There are two distinct Jewish communities in Uzbekistan: the more religious and traditional Bukharan Jewish community and Ashkenazi community made up primarily of Jews of European origin. There are 12 synagogues in Uzbekistan.
The three major Jewish centers are Samarkand, Bukhara, and Tashkent. Bukharan Jews account for almost the entire community in Samarkand. Nearly all the Ashkenazim live in Tashkent.
In recent years, many Jews left Uzbekistan due to economic impoverishment. Jewish quarters, traditionally called mahalla, still exist in Samarkand, Bukhara, and smaller cities of the Ferghana Valley. There, Jews continue to follow a traditional way of life.
Both Tashkent and Bukhara have Jewish cultural centers. Jewish musicians play a leading role in the local musical scene, performing both Uzbek folk music and classical central Asian music called shash makom.
The JFuture Jewish Educational Sunday School, a special project of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, functions in Bukhara.