And on a lighter note… How does it feel to be both Chinese and Jewish? Our Israeli team talks to a young woman from Kaifeng, China who belongs to both of these ancient cultures. Here’s her story.
We caught up with Jin Jin and her father, Mr. Jing, at the airport. He spent the holidays with her, here in Israel, and now he is returning to China.
[Jin Jin, Kaifeng Jew]:
“When I was a little child, my father always told me, ‘you are Jewish, you should go back to Israel,’ so I said, ‘ok, I am Jewish, I should go back to Israel.’”
Jin Jin has been living in Israel for the past two years and learned to speak Hebrew. She can now translate Jewish scri ptures into Chinese, to help the Jewish community in Kaifeng.
[Jin Jin, Kaifeng Jew]:
In Israel it’s according to the mother, but in China it’s according to father. So, since my grandfather’s grandfather’s grandfather is Jewish, so my father is Jewish and I am Jewish.”
Like all religious Jews ,Mr. Jing wears a Tsisit under his shirt and a Kippa on his head. He shows us his Kippaand explains.
[Mr. Jing, Jin Jin’s Father]:
“Here it says Kaifeng in Hebrew. Here it says Kaifeng in English. It’s handmade!”
So how is it possible that Jin Jins ancestors were Jewish? We went to see Michael Freund to find out. He specializes in locating descendants of Jews around the world and helps them return to Israel.
[Michael Freund, Chairman, Shavei Israel]:
“There was a Jewish community in Kaifeng for over a thousand years. Jews first arrived there around the eighth of the ninth century, along the silk route. They settled in Kaifeng which at the time was one of the imperial capitals of China. And over the centuries, a Jewish community in every respect, took root there.”
Back at the airport, it’s time to say goodbye.
[Jin Jin, Kaifeng Jews]:
“I think my father is right, there is a land that God promised to us. Yes, it is our home.”
NTD, Ben Gurion Airport, Israel.
Category: People & Blogs
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