History of the Jews in Taiwan

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Chelujan Church (車路墘基督教會), site of the Taiwan Holocaust Museum.

Unlike mainland China, the Jewish presence in Taiwan is relatively young, and was never numerous. The first sizable presence began in the 1950s, when religious services were held in the United States military chapel, to which civilians also had access.

In 1975, Rabbi Ephraim Ferdinand Einhorn (Hebrew: אפרים פרדיננד איינהורן‎; Chinese: 艾恩宏; Pinyin: Ài Ēnhóng) arrived to serve as the island's sole rabbi.[1] Since then, the Taiwanese Jewish community has been largely made up of foreign business executives and their families, with services also frequently attended by visitors to the island. Under Rabbi Einhorn, holiday services have been held at various hotels in Taipei. Under an agreement between the rabbi and the management of the Sheraton Taipei Hotel, there are weekly services, kosher meals, and a Jewish library owned by the rabbi. Attendance peaks around the High Holy Days, numbering between 60 and 100.[2][3][4]

Because the state of Israel has full diplomatic relations with mainland China, it cannot fully recognize the government of Taiwan, which China considers separatist. Nevertheless, Israel maintains the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei (ISECO). In 2006, there was $1.3 billion worth of bilateral trade between Israel and Taiwan.

In 2002 a Holocaust Museum was opened in Bao'an, Rende Township, Tainan County (now part of Tainan City).[5] It was founded by Chou Chou An (Chinese: 卓枝安; Pinyin: Zhuó Zhī'ān), a Taiwanese priest who follows Messianic Judaism, considered by most Christians and Jews to be a form of Christianity. Chou Chou An got his religious education in Japan. The Kyoto Holocaust Museum has donated several artefacts to the Holocaust Museum in Tainan.

In the summer of 2011, upon the coming of the new Chabad emissaries, Rabbi Shlomi and Racheli Tabib, the Chabad Taiwan, also known as the Taipei Jewish Center, was founded.[6] According to recent statistics, there are about 300 Jewish residents in Taiwan. 90–95% of them reside in Taipei.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Luxner, Larry (2007-09-30). "Overshadowed by China, a few Jews hold on in Taiwan". Luxner News. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  2. ^ Yiu, Cody (2005-02-14). "Taipei's Jewish". Taipei Times. p. 2. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  3. ^ Steinberg, Neil (2002-08-09). "A down-home davening in Taiwan". Jewish World Review. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  4. ^ Halle, Charlotte (2008-10-30). "Toast of Taiwan". Haaretz. Retrieved 2008-11-01. [dead link]
  5. ^ Mishani, Dror (2007-08-31). "State or state of mind?". Haaretz. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  6. ^ Jay, Phillip (2011-10-01). "Taipei officially opens a Jewish Community Centre". Jewish Times Asia. Retrieved 2011-11-01. (login required)

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