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A Jewish Journey to Uzbekistan

Lonnie-and-Zulya-for-blog Lonnie and Zulya

As a Jewish individual living in the vibrant, multicultural city of New York City, I never imagined the profound connection and warmth I would experience in a predominantly Muslim country like Uzbekistan. My wife, Zulya, and I first met in 2004 in New York, and our shared love for world exploration and heritage led us to embark on numerous journeys together to Uzbekistan and Central Asia. In 2005, shortly after our wedding, we set off to Uzbekistan to meet my wife's incredible whole family. This journey marked the beginning of a deep and enduring bond with a country rich in history, culture, hospitality, and acceptance.

Uzbekistan, where the majority of the population practices Islam, has a unique and harmonious coexistence of various religions, including a resilient Jewish community. From the moment I set foot in Uzbekistan, I was welcomed with open arms, not just by Zulya's family but by the broader community as well. My mother-in-law's endearing words, "You are my son," have always reminded me of the universal language of love and acceptance that transcends religious boundaries.

One of the most memorable experiences was celebrating Passover in Bukhara, home to an ancient and beautiful synagogue from the 16th century. Joining the rabbi and the congregation for the Passover Seder was a deeply moving experience. When I asked about getting matzoh for our family, the rabbi generously provided two boxes, ensuring that we could uphold our traditions. Despite being in a predominantly Muslim country, I observed Jewish customs with full respect from Zulya's community, who always made sure matzoh was available.

Over the past 20 years, our visits to Uzbekistan have allowed us to explore its incredible Jewish architecture and monuments. From the historic synagogues in Bukhara and Samarkand to the ancient cemeteries that tell stories of a rich Jewish heritage, each site resonates with history and resilience. The acceptance and love we have experienced in Uzbekistan are a testament to the country's remarkable spirit of tolerance and inclusivity.

I invite you to discover this beautiful destination with Zulya and Silk Road Treasure Tours. Uzbekistan offers a unique blend of cultural richness and historical depth, where every traveler can find a piece of their own heritage and feel at home. Visit Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva and Tashkent, enjoy hospitality, authentic cuisine, connect with people of different faiths and visit charming villages. It is a peaceful country. Whether you're exploring the bustling bazaars, marveling at the stunning architecture, or sharing in the diverse religious traditions, Uzbekistan promises an unforgettable journey. Here is the link to the Uzbekistan Jewish Heritage Tour.

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