Pax Turcica Jewish identity symposium to be held at the center for Jewish history in New York

Pax Turcica Jewish identity symposium to be held at the center for Jewish history in New York

USA, New York, Nov.19 / Trend , K.Pashayeva/

On November 23, Azerbaijan Society of America (ASA) and Azerbaijani-American Council (AAC) will be joining the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA), the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), the "Turk of America" magazine and the Uzbek Initiative in organizing a one-day symposium on "Jewish Identity in the Turkic World". This one day educational grassroots conference, organized under the Pax Turcica Initiative, will be held at the Center for Jewish History in New York. Among other event co-sponsors are the International Charity Fund of Mountain Jews (STMEGI), the Turkish-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TACCI), the Bukharian Jewish Community of the US and Canada, the Turkish American Action Committee and "Kavkaz" Jewish Youth Center.

For centuries, the Jewish peoples have lived in Azerbaijan, Turkey, Uzbekistan and other parts of the Turkic world. Tens of thousands of "Sephardi Jews" lived in present-day Turkey since 1492, when Ottoman Turks provided shelter and acceptance to the Jews escaping the Spanish Inquisition. One of the largest Azeri-speaking communities in America are the Mountain Jews. They settled in Azerbaijan over two millennia ago and tens of thousands of them continue to live in northern parts of Azerbaijan today, enjoying prosperity and acceptance. The Bukharian Jews of Uzbekistan thrived in this region for 2500 years in an atmosphere of tolerance and mutual respect.

Over the past decade, the multilateral cooperation of Israel with Turkic nations has evolved into strategic partnerships. In November 2008, Azerbaijani-American Council (AAC) together with the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Orange County chapter of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) launched the "Building Bridges from the Caspian to the Mediterranean" initiative in California with the aim of transforming the dynamic relations of Azerbaijan, Israel and Turkey into the prism of cooperation between the Turkic- and Jewish-American communities. The Pax Turcica event on November 23 at the Center for Jewish history will build upon this initiative.

Apart from distinguished speakers, this program will also feature a screening of "Desperate Hours" by Victoria Barrett, who will be present to talk about the documentary on the role Turkish diplomats in saving thousands of Jews during the Holocaust.  Barry Habib, the producer of the famous Broadway musical "Rock of Ages," and Yildiz Yuksek Blackstone, President of Luca Luca, will speak about their life experiences. A selection of paintings by Stass Shpanin will be displayed at the event along with the copies of critical historical documents from the Ottoman Archives that establish the context of Ottoman-Jewish relations through the centuries.
The program will start at 1pm and continue with a reception at 5pm

For more information and full program, visit

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