Nicholas Zhang

 

 
 
 


 

Knowledge Sharing

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Council of Christians and Jews, Oxford

Guest Speaker

May 13th, 2019

Thanks to Dr Catherine Oppenheimer, Chair of Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) Oxford, I was exceptionally honoured and grateful to be the youngest speaker ever to address this community.

Standing on the stage sharing my research on the Jews in China with a group of mostly grey-haired, intensely interested crowd, I felt proud, I felt humbled and I felt the absolute necessity to continue my journey in telling the world about this very small, mostly un-known, yet hugely significant Jewish diaspora in the Middle Kingdom.

 
 

Oxford University Jewish Society

Guest Speaker

June 3rd, 2019

After presentating to a roomful of Oxford students, I was bombarded with questions which led to a most intriguing discussion period that lasted for 45 minutes. In this esteemed institution of academic excellency, I shared what I know, learned from my audience and identified a brand new topic that completely sparked my research interest, Judea-Chinese neologism.

One week following my talk, JSoc got in touch and invited me back to present again in the next academic school year.

 
 

Book Signing

Author

May 13th, 2019

Jews in China: A History of Struggle delves into 4 main waves of Jewish immigration into China, from the Kaifeng Jews who now look no different from their Chinese neighbours due to thousands of years of intermarriage and assimilation, to the Baghdadi Jews who came to Shanghai after the First Opium War and became fabulously wealthy through opium trade and real estate development, to the Russian Jews who left the Pale of Settlement for a better life in Harbin and prospered by supplying vast natural resources from Northeast China to Europe, and to the tens of thousands of German and Austrians Jews who escaped Nazi-occupied Europe and found refuge in Shanghai. This book is about the story of their struggle and survival.

Book signing was held at the Oxford Jewish Centre. Thank you so much for your support!

 
 

The Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

Special Guest

July 17th, 2018

Thanks to the museum’s Executive Director, Ronald Leopold, I received a private guided tour of the museum as well as the office. I was introduced to a few of the research staff members, as well as Jan Erik Dubbelman, Head of International Development and Educational Projects, who later became a dominating influence in my fight against discrimination and prejudice. I was also presented with a special edition of The Anne Frank Diary that is no longer in publication — it is still one of my most treasured possessions.

 
 

Jewish Community Center, Hong Kong

June 24th, 2019

Together with the Jewish Recreation Club and the Ohel Leah Synagogue, this is the center of Jewish life and gathering.

Nestled in the middle of Hong Kong’s high rises, the JCC is absolutely a treasure – it houses a vast library of Jewish books, including the largest collection of books on Jews in China that I have ever seen!

 
 

Shanghai Jewish Refugee Museum

April 21st, 2019

Located in the former Ohel Moshe Synagogue in the Hongkou District of Shanghai, this museum embodies a fascinating piece of history that links back to Jewish refugee life inside China during the Second World War.

Although I absolutely enjoyed looking at all the historical photos, it is important to do alternative research to be able to view the messages delivered here objectively.

 
 

Sassoon House, Shanghai

April 22nd, 2019

Built in 1929 by Sir Victor Sassoon, a Sephardic Jew of Baghdad origin, this was one of the first skyscrapers in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Even with his tremendous wealth and contribution to society, many Shanghai clubs denied Sassoon entrance — because he was a Jew. His sarcastic response to the anti-Semitic world around him was to make them clamour for invitation to his decadent parties, threw right here in the grand ballroom which was designed to resembled the inside of a synagogue. This was Jewish wisdom and humour at its prime.

In 1949, the Communist Party housed its Municipal Government here. During the Cultural Revolution, the Gang of Four ran their Shanghai commune from here. The Sassoon House is known as the Fairmont Peace Hotel (和平饭店) today.

 
 

Women in the Holocaust Exhibition

Invited to the Grand Opening Ceremony

February 13-26, 2019

It was truly an incredible honour to receive an invitation to the Grand Opening Ceremony of the exhibition which was presented by the Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Centre and Hong Kong University, in cooperation with Yad Vashem.

At the exhibit, I was able to pick up two great books, Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl and The Promise by Eva Schloss which undoubtedly will enhance my understanding of the Holocaust.

 
 

Bye Bye Germany

Special Guest to HK Pre-Screening

February 21st, 2019

Thanks to Simon Li of the Hong Kong Holocaust & Tolerance Centre, I was one of a handful of people in Hong Kong invited to the private pre-screening of this German film.

A tragi-comedy about a group of Jewish salesmen trying to con their way out of post war Europe after they have survived the Holocaust, this film showed a different way in which the survivors dealt with the horrors of the past, by embellishing the truth, with humour. Given the sensitive nature of the topic, this is a refreshing narrative on a tale that is dark and sad.

 
 

Yom Hashoah UK

May 5th, 2019

Thanks to Jeffrey Pinnick, one of the chief organisers of the event and ex-Chair of Yad Vasham UK, I was invited to participate in this Holocaust Memorial at Hyde Park with 2,000 other people, among them London Mayor, Sadiq Khan who warned the recent rise of anti-Semitism and that it cannot be “dismissed as a passing trend.”

 
 

Matteo Ricci Musical

April 20th, 2019

In 1605, Matteo Ricci met Ai Tian, a Kaifeng Jew and wrote to the Vatican about it. From then on, the world came to know about the existence of Jews in China.

An incredible honour and so much fun to be able to see this grand musical production (in Cantonese!) with Simon Li, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Centre.