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Residing in Central Asia for millennia, the Bukharian Jewish community is one of the oldest Jewish communities worldwide, dating back 2,500 years.
In the Central Asian cities, such as Bukhara and Samarqand, where they lived, Jews were renowned for their rich musical traditions.
“There is a religious repertoire, it’s obviously a music of worship - classical music seen as a serious repertoire that’s spiritual and uplifting,” Rapport said.“Forest Hills and these areas are diverse even within the Jewish communities,” said Rapport, who resides in Jackson Heights.“Many don’t know about their Bukharian neighbors, that’s partially why I’m giving this talk.”Rapport will also perform a few short selections on the tanbur, a common long-necked lute instrument used in Bukharian classical music.Half of the Bukharians, hailing from countries like Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan, came here and the other half settled in Israel.Many are also scattered about different cities such as Denver, Atlanta and even Germany.
The Bukharians had to face not only immigration pressures but pressures within their own Jewish enclaves given the various types of Jews who also settled in New York at the time.“A big part of the story here is how does music of new America and music of immigrants become American music?