Bukharian Teen Lounge Closes in Queens

(Photo courtesy of Manashe Khaimov via Times Ledger)

(Photo courtesy of Manashe Khaimov via Times Ledger)

The shuttering of programming at a teen center for Bukharian youths has some in the community concerned about how it would affect the community.

The Bukharian Teen Lounge in Forest Hills, which ended its social and educational programs at the end of June, helped immigrant and second-generation teens adjust and integrate into the culture here, reports Shanna Fuld for Times Ledger.

Manashe Khaimov, former director of youth services for the lounge, described the difficulties faced by Bukharian youths.

He said the program grew out of a 1953 district attorney request to get kids off the streets, but that today there is a different issue for Bukharian youth who inherited a centuries-old culture from the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan.

“I think you are an immigrant as long as you’re still in survival mode trying to accomplish something and your parents are always pulling you back,” Khaimov said.

He mentioned that in the Bukharian Jewish community, oftentimes parents don’t allow their children to go away to college and fear what America can offer.

Go to Times Ledger to read more from Khaimov and “the problem with synagogues and yeshivas serving as community centers” according to another community member, and to find out why programming at the Bukharian Teen Lounge ceased.

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