From Poverty to Culture: The Refugee Community in Shanghai During World War ll

Here's an interesting lecture coming up at BHC- done in conjunction with the JMM- in a few weeks that Sara just told me about.


The Risch memorial program is our largest and most important annual event in our calendar year.  Each year we focus on a different aspect of the topic of immigration.  This year, as JMM looks at cultural ties between the Chinese and the Jewish communities through its Project Mah Jongg exhibit, we have invited a very special expert on the Jews of East Asia to be our featured speaker. Rabbi Marvin Tokayer, former rabbi of the Jewish community of Japan and author of the Fugu Plan, will deliver the keynote presentation From Poverty to Culture: The  Refugee  Community in Shanghai During World War ll.

You won’t want to miss this powerful evocation of how the 20,000 Jews of Shanghai struggled against impossible odds to not only survive, but thrive in this unexpected refuge. Rabbi Marvin Tokayer will bring to life this unique immigrant story.

Rabbi Marvin Tokayer served as United States Air Force Chaplain in Japan, upon his discharge he returned to Tokyo to serve for eight years as the rabbi for the Jewish community of Japan. He wrote 20 books in Japanese, including several bestsellers; discovered literally the last of the Chinese Jews; located a long-lost Jewish cemetery in Nagasaki; contributed to the Encyclopedia Judaica; acted as a bridge for many travelers between East and West; served the needs of his congregation; and became spellbound by the threads of a story which he began piecing together.  Rabbi Tokayer’s new book, Pepper, Silk and Ivory: Amazing Stories about Jews and the Far East, co-authored with Dr. Ellen Rodman, has just been published.


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  • Sara Ani

    I really enjoyed hearing Rabbi Tokayer speak. He is a very dynamic speaker and I learned a lot of things I did not know before like the Jewish doctor who is revered by the Chinese! I was sorry that we had to leave early to catch a plane and can't wait to hear what I missed. I know Hildy was taking good notes!

    May 26

  • Barbara Levin

    Afraid Marty and I wound up missing the lecture at the last minute. We got back from Philadelphia after 1 am this morning, and I'm feeling a bit under the weather.

    May 18

  • Hildy

    Excellent, informative, and entertaining.

    May 18

  • Hildy

    Quite a number of years ago, I heard Rabbi Tokayer speak; his talk was excellent. He also runs Jewish tours of the Far East and India. The late husband of one of my friends spent time in Shanghai with his school that was evacuated from Europe during WWII.

    May 2

  • Sheri Cohen-Uffer

    I would love to go to this but I have a graduation party. There was an article about Shanghai Jews a few years back I remember in the JT.

    May 1

  • Elena

    The Jewish Museum of Maryland is also hosting a "Mother's day mah jong madness" shindig on the 11th, for anyone interested in seeing some Jewish women scratching each others' eyes out. Those games can get pretty vicious!!!!

    1 · April 30

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