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China Judaic Studies Association 
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Prior Conferences

1997 - Award Ceremony

Xu Xin Receives Friend Memorial Award at Conference

It is with mixed feelings that I write this letter to be delivered during the opening session of the International Judaic Conference to be held at Nanjing University.

My heart is sad that I cannot be with you in person to speak of a man I hold in such high esteem.

My heart is happy to know that this evening sets one more jewel into the crown of accomplishment of a man I admire and wish to honor with tonight’s award: Professor Xu Xin:

Xu - to name but a few of your many wonderful achievements:

  • None of the guests assembled tonight would be here without your strenuous efforts.
  • The Encyclopedia Judaica would not exist in Chinese.
  • The China Judaic Studies Association would not have been established. Judaic courses would not be taught in Chinese universities.
  • Books in Chinese on anti-Semitism and in English on Jewish Legends of Kaifeng would not exist. Judaic Scholarship would not have attained its present heights.
  • Judaic exhibits and tours to Jewish sites would be doubtless be unknown in China.
  • Who knows if China and Israel would have even attained their present state of mutual understanding and political recognition. If we had never met you, all of our lives would be different—and far less rich.

Who would have believed that in 10 short years you would have accomplished so much. I only wish my husband—and your colleague —Jim Friend—had lived to see what you have achieved. From your initial impetus, spurred to study Jewish authors when Saul Bellow won the Nobel prize, through your first courses in Jewish American authors, your meeting with Jim—your first Jewish friend and mentor—and on through your scholarship in Israel and the United States, you have proven a man of diligence and performance.

You are, without a doubt, the most productive and enterprising scholar I have ever known—and it shows in your achievements.

It is therefore with great pride that I present you with this plaque, honoring your achievements, and this check to further your good works. I know that Jim would certainly have joined me in the delight of this presentation, and that my daughters, and indeed, the whole Friend/Oberfeld/Newman family, is with you in our hearts tonight, wishing you success with all your future endeavors, and in the hope that we may continue to work together with you to fight prejudice and encourage Judaic scholarship as you break new grounds with future books, articles, seminars, conferences, and whatever additional grand plans you have in mind.

Your reach has certainly been beyond the grasp of most men, and we are all honored to be a part of it. Best of luck, tonight, during the next few days and nights of this conference, and always, dear Xu Xin. This is presented with much love and admiration, October, 1996.

--- Beverly Friend