Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Journey From a Chinese Orphanage to a Jewish Rite of Passage

after searching "chinese jewish", via flickr

Listening to the inaugural Rice Daddies podcast I learned that part of DISL's heritage is Jewish.

This occured to me when I came across this article, on (registration required), via inherentthesis, a blog by a friend who is doing a MFA thesis on the modern definition of family.
"Of the 613 laws in the Torah, the one that appears most often is the directive to welcome strangers. The girl once known as Fu Qian has been thinking about that a lot lately.

"Three weeks ago, she stood at the altar of her synagogue on the Upper West Side and gave a speech about it.

"Fu Qian, renamed Cecelia Nealon-Shapiro at 3 months, was one of the first Chinese children — most of them girls — taken in by American families after China opened its doors to international adoption in the early 1990s. Now, at 13, she is one of the first to complete the rite of passage into Jewish womanhood known as bat mitzvah." --continued at


daddy in a strange land said...

I think it was the last issue of Hyphen that had an interesting piece about the growing number of Asian American (esp. LGBTQ) Jews, both by conversion and thru intermarriage.

I'm a mixed-race secular/ethnocultural Jew only, though. :)

la dra said...

Sadly, no bar mitzvah pictures for my hubby. :( But we do have Eagle Scout pics if anyone's interested. Love you, honey!

Green said...

That's interesting. I don't recall any kids at my temple/hebrew school who weren't born jewish (to jewish mothers), but I do recall it being drummed into us over the years that EVERYONE is always welcome in any temple, and that we should be made to feel welcome in any house of worship (church, but I think the rabbi/teachers felt it sacreligious to say 'church' inside the temple or something).