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“Jewish Refugees in Shanghai” Program Series at Bklyn Public Library Teaches Lessons on Int’l Compassion for People in Crisis

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Jewish Refugees in Shanghai is open to the public and includes documentary films and discussions about the experiences and stories of survivors, as well as an exhibition of historic images and ephemera of the European Jews who were displaced during the war. Photo Credit: www.bklynlibrary.org

Hear survivors, refugees, descendants, and experts tell untold stories as Brooklyn Public Library partners with Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum and Amud Aish Memorial Museum for multi-branch exhibition, film & discussion series through May 10th

A multi-branch program across the Brooklyn Public Library system underway through May 10th brings together survivors, descendants, and experts to share untold stories of European Jewish refugees displaced during World War II who found sanctuary in Shanghai before their eventual emigration to the United States, many of whom settled in Brooklyn, NY.

Jewish Refugees in Shanghai is open to the public and includes documentary films and discussions about the experiences and stories of survivors, as well as an exhibition of historic images and ephemera of the European Jews who were displaced during the war.

Special events include a discussion on the afternoon of April 16th at the Brooklyn Central Library with survivor Lisa Brandwein, moderated by librarian and program manager Frank Xu, on her personal experiences growing up as a Jewish refugee in Shanghai 80 years ago, and a discussion on April 4th at the Borough Park Library featuring Flatbush resident Benson Chanowitz, whose father, two uncles and one aunt escaped to Shanghai from Japan during WWII. Benson will discuss what happened with his family in the years after they left China and the impact the experience had on multiple generations.

The series tells the stories of how, with the outbreak of WWII, many Jews chose to flee their hometowns, and a considerable number of them took refuge in Shanghai, China—a city they could travel to without a visa. Around that same time, students from the Mir Yeshiva in Vilna, Lithuania, also made their way to East Asia to escape the Nazi regime, setting up yeshivas in their new home. Many of these students—and their families—emigrated to Brooklyn, NY, following Japan’s surrender in 1945.

The series is put on by the Brooklyn Public Library in collaboration with the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum and the Amud Aish Memorial Musuem. The exhibition is part of BKLYN Incubator, empowering library staff to build public programs and services in partnership with the communities they serve. Generous funding for BKLYN Incubator is provided by The Charles H. Revson Foundation and Robin K. and Jay L. Lewis.

Speaking on the importance of the program, Chen Jian, Curator of the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, said, “We are proud to support this program to share more information about this important period of history, and to help new audiences to understand the friendship, love, and support the Chinese people provided to these Jewish refugees during the war.”

Following the conclusion of the program series, the exhibition panels will be open to be borrowed and displayed at local community centers, schools, or cultural organizations interested in sharing this history with their communities.

 

Exhibition Dates & Locations

March 4–April 12

Borough Park Library

1265 43rd Street

Brooklyn, NY 11219

Exhibition Details

March 4–April 12

Mapleton Library

1702 60th Street

Brooklyn, NY 11204

Exhibition Details

March 11–May 10

Central Library

10 Grand Army Plaza

Brooklyn, NY 11238

Exhibition Details

April 22–May 31

Kensington Library

4207 18th Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11218

Exhibition Details

 

Calendar of Events

APR 4

Discussion: The Jewish People in Harbin During WWII

Tiger Wang, Senior Librarian, leads a discussion on how Jewish people went to Harbin as refugees, and what contributions they made to their new communities.

Documentary Film: Survival in Shanghai

Thu, Apr 4 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm Kensington Library

Produced by Shanghai Mass Media Group, this documentary tells the extraordinary stories of Jewish refugees in China during WWII.

Discussion: After Shanghai: A Jewish Refugee’s Story

Thu, Apr 4 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm Borough Park Library

Benson Chanowitz, whose father, two uncles and one aunt escaped to Shanghai from Japan during WWII, discusses what happened with his family in the years after they left China.

APR 11

Documentary Film: Survival in Shanghai

Thu, Apr 11 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm Borough Park Library

Produced by Shanghai Mass Media Group, this documentary tells the extraordinary stories of Jewish refugees in China during WWII.

Discussion: The Story of Anna Lincoln: the Case of the WWII Polish Jew in Shanghai and the Idea of Transnationalism

Thu, Apr 11 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm Kensington Library

Izabela Barry, Senior Librarian of Brooklyn Public Library, talks about how the polish refugee family of Anna Lincoln was able to make their home in a foreign country like Shanghai during WWII migration.

APR 15

Discussion: Jewish Shanghai Memories: Perceptions & Intercultural Communication

Mon, Apr 15 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm Central Library, Info Commons Lab

The research conducted by Dr. Shuming Lu from Brooklyn College examines how Jewish descendants perceive this part of Jewish history in Shanghai and its impact on Jew’s intercultural communication with Chinese in general.

APR 16

Dialogue with a Survivor: Lisa Brandwein

Tue, Apr 16 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Central Library, Info Commons Lab

Lisa Brandwein leads a discussion on her personal experiences growing up as a Jewish refugee in Shanghai 80 years ago. Moderated by BPL librarian Frank Xu.

APR 18

Documentary Film: Survival in Shanghai

Thu, Apr 18 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm Mapleton, Basement Auditorium

Produced by Shanghai Mass Media Group, this documentary tells the extraordinary stories of Jewish refugees in China during WWII.

APR 20

Documentary Film: Survival in Shanghai

Sat, Apr 20 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm Central Library, Info Commons Lab

Produced by Shanghai Mass Media Group, this documentary tells the extraordinary stories of Jewish refugees in China during WWII.

MAY 2

Jewish Refugees in Shanghai Exhibition & Reception

Thu, May 2 5:00 pm to 5:30 pm Kensington Auditorium

This exhibition includes images and ephemera of European Jews who were displaced during the war, films and lectures about their time in China, and a discussion about their eventual emigration to the United States.

Documentary Film: Ark Shanghai

Thu, May 2 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm Kensington Auditorium

Produced by the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, this documentary film traces the history of Jewish Refugees in Shanghai during WWII.

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