The Crimean Karaites or Krymkaraylar (Crimean Karaim: Кърымкъарайлар Qrımqaraylar, singular къарай qaray; Trakai dialect: karajlar, singular karaj; Hebrew: קראי מזרח אירופה; Turkish: Karaylar), also known as Karaims and Qarays, are an ethnic group derived from Turkic-speaking adherents of Karaite Judaism in Central and Eastern Europe, especially in the territory of the former Russian Empire. "Karaim" is a Russian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, and Polish name for the community.
Karaite men in traditional garb, Crimea, 19th century.
|Ukraine (including Crimea)||1,196|
|Karaim, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian|
|Karaite Judaism, Christianity|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Ashkenazi Jews, Sephardi Jews, Mizrahi Jews, Samaritans, Turkic peoples|
Turkic-speaking Karaites (in the Crimean Tatar language, Qaraylar) have lived in Crimea for centuries. Their origin is a matter of great controversy. Some regard them as descendants of Karaite Jews who settled in Crimea and adopted a form of the Kypchak tongue (see Karaim language). Others view them as descendants of Khazar or Cuman, Kipchak converts to Karaite Judaism. Today many Crimean Karaites deny ethnic Semitic origins and identify as descendants of the Khazars. Some specialists in Khazar history question the Khazar theory of Karaim origins, noting the following:
In 19th century Crimea, Karaites began to distinguish themselves from other Jewish groups, sending envoys to the czars to plead for exemptions from harsh anti-Jewish legislation. These entreaties were successful, in large part due to the czars’ wariness of the Talmud, and in 1863 Karaites were granted the same rights as their Christian and Tatar neighbors. Exempted from the Pale of Settlement, later they were considered non Jews by Nazis. This left the community untouched by Holocaust, unlike other Turkic-speaking Jews, like the Krymchak Jews that were almost wiped out.
Modern Karaim resist being identified as Jews, emphasizing their Turkic heritage and claiming they are Turkic practitioners of a "Mosaic religion" separate and distinct from Judaism. Miller says that Crimean Karaites did not start claiming a distinct identity apart from the Jewish people before the 19th century, and that such leaders as Avraham Firkovich and Sima Babovich encouraged this position to avoid the strong anti-Semitism of the period.
From the time of the Golden Horde onward, Karaites were present in many towns and villages throughout Crimea and around the Black Sea. During the period of the Crimean Khanate, they had major communities in the towns of Çufut Qale, Sudak, Kefe, and Bakhchisaray.
According to most opinions, the upper stratum of the Khazar society converted to Judaism in the 8th–9th centuries CE. The extent of this conversion and its scope is not known. With the collapse of the Khazar Khanate, a group of the Khazars who took part in a failed rebellion, joined the Magyars in the invasion of Hungary; they settled there at the end of the 9th century CE. An archeological relic of this Khazar settlement was discovered in Transylvania (today Romania) in the 20th century. Known as the Alsószentmihály Rovas inscription, it was transcribed by the archaeologist-historian Gábor Vékony. According to the transcription, the two-row inscription means the following:
(first row) "His mansion is famous."
(second row) "Jüedi Kür Karaite." or "Jüedi Kür the Karaite."
Scholars take this as evidence that at least a part of the Khazars were Karaites. (See Inscription in Khazarian Rovas script)
According to Karaite tradition, Grand Duke Vytautas of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania relocated one branch of the Crimean Karaites to Lithuania. There they continued to speak their own language. But the Lithuanian dialect of the Karaim language differs significantly from the Crimean one. The Lithuanian Karaites settled primarily in Vilnius and Trakai, as well as in Biržai, Pasvalys, Naujamiestis and Upytė – smaller settlements throughout Lithuania proper.
The Lithuanian Karaites also settled in lands of modern Belarus and Ukraine, which were part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Karaite communities emerged in Halicz and Kokizow (near Lwów) in Galicia, as well as in Łuck and Derazhne in Volhynia. Jews (Rabbinites and Karaites) in Lithuanian territory were granted a measure of autonomy under Michel Ezofovich Senior's management. The Trakai Karaim refused to comply, citing differences in faith. Later all Jews, including Karaites, were submitted to Rabbinite "Council of Four Lands" (Vaad) and "Council of the Land of Lithuania" taxation (1580–1646). The Yiddish-speaking Rabbinites considered the Turkic-speaking Karaites to be apostates, and kept them in a subordinate and depressed position. The Karaites resented this treatment. In 1646 the Karaites gained expulsion of the Rabbinites from Trakai. Despite such tensions, in 1680 Rabbinite community leaders defended the Karaites of Shaty (near Trakai) against blood accusation. Representatives of both groups signed an agreement in 1714 to respect the mutual privileges and resolve disputes without involving the Gentile administration.
According to Crimean Karaite tradition, which developed in the 20th century inter-war Poland their forefathers were mainly farmers and members of the community who served in the military forces of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, as well as in the Crimean Khanate.But according to the historical documents of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the chief occupation of the Crimean Karaites was usury. They were granted special privileges, including exemption from the military service. In the Crimean Khanate, the Karaites were repressed like other Jews, with prohibitions on behavior extended to riding horses.
Some famous Karaim scholars in Lithuania included Isaac b. Abraham of Troki (1543–1598), Joseph ben Mordecai Malinovski, Zera ben Nathan of Trakai, Salomon ben Aharon of Trakai, Ezra ben Nissan (died in 1666) and Josiah ben Judah (died after 1658). Some of the Karaim became quite wealthy.
During the times of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Karaim suffered severely during the Chmielnicki Uprising of 1648 and the wars between Russia and Commonwealth in the years 1654–1667. The many towns plundered and burnt included Derazhne and Trakai, where only 30 families were left in 1680. The destruction of the Karaite community in Derazhne in 1649 is described in a poem (both in Hebrew and Karaim language) by a leader of the congregation, Hazzan Joseph ben Yesh'uah Ha-Mashbir. Catholic missionaries worked to convert the local Karaim to Christianity, but were largely unsuccessful.
19th century leaders of the Karaim, such as Sima Babovich and Avraham Firkovich, were driving forces behind a concerted effort to alter the status of the Karaite community in eyes of the Russian legal system. Firkovich in particular was adamant in his attempts to connect the Karaim with the Khazars, and has been accused of forging documents and inscriptions to back up his claims.
Ultimately, the Tsarist government officially recognized the Karaim as being innocent of the death of Jesus.So they were exempt from many of the harsh restrictions placed on other Jews. They were, in essence, placed on equal legal footing with Crimean Tatars. The related Krymchak community, which was of similar ethnolinguistic background but which practiced rabbinical Judaism, continued to suffer under Tsarist anti-Jewish laws.
Solomon Krym (1864–1936), a Crimean Karaite agronomist, was elected in 1906 to the First Duma (1906–1907) as a Kadet (National Democratic Party). On November 16, 1918 he became the Prime Minister of a short-lived Crimean Russian liberal, anti-separatist and anti-Soviet government also supported by the German army.
Since the incorporation of Crimea into the Russian Empire the main center of the Qarays is the city of Yevpatoria. Their status under Russian imperial rule bore beneficial fruits for the Karaites decades later.
In 1934, the heads of the Karaite community in Berlin asked the Nazi authorities to exempt Karaites from the anti-Semitic regulations based on their legal status as Russians in Russia. The Reich Agency for the Investigation of Families determined that, from the standpoint of German law, the Karaites were not to be considered Jews. The letter from the Reichsstelle für Sippenforschung (de) officially ruled:
The Karaite sect should not be considered a Jewish religious community within the meaning of paragraph 2, point 2 of the First Regulation to the Reich Citizenship Law. However, it cannot be established that Karaites in their entirety are of blood-related stock, for the racial categorization of an individual cannot be determined without … his personal ancestry and racial biological characteristics— 
This ruling set the tone for how the Nazis dealt with the Karaite community in Eastern Europe. At the same time, the Nazis had serious reservations about the Karaites. SS Obergruppenfuhrer Gottlob Berger wrote on November 24, 1944:
"Their Mosaic religion is unwelcome. However, on grounds of race, language and religious dogma... Discrimination against the Karaites is unacceptable, in consideration of their racial kinsmen [Berger was here referring to the Crimean Tatars]. However, so as not to infringe the unified anti-Jewish orientation of the nations led by Germany, it is suggested that this small group be given the opportunity of a separate existence (for example, as a closed construction or labor battalion)..."
Despite having exempt status, groups of Karaites were massacred in the early phases of the war. German soldiers who came across Karaites in Russia during the invasion of Operation Barbarossa, unaware of their legal status under German law, attacked them; 200 were killed at Babi Yar alone. German allies such as Vichy France began to require the Karaites to register as Jews, but eventually granted them non-Jewish status after getting orders by Berlin.
When interrogated, Ashkenazi rabbis in Crimea told the Germans that Karaites were not Jews, in an effort to spare the Karaite community the fate of their Rabbanite neighbors. Many Karaites risked their lives to hide Jews, and in some cases claimed that Jews were members of their community. The Nazis impressed many Karaites into labor battalions.
After the Soviet recapture of Crimea from Nazi forces in 1944, the Soviet authorities counted 6,357 remaining Karaites. Karaites were not subject to mass deportation, unlike the Crimean Tatars, Greeks, Armenians and others the Soviet authorities alleged had collaborated during the Nazi German occupation. Some individual Karaites were deported.
Assimilation and emigration greatly reduced the ranks of the Karaite community. A few thousand Karaites remain in Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and Poland. Other minor communities exist in Israel, Turkey, the United States, and Great Britain.
The name "Crimean Karaites" has often been considered as something of a misnomer, as many branches of this community found their way to locations throughout Europe.
As time went on, some of these communities spread throughout the region, including to Crimea. According to Karaite tradition, all the Eastern European Karaite communities were derived from those in the Crimea, but some modern historians doubt the Crimean origin of Lithuanian Karaites. Nevertheless, this name, "Crimean Karaites" is used for the Turkic-speaking Karaites community supposed to have originated in Crimea, distinguishing it from the historically Aramaic, Hebrew, and Arabic-speaking Karaites of the Levant, Anatolia, and the Middle East.For the purposes of this article, the terms "Crimean Karaites", "Karaim", and "Qarays" are used interchangeably, while "Karaites" alone refers to the general Karaite branch of Judaism.
The local Karaim communities still exist in Lithuania (where they live mostly in Panevėžys and Trakai regions) and Poland. The 1979 census in the USSR showed 3,300 Karaim. Lithuanian Karaim Culture Community was founded in 1988.
According to the Lithuanian Karaim website the Statistics Department of Lithuania carried out an ethno-statistic research entitled "Karaim in Lithuania" in 1997. It was decided to question all adult Karaim and mixed families, where one of the members is a Karaim. During the survey, for the beginning of 1997, there were 257 people of Karaim nationality, 32 of whom were children under 16.
Until the 20th century, Karaite Judaism was the only religion of the Karaim, During the Russian Civil War a significant number of Karaim emigrated to Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary and then France and Germany. Most of them converted to Christianity. The Karaim's modern national movement philanthropist M.S. Sarach was one of them.
In 1928 secular Karaim philologist Seraya Shapshal was elected as Hacham of Polish and Lithuanian Karaim. Being a strong adopter of Russian orientalist V. Grigorjev's theory about the Khazarian origin of the Crimean Karaites, Shapshal developed the Karaim's religion and historical dejudaization doctrine
In the mid 1930s, he began to create a theory describing the Altai-Turkic origin of the Karaim and the pagan roots of Karaite religious teaching (worship of sacred oaks, polytheism, led by the god Tengri, the Sacrifice). Shapshal's doctrine is still a topic of critical research and public debate.
He made a number of other changes aimed at the Karaim's Turkification and at erasing the Karaite Jewish elements of their culture and language. He issued an order canceling the teaching of Hebrew in Karaite schools and replaced the names of the Jewish holidays and months with Turkic equivalents (see the table below).
According to Shapshal, Crimean Karaites were pagans who adopted the law of Moses, but continued to adhere to their ancient Turkic beliefs. In addition, he claimed that the Karaites had revered Jesus and Mohammed as prophets for centuries. In the Post-Soviet period, Shapshal's theory was further developed in modern Karaylar publications (e.g. "Crimean Karaites legends") and was officially adopted by the Crimean Karaim Association "Krymkaraylar" (Ассоциация крымских караимов “Крымкарайлар”) as the only correct view of the Karaim's past and the present in 2000.
|Traditional Hebrew name (1915)||Secondary name||Modern Turkic name||Turkic name translated to English.|
|Pesach||Hag ha-Machot (Unleavened bread festival)||Tymbyl Chydžy||Unleavened bread ("Tymbyl") festival|
|Omer||Sefira (Counting of the Omer)|
|San Bašy||Counting Beginning|
|Jarty San||Counting Middle|
|Shavuot||Hag Shavuot (Feast of Weeks)||Aftalar Chydžy||Feast of Weeks|
|The 9th of Tammuz Fast||Chom Hareviyi (4th month fast)||Burunhu Oruč||First Fast|
|The 7th of Av Fast||Chom Hahamishi (5th month fast)||Ortančy Oruč||Middle Fast|
|The 10th of Av Fast"||Yom hа-Churban – The Destruction Day (of the Solomon's Temple). The other name: "Nedava"(offering)||Kurban||Sacrifice|
|Rosh HaShana||Yom Teru'ah (The blowing of horns day)||Byrhy Kiuniu||Horns Day|
|Yom Kippur||literally "The Day of Atonement"||Bošatlych Kiuniu||The Day of Atonement|
|Fast of Gedalia||Chom Hashviyi (7th month fast)||Omitted|
|Sukkot||literally "Tabernacles". The other name: "Hag Ha Asif" ("Harvest festival")||Alačych Chydžy or Oraq Toyu||Tabernacles festival or Harvest festival|
|Tenth of Tevet fast||Chom Haasiri (10th month fast)||Oruč||Fast|
|Purim||"Lots".||Kynyš||Three-cornered shaped sweet filled-pocket cookie.|
|Was not considered a holiday||Jyl Bašy||The beginning of the Year|
Leon Kull and Kevin Alan Brook led the first scientific study of Crimean Karaites using genetic testing of both Y chromosomal DNA and mitochondrial DNA and the results showed that Crimean Karaites are indeed partially of Middle Eastern origin and closely related to other Jewish communities (Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews), while finding that the Crimean Karaites are genetically unrelated to non-Jewish Turkic-speaking peoples of the region.
Karaim is a Kypchak Turkic language being closely related to Crimean Tatar, Armeno-Kipchak etc. Among the many different influences exerted on Karaim, those of Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian were the first to change the outlook of the Karaim lexicon. Later, due to considerable Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian influence, many Slavic and Baltic words entered the language of Polish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, and Russian Karaim. Hebrew remained in use for liturgical purposes. Following the Ottoman occupation of Crimea, Turkish was used for business and government purposes among Karaim living on the Crimean peninsula. Three different dialects developed: the Trakai dialect, used in Trakai and Vilnius (Lithuania), the Lutsk or Halych dialect spoken in Lutsk (until World War II), and Halych, and the Crimean dialect. The last forms the Eastern group, while Trakai and Halych Karaim belong to the Western group. Currently only small minority of Karaim can speak the Karaim language (72 Crimean dialect speakers, 118 Trakai dialect speakers, and about 20 Halych dialect speakers).
The most famous Crimean Karaite food is Kybyn (Russian: Кибина pl. Кибины, Karaim: kybyn pl. kybynlar, Lithuanian: Kibinai). Kybynlar are half moon shaped pies of leavened dough with a stuffing of chopped beef or mutton, baked in dutch oven or baking sheet. Other meals common for Crimean Karaites and Tatars are Chiburekki, Pelmeni, Shishlik (These are most often made from mutton).
Ceremony dishes, cooked for religious holidays and weddings are:
Abraham (Avraham) ben Samuel Firkovich (Hebrew אברהם בן שמואל - Avraham ben Shmuel; Karayce: Аврагъам Фиркович - Avragham Firkovich) (1786–1874) was a famous Karaite writer and archeologist, collector of ancient manuscripts, and a Karaite Hakham. He was born in Lutsk, Volhynia, then lived in Lithuania, and finally settled in Çufut Qale, Crimea. Gabriel Firkovich of Troki was his son-in-law.Abraham Kirimi
Abraham Kirimi (Hebrew: אברהם קירימי?; 1358, Solhat – 15th century) was a Crimean rabbi of the 14th century.Adolph Joffe
Adolph Abramovich Joffe (Russian: Адо́льф Абра́мович Ио́ффе, alternative transliterations Adolf Ioffe or, rarely, Yoffe) (10 October 1883 in Simferopol – 16 November 1927 in Moscow) was a Communist revolutionary, a Bolshevik politician and a Soviet diplomat of Karaite descent.Benjamin Aga
Benjamin Aga (Karaim: Беньямин Агъа), who died in 1824, was the leader of the Crimean Karaites. He was the royal treasurer of Şahin Giray, the last Crimean Khan, and therefore is called in Karaite literature ha-Neeman ("the Trusted")—an appellation bestowed also upon his father Samuel, who died in 1770, and who probably held the same office under former khans. When Şahin Giray fled for his life from his rebellious subjects, and sought succor from his protectress Catherine II in St. Petersburg, Benjamin Aga followed him, hoping to collect the large sums of money that he had advanced to the fugitive. Following the last partition of Poland in 1795, after Crimea had been under Russian rule for over a decade, Vilnius, Lutsk and Trakai came under Russian Rule. Benjamin Aga, Solomon ben Nahamu Bobowitz, and the astronomer Isaac of Kalea, the son-in-law of Jacob Aga, who was the elder brother of Benjamin, went to St. Petersburg as a delegation from the Crimean Karaites, to petition the empress to release their sect from the double rate of taxation which all the Jews then had to pay. Through the intervention of Count Nikolay Zubov, the delegation obtained from the empress the exemption from the "Jewish" taxes, some land grants, and other privileges which had not been asked for. This established an important precedent for exempting the Karaites from subsequent anti-Jewish legislation. The extraordinary success of the mission served to arouse great enthusiasm among the Karaites, and Aga and his fellow delegates were received with great honor on their return. A large monolith, fashioned out of marble, with fitting inscription, was erected in the court of the kenesa at Eupatoria, to commemorate an event so important in the history of the Karaites of Russia.Chufut-Kale
Chufut-Kale (Tatar pronunciation: [tʃuˈfut qaˈle]; Russian and Ukrainian: Чуфут-Кале - Chufut-Kale; Crimean Tatar: Çufut Qale; Karaim: Къале - Qale) is a medieval city-fortress in the Crimean Mountains that now lies in ruins. It is a national monument of Crimean Karaites culture just 3 km (1.9 mi) east of Bakhchisaray.
Its name is Crimean Tatar and Turkish for "Jewish Fortress" (çufut/çıfıt - Jew, qale/kale - fortress), while Crimean Karaites refer to it simply as "Fortress", considering the place as historical center for the Crimean Karaite community. In the Middle Ages the fortress was known as Qırq Yer (Place of Forty) and as Karaites to which sect the greater part of its inhabitants belong, Sela' ha-Yehudim (The Rock of the Jews).Constantinopolitan Karaites
The Constantinopolitan Karaites or Greco-Karaites are a Karaite community with a specific historical development and a distinct cultural, linguistic and literary heritage, while they share particular commonalities with the Romaniote Jews.Eupatorian Kenassas
The Eupatorian Kenassas is the temple complex of Crimean Karaites (karaev) located in Eupatoria, Crimea. It covers an area of 0.25 hectares and consists of large and small kenesa buildings (meetinghouses), building religious schools (Midrash), charity dining, household courtyards and multiple courtyards (grape, marble, waiting for the prayer Ritual, Memorial). The kenesa has been a centre of the religious life of the Karaites of Yevpatoria since 1837.Iosif Grigulevich
Iosif Romualdovich Grigulevich (Russian: Иосиф Ромуальдович Григулевич; May 5, 1913 – June 2, 1988) was a Soviet NKVD Operative between 1937 and 1953, when he took a leading role in assassinating Communist and Bolshevik individuals who were not loyal to Joseph Stalin.
Under a false identity as Teodoro B. Castro, a wealthy Costa Rican expatriate living in Rome, Grigulevich served as the ambassador of the Republic of Costa Rica to both Italy and Yugoslavia (1952–1954). His mission as an agent was to assassinate Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito but was later aborted by Stalin's death in 1953. Grigulevich then settled in Moscow, where he worked as an expert on the history of Latin America and on the Roman Catholic Church.
He was a member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, served as editor-in-chief of the magazine Obshchestvennye nauki i sovremennost ("Social Sciences Today"), and published many books and articles about Latin American subjects.Joel Baer Falkovich
Joel Baer Falkovich was a Russian Empire dramatist. He authored Yiddish plays such as Reb Chaimele der Koẓin, (Odessa, 1866) and Rochel die Singerin, (Zhytomyr, 1868). His letters to Abraham Firkovich were also noted.Karaim language
The Karaim language (Crimean dialect: къарай тили, Trakai dialect: karaj tili, traditional Hebrew name lashon kedar לשון קדר "language of the nomads") is a Turkic language with Hebrew influences, in a similar manner to Yiddish or Judaeo-Spanish. It is spoken by only a few dozen Crimean Karaites (Qrimqaraylar) in Lithuania, Poland and Crimea and Galicia in Ukraine. The three main dialects are those of Crimea, Trakai-Vilnius and Lutsk-Halych all of which are critically endangered. The Lithuanian dialect of Karaim is spoken mainly in the town of Trakai (also known as Troki) by a small community living there since the 14th century.
There is a chance the language will survive in Trakai as a result of official support and because of its appeal to tourists coming to the Trakai Island Castle, where Crimean Karaites are presented as the castle's ancient defenders.Karaite
Karaite or Qaraite may refer to:
Karaite Judaism, a Jewish religious movement that rejects the Talmud
Crimean Karaites, an ethnic group derived from Turkic-speaking adherents of Karaite Judaism in Eastern EuropeSubbotnik Karaites, one of the three sects of Subbotniks
Karaite language, Turkic language of Crimean Karaites. Its Crimean dialect is an ethnolect of the Crimean Tatar language.Krymchaks
The Krymchaks (Krymchak: sg. кърымчах - qrımçah, pl. кърымчахлар - qrımçahlar) are Jewish ethno-religious communities of Crimea derived from Turkic-speaking adherents of Orthodox Judaism. They have historically lived in close proximity to the Crimean Karaites, also Turkic but who follow Karaite Judaism.
At first krymchak was a Russian descriptive used to differentiate them from their Ashkenazi Jewish coreligionists, as well as other Jewish communities in the former Russian Empire such as the Georgian Jews, but in the second half of the 19th century this name was adopted by the Krymchaks themselves. Before this their self-designation was "Срель балалары" (Srel balalary) - literally "Children of Israel". The Crimean Tatars referred to them as zuluflı çufutlar ("Jews with pe'ot") to distinguish them from the Karaites, who were called zulufsız çufutlar ("Jews without pe'ot").List of Karaite Jews
People associated with Karaite Judaism include:
Early Karaite Period — 8th-9th centuries (700-899 CE)
‘Anan ben David, founder of the Annanites which would later be absorbed into Kara'ism
Benjamin al-Nahawandi, regarded by some as the proper originator of Kara'ism as it has come down through the ages
Golden Age — 10th-12th centuries (900-1199 CE)
Aharon ben Mosheh ben Asher (died c.960 CE), refiner of the Tiberian writing system, regarded as having produced the most accurate version of the Masoretic Text
Daniel al-Qumisi, Kara'ite scholar, polemicist, proto-Zionist, and compiler of the legal code Sefer ha-Mitzvot
Hasun ben Mashiach, scholar who flourished in Egypt (or Babylonia) in the first half of the tenth century
Ya'akov Qirqisani aka al-Kirkisani, dogmatist, author, and exegete of the early 10th century
Yehudah Hadasi, 12th century scholar, philosopher, and grammarian from Constantinople
Solomon ben Jeroham, exegete and controversialist
Yefet ben Ali, Babylonian commentator on the Bible
Middle Period — 13th-17th century (1200-1699 CE)
Aaron ben Elijah of Nicomedia (1328/9-1369), perhaps the most prominent Kara'ite theologian, considered the Kara'ite equivalent of his rabbinic contemporary, Maimonides
Elijah Bashyazi (1420-1490), Hakham who codified Karaite laws
Moses ben Elijah Bashyazi (1537-1555), wrote many Karaite books
Yiṣḥaq b. Avraham of Troki, 16th century Lithuanian Kara'ite philosopher and writer who wrote the important apology or defense of Judaism vis-a-vis Christianity entitled Ḥizzuq Emunah (Fortification of Faith)
Mordecai Sultansky (1772-1862), prominent scholar who wrote about angelology and the origin of Karaite Jews
Early-Modern Era — 18th-19th centuries (1700-1947 CE)
Abram Samoilovitch Besicovitch (1891-1970), Russian-English mathematician
Adolph Joffe (1883-1927), Russian communist revolutionary, Bolshevik politician, Soviet diplomat
Avraham Firkovich, famous leader of the Crimean Karaites, a very important collector of manuscripts, who was an amateur archeologist
Solomon Krym (1864–1936), deputy in the Russian Duma
Samuel Maykapar (1867-1938), Soviet composer
Seraya Shapshal (1873-1961), ḥakham of the Lithuanian Karaite community
Sima Babovich (1790-1855), ḥakham of the Crimean Karaites
Current-Modern Era — 20th-21st centuries (1948 CE-present)
Avraham Kefeli, Ḥazzan in Ashdod, Israel
Avraham Qanaï, Ḥakham of the Kara'ite congregation “Oraḥ Ṣaddiqim” in Albany, New York
Melech ben Ya'aqov, Ḥakham of the World Alliance of Qara'im, and maintains the website Karaite Insights
Joe Pessah, Congregation leader of congregation B'nai Y'Israel in Daly City, California
Meir Rekhavi, Ḥakham and co-founder of the World Karaite Movement, holds the position of Chancellor for the Karaite Jewish University, maintains the website Rekhavi.karaitejudaism.org
Moshe Marzouk (1926-1955), Egyptian Kara'ite Jew, hanged by Egypt for his participation in Israel's Operation Suzannah, also called the Lavon Affair
Moshe ben Yosef Firrouz, Chief Rabbi and Vice-Chancellor of Karaite Jewish University, maintains the Karaim.net website
Yochanan Zaqantov, Hazzan and Dean of Students of Karaite Jewish University, maintains the KaraiteJudaism.org websiteMarina Kumysh
Marina Yevgenyevna Kumysh (Russian: Марина Евгеньевна Кумыш) (born December 27, 1964 in Moscow, Russia) is a former Soviet competitive volleyball player and Olympic gold medalist.Russian Jews in Israel
Russian Jews in Israel are immigrants and descendants of the immigrants of the Russian Jewish communities, who now reside within the State of Israel. They number around 900,000. This refers to all post-Soviet Jewish disaspora groups, not only Russian Jews, but also Ashkenazi Jews, Mountain Jews, Crimean Karaites, Krymchaks, Subbotniks, Bukharan Jews, and Georgian Jews.Seraya (disambiguation)
Seraya or Serayah may refer to:
Seraya, historical building in Nazareth, Israel
Seraya Shapshal (1873-1961), hakham and leader of the Crimean and then the Polish and Lithuanian Crimean Karaites (Karaim) community
Serayah McNeill (born 1995), American actress, model and singer also known by the mononym Serayah
Seraya Energy, licensed electricity retailer in SingaporeSeraya Shapshal
Seraya Shapshal or His Excellency Hajji Seraya Khan Shapshal (Karaim: Серая Бен Мордехай Шапшал; Lithuanian: Seraja Šapšalas; Polish: Seraj Szapszał; Russian: Серге́й Маркович Шапшал) (1873–1961) was a hakham and leader of the Crimean and then the Polish and Lithuanian Crimean Karaites (Karaim) community.Sima Babovich
Sima ben Salomon Babovich (Karayce: Сима Бабович - Sima Babovich, Russian: Сима Соломонович Бабович) (1790–1855) was a first Hakham of the Russian Crimean Karaites, one of the early figures in the Crimean Karaites movement.
Babovich used his influence with Czarist authorities to obtain an exemption for the Crimean Karaites of Russia from military service, which continued to be compulsory for Rabbinic Jews in Russia. The Karaites of Yevpatoria commemorated this event every year by an annual special prayer in his honor.
Babovich and his descendants were prominent leaders in the affairs of the Crimean Karaites. His agitation gained recognition from the Russian government of the Karaites as a separate religious community in 1837. He was a close associate of Avraham Firkovich, who accompanied him on his visit to the Holy Land in 1830. It was Babovich who asked Firkovich to assemble material detailing the history, origin and customs of the Crimean Karaites, in response to a request from the Russian government. In 1840 the Karaites were granted the status of an independent Church and giving them rights far in advance of the Jews. The Russian government made Babovich the Hakham of the Crimean Karaites.Solomon Krym
Solomon Krym (1864–1936) was an agronomist and a Crimean Karaite politician.
He was elected in 1906 to the First Duma (1906–07) as a Kadet (Constitutional Democratic Party). He was an active member of the irregular freemasonic lodge, the Grand Orient of Russia’s Peoples.A few months after the dismantling of the Tatar-controlled Crimean People's Republic, he was briefly the Finance Minister under the first Crimean Regional Government headed by General Suleyman Sulkiewicz. On November 16, 1918 he became the Prime Minister of the second short-lived Crimean Regional liberal, anti-separatist and anti-Soviet government. His Foreign Affairs Minister was Maxim Vinaver, another former Kadet member of the First Duma.After the defeat of the Volunteer Army in April 1919 he emigrated and went into exile in a Russian émigrés colony at Bormes-les-Mimosas (France), building a house on the "Russian hill" there.
National or ethnic groups in Ukraine of over 1,000 people are shown.
1These are traditional areas of settlement; the Turkic group has been living in the listed country/region for centuries and should not be confused with modern diasporas.
2State with limited international recognition.
1 The Turkmen people living in Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Iran are not to be confused with the Turkmen/Turkoman minorities in the Levant (i.e. Iraq and Syria) as the latter minorities mostly adhere to a Ottoman-Turkish heritage and identity.
2 This list only includes traditional areas of Turkish settlement (i.e. Turks still living in the former Ottoman territories).
|Largest ethnic minorities|
|Smaller ethnic minorities|
|Other small ethnic minorities|