Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home


Beijing (formerly known as Peking), capital of China. In the second half of the 13th century Marco Polo reported the presence of Jews in Beijing among the followers of the Mongol emperor Kublai Khan. The Scottish traveler, John Bell, who visited Beijing in 1720–21, found a few Jews, supposedly descendants of these early arrivals. This remnant disappeared and no Jews settled in Beijing until modern times. During World War II there were about 100 Jews of various nationalities (or stateless) in Beijing, mostly European refugees. All of them left the Chinese capital after the war.


I. Cohen, Journal of a Jewish Traveller (1925), 189–94.

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.