Monday, March 20, 2006

Tajikistan’s Shul - saved

FJC: DUSHANBE, Tajikistan – A wondrous event has happened for Jews of Dushanbe. The Government of Tajikistan has decided to allow the historical Synagogue in Dushanbe to remain on the site where it has stood for the past 100 years.Over the past few years, the international Jewish community has been alarmed by the tragic fate of the Dushanbe Synagogue, the only Synagogue in Tajikistan, which was slated for construction to make room for newer developments planned by the municipal government. In this regard, Chief Rabbi of Uzbekistan David Gurevich has paid several visits to Dushanbe in order to meet with foreign ambassadors, state officials and the city’s Mayor, Mahmadsaid Ubaidulayev.Lev Leviev, the President of the Ohr Avner Foundation and of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS, forwarded letters to Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmonov, in which he expressed concern regarding the fate of the century-old Synagogue. In these messages, Mr. Leviev also expressed his certainty that the Government of Tajikistan, which has always been friendly towards the Jewish Diaspora, will allow this building, which is sacred to Jews of Dushanbe, to remain in its place.This week’s development has shown that the efforts of the local Jewish community, as well as those taken by Jews throughout the world, have finally been successful.“We are very happy that the government has decided to keep the Synagogue on its historical site,” expressed Rabbi Gurevich, who plans to appeal to world Jewry at the Sixth Bukharian Jewish Congress, which is to take place in the near future, regarding the required financial support to support the reconstruction of the Dushanbe Synagogue.Rabbi Gurevich has assured local authorities that, in the case that the Synagogue is able to remain on its historical site, he will find the means to fit the building into the appearance of the ‘Palace of Nations’, which is being built in the city center.
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