The teaching is delightful and a challenge at Montclair State University,
New Jersey, where I was invited as an international specialist and have
been teaching two courses: China and the Jewish Diaspora and Introduction
to Chinese Civilization. I am extremely happy to teach the Diaspora
course, a topic about which I have done much research and plan to do more.
In addition to teaching, I have worked on a very ambitious plan: to
raise funds to build a physical entity for the Center for Judaic Studies
at Nanjing University. (See article, Page 1.)
As with many of my previous U.S. trips, I have been overwhelmed with
invitations to talk to different institutions, organizations and congregations
and am delighted with this wonderful opportunity to meet friends and inform
a wider audience about our work. It is impossible to name all the places
I visited, but here are some highlights:
- At Gratz College, we discussed having one of our young faculty come
here to be trained in Jewish history.
- Cleveland College of Jewish Studies is donating about 3,000 volumes of
books on Jewish subjects to the library of the Center for Jewish studies
at Nanjing University. It will make our library the biggest on Jewish studies
in China — increasing the need for our own Center.
I really enjoyed participating
in the Friends’ family seder in Chicago during this year’s Pesach. This
Chicago visit also led to a meeting with many friends who have been supporting
my research and the cause of Jewish studies in China.
- I was guest speaker at two conferences: The Third World View of
the Holocaust: International Symposium, organized by Northeastern University
in Boston, and Global Ethics, held at New Jersey City University.
- I have worked with my publisher and am pleased to announce that my
second book on the Kaifeng Jewry, The Kaifeng Jews of China: History,
Culture and Religion, is expected to be out in summer, 2001. Nothing
would make me happier than seeing the former research I did at Hebrew Union
College and Harvard University bear fruit.
Now I must hasten back to China, where I will join Rabbi
John Levi from Melbourne in leading a delegation of 26 Australians
on a tour of Judaic sites in China in mid-May. While I hope to return to
the U.S., I am extending an invitation to all of you to come to China and
see our work there. Join us for the next International Conference, May
2002 (see accompanying article), or for the dedication of the new James
Friend Center for Judaic Studies which your donations are making possible.
You have my personal invitation.
— Xu Xin.