The Kulanu-Kaifeng Speaking Tour has begun! Shi Lei, our speaker from the Jewish community of Kaifeng China, arrived in the U.S. last week, and his first two events in Baltimore and Fulton, MD got great reviews. Kulanu is delighted to be sponsoring his speaking tour.
I made a Google map for Shi Lei so he can see all the places he’ll be visiting. I’m sharing this map with you so you can check if he’ll be coming to your community or to places where your friends or family live. See the detailed list, below, of events in Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Texas, Ontario, California, Georgia, and New Jersey.
Shi Lei, a descendant of one of the original Jewish families in Kaifeng and an accomplished speaker, discusses the history of this unique community.Â The presentation includes a slideshow and information on the origins of these Jews and how the community preserved its identity under near-impossible circumstances although cut off from the Jewish world for hundreds of years.
Our speaker discusses the many Jewish traditions that were preserved through the centuries as well as those that were forgotten. Finally, he talks about the feelings of Kaifeng youth who are descendants of this community and their eagerness to discover more about their origins.Â Eighteen of these young people are currently in Israel studying and several have made aliyah.
A graduate of Henan University in China, Shi Lei also studied Jewish history and religion at Bar Ilan University in Israel from 2001-2002 and spent an additional two years at Machon Meir Yeshiva in Jerusalem.Â Shi Lei, who is known as a charismatic speaker, currently works as a national tour guide, operating private and group tours to Jewish sites in China. The New York Times Travel Section recently called him “licensed, charming and experienced.”
Tues.,Â Â 5/4/2010Â Â Â 8:00 pmÂ Â Â Beth Hillel Cong. Bnai Emunah, Wilmette, IL
Wed.,Â Â 5/5/2010Â Â Â 7:30 pmÂ Â Â Congregation Agudath Jacob – Waco, TX
Fri.,Â Â Â Â Â 5/7/2010Â Â Â 6:15 pmÂ Â Â Congregation Bâ€™nai Zion – El Paso, TX
As you know, Kulanu (“All of Us” in Hebrew) supports isolated and emerging Jewish communities around the world. Your donation sponsors education, economic development, research, publications, speaking tours, and many other forms of engagement and assistance for Jewish communities in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Please help us continue this important work, by going to kulanu.org/donate.