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