On April 9-10, a delegation of the Congress of Bukharian Jews of the USA and Canada, represented by social activists from representatives of the Bukharan-Jewish intelligentsia, entrepreneurs, politicians, creative figures who make huge contributions to the movement forward of the most important organization of the community, arrived in the American capital to meet with senior US politicians and leaders. Reasons for this visit was enough.
Firstly, the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Congress of Bukharian Jews of the USA and Canada led by Boris Kandov. Over the years, congressional leaders have created a huge an arsenal of joint projects, meetings, cultural, humanitarian, charitable and diplomatic spheres with various figures and politicians of the world. Geography of the activities of the Congress of Bukharan Jews over the years have spread not only to the USA and Canada, but also such countries as Israel, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova.
Over the past 25 years, Bukharian Jewish community centers have also appeared in other parts of the country: in the northern and southern states of the USA, on the west and east coasts, as well as in various provinces of Canada, beyond the limits of Ontario’s borders. Active community members find their success not only in the sphere commerce and business, but also in New York State politics, beginning their electoral career in American politics.
Networking and connections of the Congress of Bukharian Jews is in no way inferior to the networking of huge analytical and consulting centers in Washington. In such an important historical moment, holding meetings with representatives of the American political establishment, with whom active ties and mutual consultations have developed over the years, was, of course, historically dictated.

This is not the first time that the delegation of the Congress of Bukharian Jews of the USA and Canada has visited the country. Over the years of visits, strong business relationships have been established with the White House administration, with congressmen and senators on Capitol Hill, and with representatives of the State Department. Active connections with representatives of American political establishment for the Congress of Bukharian Jews of the USA and Canada is always «bipartisan in nature,» that is, regardless of the change of party representatives in the Administration, the words and requests, proposals of figures of the Bukharian Jewish community always resonates with American politicians.
Secondly, the inhumane terrorist attack by Hamas against Israel on October 7th certainly challenges every Jewish community to be more active in protecting the interests of its fellow Jews, for this attack affected all Jewish communities and continues to affect everyone in both the US and Israel. The fate of the kidnapped hostages in the hands of Hamas terrorists —children, women, elderly civilians — should not be lost in the bureaucratic red tape of American leaders. In such a situation, the Bukharian Jewish community continues to demand the release of Israeli and American hostages from the hands of Hamas terrorists.
Arriving in Washington on the first day, the delegation of the Congress of Bukharian Jews, without wasting any time, began a meeting with representatives of the Israeli diplomatic department in Washington.
Emissary of the Jewish Agency Gadeer Kamal-Mreeh, with whom we held a briefing and discussion on current topics, but also became closely acquainted with her interesting biography. She is the first Druze woman elected to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, and the first Druze host of a Hebrew news show. The meeting with her continued in the restaurant, where Chief Rabbi of Bukharian Jews in the USA and Canada, Baruch Babaev, blessed the meetings in Washington and the event of the Congress of Bukharian Jews in the USA and Canada.
The morning of April 10 began with representatives of the presidential administration in the White House. Melissa Rogers, Biden Administration Executive Director for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Aaron Keyak, Deputy Special Envoy to Combat Antisemitism, Jessica Huber, Director, Human Rights Division, National Security Council White House, briefed on the activities of their office to protect American Jews and Israeli citizens from antisemitic attacks. They responded to the concerns of the Bukharan Jewish community in the United States, and also assured that the active struggle for the safety of American Jews will not stop. Meetings of this kind are the most convenient chance to convey messages and appeal to the community of Bukharian Jews in the United States on topics that concern all members of the community. These are not only political and cultural projects, but also issues of personal safety of the community in the state or city of New York.

Boris Kandov noted that this is an important meeting for the community of Bukharian Jews, since we live in this country, and the problem that our children began to face in schools and universities, at work, on the streets of New York, where a huge Jewish community lives — is of paramount importance. And therefore, we, as US citizens, needed to talk about this with representatives of the White House and the administration of President Biden.
«The meeting was held in a closed format. Important issues related to the manifestation of antisemitism in the United States, and in New York in particular, were discussed,» Rafael Nektalov shared. «Issues of manifestations of antisemitism in other countries were usually discussed, but after the tragic events of October 7, 2023, this problem suddenly became very urgent, because it combined antisemitism and anti-Israelism into one. Moreover, this wave swept across the country. Shalom Rakhminov, a community activist in Forest Hills, asked White House officials: ‘Why are the actions of antisemites in the United States not constantly combated by the US State Department and have the influence of governors to eradicate this shameful phenomenon?’»
The White House administration told him that constant monitoring is being carried out and appropriate decisions are being made at different levels of government.
The issue was also raised about the catastrophic situation at the private (not public) Mouth Carmel cemetery in Queens, where Bukharian Jews do not have the opportunity to be buried in accordance with the laws of Halakha.
This was discussed by Rafael Nektalov, David Aronov, who serves as Special Advisor to the UJA and as assistant to the President of the Congress of Bukharian Jews of the USA and Canada, and Roman Kaykov, who spoke about how the monuments of his father Grigory Kaykov and his grandfather Mikhail Kaykov were damaged.
«Yes, this may not be a manifestation of antisemitism, but in our community, it is perceived as neglect on the part of non-Jewish owners of the cemetery towards their Jewish clients,» said Roman Kakyov. We have now turned to deputies Alec Brook-Krasny and Michael Novakhov with a request to provide support at the legislative level so that we can bury Bukharan Jews as required by Halacha, Jewish religious legislation.
The spirit of the meeting on Capitol Hill with representatives of the US Congress and Senate can be safely described as the spirit of bipartisan consensus. This was particularly notable against the backdrop of deep society divisions reverberating through the corridors of Congress. However, Seth Moulton (D-MA), Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY), Don Bacon (R-NE), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Grace Meng (D-NY), Burgess Owens (R-UT), and Brad Schneider (D-IL) showed up, representing a unified front from both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Members of both houses of US Congress organized a meeting in the historic Kennedy Hall. In their speeches and speeches, some like Grace Meng representing and advocating for the Bukharian Jewish community in Queens, they noted helping and advising their constituents to combat antisemitism.
Moreover, despite the pressure they receive from various groups and media, their support and protection of the US Jewish community and the security of the State of Israel remains a constant item on their political agenda.
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who represents the state of Florida in Congress, noted that for her, as a member of a traditional Jewish family, the protection and prosperity of the Jewish community remains an important point of her political activity. Members of both chambers noted the merits of the Congress of Bukharian Jews of USA and Canada, with the figures of which they established many years of joint acquaintances, business and partnership meetings and projects.
At the award ceremony for the Congress of Bukharian Jews, the activities and contributions of the President of the World Congress of Bukharian Jews Lev Leviev, the President of the Congress of Bukharian Jews of the USA and Canada Boris Kandov, the President of the Center of Bukharian Jews Leon Nektalov, the Chief Rabbi of the Bukharian Jews of the USA and Canada Baruch Babaev, coordinator were especially noted World Congress Rav Zalman Zavulunov, President of the Jewish Institute of Queens Chagit Leviev-Sofiev and her husband Greg Sofiev, Yan Moshe, Boris Aronov, Rafael Nektalov, Joseph (Yossi) Khaimov, Gavriel Mordukhaev, Anatoly Iskhakov (Atlanta), Oleg Ustayev (Philadelphia), Abo Ilyaev, Rachirah Harris, and Roman Kaykov of Kaykov Media.
Particular joy was added by the arrival of representatives of diplomatic departments on such an anniversary date: Deputy Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the USA Gulyam Pirimkulov, Advisor to the Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the USA Vugar Gurbanov and Second Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the USA Raun Akim.
They expressed their support for the activities of the United States and Canada CBE and emphasized the importance of developing public diplomacy with their countries.
The meeting program at the State Department included American foreign policy officials. John Pommersheim, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and former US Ambassador to Tajikistan; Brianna Hawk, Chief of the Uzbekistan Office at the State Department; and Jennifer Miller, Senior Advisor for Domestic Partnerships at the State Department.
Practical aspects of the activities of the public diplomacy of the Congress were discussed with Deputy Secretary of State John Mark Pommersheim. On behalf of the community, Boris Kandov expressed gratitude to the governments of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan for the preservation and improvement of cemeteries of Bukharian Jews in their countries, for the active development of public diplomacy.
Boris Kandov especially noted to representatives of the State Department that countries such as Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan, despite the predominance of Muslims in society, their leadership does not succumb to emotional blackmail from the sponsors of international terrorism and antisemitism. Synagogues, Jewish cultural centers and business facilities are under close control by law enforcement and society in these countries. To some extent, the policies of these countries are an example for the United States and some states of America, where sometimes the voices of antisemites and rationalizers of terrorists are not only muffled, but also encouraged by some politicians at various levels.
The head of the Bukharian Jewish Community Center of New York, Leon Nektalov, called for support from the State Department in promoting the idea of including the Bukharian Jewish mahalla and cemeteries in the UNESCO cultural heritage list to preserve and enhance historical heritage.
Bukharian Times Editor-in-Chief Rafael Nektalov paid attention to the difficulties of obtaining American visas for artists and creative figures, maqomists from Uzbekistan to participate in festivals, concerts and conferences of maqomists, as well as practical and legal assistance from the US State Department with access to ancient Bukharian Jewish cemeteries in Turkmenistan.
President of the Tajikistan Charitable Foundation Michael Zavulunov spoke about the activities of his foundation in preserving the Jewish cemetery in Tajikistan and supporting some programs to support low-income Jewish families in Dushanbe.
Boris Kandov presented to Mr. John Mark Pommersheim the book «Public Diplomacy: Uzbekistan – Bukharian Jews – USA,» by the famous Uzbek publicist Mavlon Shukurzoda, which became documentary evidence of those initiatives that were brought to life thanks to the active cooperation of the Congress of Bukharan Jews and Canada with the Uzbekistan Friendship Society – America,» consuls and ambassadors of Uzbekistan to the USA.
During the meeting, senators and congressmen, officials in the White House, and representatives of the State Department assured public figures of the Congress of Bukharian Jews that support for the State of Israel in its just fight against international terrorism in the form of Hamas, as well as against aggression from Iran, will continue to end. The struggle for the release of hostages in the hands of terrorists will continue actively.
In turn, practical ideas were proposed to limit individuals who support and spread antisemitic and anti-American aggressive ideas.
The meeting with the head of the Democratic majority in the Senate with Charles (Chuck) Schumer, which became introductory, educational and with assurance about his visit to the residence of the Congress of Bukharian Jews of the USA and Canada in New York, deserves special mention. Senator Schumer began his speech by congratulating the Bukharian Jewish community in the USA and Canada on Passover, wishing them a good Seder, and telling interesting facts from his life.
The third man in the hierarchy of modern America, Senator Schumer symbolizes the enormous advances that American society has made over the past half century in its treatment of the Jewish people and their fight against antisemitism.
«We have a good and long-term relationship with Charles Schumer, and it was a special honor for me to receive a Certificate of Honor from the US Senate from his hands,» said Boris Kandov. «Mr. Schumer said that he is ready to provide assistance to our community and thereby support many programs that are carried out through the Congress of Bukharan Jews of the USA and Canada.»
Meetings of this kind are a synchronization of watches on current events, a professional discussion on exciting topics that always find practical application in the life of public diplomacy of the Congress of Bukharian Jews.

Rafael Sattarov