Xu Xin is a professor at Nanjing University, and China's leading scholar in Judaic studies.
He was born in 1949 and is the founder and director of the Dianne and Guilford Glazer Institute for Jewish and Israeli studies at Nanjing.
Xu Xin began his academic career with an English degree from Nanjing University in 1977. He became a faculty member of the University the same year, and specialized in teaching post World War II English and American Literature. He focused on American Jewish authors. His interest in them was a result of the Nobel Prize in Literature being awarded to Saul Bellow in 1976, and to Isaac Bashevis Singer in 1978.
His association with Jews began in 1986, when he met the Jewish chair of the English Department of Chicago State University, Professor James Friend, who was teaching at Nanjing for a semester. Xu Xin travelled to Chicago and visited Israel on his return trip in 1988.
Xu Xin saw a great interest in Israel among his students on his return to China, and engaged scholars to translate an abridged version of Encyclopedia Judaica to Chinese. He edited the work, which ended up being compulsory reading for all diplomats assigned to Israel from China when diplomatic relations between the two countries began in 1992.
Currently, hundreds of students attend his classes on Judaism and Israel, and he has created MA and PhD programs on Jewish History and Culture. He has also published many books and leads tours of Jewish China.