Near the margin of the Po-yang Lake there stands a lofty rock so peculiar and solitary that it is known by the name of "Little Orphan". The adjacent shore is low and level, and its kindred rocks are all on the opposite side of the lake, whence it seems to have been torn away by some violent convulsion, and planted immovably in the bosom of the waters. Such to me appeared the fragment of the Israelitish nation. A rock rent from Mount Zion by some great national catastrophe and projected into the central plain of China, it has stood there, while the centuries rolled by, sublime in its antiquity and solitude. It is now on the verge of being swallowed up, and the spectacle is a mournful one. The Jews themselves are deeply conscious of their sad situation, and the shadow of an inevitable destiny seems to be resting upon them.
W. A. P Marten
A visit to the Jews in Honan
The Jewish Presence in China - Kaifeng, Hunan Province 1489
No chronology of the lives of the Jews of China in the 19-21C can be complete without mention of Kaifeng in the Honan (Hunan) province of China and the community of Jews, that lived there. Initially known as Tiao-chin Chiao, the sect which plucks out the sinews (a reference to the practice of Kashruth) and later as Chiao Ching Chiao, the Religion that teaches the Scriptures.
Professor Xu Xin describes the first arrival of these Jewish settlers in Kaifeng in vivid detail (Legends of the Chinese Jews of Kaifeng - by Prof. Xu Xin with Beverly Friend PhD, Hoboken: KTAV Published in 1995).
Much has been written about this fascinating community who in one form or another survive to the present time.
A partial bibliography is provided here. For a more complete list of research and reading material, visit the links section of this site.
The Survival of the Chinese Jews: the Jewish Community of Kaifeng by Dr. Donald Daniel Leslie (Leiden: Brill 1972 - sadly out of print but used copies can be found at Amazon.com and other sellers)
The Jews in China by James Finn (First published in 1843 and reprinted in Taipei by Cheng Wen Publishing Company in 1971 - out of print but used copies can be found at Amazon.com and other sellers)
Mandarins, Jews and Missionaries - The Jewish Experience in the Chinese Empire by Michael Pollack (Weatherhill Inc, 568 Broadway, Suite705, New York NY 10012) and others
As this is written Rabbi Marvin Tokayer of New York (author of the Fugu Plan), is actively involved in attempting to preserve the last vestiges of the Kaifeng community