The Mountain Jews of Azerbaijan

This Google Map is entitled The Mountain Jews of Azerbaijan but shows the distribution of both the true Caucasian Mountain Jewish settlements and, additionally, those of other Jewish communities in the country – Ashkenazi in Baku and the Russian Orthodox to Jewish convert sects known as the Gerim and Subbotniki.

Formerly there were many Mountain Jewish (Juhurim) mountain villages or auls but most of these have now been abandoned. A few of these have been identified and are plotted on the map. Note that a pin does not necessarily imply an extant surviving Jewish community. Indeed, the approximate location of the long-abandoned historic settlement of Kulgat is shown (to the WSW of Quba, between the villages of Küpçal and Qaladüz). Kulgat has been included because some accounts on the internet either imply it still exists or assert that it is merely an earlier name for the apparently still entirely Jewish town of Qirmizi Qasaba (Krasnaya Sloboda) across the river from Quba. In fact, Kulgat was the precursor of the town, and Sloboda was founded and populated by Jews who had abandoned Kulgat in the mid-C18th; there is, or was, a neighbourhood named after it.

There are various references to Karchag as a Mountain Jewish village in the vicinity of Quba in Azerbaijan. In fact, Karchag is over the (modern) border in Dagestan, Russia.

The location of some known Mountain Jewish communities – such as Chipkent and Devit – has not yet been established.

The Mountain Jewish population of Azerbaijan is much reduced, mostly by emigration. As well as movement from the traditional mountain auls and towns to the cities of Baku and Quba, there has been an international migration to Israel, of course, but also to Canada and USA.