Last Updated: January 8, 2015
Read about The Jews of Khazaria - the general-interest book about the Khazars in English.
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News: Ashkenazi Levites paternally descend from an Iranian people not from Khazars or Slavs, per genetic evidence revealed in a new study by Siiri Rootsi et al. discussed here, here, here, and here. Since no other paternal or maternal haplogroup among Ashkenazim comes from a Central Asian Turkic source either, we are now left with the total absence of evidence for Khazar ancestry in Ashkenazi Jews. I had researched the possibility of Khazar ancestry for 20 years. Surprisingly, there is evidence for small amounts of Southern Chinese, North African, and Slavic ancestry in Ashkenazi Jews, but not for Turkic Khazar ancestry.
In a brief moment early in episode 10 ("Decoding Our Past Through DNA") of season 2 of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Ashkenazic playwright Tony Kushner responds with happiness to the finding of 0.1% East Asian ancestry in his personal autosomal DNA as tested by 23andMe. His autosomal test also found he's a genetic cousin of the Ashkenazic singer-songwriter Carole King.
Vladimir Klyutchnikov together with "Oleg Ivik" (the collective pseudonym of Olga Kolobova and Valeriy Ivanov) wrote the new book titled Khazary that was published by Lomonosov in Moscow in 2013 in the Russian language. It includes both archaeological and historical data related to the Khazars. The authors' own archaeological expeditions form part of the discussion.
The scholar Osman Karatay's book Hazarlar was published by Kripto in Istanbul in 2014 in the Turkish language. It is a 336-page general-interest book about the Khazars.
Professor Simon Schama's The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words (1000 BCE - 1492 AD) is the latest book to cite The Jews of Khazaria, Second Edition. Schama wrote about Khazar King Joseph's correspondence with Hasdai ibn Shaprut, about the Khazar coins dedicated to Moses, about remnants of Jewish Khazars visiting Spain, and more. Schama's accompanying 5-hour television documentary is sponsored by WNET for airing on PBS in the U.S., played last year on the BBC in the U.K., and is available as a DVD. The medieval period is chronicled in part 2 of the documentary, "Among Believers". Schama is also known for his Financial Times review in November 2009 that criticized Shlomo Sand's absurd book that denied the peoplehood of Jews.
Over a thousand years ago, the far east of Europe was ruled by Jewish kings who presided over numerous tribes, including their own tribe: the Turkic Khazars. After their conversion, the Khazar people used Jewish personal names, spoke and wrote in Hebrew, were circumcised, had synagogues and rabbis, studied the Torah and Talmud, and observed Hanukkah, Pesach, and the Sabbath. The Khazars were an advanced civilization with one of the most tolerant societies of the medieval period. It hosted merchants from all over Asia and Europe. On these pages it is hoped that you may learn more about this fascinating culture.
Current Publications for Sale
THE JEWS OF KHAZARIA
WORLD OF THE KHAZARS
'ZAMKI' KHAZARSKOGO KAGANATA
THE KUZARI: IN DEFENSE
OF THE DESPISED FAITH
Tree DNA: Genetic Testing Service