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SOLD OUT – Jewish Lives in China

September 12, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Jewish immigration to New York is a well-researched phenomenon, but tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants also traveled east from their homes looking for new freedom and opportunity. In this talk, panelists will explore the oft-forgotten history of Jewish communities in Harbin and Shanghai—refugees and fortune seekers from Odessa and Bukhara to Baghdad—that have now all but disappeared. Before the event, join artist Steven Lane, whose work is featured in Harbin, China | Past/Present, for a gallery walk to discuss his work, his connection to Harbin, and his art-making, teaching and experiences in Harbin and other locations in China. Lane’s talk begins at 5:45 PM and a $5 add-on ticket to your panel ticket is required to attend. This event is presented in conjunction with the exhibition, Harbin, China | Past/Present and in partnership with China Institute.

Jim Ross is associate professor of journalism at Northeastern University. He received his BA from Yale University and his MA in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University. He is the author of three books including Escape to Shanghai: A Jewish Community in China (Free Press, 1994), and an editor of The Image of Jews in Contemporary (China Academic Studies Press, 2016).


Irene Clurman has been a journalist, arts writer, yoga teacher and synagogue education director. She lives in Evergreen, Colorado, where she leads dream workshops and maintains a website on the history of the Harbin Jewish Community.


Varda Yoran was born in China in 1929 to Jewish parents who had emigrated from Russia. Immediately, she was exposed to various cultures through her family, her schooling, and the constant political struggle for power in the East. Varda was a first-hand witness to World War II, the Japanese occupation of China, the communist takeover, and the declaration of Israel’s independence. She made her home in Israel in 1949, served in the Israeli Air Force and married her husband, Shalom. As collaborator and translator, she helped turn his memories of resistance during the holocaust into the book, The Defiant, published in 1996. A prolific writer, most recently Varda authored the story of Al Schwimmer, the World War II veteran and face of Israel Aircraft Industries. Varda is perhaps best known for her work as a sculptor, working with materials including stone and bronze. Her abstract renderings have been exhibited in the United States, Israel. Canada, Italy, and Finland, including large outdoor sculptures on the campus of Tel-Aviv University and the Ghetto Fighters Museum in Israel.

China Institute advances a deeper understanding of China through programs in education, culture, art, and business.  Founded in 1926 by Chinese reformers Hu Shi and K.P. Wen and American educators John Dewey and Paul Monroe, China Institute is the oldest bicultural, non-profit organization in America to focus exclusively on China.


September 12, 2019
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Museum At Eldridge Street
12 Eldridge Street
New York, NY 10012 United States