Jews are not commonly associated with
East Asia, yet by the Middle Ages flourishing Jewish communities had emerged
in China. Jewish traders had settled there, notably in Kaifeng. By the
19th century these communities had all but disappeared.
In modern times, Jews again settled in
China, establishing themselves mainly in Harbin, Tientsin and Shanghai.
The largest and most varied community existed in the port city of Shanghai,
following three main waves of Jewish migration:
Some came to improve their lives, some came
for sanctuary, but they all left again after World War II.
Oriental Jewish traders, predominantly from
Iraq and India
Russian Jews escaping pogroms and revolution
or seeking new opportunities
Jewish refugees from Nazi-dominated Europe
This exhibition tells their stories of
courage and serendipity, threat and opportunity.