“And there is hope for thy future, saith the LORD; and thy children shall return to their own border.” - Jeremiah 31:16
Five women from the ancient Jewish Chinese community of Kaifeng will be fulfilling their dream as they ready themselves to move to Israel at the end of February.
It is prophesied that at the end of days, Jews from all over the world will make aliyah (move to Israel). Thanks in no small part to the organization Shavei Israel, this prophecy is coming true today as Jews from Kaifeng, China will merit to call Israel their home.
Little is known about the history of Kaifeng’s Jewry. Scholars dispute over the exact period when a small group of Jews emigrated from either Persia or India to the city of Kaifeng and erected a synagogue there, though most agree that it was around the 11th century BCE.
Though the community was few in number, no more than 5,000 at its strongest, it managed to preserve Jewish traditions and customs until the 17th century. Over the past several hundred years, however, intermarriage and assimilation have caused the number to dwindle significantly. Today, the Jewish population of Kaifeng amounts to fewer than 1,000 people.
Despite the overwhelming pressure to assimilate, there are still a large group of Jews in Kaifeng seeking to preserve and revive their Jewish identity for the next generation. Shavei Israel supports the Jews still living in Kaifeng while aiding some to fulfill their dreams of moving to Israel.
Said Michael Freund, founder of Shavei Israel, “After centuries of assimilation, a growing number of the Kaifeng Jews in recent years have begun seeking to return to their roots and embrace their Jewish identity.”
Ook Joden uit China op Aliyah naar Israël