In a new initiative, IsraAID has begun to expand the scope of its work in Asia by engaging professionals from Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul to join the organization's humanitarian work across the region.
IsraAID, tapping into the Jewish and non-Jewish professional networks in all four cities, is looking to build a core group of professionals that can respond in times of crisis. They have a number of other long-term and ongoing initiatives in the pipeline as well.
In February 2014, Dr. Debra Kalmanowitz, a professional Art therapist from Hong Kong, joined the IsraAID team in South Korea to lead an intensive professional training in Seoul for social workers, NGO's and government officials who support North Korean refugees suffering from post-trauma.
In March 2014, Ms. Yael Mardix, a professional group therapist, and Ms. Racheli Ballasiano, a psycho drama therapist, will join IsraAID's professional team in the Philippines where they will conduct a psycho-social support workshop for people affected by the typhoon. Both Mardix and Ballasiano are Hong Kong residents.
This follows a recent IsraAID-run training session for professionals, from a number of sectors, in Hong Kong.
We are beginning to finalize our second India Issue of Asian Jewish Life and perfectly timed, we have just received a copy of Indian Jews – An Annotated Bibliography 1665 – 2005 (Manohar, 2013) by Nathan Katz. Katz is a professor of religious studies at Florida International University, where he founded and directs its Program in the Study of Spirituality. He is also a pioneer in the field of Indo-Judaic studies as well as the author and editor of countless books and articles on the subject.
Indian Jews – An Annotated Bibliography 1665 – 2005 is the product of three decades of research. It is organized by community and includes sections on: Cochin Jews, Bene Israel, Mughal Jews, Baghdadi (and Sephardi Jews), Ashkenazim in India, and Tribal Jews. Each section is further divided into resource type (my personal favorite being memoir).
It has quickly become an indispensible resource in our own collection. This book is highly recommended for scholars, students and general readers looking for a comprehensive guide.
Copies are available for purchase on both Amazon and Book Depository.
We want to see how your community celebrates Purim in Asia! Ohel Leah Synagogue in Hong Kong Ready for the Purim CarnivalRead more →
Please have a look at our new video featuring some the incredible people we have met and the amazing places we have been in the past few years. This is what inspires us!
You can access This is Asian Jewish Life on YouTube.
Thank you to everyone for your continued support.
Harbin, China, today the capital of Heilongjiang Province, while perhaps best known for its Ice Festival, was once known as the “Moscow of the East.” At its height it was also home to over 23,000 Jews (including the grandparents of former prime minister Ehud Olmert) who created their own rich religious, cultural and educational life.
Even though the last Jewish family left Harbin in 1963 and Judaism isn’t a recognized religion in China, two historic synagogues (the Main/Old and the New Synagogues) as well as various other Jewish institutions, have physically, in some form, seem to have stood the test of time — without Jews.
Main (Old) Synagogue
Former Jewish School
Jewish Cemetery Chapel
Former Jewish Hospital