with their feet. By his own account, there were 23,000 Jews in Bukhara at the time of independence, in spite of the fact that Jews were able to emigrate in the 1970s and 80s. Now, only 500 remain. So something like 98% of his people have decided that things are more wonderful... somewhere else. He was a very nice man, sincere and passionate about his subject. But truth in this country has changed many times. For those who choose to stay, it is probably to your benefit to believe whatever the truth is today.
Written June 18, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Paula110
Oxford, UK203 contributions
Friends
The building itself is not that impressive but in my view, its what it represents that is important which is a mix of religions and its peoples co existing peacefully in Bukhara. Traditional style of Sephardi with copy of Torah behind a curtain which we were allowed to see. Jewish community here were originally merchants and settled in this part of town. Out guide had to translate the history of the Jews in Bukhara, as told to us by the rabbi. Very special place.
Written January 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

NKhalid7
East Kazakhstan Province, Kazakhstan150 contributions
Friends
The synagogue is located in old jewish street where less jews are left now. However jewish school is still there.As per the person who looks after the place, most of the jews left to Israel, Europe and USA. The synagogue is not big, however looks like many people visit it as a historical attraction. One old man looks after it. He said his name is uncle Yura. The place has main praying hall, front yard and praying room for everyday.
Written February 15, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rod F
Royal Wootton Bassett, UK2,057 contributions
Couples
Visited May 2015. This is not easy to find, but is well worth the search. We rang the bell and waited, and thinking it closed, were about to leave when an elderly man opened a door behind us. He banged on the synagogue door and shouted, and suddenly a small girl appeared. It turned out that the girl is the rabbi's grand-daughter, and the elderly man is the rabbi! They showed into a typical Uzbek courtyard house with hundreds of photos and articles on the walls relating to Bukhara's Jewish community, of which only some 50 families now remain. The synagogue itself is a very plain building divided into a main area for the men, a lower partition for girls, and an upper gallery for the women. The young girl also showed us a pamphlet on the history of Bukhara's Jews. A fascinating place, and our thanks to the rabbi and his grand-daughter.
Written September 16, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ksarman
Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar6,626 contributions
located in the heart of the jewish area, you need to knock a the door front of the entrance of the synagogue
the woman who is in charge is so kind
during the jewish holy days they organize pray time and exchange
Written December 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

c1defence
Houston, TX556 contributions
Close to the main centre of Bukhara at Lyab-i-Hauz it was a must see. Small synagogue and still in operation.
Written August 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BassAgro
London, UK53 contributions
Couples
A religious site, with history going back over a thousand years.
Welcoming to all visitors of all religions, for those interested in the historical make-up of this ancient city, this small synagogue is a must
Written April 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Eva J
Moscow, Russia2,698 contributions
Solo
Bukharan Jews are a unique group in Judaism, recognized throughout the world. I got lucky in meeting a very old rabbi, and seeing the inside of this synagogue as the congregation was celebrating a holiday.
Written February 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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