Jewish Lower East Side

Eldrige Street SynagogueSynagogue and MuseumAnother AngleClose upIntroduction of buildingAngel Orensanz Foundation
Inside OrensanzBluish LightsYours Truly InsideFrom the second floorInside the SukkaChabad of Tokyo Sukka Mobile
Front ViewInside the Chabad HouseView from outside inBooks at the Chabad HouseHarp Emblem of King DavidMe at City of David sign
Live Archeology at City of DavidTower of David at NightChandelier Fixture inside Tower of DavidOld City ArchwayOld City architecture close-upView of City of David at hills of Jerusalem

allofasuddenpartJew1′s photostream on Flickr.

Starting at Katz Deli, I walked around the Jewish areas of the Lower East Side in New York City. So much history and so much to see, so little time.

San Francisco Jewry: Temple Emanu-el

photo 1photo 2photo 3photo 4photo 5photo 1
photo 2photo 3photo 4photo 5photo 2photo 3
photo 4photo 5photo 1Start of Limmud ShanghaiJDC SessionNetwork Impact by Seth Cohen
Seth getting ready for interviewJDC Talk into Ohel Moshe SynagogueDestination ShanghaiOutside of Ohel RachelOhel Rachel SynagogueOhel Rachel Synagogue

allofasuddenpartJew1′s photostream on Flickr.

Temple Emanu-el. Reform Judaism

Personal Reflection on Last Week’s Horrible Events

Hi Everyone!

I’m writing to you from the midst of my final exams and term papers.  I only have 1.5 weeks to go so wish me luck. :-)

Like most of you, I was deeply disturbed by last week’s horrible string of multiple events. Let me summarize in chronological order.  (Note: I am in Hong Kong time zone)

1. Boston Marathon Bombing – I woke up Tuesday, April 16th to a barrage of Facebook posts about a bombing at the Boston marathon. My first thought was not again, what happened this time?  Turned on the news and nothing but Boston. As the week went on, a manhunt continued for the suspects.  I followed the best I could without getting off track from my studying. At week’s end, the first suspect died and the second suspect was in custody.  Violence isn’t the answer to solve our differences people. When will this message stick. We are not cavemen, hunter gatherers nor warring nomadic tribes anymore (at least not where I am….)

2. Texas Factory Explosion - While the world’s attention was focused on Boston, a random explosion in West Texas (close to where I used to live and go to school!) happened.  Houses and business around the factory including the factory itself was flattened. The media obviously didn’t give this story as much attention as they should if the Boston bombs didn’t go off earlier in the week. I had to dig a bit deeper on the internet to learn about what truly happened. Sometimes, I feel the media twists stories to someone’s benefit. I’ve noticed that many lawyers have already pitched the victims for business. This is seems so tasteless to me.  I know lawyers need to make a living and all but at least wait until a bit after or let the victims approach you!  Also, did the workers perform regular maintenance on the factory or just let it go unchecked. I haven’t had the time to dig deep into this story-but that’s the first thought that came across my mind.

3. Letters to Obama - In the context of last week, this was also a tiny blip in the grand scheme of events.  Ricin, a type of poison, was found in letters sent to Obama.  I mean, I understand we all have political difference but we don’t need to resort to poison!! There is a thing in democracy called the debate-that’s where you should all duke it out!

4. Sichuan China Earthquake - Heading back to Asia from the West, another massive earthquake struck China. This piece of news broke out around the same time the second Boston bombing suspect was caught.  I found out through a friend’s post on Facebook. So natural disasters are also bad but do we humans have anything to do with it? We dig so many holes in the ground for subways, dig caves in mountains for mines, do they impact the environment? I’m sure it does as we are all interdependent on this earth. Something to think about.

What did you all think? Any major events impacted you recently?

Enough of my rantings or complaints! Ok, now back to studying!

 

Update from allofasuddenpartJew: Onwards to Hong Kong

Dear readers,

Thanks for following my journey thus far. I have some news to share with you all. I have left my 9-to-5 corporate job to pursue a graduate degree and my dream life in Hong Kong effective end of November. This move is based in the following rationale:

1. Passion for Asia’s growth and region
2. Long term desire to live and work in Hong Kong (One of my favorite cities in the world)
3. Proximity to China (Shanghai, my birth city) and better access to do my Jewish genealogy research
4. To be where the action is in the world right now
5. Promote Chinese and Jewish understanding from the East

I hope you will continue to follow me.

Xoxo
Xiaoming aka allofasuddenpartJew

Chinese and Chosen? Possible or not?

Thanks to Davi Cheng, Be’chol Lashon Los Angeles Regional Director, I came across an awesome site called “Chinese and Chosen” by Candy Cheng and Brad Stell. (Former Journalism students at Columbia U.)

Chinese and Chosen examines the intersections of Chinese and Jewish cultures in New York City through interfaith couples, adoptive families, and those born with duo identities. It includes an interactive timeline tracing the history of Jews in China and documented accounts of what its like to be Chinese and Jewish (at the same time). ;)

I was lucky enough to chat with Candy over the phone this past weekend to learn more about her and her mission. We will be keeping in touch in the future to do some joint projects I’m sure!

I highly recommend this site for more resources on the Chinese-Jewish connection. Until next time. :)

Toby’s Mah Jongg Classes — So much fun!

Ever since I met Toby at AJC’s Chinese-Jewish Mah Jongg event, I have been captivated by the art of the game.

Considering that I am Chinese, but ignorant about Mah Jongg, was not acceptable in my eyes.  With conviction, I coerced my mom to take the beginner’s course together  in Berkeley, CA.

Now Toby teaches the Jewish or American style of play, a kind of a twist on the Chinese version.  Every Wednesday evening, for 4 weeks, I get to sit with 6 other Jewish ladies learning the basics. Toby provides the refreshments, i.e. tea and cookies and is a great teacher and communicator.  My mom and I are the only ones who are not “100%” Jews at the class.

I get the feeling there is a sort of revival of Mah Jongg going on right now. When I think of Mah Jongg, I think of a more mature audience.  I hope to help change this and entice more younger generations to start cracking those tiles!  Do you know how to play?

Mini-Post: Thanks Jewish Federation of Los Angeles!

The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles has me as one of their featured stories. I can’t help but be grateful, thank you!

Jews of Ancient China, Kai what? Oh, Kaifeng….!

Back in San Francisco last week, the Wall Street Journal published an article called “Chinese Jews face Existential Questions” in their Asia section.  A friend forwarded the article to me at work and I devoured it quickly.  Before my own discovery, I had no idea Jews existed in China, nor did I care (that’s another story…)…

According to this article, Persian Jews arrived in Kaifeng around the 11th Century as merchants and traders.  They married the local women and rose to become mandarins and military officials.  They were able to keep a distinctive Jewish culture intact until around 1860, the date when their synagogue was destroyed in a flood and never rebuilt.  The timing for this is still off for my great-great-grandfather.  He could be a descendent….or not…..too early to tell!

I did some more research myself on Kaifeng.  It is located in Henan province, just west of Shanghai (my hometown).  Henan is known as the cradle of Chinese civilization, meaning it played an important role in political and economic history of China back in the glory days.

I think this calls for a trip to Henan province, namely Kaifeng for me in the near future! If you have gone, email me!

An Afternoon at the Holocaust Memorial Museum

Washington D.C. is a haven for museum lovers.  There are so many types and most of them are free.

I like to introduce you to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  It is exactly what its name implies – a living memorial to the Holocaust.

I started with the State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda exhibit that shows how the Nazi’s were able to wield and win power through the spread of their propaganda, or I call it , political marketing materials.  This exhibit combines video, art, and sound to create a compelling story of the Nazi party messaging and imagery used to influence minds.

Then, it was my turn to enter the permanent exhibition The Holocaust.  This is a very popular exhibition, so beware if you are planning a trip from March through August, you will need to get a free timed pass to enter. I was really impressed!  It was educational yet an incredibly moving experience.  While I traversed through the crowds, I pretended that I was a Jew who lived during WWII.  How would I act, feel, and do if I were faced with such hatred, atrocity, and hostility in my adopted homeland??!!!  That is a question that I can’t really answer…what would I do if I lost loved family members?!

I left the museum with a heavy heart and an etched memory of this dark chapter in human history. Let’s all work together to prevent anything like the Holocaust to happen again.  Genocide Prevention!

Disclaimer: allofasuddenpartJew is nonpartisan. Please also excuse any grammatical errors as English is not my first language and I cannot afford an editor. :)

The Contemporary Jewish Museum of SF, Second Time is the Charm

San Francisco is a great city full of history, culture, and natural beauty. If you have not been here, you are missing out on life!

On the culture front, I recently became a member at the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum, which gives me and a guest full access to the museum any day of the year.

I brought a good friend of mine and we explored the architecturally stunning building. My mom and I were here earlier this year to see the Gertrude Stein and Charlotte Solomon‘s Life? or Theater exhibits. Today our goal was to check out the Black Sabbath exhibit or the Secret Musical History of Black-Jewish relations. I also had the chance to chat with a kind lady who has a possible contact with an expert in Chinese Jewry.

Readers: Have you been to the CJM? What do you think? This place is worth a visit!

Disclaimer: Please excuse all grammatical errors as English is not my first language and I can not afford an editor. :-)

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 978 other followers