Jewish Georgia

Georgia has been home to one of the oldest Jewish Diasporas in the world. There are different views about its origin. According to one source, the Jewish people arrived after Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Jerusalem in 586 BCE and the Babylonian exile. Another chronicle ascribes the Jewish migration into Georgia to Alexander the Great in the 4th century BCE.

It is highly likely that Jewish people came to Georgia as traders, emigrants and refugees from various lands of their dispersal.

For centuries the Jewish people have lived in Georgia without the antisemitism that has characterized so many other countries.

The Jewish population reached a peak of about 100,000 in the 1970s, though the number decreased sharply when Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union became possible and the majority made aliyah to Israel or moved to other countries.

Nowadays about 30,000 Jews live in Georgia mostly residing in Tbilisi while there are also Jewish settlements in Kutaisi, Gori, Surami, Oni, Akhaltsikhe, and Batumi.

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