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. ūüíÉ‚ėļÔłŹ 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 ÁüĮ pronounced Jiao (third tone) in Mandarin Chinese. It has a special meaning of rectify and fix or ‘tikkun’ in Hebrew. What a match! ūüėú The Creator is so smart!

Until next time



China: You have a lot of Problems…Let’s focus on the Solutions

Last week I spent a majority of my time researching into “China’s biggest problems”. I put this in quotes because everyone has an opinion on this topic, mostly Western media with a big opinion on what’s going on in the Eastern giant — soon to be world superpower.

A google search came back with hundreds if not thousands of articles, blogs and op-eds on this subject. For example, Martin Feldstein’s WSJ piece on China’s Biggest Problems are Political, Not Economic, he lists corruption, skewed birth rates, and gross inequality as his top three China killers.¬†The Diplomat says it even better in the piece China’s Greatest Challenge: Not America, But Itself. Again, its own social issues and home politics are named as the future deal breakers. I won’t list the other articles that came up, but they all reiterate the same voice and subject. China has major internal issues it must address first, before it can become a world superpower — one that other countries will emulate and follow.

All this reading about challenges has got me thinking…whenever I see a challenge, I also see opportunity. Opportunity to fix the problem and address the solution. Seth Godin, another famous Jewish thought leader, wrote a blog post titled ‘Goals, strategy and tactics for change.’ It provides the perfect framework for me to put my plans into actions, words, that I can then go to others to get buy-in for.

Oh, I also need a team to help me get this done. I can’t do this all alone. We are all created for a reason, to work together and in harmony…Recruiting efforts to begin.

until next time



Hong Kong Jewry Photos

Model of the JCC Robinson PlaceInscription on Ohel Leah SynagogueStaircase down to Ohel LeahOverlooking Ohel LeahModern and OldBook of Prayer
Menorah lightedTapestryStar of DavidStained-Glass WindowsPlace markers for the Hebrew BibleWhat's in a Name
Synagogue SeatingAlterP1010153P1010152P1010150P1010149
Door entry view into the SynagogueRabbi's StudyHistory of the SynagogueEarly Jewish Life in HKView from the Jewish Community CenterMap of Jewish Migration to HK and China

allofasuddenpartJew1’s photostream on Flickr.

I recently got a VIP Tour of Ohel Leah Synagogue, United Jewish Congregation, and Jewish Community Center in Mid-Levels Hong Kong. Check out my pics!

International Moves are Challenging – No Jews here.

WARNING: The below post has nothing to do with Chinese nor Jewish relations, history, nor genealogy. It is a random posting of my rantings about the troubles of an international move and all the headaches that comes along with it.

So, I am leaving on a jet plane this Friday, 25 of November. To be precise, my flight on Cathay Pacific leaves at 12:05 a.m., right after the American holiday of Thanksgiving. This year I’m thankful that I finally got the resolve to move to Hong Kong to embark and fulfill the vision I have for myself and my life in Asia.

Of course I have taken care of the most important tasks (fun) first such as:

1. Update all my social media accounts to say that I now live in Hong Kong
2. Seeing my San Francisco friends one last time and request that they come visit sometime in the future
3. Updated all my personal time instruments (i.e. iPad, phone, and laptop) to the Hong Kong timezone to help myself adjust ahead of the curve. (A great tip of mine for people trying to adjust to jet lag)
4. Connected with my Hong Kong friends to plan outings upon my arrival

The least important tasks (boring) are difficult to start such as:

1. Packing 2 massive suitcases, which I hope won’t be over 50 pounds each
2. Figuring out what clothes and accessories I really need in Hong Kong, need vs want
3. Exchanging and transfer my USD to HKD, Opening an account in HK

I have read packing tips from Real Simple (highly recommended) and some HK budgeting tips from Bootsnall to facilitate the boring tasks.  I booked a bed for my first four nights through Airbnb (another highly recommend) with an Australian couple in Central.  This will be my first time living with Australians in Hong Kong, should be an interesting experience.

I close with the below night scene of Hong Kong. Beautiful isn’t it?! ¬†Asia’s World City here I come! Ya’ll come visit!! Until next time, from Hong Kong.


Image Source:

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.

Xiaoming aka allofasuddenpartJew

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 Рa 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. :)

Kosher Chinese, a great read!

Since I have publicly proclaimed myself a Judeophile on my Facebook page, my friends have been flooding me with Jewish related events.

Tonight I attended a book reading event with Michael Levy, author of¬†Kosher Chinese, a witty and fun read about an American Jew’s experience with the Peace Corps in China (middle of nowhere, not coastal) at Books, Inc; a cute and cozy bookstore in the middle of San Francisco. [I know that was a really long run-on sentence, English is not my first language].

Here is a pic from the event.

Michael provided some damn funny commentary and of course, because he is a teacher, a quick quiz on China.  I think I got a few questions correct, am definitely not the expert on China.  Michael knows more about the Chinese than I do!  I find his perspective on China very refreshing and an interesting read and highly recommend it for those wanting to learn more about China.

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