Update on Prof. Xu Xin and a Remarkable Endowment

I am delighted to report that Professor Xu Xin seems to have made a complete recovery from his cerebral aneurysm and is in excellent health as he resumes teaching, writing, and planning for the future. I had the pleasure of joining him August 1-4 in Seattle where we attended the board meeting of the Sino Judaic Institute (see www.sino-judaic.org). Amid their many activities, the organization currently is developing scholarships for university students and Kaifeng descendents to further their Judaic studies, working on a new grants policy, and researching, mounting, and funding a panel on Jewish-American adoptions of Chinese children (According to the U.S. State Department, 66,709 orphan visas for mainland Chinese adoptees were issued from 1991 to 2007 with a significant percentage to Jewish adoptive parents).

Following Seattle, Xu headed for Los Angeles to meet with Guilford Glazer, who has made a second donation of $100, 000 to Xu’s Institute for Jewish Studies at Nanjing University.

In addition to leading Judaic tours in China, the latest with a group from Australia, Xu has resumed his own travels. He visited London on behalf of the Glazer Institute of Jewish Studies to meet with Naim Dangoor and his son in order to set up an endowed chair for a Professor of Monotheism (see below). Following that, Xu visited Kunming in Yunnan Province for five days to teach classes on the Holocaust and Anti-Semitism.

Back in China, Xu is resuming work on two books and working diligently while friends and family (unsuccessfully) attempt to get him to slow down and take it easy. It was wonderful to see him so thriving and active once again.

It is my pleasure to convey this news about the endowment granted for the study of Monotheism at the Institute for Jewish Studies at Nanjing University. The Exilarch’s Foundation has made a generous initial endowment to the Institute to establish the Naim Dangoor Fund for Universal Monotheism Studies. Matched by University funds, the new program will enhance the Institute's research and teaching of the core concepts of three monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Philanthropist Naim Dangoor, an Iraqi-born Jew who moved to Britain in 1964 and became a successful property investor and developer in London, created the Exilarch’s Foundation in 1978. This grew into a major philanthropic institution providing support for education and other causes in the UK and in Israel. Dangoor received the Order of the British Empire in 2006 for his generous contributions and far-reaching vision of today’s world.

Income from the endowment will be used to create a better understanding of the world by the Chinese people. It will also advance efforts to recruit and retain a distinguished director, who will be given the title Naim Dangoor Director of the Institute for Universal Monotheism. Xu Xin, the Institute’s founding director, said, "This gift of an endowment from the Exilarch’s Foundation will enable us to extend the scope of the Institute of Jewish Studies. It will enhance our ability to collaborate with other institutes, and with various doctoral programs in co-sponsoring programs and in training and encouraging students to carryout research on Universal Monotheism — important to understanding the world civilization in general — and seek to find a universal project for world peace that recognizes the significance of each human being throughout the world."