Inside the Bukharian Life–Jessica

In the Brooklyn borough, Park Slope holds a small hidden gem. “Roman’s Shoe Repair,” at 135 Windsor Place, is the space where a Bukharian Jew has prospered throughout the course of years. Yivudo came to the United States in 1992 from Uzbekistan. This location was known in his youth as part of the Soviet Union.  He comes from a working-class family who dedicated themselves to clothing making at factories.  His household spoke Persian-Bukharian but the rest of the surrounding communities mostly spoke Russian.  He remembers very few Jews where he lived, perhaps five families, since, it was in fact, a dense Muslim community.  However, he explains that they all lived in harmony and were like brothers.


Bukharian yarmulkes

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As a child his education commenced at daycare before age four, where unlike other Jews in other countries he attended boarding school. This meant staying to sleep in school from Sunday to Friday and only spending the Sabbath at home. His whole schooling was fully in the Russian language. One thing that distinguish him from the other children was his attire; he always wore his traditional Bukharian hat. He got married at the age of 18 with his 19-year-old Bukharian wife. He recalls that getting married young was a must in those times and until this day. The marriage age in the Bukharian community should be 16-19 and older is seen as hard to pair up especially if a female reaches age 20. Usually Bukharians marry within their community; rarely he recalls Ashkenazi and Bukharian unions.  He lived with his family during his marriage, since it is a tradition for Bukharians to live in the same land but different home.

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The rabbi visited Jewish homes once a week and brought kosher meat. The rabbi cut the meat clean in front of the family. He recalls that many of the Bukharian he knew worked in shoe making, jewelry and clothing making. When he came to the United States in 1992 he dedicated himself to shoe making. He repairs all sorts of material goods using antique equipment. He mentions that unlike back in his country where his wife would had only dedicated herself to child rearing here in the USA she prospers as a music teacher at an Ashkenazi school in Brooklyn.  He is proud that he has passed down his culture and traditions to his children. Beyond this believes that culture can be maintain by following Jewish holidays and laws. Furthermore, considers important to pass on the Bukharian language and giving the next generations specific names that will identify them as Bukharian Jews.  He is proud of being Bukharian and believes that all Jews and Gentiles have rights.




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