Book Chapter: Jewish Migration in the Philippines (Grazer Universitätsverlag)

Jewish Migration in the Philippines

This chapter is part of the book entitled “Radical Definitions: State – Society – Religion. Off Campus: Seggau School of Thought 3”.


By Maria Pilar Lorenzo

The Philippine-Jewish relations are usually unknown. Quismundo (2016),  Weidner (n.d.) and Weissler, a Jewish survivor, (as cited by Contreras, 2010) argue that only a few are aware that the Philippines extended assistance to the Jews during the time of Holocaust. The intertwined history of the Jews and the Filipinos began as early as the Spanish era in the Philippines when the “New Christians,” “Marranos,” or “Crypto-Jews,” together with the Spanish adventurers who sailed to their conquered islands, travelled as far as the far eastern ports including Manila (Philippines). The more massive and crucial arrival of the Jews in the Philippines happened during the American period particularly during the years 1937–1941 when there was persecution happening against the Jews wrought upon by the Nazis (Pitogo, 2015). The Philippines which was headed then by President Manuel L. Quezon enacted the Open Door Policy that welcomed the fleeing Jews from Europe. Through this, there were 1,200 to 1,300 European Jews who fled to the Philippines (Lapeña, nd; Park, 2015). For Jewish survivor and author Frank Ephraim, “The Philippines held out a promise of a safe haven from Nazi oppression, offering survival from mass murder of the Jewish people in Europe”.

*Citation for the book chapter: Lorenzo, M.P. (2018). Jewish Migration in the Philippines. In X. Hergenröther, O. Ursulesku & D. Badulescu (Eds.), Radical Definitions: State – Society – ReligionOff Campus: Seggau School of Thought 3. Austria: Grazer Universitätsverlag – Leykam – Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz.

From the Editors: Looking at the World from Many Angles

About the Book: Radical Definitions: State – Society – Religion. Off Campus: Seggau School of Thought 3

The third volume of the Off Campus: Seggau School of Thought publication series has followed the drumbeat of its very title: in redefining state, society, religion, art, culture, language, and policies, as the students and lecturers of the Graz International Summer School Seggau do each year. The present volume is the result of fruitful ongoing collaboration between two institutions: the University of Graz (Austria) and the University of Iasi (Romania). One of the outcomes of this year-long collaboration was the international symposium for students and young researchers, Intercultural Communication, held at the University of Iasi between May 6th and 7th of this year, which was officially co-organized by the University of Graz. Consequently, the two events – the Graz International Summer School Seggau 2017 and the Intercultural Communication symposium – are both represented in this volume, which intends to bring together, confront, contrast, and make for a mutual completion of a multiplicity of perspectives on matters of state, society, and religion and their often radical definitions, in the 21st century, but also historically.

Radical Definitions

About the Chapter, “Jewish Migration in the Philippines”

Maria Pilar M. Lorenzo’s contribution seeks to make a broad audience aware of the Philippine-Jewish relations, often not widely known in the context of Philippine history. She discusses the fact that few people are aware that the Philippines accorded assistance to Jews during the time of Holocaust. Thus, to help fill this gap, it is her objective to outline the history of Jewish migration in the Philippines and the consequent Jewish-Filipino ties that have been built over the years.

Details about the Book

  • 168 pages, paperback
  • Published on 20 June 2018 by Grazer Universitätsverlag – Leykam – Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
  • ISBN978-3-7011-0407-9

For more details about the book, kindly see the following links:

About the Editors

Xaver Daniel Hergenröther is a PhD student writing his doctoral cotutelle de thèse at the Universities of Graz and Bamberg. His research and teaching focus on Latin- and Inter-American (Cultural) Studies, writing in exile, the role of the author in political conflicts. He is a university assistant at the Center for Inter-American Studies of the University of Graz.

Oana Ursulesku is a PhD student at the Universities of Novi Sad and Graz. Her research focuses on the liminal spaces of narration in literature and film, adaptation, intertextuality, and minority writing. She works at the Plurilingualism Research Unit and the Center for Inter-American Studies, both at the University of Graz.

Dana Badulescu is an Associate Professor in the Department of English of the University of Iasi. Her research and teaching focus on modernist and postmodernist British and American literature, basic elements of literary theory and critical thinking, transculturalism, poetics and translations. Her most recent book Rushdie’s Cross-pollinations was published at Junimea Press in 2013.

Full Text of the Book Chapter

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