web analytics
November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Ancient Chinese Jewish Community to Hold First Traditional Seder in China

The Seder, which is being sponsored by the Jerusalem-based Shavei Israel organization, will be conducted for the first time by 28-year-old Tzuri (Heng) Shi, who made Aliyah from Kaifeng a few years ago with the help of Shavei Israel and completed his formal return to Judaism last year. VIDEO
Tzuri (Heng) Shi (far left) with Michael Freund (right) and Kaifeng Jewish community members

Tzuri (Heng) Shi (far left) with Michael Freund (right) and Kaifeng Jewish community members
Photo Credit: Shavei Israel

Kaifeng, China, April 7 – Nearly 100 members of the ancient Jewish community of Kaifeng, China, are expected to attend a first-of-its-kind traditional Passover Seder that will take place next Monday, April 14, at the start of the holiday in Kaifeng. The Seder, which is being sponsored by the Jerusalem-based Shavei Israel organization, will be conducted for the first time by 28-year-old Tzuri (Heng) Shi, who made Aliyah from Kaifeng a few years ago with the help of Shavei Israel and completed his formal return to Judaism last year.

As part of the preparation for the upcoming Seder, Tzuri was sent to Kaifeng by the Shavei Israel organization with all of the traditional Passover items including: Kosher Matzah packages from Israel, Kosher for Passover wine, Passover Haggadahs, which were prepared especially in Hebrew and Chinese, Kosher for Passover cakes, traditional red horseradish, and traditional Charoset.

“We are proud and excited to organize this historic event,” said Shavei Israel Chairman and Founder Michael Freund. “Kaifeng’s Jewish descendants are a living link between China and the Jewish people, and it is very moving to see the remnants of this community returning to their Jewish roots as they prepare for Passover,” he added.

Scholars believe the first Jews settled in Kaifeng, which was one of China’s imperial capitals, during the 8th or 9th Century. They are said to have been Sephardic Jewish merchants from Persia or Iraq who made their way eastward along the Silk Route and established themselves in the city with the blessing of the Chinese emperor.

In 1163, Kaifeng’s Jews built a large and beautiful synagogue, which was subsequently renovated and rebuilt on numerous occasions throughout the centuries. At its peak, during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Kaifeng Jewish community may have numbered as many as 5,000 people. But widespread intermarriage and assimilation, as well as the death of the community’s last rabbi, brought about its demise by the middle of the 19th century.

Nevertheless, many of the families sought to preserve their Jewish identity and pass it down to their descendants, who continued to observe various Jewish customs. Currently, there are estimated to be approximately 1,000 Jewish descendants in Kaifeng.

“In recent years, many members of the community have begun to explore their heritage – thanks in part to the Internet, which opened up new worlds for them and provided access to information about Judaism and Israel that was previously inaccessible to them,” Freund noted.

Shavei Israel is a non-profit organization founded by Michael Freund, who immigrated to Israel from the United States, with the aim of strengthening the ties between the Jewish people, the State of Israel and the descendants of Jews around the world. The organization is currently active in nine countries and provides assistance to a variety of different communities such as the Bnei Menashe of India, the Bnei Anousim (referred to as the derogatory “Marranos” by historians) in Spain, Portugal and South America, the Subbotnik Jews of Russia, the Jewish community of Kaifeng in China, descendants of Jews living in Poland, and others.

Watch the video of the Kaifeng community preparing for Pesach, being led in v’hi sh’amda by Ram, a chazan from the Kaifeng Jewish community.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

11 Responses to “Ancient Chinese Jewish Community to Hold First Traditional Seder in China”

  1. Jonathan Weber says:

    Very nice! I am really impressed and a Chag Kasher v'Sameach to the Kaifeng Jewish community!

  2. may the chinese yiddlich multiply. hag samech to them.

  3. Lori Mark says:

    Was in china this past summer and visited Jewsih Community center and shul in Shanghai

  4. Olga Wong says:

    Happy passover

  5. I never heard it anyone sing it so well!!! Happy Pesach to all the Chinese Jews!

  6. Shi Yuehan says:

    Next Year in Kaifeng.

  7. Elaine Harris says:

    Chag Pesach Sameach to Kaifeng Jewish Community – Kol Hakavod from Sydney, Australia!!

  8. Kol Hakavod from Hallandale Beach, florida

  9. Georgina Baker says:

    I am delighted to hear we have Jews in China and the singer is great.
    I am in Tarzana, California, U.S.A

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
US Secretary of State John Kerry with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier before P5+1 talks. Nov. 22, 2014.
BREAKING: West About to Cave on Key Iranian Demand
Latest News Stories
Jordanian Prime Minister, Abdullah Ensour

This is in followup to the prayers and moment of silence that the Jordanian Parliament held in honor of the two terrorists.

US Secretary of State John Kerry with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier before P5+1 talks. Nov. 22, 2014.

Is the West about to provide Iran with a major concession in order to reach an “historic” (but empty) deal?

Someone spray painted “ISIS” in Arabic on a memorial for fallen Druse soldiers up north.

Jerusalem Stone Throwers

Government ministers are examining steps the state can take to deter more terrorist attacks.

Yehudah Glick will be undergoing additional surgery on Sunday morning.

After discovering a tunnel from Gaza into the Sinai that extended 1850 meters, Egypt has decide to extend it sterile zone along its 14 kilometer Gazan border from 500 meters to 1000 meters.

The students were attacked as they walked back from Friday night prayers.

Bnei Akiva religious youth members joined forces with far left Meretz youth group members on July 4, 2011, to protest in front of the US Consulate in Israel, calling for the release of Jonathan Pollard. That was years ago, and as of today, Pollard has now spent 30 years in jail. Enough is enough.

The task force will aim at keeping Americans from joining ISIS and other radical Muslim murder gangs.

The cell that planned to kill Lieberman was only of several planning to kill PA official and Israelisץ

Arab pathologist who originally agreed with the findings of Arab bus driver’s autopsy showing suicide, now disagrees.

Secret Service officers arrested a woman with a gun while she was walking along the White House fence around 8:30 p.m. (EST) Thursday at the same time President Barack Obama was addressing the country on the issue of immigration. The woman was identified as April Lenhart, 23, from Michigan. She was wearing a holster and […]

And we can already hear Obama and Kerry telling him not to upset Allah and thank God on the Temple Mount.

The 388 bus line from BeerSheva to Arad was attacked by rock throwing Arabs near Arad.

The IDF foiled a plot by a Hamas terror cell to fire an RPG rocket at the vehicle of Foreign Minister MK Avigdor Lieberman.

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff
Aaron Klein

Dmitri Diliani, a spokesperson for Fatah in Jerusalem and a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, had taken issue with Klein’s characterization of recent violence in Jerusalem as being instigated by the Palestinians.

This video from RT was taken as victims were being evacuated from the Har Nof synagogue where Arabs terrorists from eastern Jerusalem axed, knifed and shot to death four Jews while they were praying.

“The Mohammed who stole Christmas – and Yom Kippur.”

Dan, a veteran of the US Combat Engineers corps is participating in an IDF Torah dedication on Sunday, this is his story.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ancient-chinese-jewish-community-to-hold-first-traditional-seder-in-china/2014/04/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: