As an avid historian most of my time is spent learning about the past. Of the many lessons not to be repeated, one is strikingly clear, the importance of diversity.
When diversity rises, so does the sharing of ideas, perspectives, and solutions. The intolerance of diversity is oftentimes the root of problems in the first place. It was racism that split America during her Civil War, nationalism that broke the world in the First World War, and it was blatant hatred that tore humanity to shreds in the Holocaust.
Like many other humanitarians, I started off with a goal: to help fight discrimination wherever in this world it may be. Sure, that sounded nice, but it was clear the goal was too vague, giving me no distinctive path to pursue.
Upon a visit to Kaifeng in the winter of 2017 this lack of direction vanished. As I met with the Kaifeng Jews and saw their treasured possessions, written in both Chinese and Hebrew characters, I was bestowed with an idea, a tangible one: to combat the evils of intolerance by sharing the beautiful co-existence of two ancient cultures, that of Judaism and Chinese, in one location, in one people.
Intolerance has existed since the beginning of time. It won't end tomorrow, but here's a step in the right direction.
Chinese Jews are the descendants of Han Chinese and Sephardic Jews who migrated to China thousands of years ago. They reside along the banks of Yellow River, in the cradle of a great civilization, but unknown to most people.
Chinese Jews is a student-led initiative. We believe cultural heritage is the legacy pass down from our ancestors, and the present we give to our children. It is a recording of all that we have been through and all that we are. It is one of the most valuable possessions of our shared humanity. We work to protect and preserve Chinese Jews' cultural heritage, and to share it with people all over the world.