Head to the self-help or business section at a bookstore in China and you’re likely to see books with titles like Learn To Make Money With the Jews, and Jewish People and Business: The Bible of How to Live Their Lives. These cringy titles might suggest something weird, or even anti-Semitic, but they’re actually part of a booming philo-Semitic culture in China, where Jews are widely perceived as entrepreneurial and successful, exactly what so many Chinese people hope to become.
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that most of the books that claim to give the Jewish secrets of the success are written by people who know next to nothing about Jews or Judaism. Some even incorrectly refer to businessmen J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller as Jews (both were Christian). To combat this ignorance, and to feed the love for Judaism that has swept the country, there are now a half dozen centers for the study of Judaism in China. Recently, Chinese billionaire Chen Guangbiao explained that he would be a good at running the New York Times because he is “very good at working with Jews.” Sounds like those centers have some work to do.
August 4, 2014