Asian Jewish Life is a celebration of the diversity of the Jewish experience in Asia as well as of Asian Jewry. We publish a quarterly print magazine that is also available on-line that seeks to connect the separate pockets of Jewish Life throughout the region by creating a contemporary creative outlet to share thoughts, ideas and promote unity through memoirs, poetry, short fiction, historical pieces, book and film reviews, viewpoint articles, artist profiles, photography and graphic art.
Jewish Times Asia, was established in 2006, and is the regions first independent community newspaper for Jewish residents, business travellers and vacationers. The growth of Jewish families residing in the region has steadily increased and many more communities have been established.
This scholarly collection examines the origins, history, and contemporary nature of Chinese Judaism in the community of Kaifeng. These essays, written by a diverse, international team of contributors, explore the culture and history of this thousand-year-old Jewish community, whose synthesis of Chinese and Jewish cultures helped guarantee its survival. Part I of this study analyzes the origin and historical development of the Kaifeng community, as well as the unique cultural synthesis it engendered. Part II explores the contemporary nature of this Chinese Jewish community, particularly examining the community's relationship to Jewish organizations outside of China, the impact of Western Jewish contact, and the tenuous nature of Jewish identity in Kaifeng.
Online. "Bookstores in Chinese cities are stocked with dozens of Chinese-language books on how Jews conduct business, manage the world, and raise their children. At least ten universities throughout China offer popular Jewish Studies programs, some with advanced degrees. Yet there are virtually no Jews in China. The Chinese are constructing an identity for a people that the large majority of them will never meet. This edited volume critically examines the image of Jews from the contemporary perspective of ordinary Chinese citizens. It includes chapters on Chinese Jewish Studies programs, popular Chinese books and blogs about Jews, China's relations with Israel, and innovative examinations of the ancient Jewish community of Kaifeng."
Available online. This interdisciplinary study examines patterns of migration, acculturation, assimilation and economic activity of successive waves of Jewish arrivals in China from approximately AD 1100 to 1949.
Given the lack of French sources used in existing studies about the history of Chinese Jews, this book utilises the work of French Sinologists and other specialists in Chinese history and philosophy, highlighting that the tendency to suggest that Jewish presence in China began in the 12th century obscures centuries of Jewish history. As such, it offers unique insights into this history, showing that the Jewish presence is almost 3000 years old. The book is enriched by investigations of the Kaifeng community and the different Jewish communities in China, providing accounts of inter-community relations between "original" Chinese Jews and more recently established Jewish communities in China.
A thousand years ago, the Chinese government invited merchants from one of the Chinese port synagogue communities to the capital, Kaifeng. The merchants settled there and the community prospered. Over centuries, with government support, the Kaifeng Jews built and rebuilt their synagogue, which became perhaps the world's largest. Some studied for the rabbinate; others prepared for civil service examinations, leading to a disproportionate number of Jewish government officials. While continuing orthodox Jewish practices they added rituals honouring their parents and the patriarchs, in keeping with Chinese custom. However, by the mid-eighteenth centuryâcut off from Judaism elsewhere for two centuries, their synagogue destroyed by a flood, their community impoverished and dispersed by a civil war that devastated Kaifengâtheir Judaism became defunct. The Theology of the Chinese Jews traces the history of Jews in China and explores how their theology's focus on love, rather than on the fear of a non-anthropomorphic God, may speak to contemporary liberal Jews. Equally relevant to contemporary Jews is that the Chinese Jews remained fully Jewish while harmonizing with the family-centred religion of China. In an illuminating postscript, Rabbi Anson Laytner underscores the point that Jewish culture can thrive in an open society, "without hostility, by absorbing the best of the dominant culture and making it one's own."
The incredible story of the Jewish refugee community in Shanghai during World War II is the subject of this fascinating documentary. Seeking refuge from Nazi terror, some 17,000 Jews travelled to Shanghai, one of the few places that did not require a visa. Although a few Jews already lived in China (Sephardic Jews from India had been there since the mid-1800s) the Europeans found life there strange and difficult. Juxtaposing interviews with survivors with archival photographs, this film recounts the days when Jews lived in China under Japanese rule. Although the Japanese forced the exiles into a ghetto, they did not follow Hitler's extermination plan. Shanghai indeed became a place of refuge.
The Jewish Community of Japan is a warm and vibrant egalitarian congregation. We welcome everyone who wants to join us for services, events or any other activity regardless of their Jewish affiliation, gender, color or sexual identity.
Although the Bene Israel community of western India, the Baghdadi Jews of Bombay and Calcutta, and the Cochin Jews of the Malabar Coast form a tiny segment of the Indian population, their long-term residence within a vastly different culture has always made them the subject of much curiosity. India is perhaps the one country in the world where Jews have never been exposed to anti-Semitism, but in the last century they have had to struggle to maintain their identity as they encountered two competing nationalisms: Indian nationalism and Zionism.