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‘You don’t want to take my money, do you?’: Mandarin-speaking rabbi fights antisemitism on China’s TikTok

  • American Rabbi Matt Trusch, who lived and worked in China for over a decade, is now fighting antisemitism by posting educational videos on his popular Douyin account.
  • In his Douyin bio, Trusch describes himself as a rabbi who shares “wisdom of the Talmud,” “interesting facts about the Jewish people,” “business thought” and “money-making tips.”
  • Trusch, who works with an Australia-based Chinese-speaking Jewish partner on creating content, shared that he intentionally included Chinese people's stereotypes about Jewish people in his bio to attract and reach more Chinese viewers.
  • Many of his viewers perceive the Talmud as a get-rich scheme rather than a Jewish religious text, a belief so popular in China that it has created an industry of self-help books and private schools that claim to teach about Jewish money-making secrets.
  • One of Trusch's videos in which he explains how China helped Jewish refugees fleeing from Europe during World War II received comments such as “You don’t want to take my money, do you?” and “Wall Street elites are all Jews.”
  • According to Trusch, the Chinese people’s view of the Talmud as a business guide also helps them navigate China’s complicated religious environment, where Judaism is not among the five recognized religions.

An American rabbi who lived and worked in China for over a decade is fighting antisemitism on Chinese social media using educational videos.

Rabbi Matt Trusch was sharing Jewish parables in fluent Mandarin on Douyin (China’s version of TikTok) from his Texas home last year when he came across users spouting Jewish stereotypes online.