Irene Eber (RIP) 1929-2019

Prof. (Emeritus) Irene Eber (RIP) 1929-2019

Louis Frieberg Professor Emeritus, Department of Asian Studies
irene eber


PhD (1966) - Cleremont Graduate University


Academic Background

  • 1955 - Pomona College, CA - BA, Asian Studies (Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude)
  • 1961 - State University of California, Sacramento - MA, History
  • 1966 - Claremont Graduate University, CA - Ph.D., Asian Studies


Employment and Academic Activities

  • 2002-2003 - Visiting Scholar, Claremont Graduate University.
  • 1969-1999 - Proffesor, Department of East Asian Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
  • 1996-1997 - Visiting Scholar, Fairbank Center, Harvard University.
  • 1996-1997 - Judson Visintg Scholar, Andover Newton Theological School.
  • 1991-1992 - Visiting Scholar, Fairbank Center, Harvard University.
  • 1985-1986 - Visiting Scholar, Fairbank Center, Harvard University.
  • 1979-1980 - Visiting Associate Professor of History, Wesleyan University.
  • 1973-1974 - Post-doctoral scholar, Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan.
  • 1974 - Visiting Associate Professor of History, University of Michigan.
  • 1968-1969  - Fellowship, Social Science Research Council.
  • 1966-1968  - Assistant Professor of History, Whittier College.


Recent Conferences and Guest Lectures

  • July 2004 - Goethe University, Frankfurt, Ninety Years of Sinology at Frankfurt University, Conference, "AMartin Buber and Chinese Thought".
  • October 2003 - Ithaca College, Guest lecture, "The Yiddish Traveler in China, Bridges Across Cultures".
  • September 2002 - Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Culture and the Intellectual History of Asia, Religions in China, Conference, "Chinese Jews and Jews in China, Kaifeng-Shanghai".
  • April 2002 - Distinguished Holocaust Speaker at Ithaca College, Ithaca, N.Y., "Jewish Flight to Shanghai, 1938-1941: The Larger Context", and a reading from the forthcoming book, The Choice.
  • May 1999 - Hong Kong Baptist University, Chinese and European Literature Mutual Perceptions and Influence, Conference, "Mutual Perceptions: Chinese and Jews in Literary and Related Sources"
  • September 1997 - Sankt Augustin, Germany, Jews in China, from Kaifeng to Shanghai, Conference, "The Shanghai Option, 1938-1939, and Its Antecedents"
  • October 1996 - Boston, Boston University, Faculty Seminar, A Report on "The Bible  in Modern China".
  • November 1996 - Newton Center, Andover Newton Theological School. "The Interminable Term Question".
  • December 1996 - Cambridge, Harvard University, "Jewish Communities in Modern China".
  • May 1995 - Salzburg, Austria, Flucht nach Shanghai, Conference: "Shanghai: City Open for Jewish Immigration?"
  • June 1994 - Tel Aviv, The Ben-Zvi Institute for the Study of Oriental Jewry, Lecture series "Jewish Communities in Modern China".
  • June 1993 - Bratislava, Slovakia, Chinese Literature and the European Context, Conference "Perceptions, Interpretations, Translations: Jews and their Literature in China."
  • June 1993 - Bratislava, Slovakia, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Lecture "Mistranslations, Vice or Virtue?"
  • February 1992 - Franklin and Marshall College, Lecture "Women in the Holocaust".
  • August 1992 - Fairbank Center, Harvard University, Jewish Diasporas in China, Conference " The Jewish Community of Kaifeng". "The View from Israel, The Hebrew University's Project on Jewish Communities in Modern China".
  • August 1990 - Toronto, Canada, 33rd International Congress of Asian and North African Studies "S.I.J. Schereschewsky's Mandarin Genesis Translation, the 1875 and the 1899 versions".
  • August 1989 - Jerusalem, Tenth World Congress of Jewish Studies, Conference "Franz Kafka, The Castle, in Chinese Translation".
  • August 1987 - Bellagio, Italy, Women in Dark Times: Public Policy and Private Lives, Conference "Beyond Politics: Family and Women in Chinese Fiction".


Other Academic Activities

  • 1996-1997 - Hebrew University, Department for East Asian Studies, Chairperson.
  • 1996 - Hebrew University, Jerusalem, International Workshop: "The Bible in Modern China: The Literary and Intellectual Impact".
  • 1992 - Harvard University, Widener Library, Curator in Israel and consultant to exhibit of "Jewish Communities in China".
  • 1989 - Board of Directors, International Society for Hu Shih Studies.
  • 1987-89 - Hebrew University, Department for East Asian Studies, Chairperson.
  • 1986 Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Institute for Contemporary Jewry, Documentary film consultant.
  • 1984 - Tel Aviv, The Nahum Goldman Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, Consultant on exhibit: "The Jews of Kaifeng".
  • 1983 - Hebrew University, Jerusalem, International Workshop, Co-chairperson, "Confucianism: The Dynamics of Tradition".


List of Publications



  • Chinese and Jews, Encounters Between Cultures, Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 2002 (in Hebrew).
  • Eber, Sze-kar Wan, Knut Walf, co-editors, Bible in Modern China: The Literary and Intellectual Impact, Nethetal: Steyler Verlag, 1999. (Monumenta Serica Monograph Series LXIII).
  • Translation into Chinese by Daniel K.T. Choi, Shengjing yu xiantai Zhongguo (The Bible and modern China), Hong Kong: Chinese Bible International Ltd., 2003.
  • The Jewish Bishop and the Chinese Bible, S.I.J.Schereschewsky, 1831-1906, Leiden: Brill, 1999.
  • Ed., Confucianism, The Dynamics of Tradition, New York: Macmillan, 1986.
  • Voices from Afar: Modern Chinese Writers on Oppressed Peoples and Their Literature, Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, 1980.
  • Richard Wilhelm, Eber, trans., Lectures on the I Ching, Constancy and Change, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979.



  • Martin Buber and Chinese Thought, (forthcoming).
  • Overland and By Sea B 800 Years of Jewish Communities in China, Moreshet Yidrael Vol. 1, no. 1, ( November 2004), pp. 5-32. (in Hebrew).
  • "Meilekh Ravitch in China, a Travelogue of 1935", in Monika Schmitz-Emans, ed., Transcultural Rezeption and Constructions, Festschrift for Adrian Hsia, Heidelberg: Synchron Publishers, 2004, pp. 103-117.
  • Chinese Jews and Jews in China: Kaifeng-Shanghai (forthcoming).
  • In Honor of Marian Galik [Keynote address, Batislava], Studia Orientalia Skovaca, Vol. II (2003), pp. 7-12 (in Slovak).
  • Bridges Across Cultures: China in Yiddish Poetry, in Christina Neder,, eds., China and Her Biographical Dimensions, Commemorative Essays for Helmut Martin, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2001, pp. 277-284.
  • A Focus on Remembering: The Jewish Cemetery in Hong Kong, Pe=amim, nos. 98-99 (2004), pp. 333-350. (In Hebrew).
  • Chinese and Jews: Mutual Perceptions in Literary and Related Sources, East-West Dialogue, Special Issue, Chinese and European Literature, Mutual Influence and Perspectives, Vol. 4, no. 2 (June 2000), pp. 209-227.
  • and A. Altman, "Flight to Shanghai, 1938-1940: The Larger Setting", Yad Vashem Studies, 28 (2000), pp. 51-86.
  • "A Critical Survey of Classical Chinese Literary Works in Hebrew", in Leo Tak-hung Chan, ed., One into Many, Translation and the Dissemination of Classical Chinese Literature, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2003, pp. 301-320.
  • "The Peking Translating Committee and S.I.J. Schereschewsky's Old Testament," Anglican and Episcopal History, 67, no. 2 (June 1998), pp. 212-226.
  • "Flight to Shanghai 1938-1939 and Its Larger Context", in Roman Malek, ed., Jews in China: from Kaifeng to Shanghai, Sankt Augustin: Monumenta Serica Institute, 2000, 417-432.
  • "'Wild Goose' Letters: A Correspondence of Two Decades", in Raoul D. Findeisen and Robert H. Gassmann, eds., Autumn Floods, Essays in Honour of Marian Galik, Bern: Peter Lang A.G., 1998, pp. 23-30.
  • "The Interminable Term Question", in Eber, Wan, Walf, eds., Bible in Modern China.
  • "Sinology in Israel", Revue Bibliographique de Sinologie, 1996, pp. 29-35.
  • "The Critique of Western Judaism in The Castle and Its Transposition in Two Chinese Translations", in Adrian Hsia, ed., Kafka and China, Bern-Berlin: Peter Lang, 1996, pp. 41-72.
  • "Riddles in the Dream of the Red Chamber", in Galit Hasan-Rokem, David Shulman, eds., Untying the Knot, On Riddles and Other Enigmatic Modes, New York-Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996, pp. 237-251.
  • "Sifrut sinit ba't'kufa ha'post-Maoistit" (Chinese literature in the post-Mao period). Ha'encyclopedia Ha'Ivrit, kerah miluim, 3, pp. 5. (In Hebrew).
  • "Martin Buber and Taoism", Monumenta Serica, 42 (1994), pp. 445-464.
  • "Perceptions, Interpretations, Translations: Jews and Their Literature in China", M. Galik, ed., Chinese Literature and European Context. Proceedings of the 2nd International Sinological Symposium, Smolenice Castle, June 22-25, 1993. Bratislava: Institute of Asian and African Studies of the Slovak Academy of 
    Sciences, 1994, pp. 143-148.
  • "Western Literature in Chinese Translation, 1949-1979", Asian and African Studies, (Bratislava), 3 (1994), pp. 34-54.
  • "K'aifeng Jews Revisited: Sinification as Affirmation of Identity", Monumenta Serica, 41 (1993), pp. 231-247.
  • "Translating the Ancestors: S.I.J. Schereschewsky's 1875 Chinese Version of Genesis", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 56, Part 2, (1993), pp. 219-233.
  • "Acculturation and the Persistence of Identity of Kaifeng Jews", Pe=amim, 41 (1989), pp. 421-432. (Hebrew)
  • "Social Harmony, Family and Women in Chinese Novels 1948-1958", The China Quarterly, no. 117 (March 1989), pp. 71-96.
  • "The Reception of Lu Xun in Europe and America: The Politics of Popularization and Scholarship", in Leo Ou-fan Lee, ed., Lu Xun and His Legacy, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985, pp. 242-273.
  • "A Selective Bibliography of Works by and About Lu Xun in Western Languages", in Ibid., pp. 275-285.
  • "Weakness and Power: Women in Water Margin", in Ann Gerstlacher, et. al., eds., Women and Literature in China, Bochum: Dr. N. Brockmeyer, 1985, pp. 3-28.
  • "Scholarship and Autobiography: A Review of Vitaly Rubin's Work on Confucianism", in Confucianism, The Dynamics of Tradition, pp. 135-154.
  • "Old Issues and New Directions in Cultural Activities since September 1976", in Jurgen Domes, ed., Chinese Politics After Mao, Great Britain: University of Cardiff Press, 1979, pp. 207-227.
  • "Images of Oppressed Peoples in Modern Chinese Literature", in Merle Goldman, ed., Modern Chinese Literature in the May Fourth Era, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1977, pp. 127-141.
  • "Images of Women in Recent Chinese Fiction: Do Women Hold Up Half of the Sky", Signs, 2, no. 1 (1976), pp. 23-34.
    Abstract in: Sociological Abstracts, 1977.
  • "Chinese Views of Anglo-Irish Writers and Their Works in the 1920's", in Goran Malmqvist, ed., Modern Chinese Literature and Its Social Context, Stockholm: Nobel Symposium, 32 (1977), pp. 46-75.
  • "Poland and the Polish Author in Modern Chinese Literature and Translation", Monumenta Serica, 31 (1975), pp. 407-445.
  • "The Teaching of Values in Chinese Revolutionary Fiction", China Notes (New York), 13, no. 1 (1974-75), pp. 1-4.
  • "Thoughts on Renaissance in Modern China, Problems of Definition", in L.G. Thompson, ed., Studia Asiatica: Essays in Asian Studies in Felicitation of the 75th Anniversary of Ch'en Shou-yi, San Franscisco: Chinese Materials Center, Inc., 1975, pp. 188-218.
  • "Chinese Literature", "Chinese Religion", "Chinese Theatre and Motion Pictures", Encyclopedia Hebraica, Vol. 25 (1974), pp. 904-909, 928-932, 909-910. (in Hebrew)
  • "Modern Jewish Communities in China", Encyclopedia Judaica Yearbook, 1973, pp. 183-184.
  • "Translation Literature in Modern China: The Yiddish Author and His Tale", Asian and African Studies, (Jerusalem), 8, no. 3 (1972), pp. 291-314.
  • "The Jews of Kaifeng: The Persistence of Identity", AJA Quarterly, 16, no. 5 (1971), pp. 19-23.
  • "Hu Shih and the Controversy on Chinese Culture and Western Civilization", East Asia Occasional Papers, (II), edited by Harry J. Lamley, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1970, pp. 29-45.
  • "Hu Shih and Chinese History: The Problem of Cheng-li Kuo-ku", Monumenta Serica, 27 (1968), pp. 169-207.
  • "Yiddish Literature and the Literary Revolution in Modern China", Judaism, 16 (1967), pp. 42-59.



Introductions and Postscripts

  • Introduction, "The Fountain of Living Waters", in Marian Galik, Influence, Translation and Parallels, Selected Studies on the Bible in China, Sankt Augustin: Monumenta Serica Institute, 2004, 9-22 pp. 
  • "What are the Chinese Classics?", in, Andrew Plaks, trans., The Great Learning, Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 1997, pp. 7-18. (in Hebrew).
  • "Introduction", Chinese Tales, Martin Buber, New Jersey-London: Humanities Press International, Inc., 1991, pp. ix-xxiii.
  • "Introduction", Confucianism, the Dynamics of Tradition, pp. x-xxii.
  • "Postscript", Small Flowers of Hell, 20th Century Chinese Short Stories, Tel Aviv: Sifriat Hapoalim, 1982, pp. 182-192. (in Hebrew).




  • Dan Daor, trans., The Prayer Mat of Flesh, Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 2005. Ha'aretz,
  • Sigmund Tobias, Strange Haven, A Jewish Childhood in Wartime Shanghai, Urbana-Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004. Studies in Contemporary Jewry, pp. 264-267.
  • Thomas Frohlich, Staatsdenken in China der Republikzeit (1912-1949), die Instrumentalisierung philosophischer Ideen bei chinesischen Intellektuellen, Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag, 2000.China Review International, Vol. 9, no. 1 (2003), pp. 129-132.
  • Jost O. Zetzsche, The Bible in China: The History of the Union Version, Sankt Augustin-Nettetal: Steyler Verlag, 1999. International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Vol. 26, no. 1 (January 2002, pp. 40-41.
  • Isabelle Maynard, China Dreams: Growing Up Jewish in Tientsin, Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1996. Studies in Contemporary Jewry, Vol. 16 (2000), pp. 346-348.
  • Wm. Theodore de Bary and Tu Wei-ming, eds., Confucianism and Human Rights. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998. Monumenta Serica., Vol. 48 (2000), pp. 513-515.
  • Ka-ho Mok, Intellectuals and the State in Post-Mao China, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998.  China Review International, Vol. 6, no. 1 (Spring 1999), 237-240.
  • Feng Menglong, Kutonet ha'pninim, me'otsar sipurim Ming (The pearl shirt, from a selection of Ming stories), translated and annotated, with a postscript, by Amira Katz, Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 1993. Ha'aretz, June 6, 1993.
  • James Ross, Escape to Shanghai: A Jewish Community in China. New York: The Free Press, 1994. In China Review International, Vol. 2, no. 1 (Spring 1995), 216-220.
  • Ernst G. Heppner, Shanghai Refuge: A Memoir of the World War II Jewish Ghetto. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1993. In Studies in Contemporary Jewry, Vol. 11 (1995), pp. 241-242.
  • Lu Xun, Amira Katz, trans., Kriot Krav (Call to arms). Am Oved, 1992. Ha'aretz, August 7, 1992.
  • Marian Galik, Milestones in Sino-Western Literary Confrontation (1898-1979). In Monumenta Serica.
  • Zbigniew Slupski, Ju-lin Wai-shih, Proba Analizy Literackiej. In Monumenta Serica.
  • Shen Congwen, Bordertown, trans. Amira Katz. In Hadashot,
  • Nien Cheng, Life and Death in Shanghai, (with Orit Wertheim). In Ha'aretz, January 6, 1989.
  • Lao She, Rickshaw, trans. by Amira Katz. In Ha'aretz, February 28, 1986.
  • Michael Pollak, Mandarins, Jews, and Missionaries - The Jewish Experience in the Chinese Empire. In Pe'amim, no. 13 (1982), 146-150.
    English version in Asian and African Studies (Jerusalem), 19, no. 1 (March 1985), pp. 139-143.
  • Derk Bodde, Festivals in Classical China. In Hamizrah He'hadash, 28, nos. 1-2 (1980), pp. 149-150.
  • Charles Wei-hsun Fu and Wingtsit Chan, Guide to Chinese Philosophy. In Journal of Asian Studies, 39, no. 3 (May 1980), pp. 578-579.
  • 41 Chinese Poems, A Small Anthology, trans. Dan Daor. In Davar, November 17, 1980, p. 20.
  • Donald D. Leslie, The Survival of the Chinese Jews. In Hamizrah He'hadash, 26, nos. 1-2 (1976), pp. 118-120.
  • H.D. Gordon, Frank J. Shulman, Doctoral Dissertations in China. In Monumenta Serica, 30 (1972-1973), pp. 654-656. Hebrew version in Hamizrakh He'hadash, 24, no. 4 (1974), pp. 321-323.
  • C.T. Hsia, A History of Modern Chinese Fiction, 2nd ed. In Hamizrakh He'hadash, 23, no. 2 (1973), pp. 257-259.


Popular and Fiction

  • The Choice, Poland, 1939-1945, New York: Schocken Books, 2004.
  • "Auf einer einsamen Insel, Jiddische Dichter in Schanghai", in Anne Birkenhauer, ed., J?discher Almanach 2001 des Leo Baeck Instituts, Frankfurt/Main: Judischer Verlag 2000, pp.160-169.
  • "China and the Jews", Text to "A Sampling of Harvard Library Resources for the Study of Jewish Life in China and Chinese Jewish Relations Exhibition, 16 August-24 September 1992", Widener Library, Harvard University, 1992.
  • "Passage through China, "The Jewish Communities of Harbin, Tientsin, and Shanghai", in Passage through China. Tel Aviv: Beth Hatefusoth, 1986, pp. v-xii. (in English and Hebrew)
  • "Four Days in August", Moment, Vol. 11, no. 5 (May 1986), pp. 37-46.
  • Chinese translation in Dangdai waiguo wenxue (Contemporary foreign literature), no. 4 (1990), pp. 94-106.
  • "Choices, Frankfurt 1945", in The Tribe of Dina, A Jewish Women's Anthology, ed. by Melanie Kaye Kantrowitz and Irena Klepfisz. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986, pp.104-122.
  • "Drops of Honey", Iton 77, no. 62 (March 1985), pp. 32-34. (in Hebrew). English version in Feminist Studies, Vol. 16, no. 3 (1990), pp. 607-620.
  • "Revolutionary Literature: Whencel Whitherr", Understanding China Newsletter (Ann Arbor), 10, no. 2 (March-April 1974), pp. 3-4, 6. Hebrew Version in Sin Hayom, no. 2 (October 1976), pp. 12, 13, 20.





Work in Progress



  • Jewish Communities in Modern China Under Japanese Occupation, 1931-1945, with A. Altman.
  • Editor of volume of Martin Buber's China studies in his collected works.


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