Central Asia’s largest Jewish center to open near Astana in Kazakhstan

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ASTANA (TCA) — The largest Jewish center in Central Asia will be opened in the town of Akkol located 100 kilometers from the Kazakh capital Astana, said Danil Vais, president of the Akkol Jewish community.  

The center’s objective is to preserve the ethnic and cultural values of Jews living in Central Asia, their language and traditions; assist in the preservation of Central Asia’s cultural-legacy sites; and organize infrastructure for cultural tourism to these sites with the support from Kazakh government bodies and Jewish and foreign organizations.   

According to Vais, the future opening of the new center is a proof that Jews feel comfortable in Kazakhstan and feel respect of their faith, which is largely due to the wise ethnic policy of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

On the eve of the Day of Gratitude marked in Kazakhstan on March 1, Israeli Ambassador to Kazakhstan Michael Brodsky thanked Kazakhstan for a warm welcome of the Jewish people during the Second World War.

“Tomorrow, on March 1, Kazakhstan will for the first time mark the Day of Gratitude. It is a wonderful occasion to express my gratitude to Kazakhstan for its traditionally warm welcome and cordiality towards the Jewish people,” the Israeli Embassy in Kazakhstan’s press release quoted the ambassador as saying. “Seventy five years ago, when the World War II began, hundreds of thousands of Jews were evacuated to Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries. In this land, they found refuge and salvation from the horrors of the Holocaust, but they also found a new home. Israel will always remember the generosity of Kazakhstan in that difficult time. The Jewish community of Kazakhstan and representatives of other nationalities feel comfortable and safe here.”

Sergey Kwan

TCA