Dushanbe Synagogue

Dushanbe Synagogue

Religious Building
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Dushanbe Synagogue

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The Dushanbe Synagogue, also known as the Bukharian Synagogue, located in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, was constructed in the 19th century in one of the two Jewish Quarters in Dushanbe at the time. It was part of the Jewish community compound, which also included ritual buildings and a school. In February 2006, the Government of Tajikistan began demolition of the Jewish community compound as part of an urban redevelopment plan designed to make way for a new presidential residence, the Palace of Nations, with adjoining landscaped areas. The demolition of the synagogue was delayed due to international protests and a series of court actions until the end of June 2008, when the old building was finally razed.

The former synagogue building

Built by the Bukharian Jews community more than a hundred years ago, in the late 19th century, the synagogue was seized by the Soviets in 1920 and nationalized in 1952. The Jewish community was again allowed access to the building in 1958, although the land remained in government hands (as all land was and still is state-owned in Tajikistan). The synagogue functioned after Tajikistan's independence in 1991 and throughout its civil war from 1992 to 1997. It was vandalized in 1995 in an incident which also included the ransacking of Jewish homes.

In May 2003, the Jewish community received an official letter ordering them to vacate the...
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