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Region in central Asia, now part of Uzbekistan. Bokhara is the home of an ancient and colorful Jewish community, which believes itself descended from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Its ancestors are known to have come from Samarkand and other areas in Persia, where the Jews have lived since the destruction of the First Temple. The early records of Jewish life in this tiny country were destroyed during the invasion of the Huns in the 13th century. The Bokharan community is still Judeo-Persian in culture. It possesses a considerable literature in Tadjik, a Persian dialect which its members still speak. Until the conquest of Bokhara by Russia in the 19th century, the community was completely cut off from the rest of the Jewish world. In 1893, to escape persecution by the Tsar, a number of Bokharans settled in Jerusalem. The settlement has grown, but the bulk of Bokharan Jews

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