The Head of the Department of Interethnic Relations, Multiculturalism and Religious Issues of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan Etibar Najafov visited the synagogue of Baku Mountain Jews and got acquainted with its activities. E.Najafov familiarized himself with the prayer hall of the synagogue, classroom and rich library, and got profound information on the valuable manuscript of the Old Testament. At the meeting with the leadership of Baku Mountain Jews’ Religious Community Milikh Yevdayev gave thorough information on the history of Mountain Jews in Azerbaijan and expressed high gratitude for the state care for the community. Etibar Najafov spoke of the National Leader Heydar Aliyev’s attitude to the Mountain Jews’ Religious Community with high attention and care, and the successful continuation of the policy by President Ilham Aliyev and presented the book “The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on the Azerbaijani Model of Multiculturalism” to the Chair of the community Milikh Yevdayev.
The Senior Adviser of the Department of Interethnic Relations, Multiculturalism and Religious Issues of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Mammadov also took part in the meeting.
It should be noted that the settlement of the Jews in Azerbaijan goes back to the period of 2600 years earlier. Our people has always cherished a friendly attitude towards the Jews who have intermingled with the indigenous people of our country for centuries and even established the relations of kinship with them.
In Azerbaijan the Mountain Jews were mainly settled in Baku, Guba and Oghuz districts. Following the restoration of our independence a new stage started in the life of the national minorities residing in our country including the Jews; the state support to maintain the national minorities’ rights and freedoms, and develop their culture, language has opened new prospects before the Jewish communities.
At present there are 6 synagogues belonging to the Mountain Jews in the Republic. One of them is in Baku, 3 function in Guba, and 2 are situated in the district of Oghuz. There is an educational establishment for the Jewish children in “the Red Settlement” densely populated by the Mountain Jews in the district of Guba. There are teachers here who teach the Jewish national customs and traditions.
In October 2010 a 200-year old synagogue belonging to the Mountain Jews was solemnly brought to use after capital repairs.
On 5 March 2011 a synagogue, whose construction was financed by the state budget, was brought to use of the believers in Baku at the initiative and by the support of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
In addition, the material resources annually allocated to the Jewish communities by President Ilham Aliyev’s Decree are highly appreciated. Every year President Ilham Aliyev’s congratulations addressed to all the Jewish communities on the Jewish people’s significant holidays are the manifestation of the maintenance of the traditions founded by the National Leader Heydar Aliyev.
Today the representatives of the Jewish people are taking an active part in the political, economic, social, cultural life of the Republic. At present in Baku there are memorial plates on the buildings once resided by the outstanding Jews – the Laureate of Nobel Prize, physician Lev Landau, the Honorable Doctor of the Republic Solomon Gusman, the hero of Karabagh War Albert Agarunov and others.