Golden Age of the Chinese Jews of Kaifeng: Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)
Ming dynasty is considered the golden age of the Chinese Jews of Kaifeng. They were encouraged to fully engage in public affairs and government services. In 1390, they were granted land and additional privileges by Ming Taizu, Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the Ming dynasty. In 1421, one of the Jewish clans was granted by the Imperial decree the surname Zhao and permissions were given by the emperor to rebuild the synagogue. "The number of Jews who passed the imperial examinations also increased dramatically." According to the inscription of the 1489 stele, the Chinese Jews of Kaifeng had been a large group including 17 clans, consisting of 500 households (which would amount to about 2,500 individuals).