Jew, Bukharic-speaking in Israel

Jew, Bukharic-speaking
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People Name: Jew, Bukharic-speaking
Country: Israel
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 66,000
World Population: 139,800
Primary Language: Bukharic
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Jews
Affinity Bloc: Jews
Progress Level:

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.

Text Source:   Joshua Project