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Interim project on life of mountain Jews in Derbent to be presented in Moscow

11 March 2020 17:29 Posted in:  SOCIETY
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Makhachkala, March 11, 2020. More than 130 archival and contemporary photographs telling about the history, culture, traditions and customs of Mountain Jews fr om southern Dagestan will be presented in Moscow within the project “Derbent. Mountain Jews yesterday and today” on March 16 - 31 in the Photocenter association, the project’s curator, Rafail Feinberg, the head of the regional public organization Face to Face: Promoting the Dialogue of Religions and Cultures and the Jewish National Fund said.

“The exhibition consists of two parts, one of them is dedicated to the period of the late XIX - early XX centuries. We raised newsreels, film and photo documents - we got nine poster stands with black and white photographs that show the life of a Jewish magal (district) in Derbent: In total, in this section we have 36 photos <...> The second part is modern, color, it contains 100 photos, we accompanied the photos with small texts for the convenience of the visitors", - Feinberg added.

As to Feinberg, the exhibition will be held from March 16 to March 31 in the Photocenter association. Its organizers are the regional public organization Face to Face: Promoting the Dialogue of Religions and Cultures and the Jewish National Fund. The purpose of the exposition is to disseminate the knowledge about Mountain Jews, to develop mutual respect among the peoples of Russia. The project curator also noted, that the idea of such an exhibition arose in 2015 in the process of preparation for the celebration of the 2000th anniversary of Derbent.

Feinberg added that within the framework of the project, a tasting of Dagestan wines is planned. Besides, a saturated cultural program with the participation of national creative groups is prepared. According to information of Derbent city administration, an exhibition of photographs "Derbent - Jerusalem: Parallels" by Zaur Mullaev and Zazai Rabadanova will take place on March 17.

The mountain Jews are a sub-ethnic group of Jews in the North and East Caucasus, their ancestors came to Derbent in the 5th century A.D. At the beginning of the 20th century, Mountain Jews lived not only in Derbent, wh ere there were 11 synagogues and prayer houses of the Jews, but also in the surrounding villages.

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