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RAS Shanghai – Shanghai Millionaires: Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jews – 9/6/15

Posted: June 7th, 2015 | No Comments »

RAS Lecture

June 9th 2015
7pm for 7.15pm
Tavern at the Radisson Xingguo Hotel

DR. MAISIE MEYER on Shanghai Millionaires: Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jews


The Baghdadi Jews who came to Shanghai are legendary. The names Hardoon, Kadoorie and Sassoon were emblazoned over the business and social life of East Asia for over a century. They were exciting, dynamic personalities and their philanthropy spread far beyond the confines of the Treaty Port. Dr. Maisie Meyer digs behind the legend through her skillful use of archival material. Photographs permit us to visualise the lives and times of these individuals.

Dr. Meyer pioneered the research of the Baghdadi Jewish community of Shanghai, having appreciated over 30 years ago the unique mix represented by its various components. Over this period, she has forged relationships with many of the families and individuals who paid a large part in this burgeoning community. Her ground-breaking book ‘From the Rivers of Babylon to the Whangpoo: A Century of Sephardi Jewish Life in Shanghai’ (Lanham M.D.2003) is widely considered as the definitive history of the Baghdadi Jewish merchants who settled in Shanghai in the mid-19th century. Her determination to preserve the memory of this community and the unrivalled access that she has enjoyed to both the key characters and previously unseen source material has resulted in her recent publication ‘Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jews: A Collection of Biographical Reflections’.
Dr. Meyer is a double graduate in English and Humanities, both with honours, and obtained an MA degree in International History at the London School of Economics. The British Academy awarded her a scholarship to do a PhD. The subject she chose to research reflects her personal autobiography. It gives her a deeper understanding of Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jews, their emulation of a British lifestyle and their desire to appear as British as possible within the parameters of their faith.
RSVP: to RAS Bookings at:
ENTRANCE: Members 70 RMB, Non-members 100 RMB
Includes a glass of wine or soft drink
MEMBERSHIP applications and membership renewals will be available at this event.

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