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On Friday night, he eats Shabbat dinner with his family.
On Saturday, he works as a barber, a common profession for Jews from Uzbekistan.
The efforts of these youth parallel activities in the larger community.
In May 2004, Aron Aranov, 66, created a three-room Bukharian Jewish museum in the Gymnasia, a tuition-free yeshiva in Queens funded by Leviev, hoping that Abayev, Abramov and their young counterparts would visit.
A home-cooked feast with Bachsh and Oshi Piyozi brought smells of Uzbekistan into the Queens apartment.Both see signs that the youth are retaining their heritage.Pinkasov estimates 70 percent of young Bukharian Jews attend synagogue on High Holidays.Peter Pinkhasov, 28, founded Bukharian Jews.com, a Web site with 950 registered members who chat, view photos, listen to music and read about Bukharian Jewish history, traditions and culture. Imonuel Rybakov, 23, a Queens College finance major, founded Achdut in 2002, a cultural organization that targets 16-to-35-year-old Bukharian Jews, running festivals, lectures, a band, political volunteering and online classes in the Bukharian Jewish language, a dialect of Farsi.Discussions can attract 100 people, Rybakov said, and dance parties nearly 500.
Abayev is one of 40,000 to 50,000 Bukharian Jews in Queens — some are scattered in other cities across North America — who struggle to maintain their identity while confronting the economic and cultural pressures of the United States.