Chabad: Jewish community mostly untouched by Kyrgyz fighting

“Usually when there is wide-scale violence, people start talking a lot about leaving, but once things calm back down the talk stops,” says rabbi.

June 23, 2010 00:53
1 minute read.
In this Monday, June 14, 2010, photo taken on the

kyrgyz uzbek border 311. (photo credit: AP)

The Jewish community of Kyrgyzstan is nervously following reports of ongoing ethnic violence near the country’s border with Uzbekistan, but a mass emigration to Israel is not expected, a community representative told The Jerusalem Post.

The head of the Chabad house in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, Rabbi Arye Raichman, said Tuesday that “there is some fear and worrying, but we don’t expect there to be a large-scale aliya. True, you can never know what will happen in the future, but at this moment we don’t expect a mass emigration.

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“Usually when there is wide-scale violence or upheaval, people start talking a lot about leaving, but once things calm back down the talk stops,” Raichman added.

Raichman said that for the most part there is no over-arching sense of fear and worrying because the violence between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz has been confined to areas far from the capital of Bishkek, where virtually all of the country’s estimated 1,200 Jews live.

Raichman said the country does not have a noticeable history of anti-Semitism.

On Monday, 12 Kyrgyz Jews were among 700 new immigrants brought to Israel by the Jewish Agency. The immigrants were all members of the same extended family in Bishkek.

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