KAZAKHSTAN, former Soviet republic in Central Asia, and from 1991 an independent republic of the CIS. It numbered 19,240 Jews (0.3% of the total) in 1939. In 1979 its Jewish population totaled 23,500 and in 1989, 19,900. By the early 2000s the figure had dropped to around 4,000 after the mass emigrations of the 1990s.
The Jewish community is very assimilated. In 1987 47.2% of children born to Jewish mothers had non-Jewish fathers. Nonetheless a Jewish educational system and synagogue were operating in Alma-Ata in 2006 under Rabbi Menachem Gershovich and a rabbi was also installed in Kavaganda.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.