An ancient trading nation, the Chinese have had contacts with traveling Jewish merchants since the 8th century. By the 12th century, a considerable number of Jews had made their homes in the city of Kaifeng, in a far western region of the country. At least one synagogue was constructed, and the community was active for about eight centuries. As recently as the 19th century, some Chinese Jews were practicing Jewish rituals, including Torah reading.
In the late 19th century, Russian Jewish communities were founded in Harbin, Tientsin, and elsewhere. In the early years of the 20th century, Jews fleeing pogroms in the Pale of Settlement and demobilized soldiers from the Russo-Japanese War joined them, raising the Jewish population of Harbin to approximately 8,000 by 1908. The Russian Revolution of 1917 practically doubled the size of the community and served as a stimulus to Zionist activism. Most of the Russian Jews remaining at the end of World War II emigrated to the West. Some were repatriated, both voluntarily and involuntarily, to the Soviet Union.
The development of the port city of Shanghai as a Jewish center parallels that of Hong Kong. Sephardi families from Baghdad, Bombay, and Cairo, including the Kadoories, Sassons, and Hardoons, established a communal structure in Shanghai in the 19th century.
Today there are no Jewish communal structures in China, and the Jews who live there are thought to be extremely few. There is a small Jewish museum in Kaifang. Relics of the Jewish presence in China can be seen elsewhere, particularly in Shanghai.
Israel and China have had formal relations since 1992.
Aliya: Since 1948, 1,070 Jews from China have emigrated to Israel, 504 between 1948 and 1951.
West Wing Offices (CWTC)
1 Jianguo Menwai Da Jie, Beijing 100004
Tel. 86 10 6505 2970,
Fax 86 10 6505 0328
Dini Kosher Restaurant
Fangyuan W Rd, Chaoyang, Beijing,
For up to date information on Kosher restaurants and locations please see the Shamash Kosher Database
Kings Garden Villa
18 Xiao Yun Road, House D5A Chao
Tel: (86) 10 6468
Chabad of Ya Bao Lu
Jian Guo Men Diplomatic Building
Building 3, 2F, Room 201
No. 223 Chaoyangmennei Street
Capital Club Athletic Center
3rd Floor Ballroom, Capital Mansion
6 Xinyuan Nanlu Chaoyang District
Tel: (86) 10 6467 2225
Shehebar Sepharadic Center
Alef-Beit Jewish Center
Tower 2-3C, Fairview Garden, Chaowai Street
Tel: (86) 10 8563 3205
31 He Ping Lu, Overseas Village
Tel: (86) 20 8376 7070
Shang-Mira Garden Villa #1
89 South Shui Cheng Road
Tel: (86) 21 6278 0225
Shanghai Chabad Pudong
Apt. 301, Building No 39, Alley 333
Jinxiu Road, Pudong
Tel: (86) 21 5878 2008
Shehebar Sepharadic Center
1000 Gubei Road, Building B apt 103
Tel: (86) 159 00808733
No 4, Nlock A, Guishan Xiaozhu Yanshan Road
Shekou Nanshan District
Tel: (86) 755 8207 0712