Shanghai Jewish Refugees Exhibit

Hillel at the University of Washington, Second Floor

4745 17th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105

April 5-30, 2016

Organized by

Confucius Institute of the State of Washington

Co-organized by:

Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, University of Washington

Hillel at the University of Washington


From 1933 to 1941, Shanghai became a modern-day “Noah’s Ark” accepting over 18,000 Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust in Europe. Most were from Germany and Austria, but the refugees also included students of the famed Mir Yeshiva, the only yeshiva in occupied Europe to survive the Holocaust. In the “Designated Area for Stateless Refugees” in Ti Lan Qiao historic area of Shanghai, Jewish refugees lived harmoniously with local Chinese, overcoming numerous difficulties together. By the time the Second World War ended in 1945, most of the Jewish refugees had survived.

The Jewish Refugees in Shanghai Exhibition (1933-1941) brings together for the first time photos, personal stories, and artifacts from Shanghai Jewish Refugee Museum. The exhibition will run at Hillel at UW from April 5 through April 30, 2016. It is free and open to the public Monday to Friday, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. School field trips are available with advanced notice.

History of the Jews in Shanghai

Schedule of Events (All events will be hosted at Auditorium, Hillel UW. Online registration is required)

April 5, 5:30 PM            Opening Celebration & Reception

–        Welcome remark by Dr. Noam Pianko, Director of Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, University of Washington

–        Screening of the short film “A Gift of Life”

–        Commentary by Shanghai survivors Betty Grebenschikoff and Werner Glass

–        Tribute in song by Lian Caspi “Song for Peace”  

–        Refreshment 

April 7, 7:00 PM          Lecture by Yomi Braester, Professor of Humanities, University of Washington, The Last Refuge: Chinese and Jewish Refugees in Wartime Shanghai

Refugees from inside and outside China flocked to Shanghai in the 1930s and 1940s. They were driven by poverty and  war to any safe haven they could find. But they also imagined Shanghai in particular as a very special place, an exotic mix of foreign and domestic spectacles. The cinema had a special role in creating Shanghai’s aura; surprisingly, movies about Jewish refugees underlie many of the better-known images.

April 7, 8:00 PM            Screening of the documentary film Shanghai Ghetto

April 11, 9:00 AM           Lecture by Xin XU, founder and director of Diane and Guilford Glazer Institute for Jewish and Israel Studies at Nanjing University, Jewish Refugees and Their Lives in Shanghai

Prof. Xu is the first Chinese scholar who introduced Modern Hebrew literature to Chinese readers and has introduced over 50 Israeli poets and writers to Chinese public readers. He was a guest speaker at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1988 and at Tel Aviv University (1993 and 1998). In 1995, he served as a Fellow at Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion. In 1996 and 1998, he served as a visiting scholar at the Center for Jewish Studies of Harvard University. Prof. Xu has given over 600 public lectures in the world since 1995 and his activities have been widely reported by newspapers such as Chicago Tribune, Jerusalem Post, New York Times, Harvard University Gazette, The Jerusalem Report, The Jewish Week, Forward and etc.


April 12, 12:00 PM             Lecture by Shanghailander Dr. Myriam Met,  Memories of Shanghai

Dr. Met’s parents married in Vienna in the summer of 1938, shortly after Hitler marched into Austria. Dr. Met’s family was fortunate to obtain transit visas that allowed them to enter Shanghai, and equally fortunate to book travel on  a ship that would eventually bring them to dock in Shanghai in the spring of 1939. Dr. Met was born in Shanghai in October 1945 and left Shanghai in 1949.