Bukharan Jewish Community
in metro new york
In the 1980s, the Bukharan Jewish people came to Queens en masse from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan to escape prejudice and religious restrictions. There are now an estimated 60,000 Bukharan Jewish people in Metro New York. Most of them live in the Queens neighborhoods of Rego Park, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens Hills, Fresh Meadows, and Jamaica Estates, an area dubbed Queensistan because of the preponderance of Central Asians. Bukharan-owned businesses and associations are concentrated on the “Bukharan Broadway” in Forest Hills along 108th Street between 63rd and 65th avenues.
The Bukharan Jewish community is close-knit and they value retaining their culture. For example, they show respect for their deceased by holding memorial celebrations annually for family members in restaurants or catering halls. They also celebrate weddings and bar mitzvahs together with 300-500 guests at each event.
With the realization of freedom to practice their religion since leaving central Asia, many Bukharan Jewish people have used the opportunity not only to embrace their distinct religious identity but also to gain knowledge of other Orthodox traditions. A Bukharan Jewish rabbi has explained that “about twenty percent of the community are Orthodox, sixty percent are traditional but not necessarily observant, and twenty percent are unaffiliated.”
Unreached people groups can also be viewed as "hidden" people groups (i.e., they are largely unnoticed and unaffected by the global Body of Christ). In the prayer gallery section below, as well as through the Google Earth prayerwalk tool, you can visualize these hidden people group communities. By doing so, we pray God gives you insight into how to pray through what you see. By scrolling through major points of interest in the prayer gallery section, pray for people you see, and pray that the peace and hope of Jesus will become known to people who frequent these places. Through the Google Earth prayerwalk tool linked at the bottom of the page, you can virtually prayerwalk through the community, praying "on site with insight." You could also take the route and points of interest from that tool and save them to your "Google Maps" to prayerwalk in person. Allow the following three steps to guide your prayers using these tools, and try prayerwalking with another person or small group! God hears the voice of His people, and He responds to our prayers!
Praise God for who He is. Thank Him for His blessings and salvation that is extended to all peoples. Praise and thank Him for appointing the time and boundaries of this people group's presence in North America so that they might seek Him and find Him (Acts 17:26). Pray Scriptures that come to mind about His glory being made known among all peoples and nations (e.g., Rev 7:9-10).
Luke 10:2 says “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." Pray for God's laborers to share Christ's love through hospitality to this people group. Pray for laborers among this community to establish loving relationships and proclaim the gospel. Pray for Christians to emerge from within this people group who will reach their friends and family members.
Most members of unreached people group communities remain unreached because they have failed to hear the gospel in ways they can understand. Others have heard the gospel but have many barriers to overcome before receiving the gospel. Pray that this community will understand the gospel. Pray for God to draw them to Jesus and remove the barriers that keep them from salvation in Christ.
Visit this page to learn general information about Sephardic Jewish communities in North America and their religious beliefs. Also, discover resources to help share Jesus with them in their language.
Prayerwalk through some of the main Bukharian restaurants, places of worship, and businesses in Queens using a tool we developed in Google Earth. You could also do a prayerwalk in person using the same points of interest.