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Edokko: Growing Up a Foreigner in Wartime Japan
Nov 21 2013

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 | 7pm
Isaac Shapiro; Rabbi Marvin Tokayer (Moderator)

Click HERE to listen to the audio.

After escaping war, revolution and anti-Semitism in early 20th century Russia, Isaac Shapiro’s parents fled to Germany. Hitler’s rise to power forced them to continue their odyssey to Palestine, China and lastly to Japan, where they ultimately settled. But the onset of World War II uprooted the family once again, as they travelled from city to city surviving privations and the bombing of Japan by the United States. Isaac Shapiro joined Rabbi Marvin Tokayer in conversation to share his family’s experience, his fascinating story growing up Jewish in Japan, and his ultimate immigration to America.

Isaac Shapiro is a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom (Europe) LLP, and of counsel to the firm in New York, and is admitted as an avocat honoraire in France. From 1982 to 1991, Mr. Shapiro served in public office as a member of the Services Policy Advisory Committee to the Office of the United State Trade Representative. He is a former president of the Japan Society, a trustee of the Asian Cultural Council, a trustee and past president of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation (New York), a trustee of the Isamu Noguchi Zaidan in Japan, and a trustee of the Trust for Mutual Understanding. Mr. Shapiro has taught Soviet and Russian Law at the New York University School of Law and at Columbia Law School, and is fluent in English, French, Russian and Japanese. In 2006, Mr. Shapiro was decorated with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon by the Emperor of Japan for his service in promoting U.S.-Japanese cultural relations.

Rabbi Marvin Tokayer served for many years as the rabbi of the Jewish community of Japan, and has authored more than twenty books in Japanese about Judaica and Japan, including The Fugu Plan: The Untold Story of the Japanese and Jews during World War Two. He recently retired from his Modern Orthodox synagogue in Great Neck, Long Island and is currently writing a history of Jews in the Far East.