Dr. Roben Datkhaev emigrated from Dushanbe, Tajikistan, to Boulder in 1992, along with his family. He describes growing up in the Jewish community in Dushanbe, his education and his many years as a surgeon and chief medical director of a hospital in the former Soviet Union. He explains his reasons for wanting to emigrate, what was involved in obtaining permission to leave, and the way that he worked with Bill Cohen and Boulder Action for Soviet Jewry to obtain permission for others to emigrate. He offers a detailed portrait of both the support of the Boulder Jewish community and the difficulties that he had, as a professional, being able to find work in his new country that used his skills. He also speaks of his father’s life, philosophy, and accomplishments with great affection and respect, including his leadership of the Bukharian Jewish community in Denver. Finally, he compares Boulder and the former Soviet Union in terms of attitudes toward religion and education systems.
This interview is part of a series about Boulder Action for Soviet Jewry.
View DVD and time-indexed transcript at Carnegie Branch Library.