Touro Law to Commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day Guest Speaker Evelyn Pike Rubin To Deliver Lecture

Date: April 02, 2014
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Patti Desrochers
Director of Communications
(631) 761-7062

Central Islip, NY – Touro Law is pleased to announce that in honor of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Evelyn Pike Rubin will deliver a lecture on Tuesday, April 30 at 12:30 pm. She will discuss the story of survival of more than 18,000 refugees escaping Nazi terror in Japanese-occupied Shanghai during World War II. Following the lecture, the “Sanctuary in Shanghai: Rescue During the Holocaust” exhibit will open at Touro Law. Both the lecture and the exhibit are open to the public at no charge.

Dean Patricia Salkin stated, “Touro Law has committed to focus sharing the story of the importance of Shanghai during WWII and the survival of the thousands of Jews who escaped Nazi occupation through Shanghai. This is an important part of history that is not well known. I am grateful to Evelyn Pike Rubin for joining us to share her story and we are proud to have the Sanctuary in Shanghai exhibit on display.”

Evelyn Pike Rubin, Jewish activist, author and lecturer, was born in Breslau, Germany, where her ancestors had lived for many generations. Evelyn’s parents were raised as strict orthodox Jews, a tradition they passed on to their child at a young age. Evelyn, who was born just before Hitler came into power, only remembers Germany as one led by the Nazis. On November 9 and 10, 1938, during Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) synagogues were burned all over Germany. Jewish shops were shattered, and thousands of Jewish men were arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps. Evelyn’s father hid in his Christian landlord’s attic, but was later arrested while trying to fetch Evelyn from a friend’s home. He was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp for three weeks. In 1939, at the age of eight, her family fled Germany to the only refuge available to them—Shanghai, China. She attended the Shanghai Jewish School, a British-run Jewish school. At the end of the war in 1947, Evelyn emigrated to the United States, eventually settling in New York and Long Island.

The unique “Sanctuary in Shanghai: Rescue During the Holocaust” exhibit from Shanghai features a variety of perspectives on the Holocaust through eyewitness accounts and scholarly research.  From 1933 to 1941, Shanghai accepted more than 18,000 Jews fleeing the Holocaust in Europe. Jewish refugees lived harmoniously with local citizens, and by the end of World War II, most of the Jews living in Shanghai had survived. On loan from the Shanghai Jewish Refugee Museum, the exhibit includes the history of the rescued Jews of the Shanghai community, Jewish cultural life, video and eyewitness testimony, and artifacts.

The exhibition will be located at Touro Law Center’s 2nd floor Atrium. It is open to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This lecture is a pre-event for a Touro Law Center conference scheduled for June 2015 on the “Jews of Shanghai,” to be held in Shanghai and sponsored by Touro Law Center, Shanghai University of International Business and Economics (SUIBE), and the Center of Jewish Studies Shanghai.

The conference will examine the role of the law and the legal system in understanding the history of the Jews in Shanghai. The conference will bring together law professors, historians, and journalists to investigate the histories of the Jews in Shanghai.  In addition to the fact that Shanghai provided as a refuge for Jews leaving Europe during Hitler’s reign of terror, there are other chapters in the story of the Jews of Shanghai.  Sephardic Jews came to Shanghai in the 19th century, and some prospered there. Jews left Russia in the 1920s for Northern China and came to Shanghai during the 1930s.