Most Jews are concentrated in Bishkek (Frunze), the capital. The Jews of Kyrgyzstan represent a relatively new community-nearly all of them migrated to the country after the Russian Revolution or came as evacuees or deportees from European Russia during World War II.
The Menorah Society of Jewish Culture is the major focus of Jewish activity. There was no Jewish community to speak of before the collapse of Communism. Most of the Ashkenazi Jews of Kyrgyzstan are Jewish primarily in the ethnic sense. Consequently, religious activity is negligible. There is an Ashkenazi synagogue in Bishkek, and also several small Bukharan prayer houses there and in some of the towns of the Ferghana Valley. The capital also has a Jewish library and a Jewish dance and theater troupe. There is a Jewish day school in Bishkek, and also a Sunday school. Maccabi organizes sporting activities for youth. An Aish HaTorah learning center is in operation, and the Israeli Open University is very active.
Israel and Kyrgyzstan maintain full diplomatic relations. Israel is represented by its ambassador in Alma Ata, Kazakhstan. Aliya: Since 1989, 5,000 Kyrgyz Jews have emigrated to Israel.
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