October 2012, Again – Kaifeng, China. We are at the oldest Jewish burial place in China – with Mr. Jin in front of his life-long project, his family memorial. Our new friend dedicated his life savings and his entire life to create this marble memorial book which presents – engraved in English on one side and in Chinese on another – the 900-year story of Mr. Jin’s family within the context of Chinese history.Continue reading “What does it take to preserve Jewish identity if you are a Chinese Jew?”
We visited this synagogue in Kaifeng in October 2012. On the photo you can see how Irene hurriedly writes, Esther, a Founder and Director of the Kaifeng Jewish History Memorial Center, tells the story of her forebears. On the wall, is the 18th- century rendering of Kaifeng synagogue. For anyone who visited the Forbidden City in Beijing and at least a temple or two elsewhere in China, the synagogue rendering reminds of the country’s typical residential or religious compounds.
In October 2012, we went to Henan province, one of the poorest in China and definitely off the tourist tack. We wanted to get to Kaifeng to meet Esther, “A Kaifeng Jew” as she proudly calls herself. On this photo, Irene is standing with Esther, in front of the entrance to Esther’s house. Shema is visible on the opposite wall.Continue reading “Meeting Biblical Esther-namesake in Kaifeng, China”