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

Limmud: Shanghai 2013

Start of Limmud ShanghaiJDC SessionNetwork Impact by Seth CohenSeth getting ready for interviewJDC Talk into Ohel Moshe SynagogueDestination Shanghai
Outside of Ohel RachelOhel Rachel SynagogueOhel Rachel SynagogueOhel RachelOhel Rachel windowBeautiful architecture
Yours Truly outsideYours Truly outside 2Holocaust Memorial ServiceInside the synagogueBookshelfThe Service Crowd
The Service CrowdHutong to Chinese Jews21 Teaching the Torah LanePlaque in HebrewJewish gifts galoreKaifeng Synagogue

allofasuddenpartJew1’s photostream on Flickr.

My second Limmud Conference. Shanghai, China. Day 1-4. Jewish learning to the max.

Qing Ming, Seth Cohen, Limmud Shanghai & More

Hi all, this week I am reporting live from Shanghai, China!

I’m here this week for reasons two-fold.  First, the Chinese holiday Qing Ming, the Day to honor our ancestors.  I visited my grandparents’ gravesite with family, made offerings of food, burned candles, offered money and said prayers in their honor.  Second, I’m here for Limmud Shanghai conference.  Per my previous post Limmud was awesome and so was Mr. Clive Lawton, this is my second Limmud conference in my continuous beginner’s Jewish journey.

The first day of Limmud Shanghai took place in the ancient town of Qibao (七宝) literally translated to mean the city of Seven Treasures.  I met Jewish friends from all over the world, England, Israel, United States, etc.  It was fun to attend all the various educational sessions. A sampling of them can be found here. A highlight of the first two days was I got to meet the well-spoken Mr. Seth Cohen. (BTW Follow him on Twitter @sethacohen33) Mr. Cohen, Director of Network Initiatives at the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation gave a talk on Using your Networks to Create Collective Impact-a session that was as interesting as it was insightful.  His session reminded me of a recent book that I read called Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell. Mr. Cohen is very inclusive and made everyone feel involved in his interactive learning experience.  He pointed out that while organizations are valuable in their own right, it is the individuals who often serve as the “Tipping Point” in creating worthwhile change.  I second his POV.

After lunch on Day 2, I was able to grab a few minutes out of his busy schedule to talk.  He was very curious about how I got my Twitter name allofasuddenpartJew and I told him the family story. Personally, I find Mr. Cohen to be a very nice human being, plenty kind and generous. From him, I learned a few lessons.  I need to write more, more often, and regularly.  More opinion pieces on the Jewish world from my Chinese perspective.  He said himself that he was a blogger first before he joined the Schusterman Family Foundation.  His writing gave the older Jewish community a perspective they otherwise would never see.  We need more people like him!

As of now it is still Shabbat, I am at home writing this blog post.  Tonight, I plan to have dinner with some Shanghai friends and then attend the Limmud Young Professionals Happy Hour.  Tomorrow will be a packed agenda. It is the Destination Shanghai portion titled Global Jewish Responsibility: Shanghai, The Jewish People and JDC.  Per the Limmud pamphlet, “This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Hongkou Ghetto and is an appropriate moment to examine the unique relationship of Shanghai with the Jewish people, past, present, and future.” There will be a guided tour through the ghetto, several lectures, and a Special Memorial Day Event commemorating this anniversary.  I’ll be sure to take lots of photos and share with you all!

Happy weekend! xoxo

 

 

Limmud was awesome and so was Mr. Clive Lawton.

Tonight was my first official Limmud.  For those who don’t know, Limmud is a British-Jewish Charity organization whose mission is “Wherever you find yourself, Limmud will take you one step further along your Jewish journey.” Founded in the United Kingdom by the amazing Mr. Clive Lawton (awesome live speaker BTW), Limmud was a mode or method of learning for Jews in the UK.  Now some thirty years later, Limmud has grown into an international organization organizing Jewish learning events around the globe.  As a matter of fact, Limmud will have a Shanghai event in early April. (I will be going for sure!)

How Limmud relates to my own story? Well, we should be a big happy family! I’m still in the beginnings of my Jewish journey, I look to Limmud to provide additional resources and assistance in moving along in this journey.  In all my touch points with Jewish culture, there is much to learn and not a Pope in sight (explain the Pope thing later).  Mr. Clive Lawton, one of the original founders of Limmud gave two interesting talks at the Hong Kong event.  One is “Weird Tales from the Talmud” and the other “Are there prophets anymore”.  Afterwards, I hurriedly grabbed Clive to chat about his organization Limmud.  He is such a jovial, fun, and an engaging speaker and totally in the know about every aspect of Jewish people and its history.  He gave me some history of the organization and the reasons behind its humble beginnings.  Clive mentioned in the “Weird Tales from the Talmud” talk that Jews, unlike Christians, do not like the idea of having a Pope-like figure.  That’s why I made my earlier comment about not a Pope in sight.

I wish I can write more but it’s almost midnight and I have group project meeting tomorrow morning for my Social Policy Research class.  I will blog more about Limmud next week as I prepare for my Limmud number 2 in Shanghai.

Hope everyone is well!

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