21 Feb Campaign Kaifeng: Meet Yue Ting
The aliyah from China continues. In the final installment of our series of profiles of the five young women from the Chinese Jewish community in Kaifeng who have just immigrated to Israel, please meet Yue Ting.
When Yue Ting made aliyah this week, she didn’t experience any culture shock. Rather, leaving her friends and family in China and starting a new life in Israel has been more of a homecoming for the 25-year-old Kaifeng woman. That’s because Yue, like Li Yuan whom we wrote about here, spent four years in Israel as a teenager, from the ages of 16-20, studying at the Yemin Orde religious boarding school near Haifa.
She remembers her time at Yemin Orde “like it was yesterday. It was really the happiest and most important time of my life,” she says. “It made me proud to be a Jew. And I learned that one should savor every moment, even the difficult ones. It all goes so fast. There’s no place for wasting time.”
Getting back to Israel has been Yue’s goal since she left in 2010. She was inspired by the seven young Chinese men that Shavei Israel helped to make aliyah more than six years ago. “Israel is where our ancestors lived,” she says. “My father has always wanted me to go back. He knows I belong there – even more so after I studied at Yemin Orde.”
Yue’s father told her about her Jewish roots when she was a child. “I only understood it on a very simple level before I went to Israel,” she says. “But after that, through years of study and practice and as I grew older, I got to know more about Jewish law. I feel very proud to be a Jew.”
She knows it will not be easy moving to Israel, learning Hebrew and studying towards conversion. “Even though I already know a lot about Israel, I am sure there will be many hurdles on the road to becoming a real Jew. I will try my best to overcome them!” she says confidently.
Her unceasingly positive attitude will help. “Every one of us is put in this world to contribute and to make a difference, in our own way,” she says. “Love and happiness are the two greatest gifts we can give. I will try my best to do everything I can, no matter how small it seems, just to do something good.”
For now, Yue is focused on preparing for aliyah and the challenges to come. “But I hope in the future I can help more people in Kaifeng come to Israel through my efforts,” she adds.
Yue’s background may come in handy here. A graduate of Henan University, Yue has been working as a teacher since she returned to Kaifeng. But with a focus on international business and trade during her studies, Yue’s cross-cultural skills should be in demand, especially once she is fluent in Hebrew, which is good news for both Israel and China.
Shavei Israel has played an important role in Yue’s Jewish practice to date. In addition to assisting her while she was at Yemin Orde, “Shavei Israel helped us build our community in Kaifeng. They supplied us with training material and teachers, as well as special foods for the holidays,” she says.
Your generous assistance over the years has been instrumental in keeping the Kaifeng Jewish community going. Now Yue and her friends are going in a different direction – to Israel – and we need your help one more time. We’ve created a new program – “Campaign Kaifeng” – where you can donate to help Yue in her new life in the Holy Land.
Please visit our donation page today. To read more about Campaign Kaifeng, visit this page. To read all our profiles of the intrepid young Jewish women from Kaifeng who arrived in Israel this week, here are the links:
All five women – and all of us at Shavei Israel – thank you for your support!