The ICJS’s roots extend back to 2004, when the former London Jewish Cultural Centre (LJCC) sponsored and organised the first ever teaching programme on Jewish, Holocaust and genocide studies in China.
Over the decade that followed, LJCC programme directors and teachers:
- Provided lectures and seminars on Jewish, Holocaust and genocide studies in various top-tier Chinese universities, including Kunming, Nanjing, Kaifeng, Xian and Shanghai
- Published and made available teaching materials for Chinese universities
- reached over 1,500 students and teachers from all over China through an annual week-long summer conference, run at various Chinese universities
- Associated with Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, which annually grants scholarships to 30 Chinese teachers to study at Yad Vashem on a two-week course on Holocaust and Jewish history
- Introduced British, Israeli, French, German and American lecturers to Chinese audiences through the support of the LJCC and the International Task Force (now known as IHRA) and the Claims Conference.
In 2015, the LJCC was merged with JW3, a London-based Jewish cultural organisation. Under the terms of the merger, it was agreed that the newly merged organisation would not continue to run its China programme.
The International Centre for Jewish Studies (ICJS) was subsequently formed to continue and develop this work in China and the wider East Asian region. In 2016, the ICJS was registered in the UK as a charity – charity number 1168221.