World's first Mountain Jews Museum opens in Azerbaijan [PHOTO]

6 February 2020 15:46 (UTC+04:00)

By Laman Ismayilova

World's first Mountain Jews Museum has solemnly opened in Azerbaijan.

The museum is located in the building of the Karchog synagogue, closed during the Soviet years. The unique building was restored, regaining its original appearance.

The decision was followed by an initiative of businessmen and philanthropists God Nisanov and Zarakh Iliyev.

STMEGI International Charitable Foundation, which unites Mountain Jews from all over the world, was engaged in collecting exhibits for the museum. SetLine company was involved in the interior design of the museum.

The museum's collection was enriched with valuable exhibits: ritual utensils, manuscripts,  ancient household as well as books in Juhuri, a traditional language of the Mountain Jews.

In near future,  the museum will present the world's largest library in this language and a center for the study of the history, traditions and culture of the Mountain Jews.

For centuries, Azerbaijan has shown the possibility of peaceful coexistence among diverse ethnic and faith groups. 

The Azerbaijani and Jewish peoples have a long tradition of tolerance and interaction. The friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Israel are built on centuries of shared Jewish-Azerbaijani existence. 

Mountain Jews had settled in the Caucasus more than two thousand years ago.

Located 165 km northwest of Baku, Krasnaya Sloboda (Red village) is home to the country's largest community of Mountain Jews and one of the largest Jewish populations in the former Soviet Union.

This Jewish settlement in Guba has been inhabited by Jews since the 13th century. Here the Jews have lived together with the Azerbaijanis for many years in peace.

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Laman Ismayilova  is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova

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