Shanghai Jewish Refugee Museum Exhibit Held at the Hillel at UCLA

Sunday, October 27, 2013 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm

"Jewish Refugees in Shanghai" brought together for the first time photos, personal stories, and artifacts from Shanghai's Jewish Refugee Museum. The exhibition at the Hillel at UCLA highlighted the role China played in helping save over 18,000 Jewish men, women, and children from Nazi persecution from 1933 to 1941.

“Cosmopolitan Shanghai,” an international conference on Shanghai culture was held on Oct. 27, 2013 and put this extraordinary exhibition in context. Speakers explored models for promoting cross-cultural understanding and exchanges, using the Shanghai experience prior to 1949 as a critical foundation. Panelists focused on the music, literature, visual arts and urban culture of the 1920s, 30s and 40s and the interchange between Chinese and Western elements.

The conference included two panels: "Cosmopolitan Sounds and Jewish Music in Pre-1949 Shanghai,” at 11 a.m. with presentations on “Shanghai as the Cradle of Chinese Modern Musical Culture;” “Reconstructing the Vanished Musical Life of the Shanghai Jewish Diaspora Community;” and “A Jewish Composer’s Devotion to Chinese Music in 1930s Shanghai: Introducing Aaron Avshalomov and his Compositions.” After lunch, a second panel, titled “Shanghai -- Modern Metropolis in Transnational Perspectives” began at 2 p.m. with presentations on “The City beyond the Pale: Migrants and the Urban Cosmopolitan Fantasy in Film,” “News and Capital in Shanghai: Cosmopolitan and National Imaginaries,” and more. Presenters and moderators included Tang Yating (Shanghai Conservatory of Music), Li Qi (UCLA), Helen Rees (UCLA), Yomi Braester (U. of Washington), Bryna Goodman (U. of Oregon), Wen-hsin Yeh (UC Berkeley), David N. Meyers (UCLA), and R. Bin Wong (UCLA).  An opening celebration followed at 4:30 p.m. with remarks from dignitaries and several “Shanghailanders” currently living in Los Angeles.

Sponsors of this unique collaboration included the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies, UCLA Confucius Institute, and Hillel at UCLA. Cosponsors included the Dortort Center for Creativity and the Arts at UCLA Hillel, UCLA Center for Chinese Studies, UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology, the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, and the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office of Hongkou District. Supporters included the UCLA Department of History, the UCLA Department of Germanic Languages, the UCLA Library, Facing History and Ourselves, the German Consulate General in Los Angeles, the Goldrich Family Foundation, Stephen O. Lesser, the “1939” Club, and the Natalie Limonick Endowment in Jewish Civilization.

The free exhibition ran at the Hillel at UCLA (574 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024) from October 27 through December 14, 2013, and was open to the public Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parts of the exhibit traveled then to Chicago’s Thompson Center and to Rockefeller Center in New York.

Click here for program details.   View the two videos created by Los Angeles-based filmmaker, George Kalmar, for this exhibition:  A Gift of Life and Life in the Ghetto.   See photos of the opening celebration and symposium here.

The following institutions will present the exhibition in 2014-2015:

Florida Holocaust Museum 
Confucius Institute at the University of Pittsburgh (Sept. 15-Oct. 14, 2014)
Confucius Institute at the University of Kansas (Oct. 15-Nov. 14, 2014)
Confucius Institute at the University of Kentucky (Feb. 20-March 10, 2015)
Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota (March 13-March 19, 2015)
Confucius Institute at Savannah State University (June 1-30, 2015)
Confucius Institute at Webster University (August - Sept., 2015)
Confucius Institute at Central Connecticut State University (Sept. 25-Oct. 3, 2015)
Confucius Institute at Arizona State University (Oct. 18-Nov. 20, 2015)

Admission Information: 

The free exhibition will run at Hillel of UCLA (574 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024) from October 27 through December 14, 2013, and is open to the public Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m..

RSVP for the symposium and the opening celebration on October 27, contact or (310) 267-5327.


574 Hilgard Ave Los Angeles, CA 90024