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Illustrations by Michelle Kondrich


How ‘Jewish’ became Chinese shorthand for success

Illustration by Celia Jacobs

On a muggy summer day, I happened upon two twentysomething Chinese men bickering over the best angle for a selfie in front of the memorial wall at the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. After they declined my offer to help with the photo, I asked why they had come to the museum. They said they were aspiring entrepreneurs, and they had come to learn how to be like the Jews.

“Jews are rich and good at business,” one said.

“And very clever,” the other added.

I told them I was Jewish.

“Jews are great!” said the first. …


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