Wednesday mornings, 11 am – noon*
Current book: Jews in China: A History of Struggle – Nicholas Zhang, N House Publishing (April, 2019)
Topic: Jewish History
Chinese Jews are the descendants of Han Chinese and Sephardic Jews who migrated to China thousands of years ago. They reside along the banks of Yellow River, in the cradle of a great civilization, but unknown to most people.
They boast a profound line of descent, from ancestors who fled Roman persecution during Han Dynasty to merchant forefathers who journeyed across Silk Road during Tang Dynasty, the Jews found a new home for themselves in China.
Throughout a long history of upheavals, these people of immense perseverance and resourcefulness congregated as much as possible to support each other in their new home. While eventually adopting Chinese customs as necessity for survival, they fought hard to maintained their Jewish way of life. After centuries of intermarriage and millenniums of assimilation, these children of Abraham and Sarah, sculpted by teachings of Confucius and Lao Tzu, emerged with an identity and culture that is uniquely their own, unseen anywhere in the world. This occurrence is exceptionally rare, and utterly significant.
From the Publisher: The author skillfully condenses centuries of historical information about four main groups of Jewish immigrants to China into this succinct, but comprehensive, chronicle. The Kaifeng Jews, who now look no different from their Chinese neighbors due to thousands of years of intermarriage and assimilation; the Baghdadi Jews, who came to Shanghai after the First Opium War and became fabulously wealthy through opium trade and real estate development; the Russian Jews, who left the Pale of Settlement for a better life in Harbin and prospered by supplying vast natural resources from Northeast China to Europe; and last but not least, the tens of thousands of German and Austrians Jews who escaped Nazi-occupied Europe and found refuge in Shanghai.
Please order your Paperback or Kindle edition in time for our April 22 meeting.
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