The Bukharian Teen Lounge, an after-school program for local Bukharian youth which operates out of a house next to the Central Queens YM/YWHA on 108th Street, connects young people with each other and their culture, which for many who have grown up in Queens is far away in both distance and time."The majority don't know about their heritage and culture. We got a grant from the UJA that we used to connect teens with Aaron Aronov of the Bukharian Jewish Museum to learn about their culture, traditions and heritage," said Bella Zelkin of the Jewish Child Care Association."We had this event and about 20 teens came and heard the testimonial presentations of their friends and became interested," Zelkin said.The president of the Bukharian Jewish Congress sent a letter to be read by Alex Yakubov, president of the Bukharian Jewish Center, she said.Religious and secular officials attended, including representatives from the Beth Yakubov temple community, the World Organization of Women, state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) and city Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills), Zelkin said."They were very hospitable. Guests put on special embroidered velvet robes, a sign of respect from the Bukharian community to the wearer," Zelkin said.Richard Altman, Michael Spindler and Debbie Perlmutter of the Jewish Child Care Association, David Posner of the Central Queens YM/YWHA, Boris Kerdimun and Lydia Wajnberg of UJA Federation came to participate in the festivities, Zelkin said.
©2007 Community News Group
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