The majority of the Jews are Ashkenazim who arrived in the area during the Soviet period. Some 20% are Iranian Jews with deeper roots in Turkmenistan. The largest community is in Askhabad with 800 Jews. The other Jews are divided between Chardzhou and Mary. There are no synagogues or rabbis and no other communal life.
The Jewish community has no formal status. There are no functioning synagogues or rabbis, and there is no other communal life. The JAFI has been active in promoting Jewish identity and in assisting those Jews who wish to leave for Israel.
Israel and Turkmenistan have full diplomatic relations. Israel is represented by its ambassador in Moscow. Aliya: Since 1989, 1,050 Turkmeni Jews have emigrated to Israel.
For up to date information on Kosher restaurants and locations please see the Shamash Kosher Database