Ohel Yonah

Ohel Yonah, a study center dedicated to the preservation of the unique customs and tradition of the Caucasian Mountain Jews. Ohel Yonah is situated in the Gorsky Synagogue, a building just outside the Old City of Jerusalem with a rich history and connection to Jews of Caucasian origin, known as Kavkazim in Hebrew. Our mission is to create scholars and community leaders who are knowledgeable in all of Jewish law (halacha), especially the distinct traditions of Gorsky (Caucasian Mountain) Jews from Azerbaijan and Dagestan. To ensure that these special customs are not lost over time with an understanding that diversity of culture enriches the Jewish people as a whole. The Kavkazi communities are descendants of the Jews of Shushan, Persia (Iran) who settled on the slopes of the Caucasus Mountains in Azerbaijan and Dagestan in the 5th Century. While some members of this community immigrated to Israel at the turn of the 20th Century, there was mass immigration in the 1990s after the dissolution of the Soviet Empire. The Kavkazi community lives closely together in towns as varied as Bet Shemesh, Kiryat Gat, Netanya and Jerusalem, where they are known as Kavkazim or Gorsky Jews. It is estimated that about 100,000 Israelis identify as Kavkazim. Their sense of community is strong and Caucasian Jews work hard to ensure that their unique traditions are passed on to their offspring. Their traditions are not Sephardic or Ashkenazi, but rather their own religious identity, called Gorsky, which grew out of centuries of living as a community far removed from global Jewry. There is a particular emphasis on Kabbalah and mysticism, and a tremendously strong feeling of closeness within the family and the community. The richness of the traditions of this group of Jews developed because of their isolation. How wonderful that all of Jewry can now benefit from a diversity that strengthens and ornaments Judaism.

Address Rappaport 45
POB 5630
City Jerusalem
Zip Code 91057
Country Israel
Phone 02-5321085
ID Number 58-0248409

If you wish to make a contribution to Ohel Yonah please send us a check payable to "PEF Israel Endowment Funds, Inc." and note in the memo portion of the check, or include in a separate note, your recommendation that we should make a contribution to Ohel Yonah. Please include the ID Number (58-0248409) for the charity as well. Please do not include any other words (such as the name of the charity) on the payee line of your check or else our bank will not accept it and we will have to return the check.

Please be sure to provide your name and mailing address so that we can acknowledge your contribution. The minimum contribution accepted is $25. Mail your check and recommendation to:

PEF Israel Endowment Funds, Inc.
630 Third Ave, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10017