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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wedding Bells Ring For Shanghai Jews

It looks as if China's Jewish community was able to finally celebrate a wedding in an ancient synagogue that had been closed since the days of World War Two.

( A glass was smashed, and a cheer went up. After months of careful negotiations with the Chinese government, Shanghai's Jewish community celebrated a revival last month as a historic synagogue opened for its first wedding in about 60 years.

Shanghai has special meaning for the global Jewish population after it took in tens of thousands of Jewish refugees during World War II. The city's Jewish community and the foreign community at large soon faded away, however, after the communists took over in 1949 and heavily restricted both business and culture. [...]

But China's largest city is regaining its cosmopolitan reputation as the country continues its dramatic rise, and the Jewish community of foreigners now numbers more than 2,000.

Even though China and Israel are officially friends (at least culture wise), the country still does not truly recognize freedom of religion, a liberty many in the west take for granted.

Either way, this is a good step for China, who has found a way to maintain strong ties with the Jewish community ever since providing a safe haven for them during the days when Jewish persecution was rampant throughout the globe.

(Image Credit: My Dream Wedding)

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