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Jewish Tat, Mountain Jews in Azerbaijan

Jewish Tat, Mountain Jews

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Jewish Tat, Mountain Jews in Azerbaijan map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
15,000 Judeo-Tat Ethnic Religions 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Jewish Tat, Mountain Jews in Azerbaijan

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Introduction / History
Who are the Tat speaking peoples, and from where did they come? They believe themselves to be descended from Jews taken during the Assyrian captivity and displaced to the cities of the Medes, who spoke a dialect of Old Persian. The Tat language is based on Persian, just like Iran's Farsi language. Interestingly enough, the Tat language is spoken today by Muslim and even Christian peoples, as well as Jewish ones.

Formerly many Tat speaking Jews lived in the Caucasus Mountains of the former Soviet Union (FSU). Today most of these people, also known as mountain Jews, have left the FSU. Many are still scattered in southern Russia's mountainous Daghestan region and neighboring Azerbaijan. Yet one fourth of them live in Brooklyn, New York, and about half now live in Israel.

Because of their unique history and culture, Jews have a strong sense of identity. Although they have much in common with other Jews around the world, the Jews of Asia have a very distinctive lifestyle. Most of the Jews in this part of Asia are Ashkenazim, or descendants of the Jews who inhabited the Germanic region of Europe. One of their most distinguishing features is their use of the Yiddish language (a German dialect that has some Hebrew elements). Most of the Ashkenazim came into Central Asia from other parts of the Soviet Union before and during World War II.

Bukharan Jews are an indigenous group within Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. They are known as "Bukharan" because they settled primarily in Bukhara, Uzbekistan; but, they prefer to be known as "Israel" or "Yahudi." They claim descent from the ten tribes of Israel who were exiled to Persia in the fifth century. They speak Bokhara, a Jewish dialect of Tajik. Some Jews also live in India, mainly in Bombay and the surrounding areas. They are known as Bene Israel ("the Children of Israel"). They speak an Indo-Aryan language called Marathi.

What are their lives like?
The Jews of Ashkenazic descent have lifestyles that are very much like those of other Jews in the former Soviet Union. However, they were allowed greater freedoms than the Jews in other parts of the Soviet Union, and they clung to their Judaism tenaciously. While some of them work as peddlers, shoemakers, or barbers, many have become factory laborers or workers on "collective (community) farms." Recently, large numbers of Jews have left Uzbekistan due to economic hardship and fear of a nationalistic trend in the government.

In past centuries, the Bukharan Jews have experienced much discrimination from the predominant Muslim population. They were forced to live in isolated parts of the cities, called mahallas; to wear special signs on their clothing, which marked them as Jews; and to pay special taxes. Only in the last ten years have Bukharan Jews been able to give cultural expression openly without fear of persecution. Today, a number of Hebrew study groups have been organized and are growing stronger.

During Soviet rule, both Bukharan men and women worked in factories that produced butter, bricks, or textiles. Recently, they have returned to many of their traditional crafts, such as shoemaking, hairdressing, tailoring, and photography. The women are particularly known for their dancing at both Jewish and Muslim weddings. There are also a large number of well-educated Bukharan Jews working as engineers, doctors, teachers, and musicians.

Bukharan Jewish males were the heads of their patrilineal (descent traced through the males) extended families. Now, a pattern of separate nuclear families is becoming predominant. Bukharan Jews nearly always marry other Bukharan Jews. The parents of the groom send a matchmaker to the parents of the bride, and both dowry and bride-price must be settled prior to the engagement. Divorce is permitted among Bukharan Jews and a law exists to regulate the marriages of widows.

In Bombay, the Jews are employed in numerous professions. Some of them work in the service industry, or as clerks, mechanics, white-collar workers, and skilled laborers. A significant number are professionals such as doctors, teachers, and lawyers.

Most Bombay Jewish families are typical nuclear families. That is, they are composed of a man, a woman, and their dependents. In order to keep wealth and prestige within the family, the Bombay Jews have traditionally preferred marriage between cousins. Divorce is completely disapproved of and is very uncommon.

What are their beliefs?
The Ashkenazic Jews who live in cities have a weak religious lifestyle and some have intermarried with Muslims. However, the Bukharan and Bombay Jews adhere to all traditional Jewish beliefs. They follow the Law of Moses, observing strict dietary laws, circumcising all male children, and observing the Sabbath. They also celebrate Jewish festivals like Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and Passover.

What are their needs?
Many of the Ashkenazic Jews have intermarried with the Muslim community. Because they are open to others outside the Jewish community, perhaps they will be open to the Gospel. The Bukharan Jews of Uzbekistan are uncertain about the direction of their nation. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan is going through rapid and drastic changes. Anti-Semitism (persecution of Jews) is a possible result of the rise in nationalism. The Bombay Jews are strongly influenced by tradition, making them unreceptive to change. Also, since they are highly educated, their intellect may be a stumbling block to the acceptance of the Gospel.

Each of these Jewish communities needs to be introduced to Jesus, their Messiah. Intercession must be made for the Jews if they are to come to an understanding of the Gospel and a saving knowledge of Christ.

Prayer Points
* Pray that Christian materials will be translated accurately and distributed widely to Jewish Tat speakers.
* Pray for a spiritual hunger among the many Jewish Tats who view their "Jewishness" as an ethnic identity but with no religious belief.
* Pray that Jewish people will understand that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah.
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.
* Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.
* Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.

View Jewish Tat, Mountain Jews in all countries.

Prayer Links  
PrayerGuard.net
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-11-16
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-09-17
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Country: Azerbaijan
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Central
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Quba district: Baku and Krasnaya Sloboda village; Oguz district: Vartashen village.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
   
 
Maps
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
 
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Jewish Tat, Mountain Jews
People Name General: Jewish Tat, Mountain Jews
Alternate People Names:
BikCaucasian Mountain Jew
JewishJudeo-Tatic
JuhuriMountain Jews
Tat
ROP3 Code: 116827
Joshua Project People ID: 10839
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 15,000
Population all Countries: 88,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: Jews
People Cluster: Jews
People Name General: Jewish Tat, Mountain Jews
Ethnic Code: CMT35
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Judeo-Tat (15,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): jdt    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Religion Sub-division:Judaism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions80.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious20.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
 
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
   
 
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 2000
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
 
 
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Text / Printed MatterOnline Bible text (Scripture Earth)
 
 
Ministry Activity
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Networking: Visit LinkingGlobalVoices.org for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
 
Data Notes
Data Sources
 
 

Jewish Tat, Mountain Jews in Azerbaijan

Peoples
               
Geographic
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  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    Jews     Asia, Central    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
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      Jewish Tat, Mountain Jews Azerbaijan    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Jewish Tat, Mountain Jews in Azerbaijan          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Judeo-Tat  
    Global    
Language
 
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Religion
                             

Direct link:  http://legacy.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?peo3=10839&rog3=AJ