Anyone interested in viewing Xu Xin’s Coursera course in Jewish Diaspora
in Modern China should visit
I have signed up and am fascinated.
Following are descriptions of the 8 modules:
This course, “Jewish Diaspora in Modern China,” will give you an
understanding of the major issues related to the history of Jews in China
in Modern times.
2. Background: Jews and China
In this module, we will introduce pre-modern Chinese society, wars with
Western Powers, and the Open Door Policy. We will also analyze major
causes that brought Jews to China. In particular, we will focus on waves
of migrating Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews to China, which mark the
beginning of the history of the Jewish diaspora in modern China.
3. The Jewish Community in Shanghai
In this module, we will study four Jewish communities established in
Shanghai from the second half of the 19th century to the mid-20th century,
with a special focus on the Sephardic Jews and European Jewish refugees.
4. The Jewish Community in Harbin
In this module, we will discuss Harbin as a newly established modern
Chinese city. We will explore the Jewish communal life in the city from
its leadership, various Zionist organizations, business, observance, and
relations with adjacent Jewish communities in the region and in the
5. The Jewish Community in Tianjin
In this module, we will focus on the Jewish communal life in the port city
of Tianjin, tracing its beginnings, development, and decline. We will also
introduce some well-known Jewish individuals living in the city.
6. The Jewish Community in Hong Kong
In this module, we will explore the special status of Hong Kong as a
center of Jewish life in China. We will trace the ups and downs of Jewish
life in the city and the unique roles the Hong Kong Jewish Community
played in the city– the only Jewish community with a sustained,
uninterrupted history in China over the past 160 years.
7. Departure and Contributions
In this module, we will analyze the factors that spurred the departure of
about 40,000 Jews from China. We will also discuss their contributions–
economic and cultural– on Chinese society today.
8. History Renewed and Impact
In this module, we will describe the re-establishment of Jewish
communities in contemporary Chinese society, especially in Beijing and
Shanghai, following the adoption of China’s open-door policies and
economic reforms in the 1980s. We will also discuss the impact of the
re-establishment of Jewish communities on Chinese academia.