№ 9/2003



The founding session of the World Congress of Mountain Jews (WCMJ) took place in Tel-Aviv in February. It attracted more than two hundred guests from all over the globe Russia, Israel, USA, Canada, Azerbaijan etc. The Russian Foundation for Preservation and Development of the Jewish Culture, Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Federation of Jewish Organizations and Communities, Union of Caucasian Jews in Israel, Moscow Mountain Jews Community Beit Talkhum and a number of other Jewish organizations acted as founders of the WCMJ.

Shortly before the Congress, the delegates and guests participated in the inauguration of the Beit Talkhum synagogue in Tirat Karmel, a city where a large Mountain Jews community resides. The session adopted the decision to establish WCMJ, elected its steering bodies, approved the organizational charter and the first resolutions of the Congress. Zaur Gilalov was elected President of the World Congress of Mountain Jews.


Author of the article shares his impressions of the founding session of the World Congress of Mountain Jews a new public forum.

A prominent Moscow figure, Sergey Weinstein, PhD, was elected Executive Vice President of the Congress.

It was the Moscow delegation that called the tune at the session. They came up with the very idea of establishing an international non-governmental organization; they did all the necessary preparatory work and assumed the greatest share of costs incurred to implement such a large-scale project.

The author outlined the history of the Mountain Jews, another stage of which has become the Congress in Tel-Aviv. He was assisted, in analyzing the peoples roots, by Yuri Murzakhanov, candidate of historical sciences from Kabardino-Balkaria.


An article on the first founding session of the World Congress of Mountain Jews where this permanent international non-governmental organization was officially established.

According to the founders design, the organization will facilitate official representation of the peoples interest in state and public structures.

Participants of the Congress expressed a desire to work out a modern alphabet of the Mountain Jews, publish periodicals in various parts of the world, to declare Krasnaya Sloboda an architectural and historical site and open an ethnographic museum there. It was also observed that the Congress is another logical step in the process that was commenced in Moscow, at the first international workshop Mountain Jews History and Modernity and in Baku and Guba at the international scientific and practical conference Mountain Jews of the Caucasus. These events were organized on the initiative and under the auspices of the Russian Foundation for Preservation and Development of the Jewish Culture, founded by Tair Gurshumov, a prominent businessman.


This is an article on the Pesah commandment, which is given to us in commemoration of the exodus from Egypt: freedom from slavery, liberation of soul and formation of the Jewish nation.

The article looks at what guidelines should be observed during a holiday meal: how to pass the eve of the holiday, how to cook and eat Matzo, how many glasses of wine to drink to wind up the meal.

Pesah commandments relate equally to men and women. Children are also taught to observe these rites to acquaint them with the commandments before they come of full age. The great commandment instructs to tell of the Exodus from Egypt and, as the tradition has it, the more is said, especially on the Easter night, the better.