Yiddish Tears on the Bubbling Well Road

This talk is available for viewing in the JCC Library. Please contact us for more information.

Paul FrenchHardoon, Sassoon, Kadoorie, Ezra… all familiar names whose histories are well documented, but what of those less dramatic Jewish lives, what of those Jews in China who remained largely anonymous or lived on the fringes, in the margins or among the underbelly?

This talk will focus on those Jews in China, lost but perhaps glimpsed in new research, including where they danced all night in the 1940s Shanghai Ghetto; how Eliza Shapera was trafficked from a Bessarabian shtetl to a Shanghai bordello — and then murdered; how Mr. Kahn ended up in the Russian-Jewish slum of Yang-I-Hutung in Peking; how Joe Farren ran away from Vienna’s Jewish ghetto, nearly became Shanghai’s biggest gangster and married Shanghai’s “Josephine Baker”; and why grown men cried when Lily Flohr sang in Yiddish on the Bubbling Wells Road.