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China Judaic Studies Association 
Promoting Judaic Studies in China

 Academic Judaic Center in China

Little did anyone think, in 1986, that the travels of James Friend, one professor from Chicago State University heading to teach English at Nanjing University, would result in the recent opening of the Diane and Guilford Glazer Institute of Judaic Studies at Nanjing University in November, 2006. 

Originally known as the Center for Judaic Studies, established in May, 1992, the Institute – now housed in a modern, new space, meets a growing demand for Judaic studies in China by promoting the study of Jewish subjects, offering offers regular courses in Jewish history, examining the contributions of Jews to the western world, and covering Holocaust material. Over 200 students   enroll in these courses annually. 

The new space, on the 8th floor of the brand new 12-story Center for International Studies features a handsome silver plaque with the China Judaic Association Logo announcing individual donors being honored. 

 • The James and Beverly Friend Memorial Exhibition/Conference Hall is the largest, a brightly lit room graced by a large oval conference table, and three walls of display. 

• The Rabbi Arthur and Elisabeth Schneier Judaica Library, currently holds over 10,000 books.

 • The Kaufman Study Room in honor of Teddy Kaufman, President of the Israel-China Friendship Association provides an ample  classroom for students. This room was established by Varda and Sjalom Yorn from Israel. 

 • A cozy seminar room, with tables and computers to facilitate students, and the Director's Room, which houses Xu Xin's office were both  established by the London Jewish Cultural Centre. 

In a corridor between the rooms,  a list of donors: foundations, organizations, patrons, sponsors and donors hangs in imposing testimony to all who made this Institute possible.

You may join this list. You can help by engaging in one (or more) of the following: 

• Send books on Jewish history, and Jewish culture to enrich our library for research and teaching. Used books  are just fine. It doesn’t matter if books are duplicated as they would then be shared with other Judaic Centers in China. 

• Provide scholarships for our MA or Ph.D. students -- $300 supports one student for a year. 

• Make donations to our lecture and publication fund.

• Approach foundations or organizations interested in supporting such Jewish studies as those on the Holocaust, religion, history, culture and Diasporas. 

To facilitate this worthwhile project, tax-deductible donations may be made out to the Sino-Judaic Institute  and mailed to Rabbi Anson Laytner, 1823 East Prospect St. Seattle, WA. 98112-3307.

Attach a separate note stating that the funds are intended for the Institute for Judaic Studies. 
 

For further information, or to send books, the address is:
 Professor Xu Xin
Department of Religious Studies, Nanjing University
Nanjing, 210093, China
Tel: 011-86-25-83593342 Fax: 86-25-52283598
Email: xuxin49@jlonline.com
 

FACULTY APPOINTMENT:

The Glazer Institute of Jewish Studies at Nanjing University eagerly awaits its newest appointee.  Zhenhua Meng (Hebrew name Jeremiah), a Ph.D. from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, was officially hired in by the University in January. 

Dr. Meng, a highly promising young scholar with formal training on Jewish studies, was born in Shanghai in 1981. After high school graduation from Nanjing Foreign Language School (as an English major), he continued at Peking University (the only university in China then offering a Hebrew program) as one of only nine students accepted in the program.

Before graduation, he received a one-year scholarship to study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. As a student of Hebrew, he had  passed Level Vav (the highest level in Ulpan) in Modern Hebrew prior to his graduation. 
He has also translated the two books from Hebrew into Chinese: Rachel Bernheim’s holocaust memoir, Earrings in the Cellar (Kunming: Yunnan People’s Publishing House, 2005) and David Grossman’s Lion’s Honey (Taipei: Locus Publishing, 2007).

Dr, Meng will certainly be an asset to the Institute faculty.



DEDICATION REPORT:

                   Xu Xin’s  dream has come true with the establishment of the Glazer center, fulfilled by the donations from the Glazer family and the  contributions of many other charitable trusts and individuals (many from the Chicago area).

                   As members of the Friend family, Tracy, Lynn and I were thrilled to be there on a most spiritually gratifying 10-day pilgrimage that was  bracketed by two contrasting but equally uplifting Shabbat services (Reform in Beijing and Chabad in Shanghai), and highlighted by the Dedication of the Institute.

                   The celebration opened late Monday afternoon, Nov. 20 with a formal discussion between Nanjing University Vice President Zhou Xian and Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk, honorary Chancellor of Hebrew Union College as well as Chair of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's  Academic Committee, who was scheduled as the keynote speaker for the next day. They exchanged pleasantries and discussed the unique role this department will play at the university before heading for a banquet hosted by the school.

                   The Dedication itself opened Tuesday morning with speeches delivered in a tiered lecture hall before an audience of about 80 which included University President Zhang Rong;  Kenneth Jarrett, U.S. Consul General in Shanghai; Amir Lati, Israeli Deputy Consul General in Shanghai; professors and scholars from Nanjing and other Chinese Universities; benefactor William Fern; Episcopal Priest John Blessing; Arthur Rosen, Chairman of the Board of the Sino Judaic Institute; Mattan Lurie, on behalf of the Glazers, Jerry Gotel of the London Jewish Cultural Centre;  representatives from Jewish communities and corporations in China, and members of the Friend family. 

                   Tracy Friend, who is both the President of B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim in Glenview, IL, and a composer of liturgical melodies, presented Xu with 54 musical CD's donated by a broad band of American  Jewish artists. She and Rabbi Gottschalk's granddaughter Atara performed four  musical selections as part of the ceremony (Oseh Shalom, Shalom Rav, When All is Said and Done, and Ani V'Atah) 

                    Xu prepared and distributed a glossy blue and white booklet with the speeches printed in both English and Chinese  in order to avoid the need for  lengthy translations. After Xu's welcome and description of what has been accomplished and the goals still to be met, Beverly Friend  gave a brief history of the origins of the China Judaic Studies Association.

                    The highlight of the three-hour ceremony  was  Rabbi Gottshalk's  formal address where he cogently stated: "Somehow, somewhere, those concerned with the future of he human community must take the first steps to clear away the debris that bars people from each other.  The basic values which make relationships possible deal with the power of the spirit, not the spirit of power. You who are here at this Center and  at the University have opportunity to make a creative difference. "