This scholarly collection examines the origins, history, and contemporary nature of Chinese Judaism in the community of Kaifeng. These essays, written by a diverse, international team of contributors, explore the culture and history of this thousand-year-old Jewish community, whose synthesis of Chinese and Jewish cultures helped guarantee its survival. Part I of this study analyzes the origin and historical development of the Kaifeng community, as well as the unique cultural synthesis it engendered. Part II explores the contemporary nature of this Chinese Jewish community, particularly examining the community's relationship to Jewish organizations outside of China, the impact of Western Jewish contact, and the tenuous nature of Jewish identity in Kaifeng.
Anson H. Laytner is former president of the Sino-Judaic Institute and the author of Arguing with God: A Jewish Tradition. Jordan Paper is professor emeritus of East Asian and religious studies at York University and author of The Theology of the Chinese Jews, 1000-1850.