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Shanghai Jewish Refugee Museum Courtyard

October 13, 2017

Presentation: Learn How Holocaust Survivors Fled to Shanghai

The Center for Holocaust, Genocide, & Human Rights Education at Ocean County College will sponsor the presentation Safe Haven: The Jewish Refugee Community in Shanghai on Tuesday, October 31 at 11:00 a.m. in Conference Rooms A & B, Conference (Building #10), OCC Main Campus, College Drive, Toms River, NJ. A Question & Answer period will follow the presentation. Admission is free and open to the public.

Today, few would guess that the quintessentially Chinese city of Shanghai, China, once played host to a bustling community of over 20,000 Jews. While a Jewish community has existed in Shanghai since the late 19th Century, the first large wave of immigrants came in the 1920s and 1930s, as thousands of Russian Jews fled the Bolshevik Revolution for the more business-friendly foreign concessions in Shanghai. A decade later, the mainly Russian and Sephardic Jewish community was supplemented by tens of thousands of Ashkenazi Jews from Europe, who fled the Nazi terror during World War II. Coming by boat from Europe and by train through Russia, Siberia, Manchuria, and even Japan, these refugees found shelter in Shanghai and survived the Holocaust.

What was life like for these refugees? How did they adapt to and survive in their new settlements? What happened to them after World War II? Dr. Xiao-ming Yang, Professor of English at Ocean County College and an expert in Chinese Studies, will show rare footage depicting the life of these refugees including moving scenes of reunions after the war. Dr. Yang will also show a short documentary made by the Israeli government to express its gratitude to Shanghai, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “haven for the Jewish people.”

For information, contact Dr. Ali Botein-Furrevig, Associate Professor of English & Literature, and Director of the Center for Holocaust, Genocide, & Human Rights Education, at Ocean County College, at 732-255-0400, ext. 2368, or abotein-furrevig@ocean.edu.

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