Dating hall china
It is only in the past 20 years that the descendents of Kaifeng Jewry, who now number about 1,000 people, have rediscovered their Jewish tradition.
Some of them have considered undergoing proper conversion and making aliyah, and a few of them have done so already.
A stone tablet dating back to the 1489 Kaifeng synagogue – which is now in the city museum – in inscribed with the following: "According to the commandment of their god, the Jews came from Tian-Sho (Chinese for both "India" and "every state to the west of China") with woven materials from the west in their hands, meant as a gift for the emperor." The last emperor, according to the tablet, said "welcome to our country; dwell here and keep the customs of your ancestors".
The emperor's warm welcome provided them with automatic Chinese citizenship, not a trifle feat at a time the Jewish communities in Europe and the Muslim countries were suffering persecution.
After the death of his grandmother and grandfather, Shi, together with his father, turned this room into a mini-museum and a small Jewish center, where he gives classes on Jewish tradition to children and adults of Jewish descent.
Excluding Kaifeng, however, there were no eligible Jewish brides to be found in China, prompting the assimilation further.Given the circumstances, the chances of the small, isolated Jewish community to maintain its unique features in the hub of China were remote.According to researchers, another key to the demise of the Kaifeng community lies in the fact that China was the first to allow all its residents to join the top rank of government officials – the Mandarins – by taking qualification exams.I decided to return to Kaifeng and to develop my mini-museum, because if I would leave here then there would be no one to teach the younger generation.We feel connected to the Jewish people and to the State of Israel." It is not clear when exactly the first Jews came to China or when the Jewish community in Kaifeng was formed.
Many continue to live the old city in the old section, and the Jewish names of two of the neighborhood's streets still appear in Hebrew and English.