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Recently, the Shanghai Evergreen School, an outstanding primary school in Shanghai, became the first primary school in Shanghai to offer Hebrew classes. It is a part of their efforts to boost students’ interests in minority languages.The teachers are from SISU (Shanghai International Studies University). These include Israeli teacher Miri Beck, who is a Professor of Hebrew at the university. Indeed SISU is one of the few Chinese universities which teach Hebrew.
Updated: Oct. 15, 2015
Nathan Jeffay writes about seven descendants of the ancient Jewish community of Kaifeng in China who have come to study Judaism in Israel and rejoin the Jewish People. Kaifeng’s Jews are said to have been merchants from Persia or Iraq who made their way eastward along the Silk Road and established themselves in the city with the blessing of the Chinese emperor. The Kaifeng Jewish community was founded over a thousand years ago, numbering in the thousands; however the community disintegrated in the mid-19th century, with the death of its last rabbi, and those members that hadn’t done so already intermarried and dropped most aspects of religious observance. The seven men in Jerusalem are descendants of this community in which families retained a sense of Jewish identity and, in some cases, in a manner reminiscent of the Marranos of Spain and Portugal, clung to some disjointed traditions.
Updated: Aug. 17, 2010