Ever since the “Bukharian Jewry Congress” was established eighteen years ago, the organization has been actively working to help Bukharian Jews throughout the world in all aspects of Jewish life, both spiritual and physical. The fruit of its labor are evident in the Bukharian Jewish communities that can be found throughout the USA, Israel, and Uzbekistan, as was envisioned by the initiator and founder of the Congress, Reb Levi Leviev.
The annual gathering of the Congress heads and rabbis was held in Jerusalem and ended in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, concluding two glorious days that were celebrated by the distinguished participants who came together. They were joined by the local Bukharian Jews, led by the rabbi of Uzbekistan and Chabad emissary Rabbi Baruch Abramtzayev.
Rabbi Berel Lazar arrived from Moscow at the head of a delegation, to take part in a series of exciting events, beginning with affixing a mezuzah at the Gravnova Synagogue in Downtown Tashkent, to dedicating the newly renovated mikva “Mei Olga” in the city center.
At a meeting with the Chief Mufti and government officials, relations with the Jewish community were discussed and special appreciation was expressed for the respect which is accorded to the Jewish communities, enabling them to continue their extensive activities throughout the country. Many blessed generations of Jews have lived here for hundreds and thousands of years, and now, after seventy years of Communism, it is slowly returning to its former glory.
The event’s highlight was the inauguration of the “Mei Olga” Mikva, dedicated in honor of Mrs. Olga Leviev, wife of the philanthropist Reb Levi Leviev. The mikva, built with great splendor and elegance, was funded in part by “Keren Mikvaos” headed by Rabbi Avraham Meir Shwartz from Williamsburg who came to participate personally along with a group of supporters, as well as the European Congress of Rabbis, “Keren Meromim” headed by R’ Yitzchak Miralashvili and other distinguished sponsors.
The dedication ceremony was opened by Rabbi Hillel Chaimov, Chairman of the Bukharian Rabbinical Congress. There were additional speeches by Chief Rabbi of Russia Rabbi Berel Lazar, Philanthropist Reb Levi Leviev, Rabbi A. M. Shwartz, Chief Bukharian Rabbi in the US and Canada Rabbi Baruch Babayev, and Rabbi of Uzbekistan Rabbi Baruch Abramtzayev.
The event ended with a festive meal with the Honorable Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, Mr. Abdulla Aripov, Minister Abdul Aziz Kamilov, twenty ambassadors from various countries, Executive Director of the Ohr Avner Fund Rabbi Dovid Mondshine, Chairman of the Bukharian Jewish Congress Rabbi Yehuda Bloy, as well as a distinguished delegation from Israel, the USA and Austria.