On July 16, 2023, the oldest Bukharian Jewish public organization in America, the Bukharian Jewish Community Center had its election at the Center for Bukharian Jews in New York. Leon Rakhminovich Nektalov, who was previously elected twice, in 2019 and 2021, was re-elected as its president.
Two young leaders of the community were elected as the Center’s vice presidents: Hiski Mierov, a well-known businessman and public figure, the Center’s Person of 2022; and Dr. Albert Ilyaev.
Leon Nektalov sincerely thanked the members of the Board of Directors for organizing and holding the elections, and for the support and trust that he received from all members of the community.
«I also congratulate our young leaders on this victory,» he said, addressing the new vice-presidents of the Center of Bukharian Jews. «This success testifies not only to your increased authority in the community, but also to the role that young people play today in the life of Bukharian Jews in New York.»
Nektalov and two vice-presidents Mierov and Ilyaev were congratulated and blessed by President of the World Bukharian Jewish Congress Lev Leviev.
Leon Nektalov is also the Chairman of the Council of Presidents of the Centers of Bukharian Jews in New York, Vice-President of the World Congress of Bukharian Jews.
This year, the Bukharian Jewish Community Center will mark its 60th year. During the celebration of the 50th anniversary in 2013, special brochures were issued for this event, Lev Leviev came to the celebrations and spoke with pride about the importance of the Center in the history of Bukharian Jews in America and the world. It is no coincidence that he was one of the fundamental donors in the construction of a new building that bears the name of his parents.
The Center was founded the legendary leader of the Bukharian Jewish community in New York, a native of Samarkand, Ilyusha Issaharkhan (Issacharoff). It achieved impressive results, thanks to the solidarity of its members, who at first were united by a common trade, working in jewelry on Manhattan’s 47th Street. He was joined by a set of distinguished businessmen and philanthropists: Hanan Benjamini, Rakhmin Borukhov, and later David Aminov and Rakhmin Nektalov.
In the 1980s, Bukharian Jewish immigrants from the USSR, Israel and Austria arrived in the United States. Among them were working professionals and artisans — hairdressers, shoemakers, tailors, who were helped by the above-mentioned community leaders to succeed in the jewelry business. They quickly got on their feet and became the best diamond sellers in America, owners of large stores located on this unique street in the Capital of the World. Now their names have become well-known global brands, whose advertisements adorn the main streets of New York.
By the end of the 1980s, at the request of Ilyusha Dayan and Rakhmin Nektalov the Israeli Jewish Community Center was renamed the Bukharian Jewish Community Center in recognition of the immigrants whom the Center now represents.
In the past 60 years, its presidents were Ilyusha Issaharkhan (1963-1967), Yaakov Harel (1967-1977), Hanan Benjamini (1978-1981), Rakhmin Borukhov (1981-1983), Hanan Benjamini (1983-2000), David Aminov (2000-2004), Boris Kandov (2005-2010), Michael Aharonoff (2011-2012), Simkha Alishaev (2012-2019).
Leon Nektalov became the ninth president of the Center for Bukharian Jews in New York and has held this post for the past six years.
Translated by S. Kadinsky
Photo by Merik Rubinov and Iosif Khaimov