This Google Map showing the Mountain Jews of the Republic of Dagestan, Russia is a companion to an earlier map showing the Mountain Jewish settlements in Azerbaijan. For the long 19th century and beyond, both Dagestan and Azerbaijan were part of Imperial Russia and then the Soviet Union (and of course, Dagestan still is a part of Russia), meaning that the border between them was of little significance.
Karchag is often described as a Mountain Jewish village in the vicinity of Quba in Azerbaijan but lies over the (modern) border in Dagestan.
Many of the Mountain Jewish (Juhurim) mountain villages or auls have now been abandoned, but most which were extant during the latter years of the C19th have been positively identified and marked on the map. A pin on the map does not imply an extant Jewish community.
The list below shows the Mountain Jewish villages of Dagestan recorded in the compendious Сборник сведений о кавказских горцах (or: Collection of Information on the Caucasus Highlanders) volume 3, published in Tbilisi (then Tiflis) in 1870. Chapter 3 within this volume is on the subject of the Mountain Jews and section V of this chapter is in the form of a statistical table giving the names of Mountain Jewish communities and their size (expressed as “smokes”, i.e. hearths – that is to say, households) plus the number of rabbis, synagogues and schools. To calculate the approximate population of a village, one might multiply the hearths by, say, 5, so therefore, for example, Tarki may have had a population of 250, Derbent of 1,000, and Magalis of 500 souls.
|Russian name in 1870||Name on map||hearths||rabbis||synagogues||schools|
|Kheli-Penzhdi||Kheli + Penzhdi||18||1||1||1|
|Aksay, or Tashkichu||Aksay||81||2||1||2|
The location of some known Mountain Jewish communities – such as Buinaki (which is not Buynaksk and was possibly a neighbourhood or outlying village of Makhachkala now swallowed up by the city) – has not yet been established.
The Mountain Jewish population of Dagestan, like that of Azerbaijan, is now much reduced, by emigration within Russia and beyond to Israel and North America.