The Synagogue in Shibuya: Judaism, Migration, and "Exiles Even From Themselves"
For my BA in creative writing (nonfiction) at the University of Chicago, I worked on a longform essay about the Jewish community of Tokyo. It blended original and aggregated reporting, historical research, and personal reflection.
I submitted the thesis to the Department of Creative Writing on April 20, 2021.
Some early research was funded by the Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago.
Publications with writing and reporting from the thesis
Two disasters later, a Tokyo synagogue gets a new rabbi (The Forward, May 7, 2020)
Shortly after a tsunami devastated Japan in March 2011, Andrew Scheer gathered up food and supplies from where he lived on the Upper West Side and traveled there.
The March 11 2011 earthquake and tsunami pummeled northeastern Japan, particularly the region of Fukushima—where a nuclear reactor melted down. It spiraled into an unprecedented crisis. Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency reported over 22,000 people dead or missing because of the disaster.
Scheer, back then a 24 year old New York University graduate, knew that the Jewish community of Japan had to be reeling from the disaster.