Mazel Tov! Chinese Kaifeng Jews to Start New Lives in Israel

Mazel Tov! Chinese Kaifeng Jews to Start New Lives in Israel
Mar 03, 2016 By eChinacities.com

Five young Chinese Jewish women from Kaifeng arrived in Israel this week to begin their new lives in Israel. The four women are among the one thousand or so traceable descendants of China’s ancient Jewish community in Kaifeng. The women have limited Hebrew—there are no synagogues in Kaifeng.

To become Israeli citizens, the women will spend a year studying Hebrew and Judaism before undergoing a formal conversion. They must formally convert because of the lack of recorded evidence of their Jewish past.

The women are sponsored by Shavei Israel, an organization that helps otherwise “forgotten” Jews immigrate to Israel. The organization will pay the women’s living expenses and support them as they prepare for their formal conversation. The women will receive Israeli citizenship after their conversion.

Shavei Israel founder Michael Freund said that the women are the first group of Chinese Jews the organization has sponsored in seven years. “The descendants of the Kaifeng Jews are a living link between the Jewish and Chinese people,” said Freund.

“After centuries of assimilation, more and more Jews from Kaifeng are beginning to want to return to their roots and embrace their Jewish identity,” he said.

In 2009, Shavei Israel supported seven Chinese Jews from Kaifeng immigrate to Israel. In all, the organization has helped 19 Kaifeng Jews.

The Jewish community in Kaifeng was strongest in the Ming Dynasty. In that period, there were possibly up to 5,000 Jews living in the city. The Jewish community in Kaifeng was founded by Jewish merchants from Iraq or Persia in the eighth and ninth century. Today, there are about 500 to 1000 Chinese Jews in Kaifeng that still observe Jewish customs in some form.

Source: sinoca.com

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Keywords: Kaifeng China Kaifeng Jews Chinese Jews

12 Comments

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1

Guest743842
comment|69543|82649

It's too bad they are 5 young women, and not 5 young men.

Mar 10, 2016 10:05 Report Abuse

2

Guest2060074
comment|69488|228897

Which settlements are they gonna fill ?

Mar 08, 2016 18:46 Report Abuse

3

rasklnik
comment|69442|61824

Why am I not surprised there are nasty people around here?

Mar 07, 2016 09:56 Report Abuse

4

Karajorma
comment|69456|86810

I think it's already proved that this place is full of nasty bigoted racists. It's just that they try to justify it when it's about the Chinese. As soon as they start talking the same sort of crap about Jews, it becomes a lot more obvious what they really are like.

Mar 07, 2016 14:29 Report Abuse

5

Guest2239322
comment|69428|248813

Perfect place for matearilistic Chinese who Will sell their soul for money.. Perfect place for money loving people!!!

Mar 05, 2016 17:50 Report Abuse

6

kuntmans
comment|69420|307009

Hope they fight for Palestinian rights. God knows they need it.

Mar 05, 2016 10:49 Report Abuse

7

nzteacher80
comment|69422|270608

I can't really see that happening.

Mar 05, 2016 12:47 Report Abuse

8

Lord_hanson
comment|69474|279026

Yes, important Palestinian traditions such as placing rocket launchers on the roofs of schools and throwing house bricks at people should be protected by law.

Mar 08, 2016 09:47 Report Abuse

9

Guest2734312
comment|69415|303812

cheap, back stabbers and do anything for money ... i think chinese and jews are very much alike :D

Mar 04, 2016 22:29 Report Abuse

10

Guest388182
comment|69399|43131

things can't be good when you have to emigrate to a war zone

Mar 04, 2016 06:37 Report Abuse

11

Englteachted
comment|69396|263127

Chinese will convert to any faith in order to get out.

Mar 04, 2016 06:07 Report Abuse

12

Guest769452
comment|69395|85494

Oh so these remaining Jews escaped the atrocities done by hitler... Shabad shalom losers embrace the shame in Israel!!!!

Mar 04, 2016 00:58 Report Abuse