From the Rivers of Babylon to the Whangpoo: A Century of Sephardi Jewish Life in Shanghai

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9780761824893: From the Rivers of Babylon to the Whangpoo: A Century of Sephardi Jewish Life in Shanghai

Baghdadi Jews came to Shanghai via India and first settled in the foreign enclave in 1845. During their sojourn of over a century, they were exposed to vast changes in their social, economic, and political environment. The challenge that confronted this immigrant group was how, amidst alien surroundings, to forge trading relationships and be fully accepted by the foreign communities in China, whilst still maintaining their Jewish identity and cultural distinctiveness. Described in vivid detail, the lives, customs, and traditions of this immigrant group emerge against the backdrop of the Shanghai treaty port in the 19th and 20th centuries, and a turbulent era of rebellions and war in China. This book examines the interaction between the Baghdadi Jews and their Ashkenazi coreligionists, some 6-8,000 who escaped from religious persecution in Russia, and some 20,000 refugees from Nazi persecution. Shanghai became an embattled city from 1937, laboring under the stranglehold of Japanese occupation during World War II. The city's subsequent incorporation into the Peoples' Republic of China in 1949, signaled the end of the community with its members scattered across the world.

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About the Author:

Maisie J. Meyer holds a Ph.D. in International History from the London School of Economics.

Review:

Meyer provides a detailed and fascinating history of these men, many of whom came to Shanghai by way of British India after leaving Ottoman territory during periods of persecution. Summing Up: RECOMMENDED. All levels and collections. (K.E. Stapleton, University of Kentucky CHOICE)

...Meyer and University Press of America can be praised for producing a stimulating and informative monograph on Shanghai's Baghdadis. (Jonathan Goldstein, State University of West Georgia, Carrolton and Harvard University's Fairbank Center for East Asian Research China Review International)

'From the Rivers of Babylon' provides the reader with a splendid and reliable overview of the story of the Shanghai Sephardic community and its efforts to retain the religions and cultural ways of life that its originators had enjoyed before departingfrom the homeland?It will be apparent to any reader of this exceedingly well-presented book that the research that went into its making approaches the awesome. It is highly recommended to both academic specialist in the file and to readers who posses evena passing interest in Jewish or Chinese history. (Michael Pollak, Author of Mandarins, Jews, and Missionaries (Weatherhill) Congress Monthly)

'From the Rivers of Babylon' provides the reader with a splendid and reliable overview of the story of the Shanghai Sephardic community and its efforts to retain the religions and cultural ways of life that its originators had enjoyed before departing from the homeland...It will be apparent to any reader of this exceedingly well-presented book that the research that went into its making approaches the awesome. It is highly recommended to both academic specialist in the file and to readers who posses even a passing interest in Jewish or Chinese history. (Michael Pollak, Author of Mandarins, Jews, and Missionaries (Weatherhill) Congress Monthly)

...Meyer and University Press of America can be praised for producing a stimulating and informative monograph on Shanghai's Baghdadis. (Jonathan Goldstein, State University of West Georgia, Carrolton and Harvard University's Fairbank Center for East Asian Research China Review International)

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Maisie J. Meyer
Published by University Press of America (2003)
ISBN 10: 0761824898 ISBN 13: 9780761824893
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Book Description University Press of America, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0761824898

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