Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin at Yad Vashem 370.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Nearly 200 Jews from Asia and across the world will gather in Shanghai on April
4 for a four-day conference sponsored by Limmud China and the American Jewish
Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).
Focusing on networking and “what it
means to be Jewish in Asia,” the program will focus on how Jews living in Asia
“integrate [their] lives as Jewish expats, navigating between our community and
the local culture we are surrounded by,” said Limmud China program chairwoman
and Chinese resident Rebecca Kanthor.
“Asia’s fast-growing Jewish
population has a talent for home-grown innovation.
We’re proud to create
an intensive space where Jewish leaders can work together, be creative, and
utilize JDC’s community development expertise and global connections to
strengthen emerging Jewish life in this part of the world,” said JDC CEO Alan
According to the JDC, an estimated 20,000 Jews live in East Asia,
including many expatriates as well as those from indigenous Jewish
There are somewhere around 5,000-6,000 Jews in mainland
China and an additional 4,000 Jews in Hong Kong, which until July 1997 was ruled
by the British and which features an English- speaking Jewish
“Asia is made up of longstanding, organized Jewish communities
– like those in India, Hong Kong, and Tokyo – and newer, smaller communities of
corporate executives, entrepreneurs, managers, diplomats, and teachers in
international schools and colleges. Many Jewish organizations have been active
in Asia, including Chabad, JDC, Kehilat Beijing, and the Progressive Judaism
movement, among others,” the JDC wrote in a statement.
“We are excited to
partner with Limmud China and JDC to engage talented, creative young Jews in
dialogue and learning on topics of local, regional and global significance,”
said Sandy Cardin, president of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic
Network, which is a partner in the event.