Uzbekistan's economy deteriorated, leaving few opportunities for its citizens.The story of this community is one of a struggle to maintain its unique identity while confronting the economic and cultural pressures of the United States.
The Bukharians trace their history to the Jewish migration to the Persian Empire after the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 586 B. Bukharian Jews immigrated en masse to the United States, particularly to Queens, and to Israel after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Soviet-sponsored atheism gave way to a fear of Islamic fundamentalism.
And although Abayev admits to feeling tempted to move out of his parents' house, - really can't do that," he says. You may find a job and girlfriend but you won't have a family connection.
You won't have bachsh on Friday night," referring to a traditional Bukharian dish.
It is the most deeply-engrained cultural difference between Jews and non-Jews.
There's a video put out by the Reform Movement of America, a real-life documentary depicting a series of group therapy sessions for intermarried couples, designed to help them deal with the unique issues of intermarriage.