Monument Proves Existence of Jews in China
Submitted by Milica on Fri, 2003-01-17 13:08
In 1489, the descendants of a group of Jewish merchants who travelled to
Kaifeng, China, left evidence of their existance on a stone marker now
displayed in the Municipal Museum of Kaifeng.
"You have come to our China. Respect and preserve the customs of your
ancestors, and hand them down here in Pien-liang [Kaifeng]." These were the
words of the Chinese emperor to a group of Jewish travellers from the Middle
East when they arrived in the city of Kaifeng. Centuries later, their
descendants incribed the words on a marker placed in the courtyard of their
Today there are several hundred residents of the area who claim ancestry with
the original settlers. Even though they have no religious affiliation, remnants
still exist such as "The Lane of the Sect That Teaches the Scriptures," a
street where some of these descendants now live.
Michael Pollack's website, "The Jews of Kaifeng," looks at this small pocket of
Judaism in China.