Memories of my Gifted Grandmother-Father’s Side of the Family

At the beginning of this Chinese and Jewish journey, I introduced everyone to my maternal heritage. That’s just half of the ancestry puzzle. What about my paternal lineage?  

The above beautiful woman is my paternal grandmother during her youth. She is originally from Sichuan province, the Chinese province famous for its spicy hot pot cuisine and pretty girls. I have limited memories of her; mainly she used to pick me up from school and walk me back home. She was in her 70s when I knew of her closely. She was a very patient and caring woman. During the Cultural Revolution, my grandfather could not find work for a long period of time, it drove my grandmother insane and much more after his death. I like to equate the Chinese Cultural Revolution to the Jewish Holocaust–so many innocent lives lost in a few years. It was the greatest traumatic event in both cultures’ history. 

My grandmother was a gifted musician, she attended the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and lived composing new tunes. Wish there was iPhones during her lifetime so we could enjoy some of her classics. 💃☺️ My father’s side is a large family of 5 brothers and sisters. Most of the aunts and uncles live in Shanghai with one living in Xi’an. Grandfather came from Shangdong province, known for noodles and tall handsome men. He passed away when my mom was pregnant with me so I never had a chance to meet him in person. 

Our surname is very unique and rare in China and the Chinese language; it is 矯 pronounced Jiao (third tone) in Mandarin Chinese. It has a special meaning of rectify and fix or ‘tikkun’ in Hebrew. What a match! 😜 The Creator is so smart!

Until next time



Project allofasuddenpartJew: 2013 Recap

As the year 2013 comes to a close, I would like to reflect on the milestones this year for allofasuddenpartJew. From Limmud conferences in Hong Kong and Shanghai, traveling to Japan to visit the Chabad house, and walking around Jewish Lower East Side–I feel I have furthered my understanding of the Jewish people and beliefs.

  • Limmud – A Hebrew word that means learning, I attended my first Limmud conference in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Made a few valuable connections from the Jewish philanthropy and non-profit space.
  • Jewish Japan – Traveled to Japan (My new favorite Asian country) and spent Sukkot at the Chabad House of Tokyo. Many Japanese people are interested in Jewish people. Some Japanese believe they are descendents  of the lost tribes.
  • Melton Mini-School – After an initial Intro to Judaism course at the United Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong, I felt I needed to go deeper. I enrolled in the Melton Adult Mini-School course at Ohel Leah Synagogue and have enjoyed the teachings from Rabbi Oser.
  • Chinese Studies – Continued my studies in relevant topics. I started to pursue an MA in Chinese Studies at CUHK to deepen my knowledge of China.
  • Jewish New York City – Visited NYC to visit Jewish enclaves like Williamsburg and the Lower East Side.

I have to be honest, I haven’t been keeping up with my social media as much as I would like. My social media stats for as of December 2013 are:

  • Blog – allofasuddenpartJew (83 posts)
  • Facebook – page under the same title (480 Fans)
  • Twitter – account under the same title (285 Followers)

Looking forward to 2014–the year of the horse in Chinese astrology. The horse is a highly respected animal in Chinese culture–one that symbolizes strength, agility, and endurance. Even the German carmaker BMW’s brand name in China is 宝马(Baoma), which literally means treasure horse, contains the character for horse.

Happy New Year 2014!

Chinese Year of the Horse

Chinese Year of the Horse

Project allofasuddenpartJew: 2011 Recap

Earlier this year, over a family gathering in San Jose, I learned that I supposedly had an ancestor who was Jewish.  Great-great-grandfather to be exact mentioned by my mother’s cousin in passing to me. I asked why this was not mentioned earlier, and the response was it was not that important.

I have always been fascinated by different cultures, history, and diversity so it wasn’t long before I became completely absorbed, curious, and obsessed in learning the following 3 things:

  • Genealogy and Family History – confirming, validating, and researching my ‘Jewishness’ through traditional family history research and DNA testing
  • Jewish Culture and History (and how it relates to China) – going to many Jewish events, meeting Jewish people, and reading about Jewish history and culture in and outside of China
  • International Relations – furthering cultural and historical understanding between two groups without politics nor religion.

While I understand my story is still a hypothesis awaiting confirmation; records were not kept to today’s standards and difficult to trace in some areas, my curiosity has not waned but only strengthened over time. I have a soft spot for Jewish (and Japanese) people! Since then I have created three items to help further my learning and goals.

  • Blog – allofasuddenpartJew (29 posts in ~3-5 months)
  • Facebook – page under the same title (272 Fans in ~ 3 months)
  • Twitter – account under the same title (153 Followers in ~ 3 months)

With a recent move to Hong Kong, quitting a job I wasn’t passionate about, and starting grad school, I hope to make 2012 great! I want to touch more Jewish/Chinese fans, non-Jewish/Chinese fans, and spread more cultural understanding and diversity awareness.

**Any mention of Jews and Chinese in this blog solely refers to the cultural and historical aspects of both groups.  I am apolitical and agnostic and do not plan to be political nor religious in the future.**


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