No guest bloggers–it’s the author herself!

After a way too long absence, I’m back to the blog at an auspicious time: it’s almost Passover, when we use a Seder plate, which is the object of my protagonist’s search.  Okay, I’ve got relevance covered!  My husband and I are here in Beijing for Passover with our son and daughter-in-law here, the third time we’ve done Seder here.  Despite the super long winter they’ve had this year, with a few interspersed days of springlike dust storms, we’ve had a first day+ of sunny, 60-degree weather.

And why the long absence from blogging?  As is well known to many of my friends and family, I’ve been chair of “Jews in Modern China,” an exhibit running from February 24 to May 16 at the Presidio Officers’ Club Exhibition Hall in San Francisco. This exhibit depicts the three streams of Jewish settlement in Shanghai, Harbin, and other cities in China from the 1840s to 1949: Baghdadi Sephardim who came for commerce, Russians fleeing first czarist pogroms and later the Bolsheviks, and Central Europeans escaping the Holocaust. So far, this has been the Presidio’s most well attended exhibit, we’ve had great PR, docent tours, special lectures and events, and it’s consumed my life for months.  It’s a miracle–oh, wait, Chanukah is the miracle holiday–that we managed to get away for this trip.  But spending Passover with kids–priceless, especially when they live in China.  Fourteen people are coming to the Seder at Amy and Jonathan’s on Monday.

Interestingly, today we’re going to Tianjin and see Amy’s widowed father and his significant other.  Tianjin is one of the cities where Russian Jews lived, and just in the past several hours I’ve been in touch with a woman there connected with the Jewish museum in Tianjian.  She’s trying to get it open for us, though it’s closed on weekends.

Now for the big news: THE BOOK is in the works for publication!  It’s got a new title, which will be announced on and reflected by the web site ASAP.  Yes, faithful friends and blog readers, as previously promised 2010 is the year.  THIS YEAR IN BEIJING and THIS YEAR FOR THE BOOK.

More soon…Chag Sameach!  Happy Passover!  Wherever THIS YEAR finds you!

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