In his seminal work on seventeenth to twentieth century Sephardi and Italian Jews living in Mediterranean, Atlantic, and West Indian seaports, historian David Sorkin isolated five characteristics which may also apply to contemporaneous Asian Jewish communities: India's Cochinim and Bene Israel Jews; Baghdadi Jews in India, Singapore, H o n g Kong, and Shanghai; and Central and Eastern European Jews who fled Hit ler and reached Shanghai in the late 1930s and early 1940s.1 In an attempt to test the Sorkin thesis, this article examines these Asian port Jews as well as the Jewish community of Harbin [Haerbin/Kharbin], China, located some 1,500 miles inland. In a further attempt to clarify the histories of these Asian Jewish communities, this article applies U.S. immigration historian Caroline Golab's theory on the relationship between the duration of residence of an immigrant community and its institutional development.