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the history of georgian jewry

Georgia is located on the crossroads of Asia and Europe, in the Caucasus Region and east of the Black Sea. Exactly in this country, which has played a major role in the development of the world's civilization, the Jews arrived and settled 26 centuries ago in order to find their second homeland here.

The ancient Georgian historical writings relate the first arrival of Jews to the king of Babel. The conquest of Jerusalem by Nebuchodnozzar and to the pain caused by the above-mentioned (586 BC). 

The second flow Jews settled in Georgia in century AD after the consequent storm of Jerusalem by the Roman Caesar Titus Vespasian (70 AD). By this time Jews had already had a history of 600 years and they were called Georgian Jews. As it shows, these "Hurian Georgians" were rater advanced socially and culturally. During the Hellenic epoch the "Districts of Hurians" already existed in the towns of Kartli (Mtskheta,Urbnisi etc.). These districts were populated by Jewish ethnic religious clans who had their own religious centers called "Hurian places of Sacrifice" i.e.Synagogues. 

In this way the two nations enriched each others spiritual heritage and culture. Just as Jews admired and respected Georgians,so the Georgians patronized and protected Georgian Jews"/Zakaria Chichinadze. Today about 5,000 Jews are remaining in Georgia.

When it comes to sheer vitality and enjoyment at the table, Georgian Jews have few equals. They have an immense capacity for legendary feasts and banquets, music and dance. Jews have lived in the ancient kingdom of Georgia for well over 2,600 years, managing to sustain their communal religious life even during the years of Soviet repression.

Georgian Jews lived in communities removed from their Muslim and Christian neighbors, developing a subculture of traditions, and of course, a cuisine that was distinctly Jewish.