Monday, June 27, 2011

Shanghai Jewish Heritage (6/25/2011)

Saturday, June 25, 2011
Appeared overcast. A good day to follow the life of Jews in Shanghai.
We have already seen evidence of the first wave of Jewish immigration to Shanghai, those seeking business and development opportunities who arrived after the opening of China's ports and markets to the West in 1844. About 700 Sephardim (including the families of the Sassoons, Hardoons, and Kadooris) came from Baghdad, Spain, Portugal, and India to build hotels, hospitals, synagogues, and mansions; being responsible for some of Shanghai's finest architecture.
To review, this is the former Sassoon House/Peace Hotel:
This is the former Kadoori Marble Mansion/now a Children's Palace:
The second wave of Jews arrived in 1906 and later, as Russian Jews escaped the pogroms and Bolshevik Revolution. Most of these initially settled in the city of Harbin, but moved here during the Japanese occupation of Manchuria in the early 1930s.
The third wave consisted of Ashkenasi Jews or European Jews who started arriving in 1933 and 1934 when Hitler came into power. After Kristallnacht in 1938, another group arrived from mostly Germany and Austria, and a final large group came from Poland when Germany attacked in 1939.
During 1937 to 1941, Shanghai, as the only metropolis willing to accept stateless refugees, received 25,000 Jewish refugees.
Houshan Park, where Jewish families once came to relax and socialize, there is a memorial tablet in commemoration of the "Designated Area for Stateless Refugees."
Today the Chinese dance and practice tai qi. What looked like a hat rack serves to hold bags:
Good advice:
In the back of the park is a restored building that once housed the U.S. and hanghai Distribution Committee:
Two boys in pajamas kick a basketball:
Doves (of Peace?) Sculpture:
Across the street from the park, at 119 and 121 Houshan Road, the offices of the Joint Distribution Committee were located:
When the Germans asked the Japanese to exterminate all the Jews in Shanghai, the Japanese decided in compromise to gather all the Jews (about 31,000) into the designated area/ghetto. The Joint Distribution Committee was a relief organization that helped with food, education, and when possible, relocation.
Even before the area became the ghetto, this was where much of the Jewish population lived on Houshan Road:
Also on Zhoushan Road, also known as "Little Vienna:"
Former U.S. Secretary of Treasury (under Jimmy Carter) Michael Blumenthal lived as a teenager in the garret at No. 59:
Zhoushan Road:
Around the corner is the former Ohel Moishe Synagogue:
A volunteer guide took us on a tour. After entering, we had to put plastic booties over our shoes. Everything was carefully restored. The ark was covered with a new parokhet or curtain:
The parokhet was made from fabric from Shanghai, designed by an Israeli, and embroidered by a New Yorker.
The tile flooring is the only original part of the synagogue:
Upstairs on the third floor, we perused a small gallery of donated artworks, including this painting titled "Friendship:"
witha a Chinese doorknob next to a Jewish one.
Also a dragon menorah:
The Ohel Moishe Synagogue:
Established in 1907 and built in 1927.
Brynne by the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum door:
The former site of the Mascot Roof Garden on Huoshan Road:
Many former Jewish residents remember concerts and dances at the Roy Roof Garden.
Former site of the largest Jewish Refugee Shelter, housing 1,000 people during WWII:
Now it is just local housing off Changyang Road.
More local housing:
Most of the Jewish people left Shanghai after WWII ended and more left during the Cultural Revolution. Only about 100 Jews were left at that time, including those who had married Chinese citizens. Now the Jewish population in Shanghai is about 3,000.

Sunday, June 26, 2011
To continue our Jewish theme, we went to Haya's Bagels for brunch. Apparently owned by Israelis, they have a wonderful Mediterranean bakery and restaurant on Dagu Road.
After eating, we meant to continue to The Bund, but the weather was iffy. Followed Dagu Road to People's Square, with sculpture along the way:
Two types of oxalis, including articulata and triangularis/regnellii:
This youngster was lighting firecrackers and tossing them into the pool:
The bird owners were not happy:
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These appear to be tiny White Eyes:
They even get taken to lunch!
More birds: the white pigeons in People's Square:
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The fantail pigeon:
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An Oriental Roller?
Capuchine Pigeon:
Brynne's first view of Kent's office building:
Decided to see the Ancient Chinese Bronze Gallery at Shanghai Museum:
The ancient bronze technology is one of the most important achievements of Chinese civilization. The Chinese Bronze Age began in the 21st century BCE and lasted about 2000 years. Mainly used for ceremonial purposes by the upper classes at that time, bronze was considered a precious metal ware.
Yue/axe with inlaid pattern (looks like turquoise inlay):
Late Xia Dynasty (18th - 16th century BCE).
Jue/wine vessel for pouring into a cup, with tubular spout:
Late Xia Dynasty (18th - 16th century BCE).
Jue with animal mask design:
Mid Shang Dynasty (16th - 13th century BCE).
Fu Yi Gong/wine containing vessel in the shape of an animal:
Late Shang Dynasty (13th - 11th century BCE).
Flat-legged Ding/pot to cook meat, with dragon design:
Late Shang Dynasty (13th - 11th century BCE).
Fu Wu Fang Yi/square wine containing vessel:
Late Shang Dynasty (13th - 11th century BCE).
Gui/container for cooked grain, with phoenix design:
Early Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century BCE).
Jia Gui with spikes:
Early Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century BCE).
Ya Xu Nao/percussion instrument:
Late Shang Dynasty (13th - 11th century BCE).
You can "listen" to these percussion instruments of Marquis Jin Fu:
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Xu/container for cooked grain; of Marquis Jin Fu:
Late Western Zhou Dynasty (9th century - 711 BCE).
Pan/washing basin, of Zi Zhong Jiang:
Early Spring & Autumn Period (770 - 7th century BCE).
Shan She Hu Fu/container for cooked grain:
Early Spring & Autumn Period (770 - 7th century BCE).
Dui/container for cooked grain, with inlaid geometric pattern:
Late Warring States Period (4th century - 221 BCE).
Brynne and Kent with the Da Ke Ding:
King Xiao Reign, Western Zhou Dynasty (end of 10th century - beginning of 9th century BCE).
Ox-shaped Zun/large wine containing vessel:
Late Spring & Autumn Period (early 6th century - 476 BCE).
He/water container for mixing with wine, with dragon spout and animal mask design:
Mid Spring & Autumn Period (early 7th century - early 6th century BCE).
Cowrie container with 8 yaks: 
Western Han Dynasty (206 BCE - 8 CE).

Monday, June 27, 2011
Brynne and I stopped in at Huaihai Park to see the Huamei/Chinese Thrushes:
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They rarely stop moving!
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Reading the daily newspaper:
Most people in the park are over 50 years of age. This talented fellow was doing tai qi on the balance equipment:
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A couple exceptions in age:
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Later a walk down Nanjing Road for a view of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in the haze:
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Passed the Peace Hotel (established by Sassoon) on The Bund:
Brynne's first view of Pudong:
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The Bund:
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The former Glen Line Building, former Bank de l'Indochine, and Peninsula Hotel:
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Huangpu Park:
The Garden Bridge:
which the jewish residents had to cross to reach the "Designated Area."
The Astor House:

Built in 1858 in East India-style.
Broadway Mansions:
Built in 1934-35 in Art Deco-style; began the wave of highrise buildings in Shanghai.
Wedding photographers were busy:
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A bride in traditional red!
Nanjing Road pedestrian shopping area:
Formed ficus tree:
Four spires: