Asian Jewish Life - A Journal of Spirit, Society and Culture

Issue 7 - Sept. 2011

Cover Story:
When Past and Present Collide

Reshaping the future of
by Erica Lyons

Seemingly there is a real tension in Shanghai's Tilanqiao district. The tension is between competing interests: historic significance versus a rapidly growing urban population (in need of housing and basic communal amenities) versus businesses looking to expand and cash in on the plethora of potential opportunities. At the center of the debate over land use and redevelopment lies the fate of what was once the Shanghai Jewish Ghetto.

But Shanghai is a city where
[…] [read online...]

Playing Jewish Geography in Phnom Penh
The redevelopment of a community
by Craig Gerard

Phnom Penh is a small town, especially when you are an expat. It's common to run into people you know at the coffee shop, the grocery store, the local pub… it seems once you are around long enough, you get to know most of the people worth knowing, despite the transient nature of the population. This is even truer of the Jewish community in Cambodia; it's like an easy game of Jewish Geography. "Oh, do you know Sol who works at Save the Children?" "Yes, of course I know Sol, his children go to preschool with mine." The game is almost impossible to lose. It's fast paced and only concludes when everyone in the community is named.

Yet as connected as we are,
[…] [read online...]

Black Sheep Cousins, Illegally Obtained
And a story any traveler in China can relate to
by Susan Blumberg-Kason

In 2008, author Daniel Asa Rose traveled with his cousin Larry to Beijing in search of the impossible: a new kidney. While it's illegal for Westerners to obtain organ transplants in China, Larry's life was on the line. Rose chronicled these adventures in his second memoir, Larry's Kidney: Being the True Story of How I Found Myself in China with My Black Sheep Cousin and His Mail-Order Bride, Skirting the Law to Get Him a Transplant—and Save His Life (William Morrow, 2009). Asian Jewish Life's Book Editor, Susan Blumberg-Kason sat down with Rose to discuss his earlier trips to China in the 1980s, his unbelievable adventures with Larry, and what happened afterward. It is a story where anything is possible. […] [read online...]

From Kaifeng to the Kotel
A Chinese rabbi in the making
by Michael Freund

It is a warm summer day in Israel and despite the agreeable weather outside, Yaakov Wang is glued to his seat in the study hall. Arrayed on the desk in front of him is a small mountain of Jewish texts, ranging from the Bible to the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (Concise Code of Jewish Law) to books on Jewish philosophy and thought. Yaakov listens intently as his teacher at a Jerusalem-area yeshiva explains the intricacies of Jewish practice and belief. Puzzled by a particular explanation, he doesn't hesitate to ask for clarification when the need arises. […] [read online...]

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Asian Jewish Life shares regional Jewish thoughts, ideas and culture and promote unity. It also celebrates our individuality and our diverse backgrounds and customs.
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