Pepper, Silk & Ivory: Amazing Stories about Jews and the Far East

Pepper, Silk & Ivory: Amazing Stories about Jews and the Far East

by Marvin Tokayer, Ellen Rodman


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Pepper, Silk & Ivory reveals a missing page in Jewish history, the amazing stories of Jews who both benefitted from and contributed to the Far East. Here you will read about the juvenile delinquent who later became known as the "uncrowned Jewish king of China;" the woman who refused to give up until the Japanese Constitution included rights for women and children; the secret behind one of the world's most famous logos; and the American baseball player who spied for the United States in Japan. You will also learn the stories of the Jew who served as Singapore’s first chief minister; the eccentric writer who introduced China to the West with her pet gibbon always at her side; the Marrano physician in India whose famous volume on botany and pharmacology in the sixteenth-century caused as much excitement as the discovery of penicillin did in the twentieth-century; the Jewish musicians who enhanced both Eastern music and the quality of life for everyone in Asia; the ashram in India created by the Jewish guru who became known as “The Mother;” and the sexual therapist, poker buddy, doctors and other Jewish members of Mao Zedong’s inner circle.

Consummate storyteller Rabbi Marvin Tokayer draws on a half century of personal experiences in Asia and a wealth of knowledge about Jews and the Far East, and prolific writer and television producer Ellen Rodman, Ph.D., weave together colorful characters and their captivating stories into this fascinating book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789652296474
Publisher: Gefen Publishing House
Publication date: 04/15/2014
Pages: 332
Sales rank: 706,287
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Rabbi Marvin Tokayer
A US Air Force chaplain stationed in southern Japan in 1962, Rabbi Marvin Tokayer returned in 1968 and served until 1976 as the only English-speaking, university-trained rabbi for the Jewish community of Japan, where he remains Lifetime Honorary Rabbi. He also served on the Federation of Jewish Communities of Southeast Asia and the Far East and as a board member of the Sino-Judaic Institute. He contributed to the Encyclopedia Judaica, authored twenty books in Japanese on Judaica and Japan and coauthored (with Mary Swartz) The Fugu Plan: The Untold Story of the Japanese and the Jews during World War II.

Dr. Ellen Rodman
A writer and television producer, Dr. Ellen Rodman is president of LN Productions LLC. At NBC, Dr. Rodman launched the first national missing children's campaign in connection with the made-for-television movie Adam. At Group W, she accepted a DuPont Columbia Award for Whispering Hope, the company's television programming and outreach program on Alzheimer's disease. The former family entertainment reviewer for The New York Times, Dr. Rodman coauthored (with Richard Flaste) The New York Times Guide to Children's Entertainment and is the author of numerous articles in diverse publications on subjects ranging from culture and media to education and health.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Chapter 1 Two-Gun Cohen: A Jewish General in the Chinese Army 1

Chapter 2 The Secret behind One of the World's Most Famous Logos 12

Chapter 3 Moe Berg: Baseball Player and Spy 24

Chapter 4 Beate Sirota Gordon: The Only Woman in the Room 34

Chapter 5 Jewish Chaplains from Iwo Jima to the Bridge on the River Kwai 43

Chapter 6 Jacob Schiff: How $196,250,000 Changed History in Japan in 1904 56

Chapter 7 A Chinese Torah in Texas and Other Chinese Torahs Elsewhere 69

Chapter 8 The Amazing Sephardim of Shanghai 76

Chapter 9 Laura Margolis: The Right Person for a Difficult Job in China 94

Chapter 10 From Poverty to Culture: The Refugee Jewish Community in Shanghai 105

Chapter 11 A Comedy of Errors Reveals a Long-Lost Community of Chinese Jews 117

Chapter 12 Emily Hahn: The Eccentric Writer with an Unusual Companion 132

Chapter 13 Sex Therapist, Poker Buddy, Doctors and other Jews in Mao's Circle 139

Chapter 14 Jewish Contributions to Classical Music in the Far East 162

Chapter 15 The Only Place on Earth Where No One Knew When the Sabbath Was 182

Chapter 16 Garcia d'Orta: Militant Marrano of India in the 1500s 199

Chapter 17 The Tragic Betrayal of Wolf Ladejinsky, Asia's Agriculture Guru 206

Chapter 18 Where and Why Did Prime Minister Indira Gandhi Say "Mazel Tov"? 219

Chapter 19 Beauty Queens, Military Heroes and More: India's Bene Israel 231

Chapter 20 Forgotten by History: More Jewish Women and the Far East 247

Chapter 21 Singapore: Where the First Chief Minister was Jewish 267

Chapter 22 Why Did the Synagogue in Rangoon, Burma, Have 126 Torahs? 275

Chapter 23 How a Silver Cigarette Case Saved a Life and More 284

Index 309

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