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Baku hosts international conference on heritage of Jews of North and East Caucasus

30 August 2023 [14:17] - TODAY.AZ
Abbas Ganbay

The Azerbaijan University of Languages has launched an international conference on the heritage and culture of Jews of the North and East Caucasus. More than 60 research scholars from Azerbaijan, Israel, Russia, the United States, France, and other countries are taking part in the event, Azernews reports.

The conference is organized by the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, which was founded in 1979 by psychologist Israel Charny, psychiatrist Shamai Davidson, and Holocaust survivor and public intellectual Elie Wiesel. The institute is devoted to the study of genocides against all peoples.
"The theme of this conference is very important.

"Despite the suffering that Jews have experienced over the centuries, they have been able to preserve their culture. The reason is that they do not forget their past. And they build their present and future on its basis," Rector of the Azerbaijan University of Languages (AUJ) Kamal Abdullayev said at the opening of the conference.

According to him, a new page has been opened in Azerbaijani-Israeli relations.
"Touching upon the theme of Jewish heritage, we also talk about Azerbaijani culture, as there are many Jews living in Azerbaijan, along with other nations and nationalities," he added.

The Jewish population in Azerbaijan dates back many centuries and is made up of three distinct groups: Mountain Jews, the most sizable and most ancient group; Ashkenazi Jews, who settled in the area during the late 19th-early 20th centuries, and during World War II; and Georgian Jews who settled mainly in Baku during the early part of the 20th century.

The survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2021 found that the size of the adult Jewish population in the United States has been fairly stable in percentage terms, while rising in absolute numbers, roughly in line with the growth of the U.S. population. An estimated 2.4% of U.S. adults are Jewish, with a total population of approximately 7.5 million, including 5.8 million adults and 1.8 million children.

Cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel is very important.

President of the Academic Centre for Science and Law in Israel Aviad Hacohen told reporters.

He said they arrived with a delegation from Israel in Baku to participate in the international conference "Heritage and Culture of the Jews of the North and East Caucasus".

"I hope that through this conference bilateral relations will deepen further and we will learn a lot about our cultures," he said.

Aviad Hacohen emphasized that this conference is also important in terms of preserving active cultural exchange for future generations.

"Our countries are in excellent relations. Israel can learn a lot from Azerbaijan, as well as vice versa," the head of the Centre added.

The conference provides a platform for researchers to discuss the history, culture, and heritage of Jews in the North and East Caucasus, and to further the understanding and prevention of all genocides.


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