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Jewish Refugees and Shanghai

February 3 @ 10:00 am - March 10 @ 5:00 pm

On View February 3 – March 10, 2019



In the 1930s, as the Nazi scourge spread across Europe, all doors appeared to be closed to Jewish migration.  The international city of Shanghai was the exception.  It became the temporary home to more than 20,000 Jewish refugees from Germany, Austria, Poland and Lithuania – the largest single haven for settlement on the planet.


Refugee pass to leave the Hongkou Ghetto.


This February the Jewish Museum of Maryland will host this very special exhibit created by the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, hopefully as the first stop on a new, national tour. Jewish Refugees and Shanghai contains 52 panels detailing the extraordinary history of an unexpected community. Weaving together the first-person experiences of more than two dozen individuals who lived in the Shanghai Jewish ghetto, this exhibit details the extraordinary history of an unexpected community.


Noemi and Dagmar in Chinese dress, with Chinese dolls.


This multi-lingual exhibit (the panels are printed in both Chinese and English), explores not just the journey and introduction to life in Shanghai but the creation and integration of these Jewish refugees with both their Chinese neighbors and the already-established Sephardic Jewish and Russian Jewish communities. Jewish Refugees and Shanghai does not shy away from the difficulties faced by these Jewish refugees, including the creation of the Hongkou Ghetto and the subsequent loss of jobs and freedom of movement they experienced.


Jewish Refugees and Shanghai is a story of resilience, cross-cultural acceptance, and the renewal of hope in the face of adversity. Bringing this exhibit to the Jewish Museum of Maryland will allow us to not only share this important, oft-overlooked story with our own community, but to reach out to the local Chinese American community.



Jewish Refugees and Shanghai is made possible through the generous support of The Radisson Hotel, Baltimore Downtown, Inner Harbor and The Crowne Plaza, Baltimore Downtown, Inner Harbor.


Public Programs


Public Opening
Sunday, February 3rd at 11am


A Little Vienna in Shanghai: World War Two’s Jewish Refugees in China
Sunday, February 10th at 1pm


China Through Yiddish Eyes
Sunday, February 17th at 1pm


Maryland Premiere: Above the Drowing Sea
Thursday, February 21st at 6:30pm


Shanghai Remembered
Sunday, February 24th at 1pm


In Their Own Words as Jewish Refugees: Children, Grown-Ups, and Saying Goodbye to Shanghai, 1945-1949
Sunday, March 3rd at 1pm


Minyan in Kaifeng: A Modern Journey to an Ancient Chinese Jewish Community
Thursday, March 7th at 6:30pm


Kreplach & Dim Sum: Yes, There are Jews in China!
Sunday, March 10th at 1pm



The public programs for this exhibit are supported in part by Andy Dorfmann and Pam Broomall.


For Educators:

Winter Teachers Institute
Sunday, February 10th and 17th


February 3 @ 10:00 am
March 10 @ 5:00 pm