Georgian Jews - Orientation

The presence of Jews in Georgia, according to oral traditions and ancient literary works, dates back about 2,500 years. Despite considerable assimilation into Georgian society, Georgian Jews preserve their identity and see themselves as descendants of the ten branches of Israelites who were settled in Midia by Assyrian kings.

Georgian Jewish culture, although it preserves its distinct character, is integrated into Georgian culture. Many Georgian Jews—scholars, writers, artists, financiers, doctors, sportsmen, people active in government and public life—are active participants in Georgian life.

Nevertheless, beginning in 1970 Georgian Jews began to emigrate to Israel. According to the 1970 national census, 55,400 Jews were residing in Georgia, of which 40,000 were Georgian Jews. The 1979 census showed 28,000.

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