Story Publication logo September 26, 2006

Krasnaya Sloboda


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Pulitzer Center Director Jon Sawyer traveled to Russia and throughout the South Caucasus, reporting...


These photographs depict life in Krasnaya Sloboda, a prosperous and highly unusual town in the mountains of northeastern Azerbaijan. Krasnaya Sloboda is home to the "mountain Jews," a community of some 5,000 that traces its roots in this region for centuries and that some have linked to the lost tribes that left Israel after the destruction of the first temple.

Many community members have emigrated to Russia, Europe and the United States, returning here for family reunions; their remittances have made the town one of Azerbaijan's most prosperous. Inter-marriage with Azeri Muslims is relatively rare and education is for the most part separate but relations between the two religious groups has been harmonious. The town is a hopeful oasis in a fractious region.

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