On Saturday, December 3rd, Bukharian Jewish Union (BJU) welcomed 102 Bukharian Jews in their 20’s and 30’s to its first Comedy Night event in Forest Hills. The sold-out event featured a jam-packed lineup of comedians that have appeared on Comedy Central, VH1, and David Letterman. The room was filled with Bukharian Jewish young professionals representing Brooklyn, Manhattan, New Jersey and of course Queens. BJU’s Senior Director of Event Planning, Enita Iskhakova commented on the impressive guest turn out and said “We sold out all 60 tickets online which was our capacity, but the day of the event we accommodated over 100 guests.”
Manashe Khaimov, Vice President of Community Relationships at BJU welcomed the group and explained that BJU is a central hub for professional, social, and cultural growth for Bukharian Jews in their 20’s and 30’s. The event included a trivia icebreaker session who quizzed guests on pop culture topics such as music, movies, politics, and he even threw in a few questions about Bukharian culture and cuisine. Following trivia, four headlining comedic acts stole the show and left the crowd laughing and wanting more. BJU newcomer, Inna enjoyed engaging with other fellow young Bukharian Jews and said “This is the first gathering that I have ever attended with so many Bukharian Jewish young professionals in the same room, that is not a Bukharian wedding. Everyone was laughing, meeting new people, and reconnecting with old friends.”
BJU was formed by a group of volunteers that were driven by a mutual goal of bringing together Bukharian Jewish young professionals in their 20’s and 30’s, and were eager to represent this segment of the community. “All of the positions at the organization are volunteer based. Our board consists of established Bukharian Jewish young professionals who are devoting their time and effort to this cause” mentioned Betty Yusupov, president of the organization. Ms. Yusupov also commented that BJU is not only for Bukharian Jews but also for other Mizrahi groups from the Former Soviet Union.