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

Issue 7 - Sept. 2011

Cover Story:
Laura Margolis in the Spotlight

Portrait of a heroine in Shanghai
by Erica Lyons

The story of Laura Margolis reads like an epic novel. She embodies what larger-than-life literary heroines are made of, though without embellishment, exaggeration, panache or hubris. She was the real thing. Yet despite this, to most, this remarkable and dignified woman remains unknown.

Imagine the scene: Japanese-occupied Shanghai. The city
[...] [read online...]

A Strange Foreign Import
Judaic Studies in China
by Steve Hochstadt

All over China, the Torah is studied and the Holocaust is taught. Never before has interest in Jews, Jewish culture and Jewish history been so widespread in the world's most populous nation.

Jews have lived in China for nearly 1000 years. Well before European Christians discovered the Middle Kingdom, Jewish traders from western Asia had settled in Kaifeng, the capital of the Northern Song dynasty, and,
[…] [read online...]

Rocking it Big in Beijing
An Interview with Alan Paul
by Susan Blumberg-Kason

In 2005 Alan Paul moved from the New York area to Beijing with his wife Rebecca and their three young children following Rebecca's appointment as the Wall Street Journal's China Bureau Chief. A freelance journalist, most notably for Slam and Guitar World magazines, Alan Paul also wrote a column called "The Expat Life" for from 2005 until 2009. His new memoir, Big in China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising a Family, Playing the Blues, and Becoming a Star in Beijing (Harper, 2011), chronicles his years in China as a journalist, stay at home father, and blues musician for a band named Woodie Alan. Asian Jewish Life recently sat down with Alan Paul to discuss his book and his unique experience in China. […] [read online...]

A History of the Parur Synagogue
Trial by fire, inquisition and neglect
by Jay Waronker & Shalva Weil

Many people have heard of the Jews of Cochin (today Kochi) in southwestern India, but far fewer know that there were in fact other small Jewish communities over the centuries in this same region of the country, each revolving around a synagogue. Eight such buildings, all located in the central part of the State of Kerala, survive in some form today. The most famous of these synagogues is the Paradesi synagogue in Jew Town, Cochin, with its beautiful blue tiles imported from China. In 1968, Indira Gandhi attended its quarter-centenary celebrations and the Indian government issued a special commemorative stamp on the occasion. Today, there are only nine Paradesi Jews left in Jew Town, and a Chabad Rabbi conducts the services, pulling in Israeli backpackers and American and other Jewish tourists to make up the minyan.[…] [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.

COPYRIGHT: Written material and photographs in the magazine or on the website may not be used or reproduced in any form or in any way without express permission from Erica Lyons • Click to contact us