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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Jewish Diaspora in Modern China by Nanjing University

103 ratings
36 reviews

About the Course

Jewish Diaspora in China is a unique experience for world Jewry, as China is the only country in Far East that has had Jews living in its society for over 1,000 years. Documentary evidence shows that Jews started to live in China no later than the Tang Dynasty (618–907). The famous Kaifeng Jewish community, which was established in Kaifeng, the Chinese capital of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), is but a best-known example. However, the largest Jewish Diaspora in China appeared in modern times. In over 100 years, from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, about 40,000 Jews came to China and lived in newly-established major port cities such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Harbin. Jewish communities composed of these Jews became an essential part of the economic and social life of those modern Chinese cities. What brought such a large number of Jews to China? Where did these people come from? How did they arrive? Were they all in China at the same time, and were there any differences among them? What happened to them after they arrived? Where are they now? The story of Jews in modern China is certainly a fascinating and up-lifting one. This course will examine these questions and more....

Top reviews


Oct 29, 2015

The subject matter of this course was new for me and was very interesting. I appreciate Professor Xin Xu and Nanjing University for providing this learning opportunity.\n\nThank you


Jun 19, 2016

The professor and the archival materials such as photographs are very engaging. The historical periods studied are fascinating, and well-suited to a short course.

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26 - 36 of 36 Reviews for Jewish Diaspora in Modern China

By Steven M J M

Aug 17, 2015

Filled in many gaps in my knowledge. I had a high school friend in San Francisco whose family was part of the Shanghai Jewish community during WW 2 -- and I feel that I get his family better after taking this course. Thank you.

By Pamela J R

Apr 25, 2016

This course was unique in several ways. It covers a subject from WWII and Jewish history that is largely overlooked. The lectures were interspersed with video that added a unique flavor. The students seem to come from a variety of countries. As a student, some of the lecture material was difficult to understand, though presented in English; subtitles helped. If there is a complaint of deficiency, it is the lack of support, feedback, or availability of staff on comment boards. I encountered a problem due to a mis-counting of the peer reviews completed, and a delay in my grade, so finally gave up and kept doing peer reviews until it showed as complete. The peer reviews on my own assignments were delayed. I think 4 peer reviews is too much, whether from low enrollment, language barrier or other issue. But I learned much, and this added to my current study of the role of China in WWII.


Aug 08, 2016

i came to more about china this is useful for me to do international business thank you !

By Matthew P

Jan 05, 2016

I learned a lot in this course and highly recommend it. I lived in Tianjin for over four years and often passed the old Synagogue and wondered about its history. The videos in this series are well done and the information is just enough to be eye opening and engaging without being burdensome. I also learned quite a bit from the other participants in the course.

By Caelyn M

Dec 06, 2016

Fascinating material; but accent of the lecturer was sometimes difficult to understand. The peer reviewed essays were good topics; but in one case definitely should have attached to the following week. The multiple choice tests, however, seemed to focus on trivia. Flawed; but still a really interesting course.

By Man S C

Sep 17, 2015

Course content was nice. Delivery was good. Learn a lot that I have never been aware of.

Course logistics was lacking. Hard to keep track where one was. Information about the course was sparse.

By Maria M S

Aug 07, 2017

Interesting course overall.

By Geoffrey P

Nov 15, 2015

A fascinating course but delivered in a rather wooden fashion by the lecturer. Good illustrations. I would have liked to have known more of the overall value (if any) of the Jewish contribution in the context of Chinese economic development i.e. was it of any overall importance- did it make any difference? Is it still relevant?

By Eull D

Aug 21, 2015

Most interesting topic, previously unknown. excellent illustrations, although flashed up too fast. Poor, sometimes erratic and tiring verbal presentation, which sapped energy for peer reviews.

Can be greatly improved.

By Arkadiy D

Aug 29, 2015

nothing i can say that made me jump for joy. i fell asleep half the time.

By Michael N R

Jun 13, 2016

Not as advertized and way too much peer rating stuff--we do all the work the instructor does little or none--too much peer rating stuff which I despise. And there seems to be no way to un-enroll.