Chabad opens in YiWu China

Where there are seeds to grow a Jewish community, Chabad is there and YiWu is no exception, adding it to the list as the ninth centre in Chabad’s China expansion.

Yiwu, famous for being the largest small commodities market, is located 100km south of the city of Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province. It is a busy transportation hub and is reachable by rail from Shanghai in less than three hours.

Rabbi Yossi and Chani Goldstein with their son

For locals and tourists alike, it is a major shopping centre, stocking countless classified items and shipping them throughout China and around the world. An increasing number of factories there have set up display booths in the convention market. It is no wonder that this city is experiencing an economic surge and attracting more and more tourists and expats each year.

After two very successful Pesach Seders and one visit from student rabbis just last summer, the small yet growing Jewish community of Yiwu requested that Chabad set up a permanent Chabad House there.

The newest Bet Chabad is now operating under the general umbrella of Chabad China, directed by Rabbi Mordechai Avtzon, and is managed locally in Yiwu by Rabbi Yossi and Chani Goldstein from Israel.

The first Shabbat programme there attracted close to 40 participants and this is just a sign of bigger things to come.

The enthusiastic young couple will undoubtedly begin to see their project grow. The seeds have been planted and the local Jewish population is blooming.

(Issue September 2008)