The Jews of Georgia: A Diverse and Ancient Community in the Caucasus

Wednesday, June 15

USA 10:30 am PT / 1:30 pm ET

UK 6:30 pm / France 7:30 pm / Israel 8:30 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

About this talk

Travel with us to the Caucasus Mountains and get acquainted with a diverse Jewish world, one that still sings in Georgian, Yiddish, Ladino and Jukhuri. All these languages were spoken by Georgia's Jewish communities, something which made the country one of the most unique locations in the Jewish world.

Prior to Georgia's annexation by the Russian Empire and later by the USSR, the 2,600-year history of the Georgian Jews was marked by an almost total absence of antisemitism and a visible assimilation into the Georgian culture.

The wedding and religious traditions of the Georgian Jewry opened the Jewish world to their Christian and Muslim neighbors, resulting in one of the most successful integration and tolerance best practices globally.

Once numbering as many as 100,000, today the Georgian Jewish population comprises only a few thousand people, after most of the community immigrated to Israel, United States and Belgium.

About Lasha

Lasha Shakulashvili was born in one of the most multicultural and multi-faith cities of the world - Tbilisi. Growing up in a Georgian Orthodox Christian family, Lasha was surrounded by the Georgian, Russian and Yiddish-speaking vibrant communities of the Georgian Jewry. His childhood inspired him to earn a PhD degree in Jewish Studies.

Lasha is the Isaac Bashevis Singer Fellow 2021/2022 and a recent graduate of the Paideia - The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden. Currently, he is a student at the inaugural Yiddish program at the University of Oxford. Moreover, Lasha has worked for the Permanent Mission of Georgia to the United Nations and holds the European Union-supported prize on diversity reporting.

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With your contribution you will also be donating to Hillel Tbilisi - International Jewish student organization in Georgia.

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This event is a live experience. RECORDINGS WON'T BE AVAILABLE AFTER THE TALK

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