Tu B'shvat- The New Year For Trees
Sunday, February 8, 4:00pm-6:00pm, location TBA

Right before the Chinese New Year celebrations begin; join us in celebrating Tu B'shvat, the New Year of the trees!
A delicious hands-on program for children and their families exploring the meaning of Tu B'shvat!
Learn how to make a candy and dried fruits bouquet while listening to Tu B'shvat stories and songs.
We look forward to seeing you there!


Monthly Shabbat Dinner
Friday, January 30, 6:45pm  

Join us as we continue with our monthly Shabbat dinners on Friday, January 30.
This month our guest speaker will be Major (reserves) Ori Schnitzer, Blackhawk rescue helicopter pilot in the Israeli Air Force. Ori will share with us the story of the first medical evacuation under fire during the second Lebanon war (July 2006).
The service, dinner and lecture will take place at:
Renaissance Shanghai Yangtze Hotel, “Raphael’s” Restaurant, 1st floor,2099 West Yan'an Road, near Xingyi Road / 上海扬子江万丽大酒店延安西路2099号

Gathering                                    6:45pm
Shabbat service                          7:00pm
Kiddush and Shabbat Dinner      7:30pm
Guest speaker                             8:30pm
100RMB for Students
200 RMB for Members
220 RMB for none members
Kids under the age of 10: Free
Please RSVP toinfo@kehilatshanghai.org

We will be happy if you could join us!

Mao's Jews
Thursday, January 29, 7:30 at the Moishe House 358 west Huaihai road, near An shun road, building 5, apartment 2002 

If you have missed it the first time, here is your second chance to hear Paul Ross'interesting lecture about Mao's Jews! The story of the thousands of Jews who fled Europe, took refuge in Shanghai, and eventually built schools, synagogues, and businesses there is one we are quite familiar with. This often-told story ends with the departure of all the refugees from China when the Communists take over in 1949, a clean and satisfying conclusion to a moving chronicle that leaves no ends loose or questions unanswered.
But did all of Jewish refugees in fact leave?  Was there not one who stayed behind and somehow made a go of it in Mao’s China?  Is a tantalizing question that piques our curiosity and stokes the imagination.
“Mao’s Jews” tells the less well-known, yet fascinating story of a small group of Jewish doctors, journalists, and opportunists who stayed on in China after 1949 and eventually worked their way into Mao’s inner circle, serving as valued advisers, trusted emissaries, and even revolutionary leaders.

Shanghai Ocean Aquarium
Saturday, January 24, 2:00pm
at 158 Yincheng Bei Lu, near Lujiazui Huan Lu/上海海洋水族馆, 银城北路158号, 近陆家嘴环路  

Join us for an adventure at the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium! The Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is the largest and most varied in China, and home to some 10,000 varieties of sea creatures such as Jellyfish, giant sting rays, sharks as well as the longest underwater tunnel in the world.

We will meet at 11:00am at the ticketing.

Adult 160 RMB
Child 110 RMB (up to 1.4m)

Please RSVP toinfo@kehilatshanghai.org

The Weekly Parashah
By Rabbi Tarlow


We look at Parashat Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16) and also next week's section, Parashat B'shalach. (Exodus 13:17-17:16).  Although these two long weekly sections seem disconnected, if we read them carefully we can see that in reality the two sections are, in many ways interconnected.

Parashat Bo speaks of the last three plagues to consume Egypt, culminating in the death of Egypt's first-born sons. It is a time of liberation for Israel and a time in which the average Egyptian saw the collapse of his/her society. Perhaps no one was ready for the changes that would take place.  For Israel, this would be a time of freedom; for Egypt the realization that its leaders had taken the nation on a catastrophic path of destruction.

Perhaps we can understand this "divergence of history" by the two forms of bread found in these two Bible sections: matzah and manna. Why did the Israelites have to bake bread at the last minute? Did they not know that the time of their liberation was soon to come?  Perhaps the answer lies in the way slaves versus free people understand the concept of "time".  Slaves live in an eternal present; free human beings develop collective pasts and futures. Thus, the leitmotif found in the first of these two sections may well be a "constant present of fear" without hope for a better future.

The second section studied, Parashat B'Shlach, on the other hand, is about the act of taking risks as part of life. Reading this parashah, there is the clear sense that our future is never separated from our past, rather the future is our collective past and projected into time. This parashah is the first section in the Bible where Israel is now a free nation and faces the need to become responsible for its collective future. Israel can no longer cling to the "flesh pots" of Egypt, it must now enter the "Midbar" meaning the "wilderness of time and space".  It is the emptiness of space and time that now becomes Israel's responsibility to fill.

Both Bible sections deal with bread, known in the Bible as the "substance of life".  In parashat Bo, the bread is "matzah." baked in haste and without leaven.  It is
called the bread of affliction, the bread of slavery. In the second section, Parashat "B'Shlach", the bread is called "manna."  This is the bread of freedom, the miracle bread, the bread of many different tastes. Manna is a gift of G'd, and unlike matzah that tastes the same to each person; the manna of freedom offers uniqueness of taste to all who eat it.

Perhaps these two types of breads symbolize the difference between slavery and freedom, between being an infant and becoming an adult. The slave, is the eternal child afraid to plan for the future, he/she lives shackled by the past and in an ever-present state of fear. The free person, the adult, sees the present as gift and just as artist does, the free person sees the emptiness of time as a way to sculpt an ever-evolving future.

These two Biblical sections pose a challenge to each of us: are we slaves in an "Egypt of our own making," shackled by our lack of reality and fearful of building a future as partners with G'd?  Are we G'd's partners building bridges upon which we cross the Red Sea, and begin our own journey across the desert of fear toward the redemption of the Promised Land? What are you?

*Dr. Peter Tarlow is the Rabbi Emeritus at Texas A&M Hillel Foundation in College Station. He directs its Center for Hispanic-Jewish Relations, and also works as the Special Envoy for the Chancellor of the Texas A&M system.