Mountain jews

Mountain Jews are a sub-ethnic group of Jews of the North and East Caucasus. The term “Mountain Jews” arose in the first half of the 19th century during the annexation of these territories by the Russian Empire. The self-name of the Mountain Jews is Juhur. Mountain Jews speak several dialects of the Tat language which are close to each other and belong to the western branch of the Iranian group of languages. The ancestors of the Mountain Jews came presumably in the 5th century AD from Persia, where they ended up in the VIII century BC.

The main centers of concentration of mountain Jews are:  Azerbaijan - Baku (the capital of the Republic) and Guba city (where most mountain Jews live in the suburb of Red Village, inhabited exclusively by Jews);  Dagestan - Derbent, Makhachkala (the capital of the Republic, until 1922 - Petrovsk-Port) and Buinaksk (until 1922 - Temir-Khan-Shura). A significant number of Mountain Jews also lived in Nalchik and Grozny.

The total number of Mountain Jews in the world is estimated at 250,000. At present, the vast majority of Mountain Jews live in Israel (140-160 thousand).The largest diaspora of Mountain Jews abroad is represented in the United States (40 thousand). Large diasporas also exist in Russia (30 thousand), Azerbaijan (7 thousand), Germany (4 thousand), Canada (2 thousand), Austria (1 thousand)