Alternate names: Dushanbe and Душанбе [Tajik], Dyushambe and Душанбеand Дюшамбе [Rus, until 1929], Stalinabad [Rus, 1929-61]/ 38°34' N, 68°46' E, Capital of Tajikistan.
Dushanbe means "Monday" in Tajik because he city grew on the site of a village that originally was a popular Monday marketplace. 2012 population was 747,500.
Most Tajik Jews live in this capital. Thousands of Jews left due to violence sparked by civil war between rival Muslim factions. "Most Jewish activity occurs in Dushanbe with a synagogue, schools, and community centers. The rabbi of Tashkent is involved in overseeing the religious needs of this small community. The future in Tajikistan is uncertain, especially for the many elderly and sick people who cannot emigrate. The Jewish Community of Tajikistan is a full member of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the C.I.S." Source (this information no longer posted): http://www.fjc.ru [January 2004]
Synagogue [January 2010]
Jewish Community of Dushanbe
Nazima Khikmata str. 26
Dushanbe, Tajikistan 7340001
Tel.: (992 372) 21-76-58, 21-20-26, 21-31-64
Home Stand: Tajikistan was home to thousands of Bukharan Jews, and conditions seemed right for it to stay that way. But the legacy of Soviet persecution and recent Central Asian ties to Iran have made Jewish life more difficult to maintain. [Apr 2014]
- "Dushanbe's Jewish cemetery, which occupies several steep hills on the plot of a larger ecumenical burial ground, speaks to a rich history, standing in melancholy contrast to today's dwindling Jewish presence. A thousand headstones, many of them featuring Soviet-style etchings of the deceased's visage, dot the landscape. They showcase an erstwhile community of lawyers, doctors, and performers, many of whom, according to my Tajik guide, were once well-known figures throughout the country. The Jewish section is noticeably better maintained than the Muslim and Christian areas of the cemetery, where vegetation crawls over dislodged headstones. The close tending is attributable, I am told, to the full-time caretaker whose salary is paid by Jewish aid organizations and Tajik émigrés. He says that "a lot of visitors" from the Unites States and Israel, relatives of the buried and Jewish delegations, come to the cemetery." Source: Home Stand: [Apr 2014]
- video [Apr 2014]