From the desk of Marie Barnes, Regency Corporate Marketing & Public Relations Director:
Regency Jewish Heritage Post-Acute, Rehab and Nursing Center, 380 Demott Lane, Somerset, hosted a book and author brunch on Sunday, November 15th. The event was extremely interesting and a banner group from the community were in attendace. Chai Lights and Canal Walk Hadassah chapters organized this wonderful fundraiser highlighting the book, “Pepper, Silk & Ivory”, featuring one of the authors, Rabbi Tokayer, presenting.
The book is about a chapter missing from Jewish history. While most people know the stories of the Jews of Europe, the Middle East and the Americas, few are familiar with the colorful and captivating stories of Jews and the Far East. To bring this exciting and overlooked part of the Jewish experience to life, Rabbi Marvin Tokayer and Ellen Rodman, Ph.D. have written PEPPER, SILK & IVORY: Amazing Stories about Jews and the Far East.
“Every part of the Far East has a relationship with Jews. Their stories remind us all that in the most unexpected and amazing ways, 4,000 years of Jewish history also includes Asia,” coauthor Rabbi Tokayer says. He first became aware of these little-known stories when he served as rabbi to the Jewish Community of Japan. PEPPER, SILK & IVORY reveals layer after layer of forgotten Jewish history.”
“In the most unexpected ways, Jewish history includes the Far East too; it’s a part of the world with no anti-Semitism or persecution and was blessed with the concepts of tolerance and cultural pluralism,” coauthor Ellen Rodman says. The authors traveled the world to collect the details of these amazing stories from official state records, historical accounts and eyewitnesses. Many of the facts they relate have never been published—until now. PEPPER, SILK & IVORY spins eye-opening and often jaw-dropping tales of beauty queens, “royalty” and feisty primates, sacred texts and state secrets—the long forgotten, but vitally important, part of Jewish history.
RABBI MARVIN TOKAYER served as a U.S. Air Force chaplain before becoming the rabbi of the Jewish Community of Japan, a position he served in for eight years before being named Lifetime Honorary Rabbi. He was vice president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Southeast Asia and the Far East, a delegate to the World Conference of Religion & Peace, a delegate to the First International Conference of Science, Philosophy & Religion, and a board member of the Sino-Judaic Institute. He has lectured widely and has written 20 books on Judaica in Japanese, multiple articles for the Encyclopedia Judaica, and co-wrote The Fugu Plan: The Untold Story of the Japanese and the Jews During World War II (co-written by Mary Swartz). He was a contributor to the PBS documentary, Sugihara: A Conspiracy of Kindness.
A hot and cold buffet was served to the crowd of attendees, and Rabbi Tokayer signed personal copies for the audience. It was an enjoyable afternoon, and Regency Jewish Heritage was proud to host this very informative presentation to the community.