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Chinese-Jewish concert conveys love, goodwill and peace
By:Zheng Qian  |  From:english.eastday.com  |  2020-05-19 15:43

A gathering themed around the friendship between Chinese and Jews in Shanghai was held at the White Horse Inn of the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum on May 17.

Guests enjoy the performance at the event. [Photo/ eastday]

Jointly organized by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), the Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (SPAFFC), Shanghai Media Group and the museum, the event invited more than 50 guests including Jews in Shanghai to participate. Amid the current coronavirus pandemic, it aims to deepen the long-lasting friendship between Chinese and Jews and boost their unity and cooperation.

The event opened with Dona Dona, an old Jewish folk song. H.E. Amb. Lin Songtian, president of CPAFFC shared that the natural bond between Chinese and Jews comes from common values and shared pursuits.

“The friendship between the Jewish people and Chinese people has been tested by life and death. No matter how far apart we are, we could always share sympathy and support with each other,”said Lin.

H.E. Amb.Lin Songtian, president of CPAFFC makes a speech at the event. [Photo by Pan Jiandong]

Sha Hailin, president of SPAFFC, said that the history that Shanghai accepted Jewish refugees in the 1930s and 40s shows that whenever people are faced with challenges, it is mutual support and assistance that empowers people to tide over difficulties. Currently, as the coronavirus spreads, the global community, including Chinese and Jews, should work together to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

Sha Hailin, president of SPAFFC delivers a speech at the event. [Photo/ eastday]

The chamber music quartet performance by the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and a song We Can Be The Universe written and sung by a Jewish girl Sevi Ettinger, received great applause. We are the World sung by all guests led the event to a climax.

Chinese and foreign guests sing the song We are the World. [Photo/ eastday]

As a representative of the Jews in Shanghai, Shalom Greenberg, who has been living in Shanghai for 22 years, said in an interview, "Today, the Chinese and the Jews in Shanghai came together to make a statement that we two peoples should live together in harmony. We have lived here in harmony for so many years, especially in times of difficulty. This place that we have come to today-- the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum--is the best witness."

According to Greenberg, the Jews in Shanghai actively sought help for the Chinese when the epidemic broke out in China in early February. Under his leadership, more than 10,000 masks were donated to the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum before being distributed to residents of surrounding communities. Later, more masks were donated to the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University.

Before the outbreak, there were about 2,000 Jews living in Shanghai. Although now it's much less,there is still a very large group of Jewish people living in the city. "We are very appreciative of the welcoming that we get over here in this city. China is a country that never had anti-semitism. With the pandemic outbreak, the Jews and the Chinese should stand together to overcome the difficulties of the times," said Greenberg.

(Video by Shanghai Eye)