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Richard Lynn
The Chosen People
A Study of Jewish Intelligence and Achievement
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Chapter 1 • Introduction • 5,900 Words
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The Jews have been a remarkably successful people. The thesis of this book is that much of this success can be explained by their high intelligence. The success of the Jews began to become apparent in the early nineteenth century. Up to this time Jews were discriminated against throughout most of Europe and their opportunities for achievement were limited. Except in the Balkans, they were not permitted to attend universities, so they could not acquire the qualifications to practice as physicians and lawyers, or the education and skills required for success in science and mathematics. Most Jews in central and northern Europe spoke Yiddish, so they could not achieve much in philosophy and literature in languages that gentile Europeans could understand.

In the first decade of the nineteenth century the Jews were emancipated in France and then throughout much of Europe by Napoleon, and during the course of the century Jews were emancipated in Britain, Russia and Poland. Freed from the former restrictions, Jews began to do conspicuously well in banking, commerce, industry, the professions, science and the arts throughout Europe from the middle decades of the century.

In the twentieth century the Jews did even better. In numerous countries throughout the world, Jews have been massively over-represented in the professions, the universities, among business leaders and the very rich. At the highest levels of intellectual achievement, Jews have won about 25 per cent of the A.M. Turing Awards (a prize of $100,000) that have been given annually since 1966 for contributions of lasting and major technical importance to computer science. Jews have been about half of the world’s chess grandmasters and champions: between 1851 and 1986 there were 15 world chess champions and seven of these were Jewish – Steinitz, Botvinnik, Smyslov, Tal, Spasky, Fischer and Kasparov (Cranberg and Albert, 1988; Rubinstein, 2004). Another cognitively demanding game is bridge. It has been estimated that over half of the outstanding American bridge players and theoreticians have been Jewish (Storfer, 1990). The pinnacle of intellectual achievement is the Nobel Prize for science and literature, and since 1970, economics. Jews have been hugely disproportionately over-represented among Nobel prize-winners. In the period 1901-1962 16 per cent of Nobel prize-winners for science were Jewish (Weyl and Possony (1963, p.143). Estimating the world population of Jews in 1938 at 18 million and the world population of European gentiles at 718 million, Jews were over-represented by a factor of approximately 6.6.

In the late nineteenth century the great majority of Jews in the world lived in the Russian Empire, that included the Baltic states and the eastern half of present day Poland. They suffered severe pogroms from 1881 onwards and most of them emigrated to the countries of central and western Europe, the United States and elsewhere in the western world. They arrived as penniless refugees unable to speak the languages of their new counties, the “huddled masses” from the most backward region of Europe. Yet by the middle decades of the twentieth century the children and grandchildren of these immigrants were doing far better than their gentile hosts on all indices of socio-economic status and earnings and outperformed them by several orders of magnitude in obtaining elite academic distinctions and the highest award for intellectual achievement – the Nobel.

Our purpose in this book is the documentation and explanation of these achievements. We shall be concerned with the theme that the remarkable Jewish successes can be largely explained by their high intelligence. This will take us into the further questions of why Jews have high intelligence, and whether this is true for all Jews, and whether other qualities such as a strong work ethic also contribute to Jewish achievement.

Jewish Intelligence

In the middle decades of the nineteenth century people began to observe that Jews were outstandingly successful and to speculate that this is attributable to their high intelligence. In 1847, Lord Ashley, speaking in the British House of Commons, observed that “The Jews are a people of very powerful intellect… they present, in proportion to their numbers, a far larger list of men of genius and learning than could be exhibited by any gentile country. Music, poetry, medicine, astronomy, occupied their attention, and in every field they were more than a match for their competitors” (Vital, 1999, p. 179). A few years later in France, the Count de Gobineau (1853) discussed the cultural and intellectual achievements of different peoples and concluded that the Aryans (Northern Europeans) and the Jews were the two most intelligent peoples. Francis Galton (1869, p.47) also believed the Jews are a highly intelligent people, writing in his Hereditary Genius that they “appear to be rich in families of high intellectual breeds”.

In the twentieth century a number of people reiterated the conclusion that the Jews have done well because they are highly intelligent. During World War One the British writer John Fraser (1915, pp. 30-1) in his book The Conquering Jew advanced the thesis that the principal reason for Jewish achievement is that Jews are more intelligent than Christians: “in alertness and knowledge, the Jew is the superior of the Christian; the struggle between the sons of the North, with their blond hair and sluggish intellects, and the sons of the Orient, with their black eyes, is an unequal one; if the Russian dispassionately spoke his mind, I think he would admit that his dislike of the Jew is not so much racial or religious as a recognition that the Jew is his superior, and in a conflict of wits will get the better of him”.

Writing four years later Joseph Jacobs (1919, pp.55-7) gave an account of the success of Jews in Germany and attributed this to Jews being more intelligent: “German Jews are at the present moment at the head of European intellect”; hence, “a determinant number of Jews will produce a larger number of geniuses than any equal number of men of other races”.

In the same year Thornstein Veblen (1919) also asserted that the secret of Jewish success lies in their high intelligence. He wrote of the “intellectual pre-eminence of Jews in modern Europe” (p.35). His theory to account for this was that Jews are detached from the host societies in which they live. This frees them from the constraint of conventional ideas and allows them to think creatively. He argued (plausibly enough) that creative scientific achievement requires “a degree of exemption from hard and fast preconceptions, a sceptical animus, release from the dead hand of conventional finality”. Jews have this exemption: “it is by the loss of allegiance that he finds himself in the vanguard of modern inquiry… he becomes the disturber of the intellectual peace, but only at the cost of becoming an intellectual wayfaring man, a wanderer in the intellectual no-man’s land, seeking another place to rest”. He concluded with the logical inference that Jews would cease to be creative if and when they acquired their own homeland in Israel and were no longer rootless wanderers. Perhaps he would have changed his mind about this theory if he had lived to see the award in 2004 of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry to two Israelis at TechnionUniversity in Haifa – Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko.

With the development of intelligence tests in the first decade of the twentieth century, evidence on the intelligence of the Jews began to accumulate that substantiated the theory that Jews have high IQs. Studies showing this began to be published in the 1920s in Britain and the United States, and more studies confirming this in the United States were published from time to time throughout the twentieth century. In the 1960s a landmark book was published by Nathaniel Weyl and Stefan Possony (1963) and a further book by Weyl (1966) brought together the evidence of the high Jewish IQ and achievement and discussed the reasons for this.

By the 1990s, it began to be confidently asserted that Jews have a high IQ. For example, Herrnstein and Murray (1994,p.275) have written that “Whenever the subject of group differences comes up one of the questions sure to be asked is ‘Are Jews really smarter than everyone else?’ ”. Their answer was that Jews obtained an average IQ of 112.6 on the AFQTin relation to 100 for whites. Others who have reviewed the evidence on Jewish intelligence and concluded that Jews have a high IQ include MacDonald (1994, pp.188-190); Eysenck (1995, p.159): “as far as Jews are concerned, there is no question that they score very highly on IQ tests”; and Michael Levin, a philosophy professor at the City University of New York, who has written: “in every society in which they have participated, Jews have eventually been recognised (and disliked for) their exceptional talent” (1997, p.132).

Numerous studies have shown that intelligence is a major determinant of economic and intellectual achievement. In a classical study, Jencks (1972) estimated that there is a correlation of 0.310 between IQ and income for men in the United States. This result has been confirmed and extended by a study in Britain showing that for a national sample whose intelligence was obtained at the age of 8 years and whose income was obtained at the age 43 years, there were correlations between IQ and income of 0.368 for men (n=1280) and 0.317 for women (n=1085) (Irwing and Lynn, 2006). Many further studies showing that IQ is a substantial determinant of educational and intellectual attainment are summarized in IQ and Global Inequality (Lynn and Vanhanen, 2006). As all this is quite well known, and despite the accumulation of studies showing that Jews have a high IQ, it is strange that the high Jewish IQ has almost invariably been ignored by historians, sociologists, and economists who have written on the high achievements of the Jews, and by even by psychologists who have written on intelligence. Numerous historians, sociologists, and economists have documented the high achievements of the Jews in various countries and suggested reasons for this, but virtually none of them have suggested that the explanation may be that Jews have a high IQ. There is no entry for intelligence in the 17 volume Encyclopedia Judaica, and only one paper on intelligence has been published in the Jewish Journal of Sociology and the Jewish journal Commentary.

Jewish Achievement in Historical Times.

It is a disputed question whether the Jews have been exceptionally successful and disproportionately represented among the intellectual elite for most of the last two thousand years or whether the high Jewish achievement did not appear until Jews were emancipated in the nineteenth century. One of those who have asserted that the high Jewish achievement is a recent phenomenon was Bertrand Russell (1945, p. 323) who wrote that “throughout the Middle Ages, Jews had no part in the culture of Christian countries, and were too severely persecuted to be able to make contributions to civilization, beyond supplying capital for the building of cathedrals and such enterprises”.

In an attempt to answer this question studies that have quantified Jewish achievement in different historical periods are summarized in Table 1.1. Jewish achievements are expressed as Jewish Achievement Quotients (AQs). These AQs have been calculated as the percentages of outstandingly gifted Jews in relation to their population numbers, as compared with the percentages of European gentiles in relation to their population numbers, and the percentages of Jews expressed as a ratio of the percentage of European gentiles. For instance, if 2 per cent of Jews were found to be outstandingly gifted as compared with 1 per cent of European gentiles, Jews would have an Achievement Quotients of 2. We use this measure of Jewish achievement on numerous occasions throughout this book.

Row 1 in Table 1.1 gives the first historical evidence for Jewish achievement and comes from medieval times. The data are taken from Sarton (1948) who identified 626 gifted scientists living between 1150 and 1300 A.D. of whom 95, approximately 16 per cent, were Jewish. Patai (1977) has estimated the numbers of Jews and gentiles in Europe at this time and calculated that Jews were thirty-two-fold over-represented in relation to the non-Jewish population in the countries in which scientific work was carried out at that period, giving the Jews an Achievement Quotient of 32.

Row 2 also comes from the mediaeval period but is confined to scientific achievement in Spain, for which (Patai, 1977) has estimated that Jews were over-represented among gifted scientists by a factor of 18 to 1, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 18. In this study the time period ends in 1492 with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in that year. How seriously can these figures be taken? Not very, according to Murray (2003, p.275) who observes that “few on those 626 are important enough in the broader sweep of scientific history to warrant a mention”. I am inclined to agree. During this period Jewish men were nearly all literate while most gentile men were not. Because of this proportionately more Jews wrote books on scientific subjects, but these were largely translations and commentaries on Arabic and Greek texts. Can anyone think of a single Jewish scientist or mathematician of any distinction during these years from 1150 and 1492, let alone one to compare in with the Greek giants who included Aristotle, Pythagoras, Euclid, and Ptolemy. I would therefore follow Murray and place a large question mark over Patai’s conclusions on high Jewish achievement in mediaeval Europe.

It has not proved possible to find any studies of Jewish achievement during the next three and a half or so centuries from 1492 to 1830. The next study is for those born between 1830-1929 carried out by Berry (1999) and is summarized in rows 3 and 4 of Table 1. Berry began by assembling a list of 1,352 outstandingly talented men of European ethnicity, born between 1830 and 1929, in the fields of engineering, astronomy, physics, chemistry, medicine, mathematics, literature, painting and music. These were selected on a variety of criteria including the award of Nobel Prizes for science and literature and listing in reference works of those who had achieved eminence. Of the total number (1,352), 220 were Jewish. He then calculated the proportion of Jews and gentile Europeans in relation to their numbers in the world for those born between 1830 and 1879 and between 1880 and 1930. The results showed that Jews were over-represented in both periods in all nine fields and especially strongly in literature and in music. The Jewish Achievement Quotients were 8.7 for the first period and 16.6 for the second. Notice that the Jewish Achievement Quotient approximately doubled from the first period to the second.

Berry’s paper attracted little or no attention and was not noticed by Murray (2003) in his monumental study of outstanding individuals in world achievement from the year 800 to 2000 AD. Murray analyses these by country, race, religion and sex. He provides estimates of Jewish achievements, in relation to gentile Europeans, for three periods. Rows 5 through 7 give his results for the period from 1870-2000 (Murray, 2003,p.279, 283). Row 5 gives an Achievement Quotient of 6.9 for Jewish achievements in music, science, art, philosophy and literature for those born between 1830 and 1910 (Murray presents the data for those aged 40 during the years 1870-1950, and hence to make his data comparable with that of Berry the period of their births is shown). It will be seen that the Jewish Achievement Quotients found by Berry and Murray are in fairly close agreement (8.7 and 6.9) considering that some difference should be expected as a result of different samples and time periods. Murray was apparently unaware of Berry’s work, so the two calculations were evidently made independently. Row 6 gives a Jewish Achievement Quotient of 6.0 based on the award of Nobel Prizes in science and literature during the period 1901 (the first year in which the prizes were awarded) to 1950 (these people would have been born roughly between 1850-1900). Row 7 gives a Jewish Achievement Quotient of 12.0 based on the award of Nobel Prizes in science and literature during the second half of the twentieth century (1951- 2000) and who would have been born roughly between 1900-1950.

Table 2. Achievement Quotients of European Jews at various time periods
TimeAQReference
11150-130030Patai, 1971
21000-149218Patai, 1971
31830-18798.7Berry, 1999
41880-192916.6Berry, 1999
51830-19106.9Murray, 2003
61900-19506.0Murray, 2003
71950-200012.0Murray, 2003
81901-19626.5Weyl & Possony, 1963
91901-19858.0Patai and Patai, 1989

Rows 8 and 9 give further estimates of Jewish Achievement Quotients also based on the award of Nobel prizes. Row 8 gives a Jewish Achievement Quotient of 6.5 for science derived from an analysis of Nobel prize-winners for physics, chemistry and medical science during the years 1901 to 1962, calculated by Weyl and Possony (1963). They found that 225 prizes were awarded and estimate that the world population of European peoples, including those in North America and Australasia as well as in Europe, was approximately 718 million. This can be expressed as a rate of 31.3 per 100 million. They estimate the world Jewish population in 1938 at 18 million and that 36 percent of Nobel prize winners were Jewish, representing a rate of 203 per 100 million. Thus, Jews were approximately 6.5 to one over-represented. The Jewish Achievement Quotient of 6.5 is closely similar to the 6.0 calculated by Murray for most of the same period (1901-1950), although Murray’s figure includes the literature prize. Row 9 gives a Jewish Achievement Quotient of 8.1 based on all Nobel prizes (including those for economics, literature and peace as well as for science) awarded over the years 1901-1985 as calculated by Patai and Patai (1989). They calculated that of the 541 prizes awarded, 91 were won by Jews. They do not attempt to estimate the ratio of Jewish to non-Jewish European prize-winners. This can be done using the same methodology as Weyl and Possony. If we adopt Weyl and Possony’s estimate that the world population of European peoples was 718 million, the rate of prize-winners was 75 per 100 million. A reasonable estimate for the numbers of Jews for this period would be 15 million, since the numbers of Jews declined from approximately 18 million in 1938 to approximately 12 million for the period 1945-1985. On this estimate the rate of Jewish Nobel prize-winners was 667 per 100 million. Thus Jews are over-represented in a ratio of 8:1.

There are four comments to be made on the Jewish Achievement Quotients set out in Table 1.1. First, they all show that in all the studies Jews have been considerably over-represented among outstandingly gifted individuals. Second, the Jewish Achievement Quotients for the mediaeval periods given in rows 1 and 2 are higher at 30 and 18 than any of those of the last two centuries from 1800 to 2000. However, we have noted that the high Jewish Achievement Quotients for the mediaeval period must be regarded with scepticism. There were no outstanding Jews during this period and gentile learning and scholarship were at a low ebb. Europe was emerging from the dark ages while among the Jewish communities learning and scholarship flourished in these years. It was only from around the year 1200 that universities began to be founded in Europe for gentiles and it was largely these that nurtured gentile European achievements over the next eight centuries.

Third, the Jewish Achievement Quotients in the two centuries from 1800 to 2000 are reasonably consistent, lying between 6.0 and 16.6. Some of these differences are no doubt sampling and measurement errors. Sampling errors arise because Jewish Achievement Quotients are higher in some fields than in others (they are particularly high in philosophy), so they will vary according to which fields are included in the calculation. Measurement errors may also be present because of errors in identifying Jews.

Fourth, there seems to be a real trend for the Jewish Achievement Quotients to increase during the last two centuries. This is found in the studies by Berry and Murray. Berry’s calculations show the Jewish Achievement Quotients approximately doubled from 8.7 among those born between 1830 and 1879 to 16.6 among those born between 1880-1939. Similarly, Murray’s calculations also show that Jewish Achievement Quotients doubled from 6.0 among those who received Nobel prized between 1901-1950 to 12.0 among those who received Nobel prized between 1950-2000. We shall find these results replicated in many countries. They are explained by Jews taking two or three generations to establish themselves fully in gentile societies.

In the first half of the nineteenth century Jews were prohibited in most countries from entering universities, music academies and art colleges and this handicapped them for achievement in science, philosophy, music and art, and possibly in literature, for which a university or college education provides the foundation for achievement. In France and the Netherlands, Jews were permitted to enter universities in the 1790s, but it was not until 1848 that this was allowed in the Austro-Hungarian empire and some of the German and Italian states; and it was not until 1871 that Jews were allowed to attend universities in England. In the United States Jews were not given full civil rights at the state level until 1868.

Jewish Achievements in Different Domains

Are Jews exceptionally talented in all intellectual domains or only in some? Both Berry and Murray present data on this question and their calculations are shown in Table 1.2. Berry’s and Murray’s calculations for 1870-1950 (born 1830-1910) are derived from their inventories of gifted individuals, while Murray’s calculations for 1951-2000 are based on Nobel Prizes. Five conclusions can be drawn from these results. First, Jews are better than gentiles at everything. Second, the Berry 1880-1929 and Murray 1870-1950 data are closely similar, except for music and literature. Third, Jews are much more over-represented among gifted musicians in Berry’s results where they have Achievement Quotients of 37.1 and 20.8, but this is not conformed by Murray’s data in which the Jewish Achievement Quotient is only 5.0 and is slightly lower than in the most of the other domains. Fourth, there is a suggestion that the Jewish Achievement Quotient in Mathematics is rather higher than in other domains. Mathematics is the highest Jewish Achievement Quotient in Berry’s 1830-1879 data, apart from music. Mathematics is the third highest Jewish Achievement Quotient in Berry’s 1880-1929 data, below medicine and music, and is second highest in Murray’s 1870-1950 data, in which the highest Jewish Achievement Quotient is in philosophy. Fifth, the Jewish Achievement Quotient of 45.0 for economics based on Nobel Prizes which have been awarded since 1969 is clearly very high and is considered to be valid. These results suggest that Jews may have a special aptitude for the abstract thinking required for mathematics, philosophy, physics and possibly also for economics much of which is quite mathematical. Jews do less well in astronomy, engineering, and painting, and possibly in literature, although even in these they do better than gentiles.

Table 1.2. Achievement Quotients of European Jews at various time periods
DomainBerry 1830-1879Berry 1880-1929Murray 1870-1950Murray 1951-2000
Astronomy1.23.41.0-
Biology--8.0-
Chemistry3.55.36.010.1
Earth Science--3.0-
Economics---45.0
Engineering1.21.83.0-
Mathematics10.59.612.0-
Medicine5.510.58.014.1
Music37.120.85.0-
Literature6.98.14.07.1
Painting7.16.35.0-
Philosophy--14.0-
Physics4.210.19.014.1
Theories of Jewish success

By the first two decades of the twentieth century it had become increasingly obvious to many people that Jews have been exceptionally successful and theories began to be advanced to explain Jewish success. A few people proposed that Jews are more intelligent than gentiles, as noted in section 1, but most people preferred other theories. Five principal theories have been advanced to explain Jewish success. These are (a) strong motivation theory; (b) family and ethnic networks; (c) marginal man theory; (d) special aptitudes theory; and (e) luck. Several writers have asserted that Jewish success is attributable to more than one of these characteristics.

(a) Strong motivation theory. This states that Jews are strongly motivated to work hard and achieve success. Some have asserted that Jews have a strong form of the Protestant or Puritan work ethic, a commitment to work as a moral and religious obligation, that was proposed by Weber as the source of the economic advance of the Protestant nations from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.

Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1912, pp.492-3) asserted that the principal reason why Jews had become ” a disproportionately important and in many spheres actually dominant constituent of our life” is that Jews have an innate “abnormally developed will”, by which he probably meant what today we would call strong motivation.

The German historian Werner Sombart (1919) attributed the Jewish success to their religion fostering a strong work ethic that gave them exceptional will-power. He described this as des Eigennutzes (self-interest) and Abstraktheit ihrer Geistesbeschaffenheit (it is difficult to extract any meaning from this concept; literally it can be translated “the abstractness of their nature and spirit”; Mosse’s (1987) translator renders it“abstract mentality”. My German friends assure me that it does notmean “a talent for abstract thought” or “thinking in abstractions”, or anything associated with intelligence). Sombart also proposed that because Jews have been nomads for many centuries and generally had no land or property, they valued money and this ultimately led to their pre-eminence in banking.

In Russia in the 1920s it was so obvious that Jews were prominent among the elite that people began to discuss why this should be. In 1929 Larin published a book on this question and advanced three reasons, the first of which was that the hard life of Jews in previous centuries had produced “exceptional energy” (Slezkine, 2004, p.252).

The work ethic theory received some confirmation from a study carried out in the United States by Lenski (1963) from which he concluded that Jews have done well because they have a strong form of Protestant work ethic. He concluded that Jews are like white Protestants in possessing “individualistic, competitive patterns of thought and action linked with the middle class and historically associated with the Protestant ethic or its secular counterpart, the spirit of capitalism”. Catholics and blacks, he argued, have “the collectivist, security oriented working class patterns of action, historically opposed to the Protestant ethic”.

A variant of the strong motivation theory is that Jews attach a high valuation to success. This has become a cultural norm in Jewish families. Parents bring up their children to achieve and socialize them to value success. Thus, “success is so vitally important to the Jewish family ethos that we can hardly overemphasize it… we cannot hope to understand the Jewish family without understanding the place that success for men (and recently for women) plays in the system” (Herz and Rozen,1982, p.306). Jews attach a lot of importance to study and education and this socializes the children for educational and academic success: “Jewish youth used to spend long years bent over their books in an attempt to break out of the narrow circle of restrictions” (Slezkine, 2004, p.252). Rutland (1988, p.259), writing on the success of Jews in Australia has proposed that one of the reasons for this is that they “were highly motivated to create a new and more secure life for themselves” which gave them “the willingness to work hard”.

The Harvard historian Stephan Thernstrom and his wife assert that the achievements of the Jews are “the product of cultural values that they have brought with them and transmitted from generation to generation over a very long time” (Thernstrom andThernstrom, 2003, p.98) although they fail to give any evidence that Jews have the requisite cultural values for educational and socio-economic success. Gary Becker, the Nobel prize-winner for economics, is another who has pondered the problem of why Jews have done so well and concluded “I believe that the high achievement and low fertility of Jewish families are explained by high marginal rates of return to investments in the education, health and other human capital of their children that lower the price of quality relative to quality” (Becker, 1981, p. 110). Translated from economists’ jargon, this means that Jews have fewer children and devote more effort to their health care and to giving them a good education. He does not offer any explanation for why Jews do this but we are left to infer that this is part of their values.

(b) Strong family and ethnic networks. Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1912, pp.492-3) asserted that the Jewish religion (Judaism) inculcated “the idea of physical race-unity and race purity” that leads Jews to support each other through strong family and ethnic networks theory. In 1929 Larin in Russia proposed that because Jews have experienced discrimination for many centuries they have developed “an unusually strong sense of solidarity and a predisposition towards mutual help and support”. Slezkine (2004), who quoted this opinion, agreed and has confidently asserted that “there is no doubt that their entrepreneurial success has been due to a combination of internal solidarity and external strangeness” Slezkine (2004, pp. 43, 252). It is not clear whether this trait was envisioned as genetic or cultural.

(c) Marginal Man theory. This theory was advanced by Thorstein Veblen. Hollinger, (2002, p.145-6), who has described Veblen as “the most creative American social theorist of the early twentieth century”, summarizes his theory as follows: “The partial liberation of Jews from traditional Judaism yields a sceptical temper. The combination of withdrawal from Jewish tradition and only partial assimilation into gentile society endows the intellectual Jew with the virtue of detachment. Skeptical, estranged, alienated, the liberated Jew was ideally suited for a career in science and scholarship. This Marginal Man, this “wanderer in the intellectual no-man’s land” could see “unmediated facts” that were less readily observed by minds still clouded by Judaism, Christianity, local customs, tribal idols, or other pre-modern forms of reference”. There are several reasons for regarding Veblen’s theory as implausible. First, as we shall see repeatedly throughout this book, Jews are good at everything, not only at science for which a “sceptical temper” and “detachment” may be required. Second, as Jews ceased to be marginal in the second half of the twentieth century, their success in all walks of life increased in the United States and Britain, as shown in the chapters on these two countries.

(d) Special Aptitudes. Several writers have proposed that Jews possess a number of special aptitudes that have been ingredients of success. High creativity has sometimes been advanced. For instance, the historian Lewis Bernstein Napier (1934, p. xx) attributed German anti-Semitism to the Jewish superiority and the inability of Germans to compete: “the German is methodical, crude, constructive mainly in the mechanical sense, extremely submissive to authority, a rebel or a fighter only by order from above”, whereas “the Jew, of the Oriental or Mediterranean race, is creative, pliable, individualistic, restless and undisciplined”. Napier seems to be groping towards the idea that Jews are more creative than gentiles, but it is difficult to say whether he had any notion that they may be more intelligent. Rutland (1988, p.261) suggests that Jews have strong imagination, a concept akin to creativity: “imagination is another essential ingredient in business success as new products must be conceived, new ways of doing things conjured up, and ways round problems solved. As a result of persecution and discrimination, Jews have always tended to be innovators and have come up with new ideas in science, commerce and industry, as well as in the arts”.

Daniel Moynihan (the United States Senator) and Nathan Glazer (the Harvard sociologist) (1970, p.153) have discussed why Jews have done so well in real estate in New York. They advanced the thesis that Jews have “exceptional skill in financial and business management, derived from a long history in business, that has unquestionably served many Jews well in a field that is incredibly complex and laden with pitfalls” Moynihan and Glazer (1970, p.153). It did not apparently occur to them that this “exceptional skill in financial and business management” could be an expression of high intelligence. They seemed to believe that it is a particular kind of aptitude independent of intelligence and, presumably, transmitted down the generations according to Lamarckian principles of the inheritance of acquired characteristics.

The British historian Paul Johnson (2004, p. 253) has written that “the great Jewish strength lay in the ability to take quick advantage of new opportunities, to recognise an unprecedented situation when it arose and devise methods of handling it. Christians had long learned how to deal with conventional financial problems, but they were slow to react to novelty”. There is of course no special ability “to take quick advantage of new opportunities”. The ability he describes is intelligence.

Why have Jews been so good at chess? Rubinstein (2004) has discussed this and begins by suggesting that “great ability at chess appears to be an innate gift of some kind. There is universal agreement among experts that by constant practice, study, and lessons with outstanding players someone can improve …but that it is impossible to improve dramatically if the inherent ability is lacking – just as it is impossible for a tennis player to improve enough by practice to compete in the finals at Wimbledon unless he or she possesses the innate tennis ability of a great player (2004, p.36). It may be therefore that Jews “are genetically good at chess” (p.39). This is very likely true in so far as Jews have a high level of general intelligence that some of them devote to chess. Good chess players have high intelligence that they have directed into acquiring expertise at the game. An investigation I carried out in collaboration with Marcel Frydman of the University of Mons in Belgium (Frydman and Lynn, 1992) of 33 tournament level young chess players aged 8-13 found that they had an average IQ of 121, showing that a high IQ is required to do well in chess. Aljosha Neubauer (2006) of the University of Graz in Austria has also found that tournament standard chess players have high IQs.

(e) Luck. Godley (2004) asserts that the socio-economic success of Jews who migrated to Britain and the United States between 1880 and 1914 has been largely due to luck. According to this account, Jews were just lucky that they went into the garment industry and that this happened to expand in the middle and later decades of the twentieth century. This is surely the least plausible explanation for Jewish successes. It can hardly be luck that has made Jews in many countries the highest earning ethnic group, greatly over-represented in the professions, among top chess and bridge champions, and among Nobel Prize-winners.

Definition of Intelligence

The nature of intelligence is poorly understood by those who have proposed that Jews have special aptitudes such as “problem solving” (Rutland, 1988, p.261), the ability “to take quick advantage of new opportunities” (Johnson, 2004, p. 253), and “exceptional skill in financial and business management” (Moynihan and Glazer, 1970, p.153). All these aptitudes are expressions of high intelligence directed into particular fields. There is a virtually universal consensus among psychologists that intelligence is best concepualized as a single broad construct that determines the efficiency of problem solving, learning and remembering in all areas. A useful definition of intelligence was provided by a committee set up by the American Psychological Association in 1995 under the chairmanship of Ulrich Neisser and consisting of eleven American psychologists whose mandate was to produce a report on what is generally known and accepted about intelligence. The definition of intelligence proposed by the Task Force was that intelligence is the ability “to understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, to overcome obstacles by taking thought” (Neisser, 1996, p.1). Intelligence is a determinant of success in a huge range of activites: “a century of research has shown that General Mental Ability is predictive of socio-economic achievement, academic achievement, health-related behaviors, social outcomes, occupational status and even death” (Ones, Viswesvaran and Dilchert, 2005, p.431). This ability is precisely the ability that Jews have displayed since their emancipation in the early nineteenth century and which it is the objective of this book to suggest has been largely responsible for Jewish success.

However, achievement is not only determined by general intelligence. There are also different kinds of intelligence, notably in particular verbal and spatial abilities, that contribute to achievement in different fields, and it is a peculiarity of Jews that they tend to be much stronger on verbal than on spatial ability. The consequence of this is that they tend to do particularly well in fields requiring stong verbal abilities such as law. Achievement is also determined by other attributes than intelligence such as strong work motivation and family and ethnic networks, and the question of whether these have also contributed to Jewish success will be discussed in the last chapter.

Chapter 2 • The Four Jewish Peoples • 3,000 Words

In Chapter 1 we considered the intelligence and achievements of the Jews as if these were a single and homogeneous people. In reality, however, there is not one but four Jewish peoples. These are the Mizrahim, the Sephardim, the Ashkenazim, and the Ethiopian Jews.

The Mizrahim

The Mizrahim are the Jews of the Near East, the Middle East and North Africa. They are sometimes known as the Oriental Jews but this term is misleading since many of them come from North Africa. They are also sometimes aggregated with the Jews of Spain and Portugal and collectively called the Sephardim, but this is misleading because of their different history. Many of the Mizrahim are descendents of the Jews of the first diaspora that occurred in the sixth century BC, when a number of them migrated to Babylon, broadly coterminous with the contemporary state of Iraq. In the subsequent diasporas others settled in Yemen, Syria, Iran and elsewhere in the Near East and the Middle East where “over the centuries, they become “Arabized” in their language and habits” (Ma’oz, 2000, p.108). Others settled in Egypt. During the Roman occupation of North Africa some groups of Jews migrated westwards into Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

In the seventh and eighth centuries AD the Arabs conquered the Near East and Middle East and North Africa. Under Arab rule “Jewish life and culture flourished, despite periodic oppression” (Kosmin, Goldberg, Shain and Bruk, 1999, p.5). In Iraq, the Jews occupied a wealthy quarter of the new city of Baghdad which the Abbasid dynasty founded in 762 as their capital. Here “the Jews provided court doctors and officials…In 1170 it was estimated that there were about 40,000 Jews living there in the city. The scholars had the most prestige: “the phrase ‘not of scholarly families being of merchants’ was dismissive… the head of each academy came from one of six families” (Johnson, 2004, pp.176, 181).

In North Africa, “ a centre of Jewish prosperity was Kairouan in Tunisia; in the eighth century an academy was founded there and for the next 250 years it was one of the great centres of Jewish scholarship. Jews supplied the court with doctors, astronomers and officials” (Johnson, 2004, p.177).

In 1516 the Ottomans from their base in Turkey and capital Istanbul gained control of most of the Near and Middle East, including present day Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine. In the seventeenth century the Ottomans extended their empire to include Georgia, Armenia, Iraq, Syria, the whole of North Africa, and the southern part of the Balkans. Many towns and cities in the Ottoman empire had Jewish populations, those with the greatest numbers of Jews being Baghdad and Jerusalem.

The Ottomans ruled these territories until the early twentieth century. In the early nineteenth century there were about 80,000 Jews in the Ottoman Empire in the Near East and North Africa. By 1900 there were about 400,000 Jews in the Near East and North Africa. The greatest number of Jews were in Baghdad, where there were about 52,000 (Montgomery, 1902). In 1907 there were 38,635 Jews in Egypt recorded in the census and it was found that a much higher percentage of Jews than of Muslims were literate (44 per cent as compared with 4 per cent) (Landau, 2000).

The Ottomans provided a generally benign environment for Jews and other non-Muslims in their African and Asian territories, as well as in their European dominions in the Balkans: “the Ottoman Levant did not see much anti-Semitism” (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.159); and in the nineteenth century “a noticeable number of Jews held senior positions in commerce and finance as merchants, bankers, and treasury officials; Jews periodically served as physicians, interpreters, and advisers in the courts of sultans and provincial governors. In addition to good economic conditions, for centuries Jews enjoyed a considerable degree of communal autonomy in matters of religious worship, and managing educationaland welfare institutions. By and large, there was nointensehostility between Muslims and Jews”. However, “they were occasionally subject to oppression extortion, and violence by both local authorities and segments of the Muslim population” (Ma’oz, 2000, pp.108-9, 114).

The Sephardim

The Sephardim are the descendants of the Jews who lived for many centuries in Spain and Portugal. Jews settled in Spain in the first three centuries AD, when it was part of the Roman Empire. After the fall of Rome, Spain was occupied by the Visigoths “under whose rule systematic anti-Semitism was pursued; throughout the seventh century Jews were flogged, executed, had their property confiscated, were subject to ruinous taxes, forbidden to trade and, at times, dragged to the baptismal font” (Johnson, 2004, p.177). The Arabs invaded Spain in 711 and rapidly conquered the whole country. Arab rule lasted for 783 years until 1492. For the first 300 or so years the Arabs “treated the Jews with extraordinary favor and tolerance; Jews were craftsmen, traders and doctors; the capital city of Cordoba became the leading centre of Jewish culture in the world” (Johnson, 2004, p.177). “The Jewish elite in Spain were tax farmers over the centuries” (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.37). However, in 1013 “the primitive Berber Moslems took Cordoba; prominent Jews were assassinated and at Grenada there was a massacre of Jews” (Johnson, 2004, p.177). During the next four centuries the Jews were persecuted and a number of them fled into France or to North Africa. The most famous of the Jewish scholars in Spain in the early medieval period was Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) who was born and grew up in Cordoba but moved to escape persecution to Fostat (Cairo) in Egypt, where he was physician to Saladin, the sultan of Egypt and Syria. His chief philosophical work Guide to the Perplexed was addressed to those who had lost their faith and attempted to reconcile the work of Aristotle with Jewish theology.

In the fifteenth century there were about 250,000 Jews in Spain of a total population of about 4 million. At the end of the century, in 1492, the Spanish drove the Arabs out of Spain and expelled the Jews, unless they converted to Christianity, and about 165,000 chose to leave. The Jews were also expelled from Portugal in 1496. Most of those who left went to the Balkans and others went to a variety of places in the Levant (the lands of the eastern Mediterranean, including present day Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt), notably in Izmir in present day Turkey, and in Jerusalem, Damascus, Alexandria, Cairo and Tangier. Others went to the Netherlandsand Italy. Their descendants in the mid-twentieth century numbered about 2 million and were widely dispersed throughout the world. Most of those in the Balkans were killed by the Germans during World War Two. The majority of those who escaped moved to Israel.

The Ashkenazim

The Ashkenazim are largely the descendants of the Jews who migrated into central and northern Europe – the word Ashkenazi means German in Yiddish, the language they spoke. Between 300 and 600 AD Jews are known to have lived in Cologne and in several towns in what is now France, from which they were expelled by King Dagobert of the Franks in 629 AD. When these first Ashkenazi communities came under the rule of Charlemagne about the year 800, he gave freedoms to the the Jews in his lands that stretched from western Germany through France to northeast Spain and these favorable conditions stimulated more Jewish migration from southern Europe. This period also saw Jewish merchants taking up the occupation of money-lending when Church legislation banned Christians from the practice of “usury“, defined as lending money in exchange for interest, making the Jewish presence a necessary part of the economy.

By the early 900s, Jewish populations were well-established in Northern Europe. Some of them settled in England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the period between 1290 and 1500 Jews were extensively persecuted and expelled from Western and Central Europe. They were expelled from England (1290), France (1394), and parts of Germany (1400s). Most of them migrated eastwards into present day Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Russia.

A number of Jews from southeast Europe settled in southern Russia in the eighth century following their expulsion from Constantinople by the Byzantine ruler, Leo III. Many of these found a home in the kingdom of Khazaria in southern Russia. Around 740 A.D. the ruler of Khazaria, Bulan, and many of his people converted to Judaism. The Khazars were originally a non-Semitic people from central Asia who migrated into Russia about the first century. As a result of these conversions, a number of non-Semitic genes entered the gene pool of the Ashkenazim in Russia.
The Ashkenazim mainly remained in Russia there until 1881-1914, when there were pogroms against them in the Russian empire and many left for central and western Europe and the United States. There was a further exodus from central and eastern Europe between 1918 and 1939 when the Jews experienced further persecution. They migrated principally to the United States and also to Britain, Canada, France, Australia, South Africa, South America and Palestinel. In the second half of the twentieth century around 95 per cent of Jews in the world outside Israel were Ashkenazi (Rubinstein, 1985).

The Ethiopian Jews

The fourth group of Jews are the Falashas, who are also known as the Black or Ethiopian Jews.They believe they are descended from Ham, one of Noah’s sons. As they are black, this is improbable and in fact they are Ethiopians who converted to Judaism at some uncertain time many centuries ago. Genetic studies have shown that they are closer genetically to sub-Saharan Africans including South African Bantu, San Bushmen and Senegalese than to Ashkenazi, and Asian Jews (Kobyliansky, Micle, Goldschmidt and Arensburg and Nathan, 1982; Zoossmann-Diskin, Ticher, Hakim, Goldwitch, Rubinstein and Bonnie-Tamir, 1991). In the 1970s there was discussion among the rabbis in Israel as to whether they should be recognized as Jews. It was decided that they should be and in 1973 the Chief Rabbi decided that they should be accepted. The Israeli government accepted this decision, as a result of which they were allowed to migrate to Israel. From 1977 onwards many thousands of them took advantage of this concession. By 1998 virtually all of them had left Ethiopia and taken up residence in Israel. They numbered about 80,000, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, and were approximately 1.4 per cent of the population.

In addition to these four principal Jewish groups, there is a small population of Jews in India. There were about 26,000 of these Indian Jews in the late 1940s, mainly living in and around Bombay. Some of these were “genetic Jews” who had migrated to India at various times and for various reasons and others of whom were converts. About 10,000 of these migrated to Israel after the state was established in 1948.

Genetic Differentiation after the Diaspora

The Ashkenazim, the Sephardim, and the Mizrahim have some genetic affinity, as a result of their common origin in Palestine. The Ethiopian Jews are not related genetically to these three populations of “genetic Jews”. These three populations of Jews have affinity derived from their common origin. The first evidence for the genetic relatedness of the Ashkenazim, the Sephardim, and the Mizrahim was published by Sacks and Bat-Miriam (1957). They examined fingerprints and devised a method for quantifying the number of whorls. They then measured the number of whorls in eight samples of Jews in Israel who had come from different countries (Bulgaria, Turkey, Germany, Morocco, Egypt, Yemen, Poland and Iraq), and compared these with four samples of non-Jewish Arabs, and with six samples of European gentiles. The study showed that the whorl count of the Jews from the eight geographically disparate locations was similar and different from those of the Arabs and European gentiles. Jews in the United States also have the same numbers of whorls. The authors concluded that “even Jews living in Europe and North America show clear evidence of their original Eastern Mediterranean gene pool” (p.125).

These results have been confirmed and extended by Hammer et al. (2000) in a study in which they examined the genetic profiles of 1,371 men from seven Jewish populations (Ashkenazi, Roman, North African, Kurdish, Near Eastern, Yemenite, and Ethiopian) and sixteen non-Jewish populations (Russians, Poles, Greeks, Turks, Italians, Germans, Austrians, Egyptians, Tunisians, Palestinian Arabs, Syrians, Lebanese, Moroccans, Kurds, and the Lemba – a tribe of blacks in South Africa). They found that all the Jewish samples (except for the Ethiopian Jews) showed a degree of genetic similarity that differentiated them from non-Jews, and that all the Jewish samples (except the Ethiopian Jews) had a genetic similarity with Palestinian Arabs, Syrians, and Lebanese. This showed that the Jews are a Semitic people who have evolved their own genetic identity that differentiates them from other Semitic peoples.

While the three populations of Jews have some genetic affinity derived from their common origin, they have also become genetically differentiated. It was inevitable that this would happen because it is a law of evolutionary biology that when populations become isolated from one another they grow apart genetically. There are two principal reasons for this. First, populations adapt to their local environments. For instance, the incidence of G6PD deficiency is 58.2 per cent among Jews in Iraq but only 0.4 per cent among Ashkenazi Jews in Northern Europe and the United States (Szeinberg, 1963). The deficiency provides some protection against malaria, which is why it has become so common among Jews in Iraq, where malaria is prevalent, but has not spread amongst Ashkenazim Jews because malaria is absent in northern and central Europe. Second, genetic mutations occur in some populations but not in others; for instance, the recessive gene for Tay-Sacks disease is present in approximately 1.8 per cent of Ashkenazi Jews but in only about 0.2 per cent of Mizrahim Jews (Bodmer and Cavalli-Sforza, 1976, p.629). This gene appeared as a mutation in Ashkenazi Jews and has spread among them but has not appeared to anything like the same extent in other Jews. Two further factors have led to genetic differentiation between the three Jewish peoples. The first of these consists of some interbreeding over the centuries between Jews and their gentile host communities. Some of the offspring of these Jewish-gentile unions have been absorbed into Jewish communities. The second is that some gentiles have converted to Judaism, sometimes as individuals and occasionally as groups. The largest of these group conversions occurred in the eighth century with the conversion of the Khazars, a fair-haired and blue-eyed people that inhabited a region on the Black Sea. The result of these two processes has been that each of the three Jewish peoples has developed some genetic similarities with the gentile populations among whom they have lived. Thus, while virtually all the Sephardim and the Mizrahim have dark eyes and hair, and the hair is almost always straight, significant numbers of Ashkenazim have blue eyes and fair and wavy hair. Fisberg (1902) summarized a dozen studies of a total of 75,377 Ashkenazi Jews in Germany carried out at the end of the nineteenth century and found that approximately 47 per cent had the dark hair and dark eyes of the original south west Asian stock, 42 per cent had mixed hair and eye color (fair hair with dark eyes or dark hair with blue eyes), while 11 per cent had fair hair and blue eyes. Thus, 53 per cent of German Jews had some north European ancestry.

The genetic differentiation of the three Jewish peoples has been further demonstrated by Hammer et al. (2000) in their study of the genetic profiles of 1,371 men from seven Jewish populations (Ashkenazi, Roman, North African, Kurdish, Near Eastern, Yemenite, and Ethiopian) and sixteen non-Jewish populations. They found that (1) Ashkenazi Jews had some genetic affinity with European peoples including Germans, Austrians, Russians, Greeks, and Spaniards; this shows that there was some interbreeding and genetic admixture of Ashkenazi Jews with various non-Jewish European populations; (2) Mizrahim had some genetic affinity with non-Jewish Tunisians and Egyptians, again showing that there was interbreeding and some genetic admixture of the Mizrahim with non-Jewish North African populations among whom they lived; (3) the South African Lemba also had some genetic affinity with the Jews, presumably because many centuries ago some Jewish merchants traded with them and interbred with some Lemba women.

DNA research has shown that the Y chromosome of both Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews are of Middle Eastern origin, similar to Lebanese and Syrian DNA types. The Y chromosome is only passed from father to son and can be used to trace Jewish male origins. Another study of Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA, which can only be passed from mother to child, allows the tracking of maternal origins and showed that the mtDNA generally matched that of local European populations and not Middle Eastern populations (Hammer et al., 2000). These studies indicate that male Jewish traders moved from the Middle Eastern into European communities and intermarried with local females in those regions.

The Y-chromosome study showed that male gene flow into the Jewish community from female European gentiles was low at about 0.5% per generation. However, over some forty generations this small amount of gene flow would have an appreciable effect.

The four Jewish peoples, each with their distinctive genetic profiles, differ considerably in their intelligence and achievements. In subsequent chapters this is documented for all the countries in which there are significant Jewish populations. We shall see that it is only the Ashkenazim that have the exceptional intelligence, which is estimated at 110 (all these IQs are calculated in relation to 100 for Britain and other countries of northwest Europe, which has become known as the “Greenwich standard” analagous to longitude which is measured in degrees distant from Greenwich). The IQ of the Sephardim is considered in Chapter 17 on the Balkans and is estimated at 99, about the same as the average of Europeans. The IQ of the Mizrahim is considered in Chapter 11 on Israel and is estimated at 93, about 10 IQ points higher than that of other peoples of the Near and Middle East. The IQ of the Ethiopian Jews is also considered in Chapter 11 and is estimated at 66, virtually exactly the same as that of other peoples of sub-Saharan Africa. Chapter 19 considers theories to explain the differences in intelligence between the four Jewish peoples and between these and gentiles. Chapter 20 considers the general implications of the study of Jewish intelligence and achievements, and the future of the Jewish peoples.

Chapter 3 • Australia • 1,800 Words

Small numbers of Jews were transported to Australia as convicts from Britain between 1788 and 1852. Others migrated voluntarily in the early nineteenth century. Even at this early date “Australian Jews played a more dominant role in commercial life than their numbers would suggest” (Rutland, 1988, p.121). In New South Wales, the most prominent Jewish business was run by the Cohen family. The business was started by Samuel Cohen who set up a shop in 1836 in West Maitland. His son George Cohen moved the business to Sydney where he became one of the leading businessmen. George’s son Sir Samuel Cohen was a director of numerous companies and was knighted in 1937 in recognition of his public work. Sir Samuel’s son Paul changed his surname to Cullen, entered the army and rose to the rank of Major-General. Other prominent Jews in Sydney were Sir Adolph Basser who established a leading jewellerybusiness and founded BaserCollege at the University of New South Wales, and Abram Coppleson who founded the Coppleson Institute for medical research at the University of Sydney.

Jews emigrated in the 1850s to participate in the development of the gold fields at Ballarat and Bendigo, and also in the mining of other metals such as copper, silver, and lead, and of coal. Few Jews worked as miners. They worked more as provisioners for the miners, setting up hotels and shops and supplying the mines with food, clothing, sieves and pick-axes. A population survey of the state of Victoria in 1881 found that fewer than 10 per cent of Jews were unskilled laborers, while nearly all the rest were skilled workers, salesmen, store keepers, hotel owners, bakers and caterers. Jews had a higher socio-economic profile than gentiles (Rutland, 1988, pp.53-4).

In Melbourne, the Michaelis family ran one of the most prominent Jewish businesses. Moritz Michaelis arrived in Australia in 1853 and set up an import business. When he died in 1902 he was one of the hundred richest men in Victoria. Another was the Myers family. Sidney Baevski Myer arrived in Australia in 1897, established the Myer Emporium “which has been ranked with the famous international stores such as Macy’s in New York and Selfridges in London” (Rutland, 1988, p.124). Other prominent Jews were Sir Isaac Isaacs (b.1855) whose father arrived from Poland in 1854, and who was Chief Justice of Australia and Governor-General (1931-36); Sir Zelman Cowen, whose grandparents fled from Russian in the 1880s to escape the pogroms. His paternal grandfather went to Britain, from which his father emigrated toAustralia, while his maternal grandfather went to the Australian goldmining town of Ballarat. Zelman Cowen (b.1919) studied law at the University of Melbourne, where he became professor of law; he later became vice-chancellor of the University of Queensland (1970-77), and then Governor-General of Australia. Yet another eminent Jew was Lieutenant General Sir John Monash, whose father arrived from Poland in 1853. John was Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Army Corps on the western front during World War One. In 1923 he was appointed vice-chancellor of the University of Melbourne. In 1958 MonashUniversity in Melbourne was named after him. The most internationally famous of the Melbourne Jewish community was Helena Rubinstein, who migrated to Australia from Cracow in 1891. She observed that women’s complexions suffered in the Australian climate and opened a shop to sell face cream to afford some protection against the strong Australian sun. From this modest beginning she built her world-wide cosmetics business that survives to this day.

As early as 1895 there were 11 Jews in the Victorian parliament, representing 5.5 per cent of the total, while Jews were 0.5 per cent of the population (Rutland, 2005, p.43).

Numbers of Jews

The approximate numbers of Jews in Australia and their percentages of the population for various dates from 1851 to 2001 are given in Table 3.1. The increase of about 36,000 in the numbers from 1933 to 1961 was partly due to the immigration of about 8,000 Jews from Austria, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania and Poland seeking to escape anti-Semitism and persecution. The numbers were quite small because Australia had a quota of 1,800 Jews a year, which was raised to 5,000 a year in 1938. About another 23,000 or so Jews entered after World War Two up to 1960 as survivors of the Holocaust, including a few thousand from Egypt and other countries in the Near East from which they were expelled following the Arab-Israel conflict. A further 36,000 came between 1961 and 2001, a number of them from South Africa and Israel. Most of the Austrian, German, and Hungarian Jews settled in Sydney, while most of the Polish Jews settled in Melbourne (Rutland, 1988). In the 1980s about 10,000 Jews migrated to Australia from South Africa. Despite the increase in the numbers of Jews, the gentile population increased at about the same rate with the result that the percentage of Jews in the population has remained fairly stable from 1851 to 2001 at between 0.36 and 0.56 percent.

Table 3.1 Numbers and percentages of Jews in Australia
YearN. Jews% populationYearN. Jews% population
18511,7780.53196159,3430.56
193323,5530.36200198,0000.50
Educational Achievement

Jews in Australia have had higher levels of education that gentiles. Some statistics for the educational achievement of Jews in Australia are given in Table 3.2. Row 1 shows that already by 1921 Jews were more than five times over-represented as students in Australian universities, as compared with gentiles. Row 2 shows that by 1933, this had increased to 5.8 times over-represented. Rows 3 through 5 show the percentages of Jews and gentiles that passed the high school matriculation examinations and who were university graduates in New South Wales, recorded in the 1966 and 1976 censuses in New South Wales and in Victoria. It will be seen that Jews were greatly over-represented and obtained Achievement Quotients of 3.4 and 5.3, respectively, in 1966, and of 3.9 in Victoria in 1976.

Table 3.2 Educational Achievement of Jews and gentiles (percentages)
YearEducationStateJewsGentilesAQ
1921College studentsAustralia3.740.715.2
1933College studentsAustralia4.260.735.8
1966MatriculationN.S.Wales33.09.43.5
1966GraduatesN.S.Wales5.81.15.3
1976GraduatesVictoria10.22.63.9
2001GraduatesMelbourne34.0
Sources: rows 1-2: Elazar & Redding, 1983, p.280; rows 3-5: Rubinstein, 1986, p.122); row 6: Rutland, 2004
Socio-economic Status

Jews had achieved higher socio-economic status than gentiles by 1947, when a survey found that 53 per cent of Jews were in white collar occupations compared with 25 per cent of gentiles (Elazar & Redding, 1983, p.280). In 1986 the Australian magazine Business Review Weekly published a “Rich List” of the 200 Australians who possessed more than $100 million and found that 50 of these were Jewish business people, mostly immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe (Rutland, 1988, p.200). Jews were about 0.5 per cent of the population, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 50.

The percentages of Jews and gentiles in professional and administrative occupations, and in sales, in New South Wales recorded in the 1966 census are shown in Table 3.3. It will be seen that for both men and women Jews were greatly over-represented and obtained Achievement Quotients of 3.2 and 6.4, respectively. Jews were also over-represented as salesmen and saleswomen. Jews were correspondingly

under-represented in blue collar occupations. Rubinstein (1982) gives figures from the 1971 census for the whole of Australia showing that for all working men 46.1 were in professional and managerial occupations, closely similar to the 49.8 per cent in New South Wales in 1966; in the 1971 census 21.2 per cent of working Jewish men were in small business and clerical occupations, and 6.7 per cent were in semi-skilled and unskilled occupations. He does not give the corresponding figures for gentiles. The last row of Table 3.3 shows results from the 2001 census for Melbourne given by Rutland (2005) and shows that Jews were over-represented by a factor of two.

Table 3.3 Occupational distribution of Jews and Gentiles 1966-2001 (percentages)
YearOccupationSexJewsGentilesAQ
1966Prof/ManagM49.815.43.2
1966Prof/ManagW15.92.56.4
1966SalesM/W14.85.83.9
1971Prof/ManagM46.1--
2001ProfessionalM/W37.919.22.0

An analysis of the numbers and percentage of Jews among the elite defined as the 370 leading Australians was carried out by Higley, Deacon and Smart (1979). Their results are summarized in Table 3.4. We see that Jews were considerably over-represented in politics and the media, and among business leaders, and massively over-represented among senior civil servants and leading academics with Achievement Quotients of 21.4 and 26.8, respectively.

Table 3.4 Percentages of Jews in the elite
Field% JewsAQ
Politics & media3.56.2
Business6.010.7
Civil servants12.021.4
Academics15.026.8
Earnings

Jews in Australia have higher average earnings than gentiles. Statistics for the earnings of Jews and gentiles in Victoria in 1976 and 1981 taken from the Federal census have been given by Rubinstein (1986, p.122) and are given in Table 3.5.For 1976he gives thepercentages of men with annual earnings of $18,000 and above as 30.5 for Jews and 9.5 for gentiles. Among low earners, there were fewer Jews than gentiles. Only 17.8 per cent of Jewish men had annual earnings of under $ 7,000, as compared with 28.5 per cent of gentiles. In 1981 thepercentages of men with annual earnings of $26,000 and above were 25 per cent for Jews and 11 per cent for gentiles.

Table 3.5 Annual Earnings of Jews and Gentiles in Victoria (percentages)
YearAnnual EarningsJewsGentiles
1976$ 18,000+30.59.5
1976Under $ 7,00017.828.5
1981$ 26,000+25.011.0
Intermarriage

A number of Jews in Australia have assimilated with gentiles. The rates of intermarriage between Jews and gentiles recorded in the censuses of 1921, 1961 and 1971 are shown in Table 3.6, together with figures for 1991 for Melbourne (Rutland, 2005). In 1921 the rates of exogamy were quite high at 28 per cent for Jewish men and 15 per cent for Jewish women. The exogamy rates declined in the second half of the twentieth century. This was due to the greater numbers of Jews in Australia in the second half of the twentieth century and hence the greater availability of Jewish marriage partners. The greater percentages of Jewish men marrying gentiles than of Jewish women has been found in a number of other countries and implies that a higher proportion of Jewish women remain unmarried.

Table 3.6 Percentages of Jews marrying gentiles
YearMenWomen
19212815
1961104
1971106
1991116
Conclusions

The Jews have been remarkably successful in Australia. They have been over-represented in the universities, the professions and in business, and have even made a mark in chess, where the Jewish Hungarian born Lajos Steiner won the New South Wales chess championship for five consecutive years, 1941-45, and later became the all-Australia chess champion. How can the Jewish successes be explained? Suzanne Rutland (1988, p.259-261), who has written the standard text on Jews in Australia, believes there are five reasons for Jewish success. First, many of them had “entrepreneurial flair and business acumen”. Second, they “were highly motivated to create a new and more secure life for themselves”. Third, they had “the willingness to work hard – often seven days a week and sixteen hours a day – usually with the assistance of their wives”. Fourth, they had imagination: “imagination is another essential ingredient in business success as new products must be conceived, new ways of doing things conjured up, and ways round problems solved. As a result of persecution and discrimination, Jews have always tended to be innovators and have come up with new ideas in science, commerce and industry, as well as in the arts”. Fifth, “self-help was also an important factor in Jewish business success” (p.264). She does not mention intelligence as a possible factor in the success of the Jews. There is no direct evidence on the intelligence of the Jews in Australia, but studies in Britain, Canada, and the United States have shown that it is higher than that of gentiles at an IQ of approximately 110. The Jews of Australia are the same Ashkenazic stock, most likely have about the same IQ, and this has almost certainly been a significant factor in their success.

Chapter 4 • Austria-Hungary • 3,400 Words

In this chapter we consider the position of Jews in central Europe that comprised the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1815 to 1918 and included not only present day Austria and Hungary but also the present day CzechRepublic and Slovakia. In 1867 Hungary became an autonomous region of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and included Slovakia. In 1918 the Austro-Hungarian Empire was split up, Austria and Hungary became independent states, and the northern provinces of both were hived off to form the independent state of Czechoslovakia.

Jews settled in this region of central Europe from at least 800 AD. From time to time they were persecuted and expelled. In 1298 it is estimated that approximately 100,000 Jews were killed Austria. The Jews were expelled from Hungary in 1360
and from Austria in 1420 (Barnaav, 1998). Despite these tribulations, Jews flourished in this region. It was estimated in The American Jewish Yearbook of 1918 that in 1900 the number of Jews in Austro-Hungarian Empire was 2,258,000 out of a total population of 51,100,000, and Jews therefore comprised 4.4 per cent of the population.

Murray (2003, p. 280) has calculated the numbers of Jewish and gentile “significant figures” (i.e. great names in science and the arts) in the Austro-Hungarian Empire who had most of their careers between 1870 and 1950. He finds 21 Jews and 50 gentiles. Calculating the ratio of Jewish to gentile “significant figures” he concludes that Jews were over-represented by a factor of 7.1.

Austria

The number of Jews in Austria during the nineteenth century and up to 1940 was approximately 233,000 and comprised approximately 3.5 per cent of the population. About 90 per cent of these (approximately 209,000) were killed in the Holocaust. Of the 32,000 or so that survived, many emigrated to Israel, leaving approximately 9,000 (0.1 per cent of the population) in 2002.

Jews were emancipated and given full civil rights in Austria in 1867. From this time up to the end of World War One Jews in Austria became prominent in the professions, in intellectual life, banks, commerce and industry. Several of the most famous Austrians of this period were Jews, including the philosophers Karl Popper (1902-90) and Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), whose family had a large engineering business; the psychoanalysts Anna Freud (1895-1982), daughter of Sigmund Freud, and Alfred Adler (1870-1937), Freud’s sometime colleague but later apostate; the novelist Stefan Zweig (1881-1942); and the Rothschilds whose Creditanstalt was one of the largest banks in the country.

Within a couple of decades following emancipation, Jews became greatly over-represented among university students, in the professions and in business in Austria. Statistics showing this for the years 1873-1918 are given in Table 4.1. Row 1 shows that in the 1880s Jews (who were approximately 3.5 per cent of the population) were 17 per cent of all university students in the country, giving them an over-representation Achievement Quotient of 4.9 (Achievement Quotients (AQ) of Jews are given throughout this book as a measure of Jewish achievement in relation to that of gentiles. The Achievement Quotient is calculated by dividing the percentage of Jews in a profession by their percentage in the population. Thus, an Achievement Quotient 1.0 would indicate that the percentage of Jews in a profession is precisely the same as their percentage in the population. An Achievement Quotient of 2.0 would indicate that the percentage of Jews in a profession is twice as great as their percentage in the population).

Row 2 of Table 4.1 shows that in the 1880s Jews were 50 per cent of the students at the University of Vienna, where they comprised approximately 10 per cent of the population, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 5.0. Row 3 shows that in the period 1873-1910 40 per cent of graduates of the Gymnasium (elite high schools) were Jews. Row 4 shows that Jews were 40 per cent of directors of the public banks and row 5 shows that 70 per cent of the members of the Vienna stock exchange council (the Borsenrath) were Jews. Rows 6 through 9 show that Jews were over-represented in the professions of law, medicine, and journalism, and among the Faculty at the University of Vienna. Row 10 shows that in 1917 Jews comprised 50 per cent of the directors of industrial companies who held more than seven simultaneous directorships.

Table 4.1 Jews in Austria 1870-1918
YearsOccupationPercent JewsAQ
11880sUniversity Students174.9
21880sVienna Students505.0
31873-1910Gymnasium Students4011.4
41873-1910Bank Directors4011.4
51873-1910Stock Exchange7020.0
61873-1910Lawyers6217.7
71873-1910Doctors5014.3
81873-1910University Faculty257.1
91873-1910Journalists5716.3
101917Company Directors5014.3
Source: Slezkine (2004)

Jews continued to do well in Austria in the years between the two World Wars.

Statistics showing the over-representation of Jews in the professions and business in Austria for the years 1918-1939 are given in Table 4.2. Jews (who were still approximately 3.5 per cent of the population) had achievement quotients (indices of over-representation calculated by dividing the percentage of Jews in an occupation by their percentage in the population) among university professors, jewellers, chemists, booksellers, shoe manufacturers, and hat manufacturers.

Table 4.2 Jews in Austria 1918-1929
OccupationPercent JewsAQ
1Professors23.76.8
2Jewellers55.615.9
3Chemists26.07.4
4Booksellers71.520.4
5Shoe Manufacturers35.010.0
6Hat Manufacturers45.012.9
Source: Fraenkel (1967)
Austrian Nobel Prize-winners and Chess Grandmasters

The peak of intellectual achievement is by common consent the award of the Nobel Prize for Physics, Chemistry, Medicine and Economics. Austrian Nobel Prize-winners are listed in Table 4.3. (Nobel Prize-winners throughout this book have been compiled from the Prize web site and cross referenced for Jews with the Israel Science and Technology Database, http://www.science.co.il/Nobel.asp ). Of the total of 16 Nobel Laureates, 8 have been Jews. Thus, Jews comprising about 1.8 per cent of the population over the twentieth century have won 50 per cent of the Nobel Prizes, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 28.

Table 4.3 Nobel Prize-winners (Jews are asterisked)
YearNameSubjectYearNameSubject
1914Robert Bárány *Medicine1945Wolfgang Pauli*Physics
1923Fritz PreglChemistry1962Max F. Perutz*Chemistry
1927Julius Wagner-JaureggMedicine1973Konrad LorenzMedicine
1930Karl Landsteiner*Medicine1973Karl von FrischMedicine
1933Erwin SchrödingerPhysics1974Friedrich von Hayek*Economics
1936Otto Loewi*Medicine1998Walter Kohn*Chemistry
1936Victor F. HessPhysics2000Eric R. Kandel*Medicine
1938Richard KuhnChemistry2004Elfriede JelinekLiterature

Austrian chess grandmasters are given in Table 4.4. These are taken from the list of the 141 top-rated chess grandmasters for the years 1851 to 2000 (the title of grandmaster was first introduced in 1851) compiled by Rubinstein (2004). Between the years 1851 and 1939 there were 4 Jews and 4 gentiles among top-rated grandmasters (Rubinstein, 2004). From 1940-2000 there was only one top-rated grandmaster (Portisch) who was a gentile.

Table 4.4 Jewish and gentile top-rated chess grandmasters
YearJewsGentiles
1851-1939EnglischHamppe
SpielmannMaroczy
KosticSchlecter
ChajesDuras
1940-2000-Portisch
Czechoslovakia

The most famous Jews from Czechoslovakia were Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), who was born in the present day Czech Republic but studied medicine at the University of Vienna and conducted his medical practice in the city; Franz Kafka (1883-1924), who was born in Prague and is best remembered for his novels The Trial and The Castle; and the British publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell (born Ludvik Hoch).

From the emancipation of the Jews in 1867 up to 1940 Jews were approximately 2.4 per cent of the population of Czechoslovakia. In the census of 1930, there were 354,342 Jews recorded in Czechoslovakia, representing 2.42 per cent of the population. Most of the Jews were in the eastern provinces of Slovakia and Subcarpathian Rus, where they were 8.4 per cent of the population. In the western provinces of Bohemia and Moravia, they were only 1.1 per cent of the population. According to Mendelsohn, (1983, p.152) “the Jews did not, on the whole, suffer discrimination in the state bureaucracy or the universities, unlike the case almost anywhere else in East Central Europe”. Jews assimilated well in Bohemia, where 32 per cent of Jewish men married gentile women in 1931, and only slightly fewer Jewish women married gentile men.

Jews did well in Czechoslovakia after the emancipation. In the 1880s Jews were 15 per cent of university students in Czechoslovakia and were over-represented by a factor of 5.6 in relation to their proportion in the population (Slezkine, 2004) In 1935-6, 11.9 per cent of the university students were Jewish, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 4.9. While in Slovakia “Jewish professionals, especially doctors and lawyers, constituted an inordinately high proportion; in the late 1930s, 40 per cent of doctors in Slovakia were Jews” (Mendelsohn, 1983, p.145). This gives them an Achievement Quotient of 4.8.

There have been three Czech Nobel Prize-winners: Carl Cori and Gerty Cori, who were jointly awarded the Prize for Medicine in 1947, and Jaroslav Seifert, who was awarded the Prize for Literature in 1984. Carl Cori was Jewish, so Jews with about 2.4 per cent of the population in the first half of the twentieth century won two thirds of the Nobel Prizes. The Czechs have produced three of the top-rated grandmasters: Steinitz, Flohr and Duras. All three were Jewish.

In World War Two about 90 per cent of Jews in Czechoslovakia perished in the death camps. In 2002 there were an estimated 2,800 Jews in the CzechRepublic and 3,300 Jews in Slovakia, comprising 0.02 and 0.06 per cent of the populations, respectively.

Hungary

The approximate numbers of Jews in Hungary and their percentages of the population are given in Table 4.5. Jews were approximately 5 per cent of the population of Hungary during the nineteenth century and up to 1910. In 1920 the percentages of Jews in the population was a little higher at 5.9. In the 1920s, the numbers of Jews and their percentages of the population declined because Jews had lower fertility than gentiles, and there were also some conversions and emigration. The fall from 444, 567 in 1930 to 170,000 in 1949 was a result of the Nazi exterminations in World War Two. The further falls to 75,000 in 1985 and 52,000 in 2000 were largely due to emigration, principally to Israel, and to low fertility (Johnson, 2004, p. 563).

Table 4.5 Numbers and percentages of Jews in Hungary
YearN. Jews% populationYearN. Jews% population
1800-1910-5.01949170,0001.9
1920473,3555.9198575,0000.75
1930444,5675.1200052,0000.5

The Jews prospered in Hungary after their emancipation in 1867. According to a leading historian of the Austro-Hungarian Empire: “the capitalist development of modern Hungary has been almost entirely of the Jews’ making (Macartney, 1969, p.710). Another historian of the Austro-Hungarian Empire has written that: “it was a paradise for the Jews; by the late nineteenth century a small but potent Jewish oligarchy, mostly ennobled and partly converted to Christianity, held overriding economic power”, so much so that “Budapest was sometimes called Judapest; by the end of the nineteenth century many of them had become solidly middle class”. Furthermore, “the Jewish impact on Hungary was not limited to economic activity. The children of Jewish bankers, industrialists, and businessmen, here as elsewhere in Europe, flocked to the universities and became doctors, lawyers, editors, journalists, scholars, musicians, and, perhaps most notably, scientists; in the immediate pre-war period, Jews constituted some fifty per cent of the students in the University of Budapest medical faculty” (Mendelsohn, 1983, pp.89, 92, 94). “How are we to explain the unprecedented Jewish penetration of Hungarian economic and cultural life in the prewar period?” asks this same historian. To this question he gives the cogent answer that “the fact is that the general environment was unusually favorable to Jews” (p.93).

Perhaps the most internationally famous of the Jews in Hungary in this period were the composer Franz Lehar (1870-1948), best known for his operetta The Merry Widow, first performed in 1905; the escapologist Harry Houdini (1874-1926), who was born Ehrich Weisz; and the writer and novelist Arthur Koestler (1905-83).Hardly less well known in his day was David Gestetner who invented the stencil duplicating process and whose copiers – Gestetners – were an essential item of equipment of offices throughout the world until they were replaced by photocopiers in the 1970s.

Some statistics showing how well Jews were doing in the second half of the nineteenth century up to World War One are given in Table 4.6. Row 1 shows that in 1857 12.5 per cent of wealthy landowners defined as those in the class of the highest taxpayers were Jewish (305 out of 2,450). Row 2 shows that in 1887 62.3 per cent of wealthy businessmen defined as those in the class of the highest taxpayers were Jewish (362 out of 588). Row 3 shows that in the 1880-1900 Jews were 25 per cent of all university students in the country which, considering that they were approximately 5 per cent of the population, gives them an Achievement Quotient of 5.0. Row 4 shows that in the same period Jews were 43 per cent of students at the elite Budapest Technological University, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 8.6. Rows 5 through 8 show that in 1900 Jews were massively over-represented among doctors, lawyers, and journalists, and among writers and artists.

Table 4.6 Jews in Hungary, 1857-1900 (percentages)
YearOccupation% JewsAQ
11857Landowners12.52.4
21887Businesses62.312.2
31880-1900University Students255.0
41880-1900Budapest Students438.6
51900Doctors499.8
61900Lawyers459.0
71900Journalists428.4
81900Writers and artists265.2
Sources: rows 1-4: Slezkine (2004); rows 5-8: Encylopedia Judaica.

In 1918 Hungary became an independent country. In 1919 a communist government gained power, headed by Bela Kun who was Jewish, and twenty of the twenty-six ministers in the government were also Jewish. This gave Jews a bad name among much of the population who disliked being ruled by communist Jews. The fires of anti-Semitism were fuelled and there were a number of pogroms against Jews in which Jews were murdered in some fifty cities throughout the country.

Jews continued to well in Hungary in the years between the two world wars: “Hungarian Jewry was basically distributed among the middle class, ranging from the haute to the lower bourgeoisie. At its apex were the giants of finance and industry. At the bottom were the artisans and small merchants of the little towns. There was no Jewish factory proletariat” (Mendelsohn, 1983, p.100) and only 4.2 Jews worked in agriculture as compared with 59.7 gentiles, who were largely peasants (Slezkine, 2004). During this period 5.0 per cent of Jews were university graduates, comapered with 1.7 per cent of Protestants, 1.3 per cent of Catholics, and 0.8 per cent of Greek Orthodox (von Hentig, 1948, p. 339).

Statistics showing the prominence of Jews among the business elite and in the professions are given for 1920 in Table 4.7. Row 1 shows that in 1920 54.0 per cent of the owners of prominent commercial businesses were Jewish and row 2 that Jews owned 85.0 per cent of banks and other financial institutions. Row 3 shows that in 1920 12.5 per cent of the owners of industrial businesses were Jewish. Row 4 shows that 60 per cent of the doctors were Jews. Rows 5, 6, 7 and 8 show that 51 per cent of lawyers, 39 per cent of the privately employed engineers and chemists, 34 per cent of the journalists and 29 per cent of the musicians were Jews. These figures are for those who identified themselves as Jews by religion. If Jewish converts and non-believers had been added, the percentages of Jews in these professions would have been higher.

Row shows that 13.4 per cent of the university students were Jewish. This figure is for 1921-22 and is lower than might be expected because of a law passed in 1920 to limit the numbers of Jews admitted to the universities.

Table 4.7 Occupational profile of Jews in Hungary in 1920
Occupation% JewsAQ
1Commerce54.010.6
2Banks85.016.7
3Industrialists12.52.4
4Doctors60.012.0
5Lawyers51.010.1
6Engineers/ Chemists39.07.8
7Journalists34.06.8
8Musicians29.05.8
9University students13.42.3
Source: Slezkine (2004)

The prominence of Jews among the business elite was still present in 1930, as shown in Table 4.8. Row 1 shows that in this year 61.7 per cent of the commercial firms (defined as those employing twenty or more people) were Jewish and row 2 that Jews owned 47.4 per cent of the large industrial firms (similarly defined). Row 3 Jews were 71 per cent of the most wealthy taxpayers, defined as those whose income exceeded 200,000 pengo (the Hungarian currency) a year.

Table 4.8 Economic position of Jews in Hungary in 1930
Ownership% JewsAQ
1Large commercial firms61.712.1
2Large industrial firms47.49.3
3Wealth71.014.2
Source: Mendelsohn, 1983, p.101

A significant number of Jews married gentiles during this period. In 1931-35, 19.3 per cent of Jewish men married gentile women, while 16.5 per cent of Jewish women married gentile men (Mendelsohn, 1983, p.102). Jews were well acculturated. Nevertheless, anti-Semitism increased in the1920s when a quote for Jews was instituted for university admissions and Jews were effectively kept out of the civil service and army officer corps. Anti-Semitism became more virulent towards the end of the 1930s. In 1938 a law was passed restricting the proportion of Jews to twenty percent of the workforce, and Jews were limited to five per cent of those admitted to the legal, medical and engineering professions. In 1939 a further law prohibited Jews from all managerial positions in newspapers, theatres, cinemas and film production, limited Jews to six per cent of students at universities, and required all Jewish public prosecutors and professors and teachers in universities and high schools, to retire by 1943. In industrial corporations, banks, mines and insurance companies Jews were to be limited to twelve percent of the workforce.

Hungary entered World War Two as an ally of Germany. This was, up to a point, good for Jews because the Hungarians retained control of the country and Admiral Horthy (the regent) and other political leaders were sympathetic to the Jews or at least not so virulently anti-Semitic as the Nazis. The Germans exerted pressure on the Hungarian government for the extermination of the Jews but the Hungarian political leaders did their best to avoid complying with this demand. To accommodate the Germans they passed more anti-Semitic legislation in 1941 prohibiting marriage between Jews (defined as having at least one Jewish grandparent) and gentiles, and in 1942 Jewish estates were confiscated. Jews were conscripted into labor battalions and sent unarmed to the Russian front, where many of them died. In March, 1944, the Germans occupied and took control of Hungary and organized the transportation of approximately 300,000 Jews to the death camps. These were largely from rural areas. Horthy managed to protect most of the Jews in Budapest from deportation and more than half of them survived the war. By the year 2000 there were still 52,000 Jews in Hungary.

Hungarian Nobel Laureates, Wolf Prize-winners and Chess Grandmasters

In the 1920s and 1930s Hungary produced a number of brilliant Jewish physicists. They included Leo Szilard, born in Budapest the son of a civil engineer, who won the Hungarian national prize in mathematics at the age of eighteen. He studied physics and engineering at the University of Berlin where he developed a friendship with Einstein. When Hitler came to power he fled to Britain and in 1938 moved to the United States, where he was a prominent member of the Manhattan Project for the development of the atom bomb. Other renowned Hungarian Jewish physicists of this period were Eugene Wigner, John von Newman, Edward Teller, Theodor von Karman, Geog von Hevesy, and Michael Polanyi. In the 1930s all of these moved to the United States, where the first three (Wigner, von Newman and Teller) joined Szilard as key members of the Manhattan Project.

Hungary has produced 12 Nobel Prize-winners and four recipients of the Wolf Prize, awarded for outstanding work in mathematics. They are listed in Table 4.9. Of the total of 12 Nobel Prize-winners, 10 have been Jews, while three of the four Wolf Prize-winners have been Jews. Thus, Jews comprising about 3.2 per cent of the population during the twentieth century have produced 81 per cent of the Nobel and Wolf Prize-winners, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 25.

Table 4.9 Hungarian Nobel and Wolf Prize-winners (Jews are asterisked)
YearNobel Prize-winnersSubjectYearNobel Prize-winnersSubject
1937Albert Szent-GyörgyiMedicine1994George A. Olah*Chemistry
1943George de Hevesy*Chemistry2002Imre Kertész*Literature
1943Jaroslav Heyrovsky*Chemistry2004Avram Hershko*Chemistry
1944Isidor Isaac Rabi *Physics
1945Wolfgang Pauli*Physics Wolf Prize-winners
1961Georg von BékésyMedicine1983Paul Erdos*Mathematics
1963Eugene Wigner*Physics1987Peter Lax*Mathematics
1971Dennis Gabor*Physics1999László LovászMathematics
1994John C. Harsanyi*Economics2000Raoul Bott*Mathematics

Hungarian Jews have excelled in chess. Table 4.10 gives the names of the top-rated Jewish and gentile chess grandmasters in Hungary for the years 1851 to 2000. Between the years 1851 and 1939 there were 4 Jews and 3 gentiles among top-rated grandmasters (Rubinstein, 2004). From 1940-2000 there was only one, a gentile. Over the whole period there were 4 Jews and 4 gentiles. Jews were approximately 3.7 per cent of the population during the period, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 13.5. Hungarian Jewry is also notable for Judit Polgár from a Jewish family in Budapest (a number of her family were killed in the Holocaust, and her grandmother was a survivor from Auschwitz). She was among the best twenty players in the world in the 1990s and was the best woman chess player of all time. Her two older sisters, Zsuzsa and Zsófia are also good players but not in the same class as Judit.

Table 4.10 Jewish and gentile top-rated chess grandmasters
YearJewsGentiles
1851-1939LowenthalSzen
KolischMaroczy
GunsbergCharousek
Reti
1940-2000 Leko
Infant Mortality

Infant mortality was lower among Jews in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Studies showing this have been summarized by Condran and Kramarow (1991) and are shown in Table 4.11, where it will be seen that the infant mortality of gentiles was between 4 and 67 per cent higher than that of Jews.

Table 4.11 Infant mortality per 1,000 live births
YearsLocationJewsGentiles% Difference
1851Hungary15325164
1851Bohemia16227167
1851Moravia16322639
1880-99Budapest12921063
1900-1912Budapest9515260
1894-1913Vienna78814
Chapter 5 • Benelux • 3,300 Words

Benelux is the convenient if unlovely name for the area of Northwest Europe that includes the Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Jews were first recorded in these parts around the year 1200. By 1261 Henry 111 of Brabant, the ruler of much of what is now this region, became concerned about the Jews’ profession of money lending, regarded as the sin of usury, and ordered them to leave unless they desisted from this occupation. However, he died before his order was carried out and his widow decided not to proceed with the order because the Jews paid substantial taxes that she did not wish to forego. A number of Jews came to Belgium and the Netherlands in 1290 following their expulsion form England.

The first major persecution of Jews in Belgium andthe Netherlands occurred in 1348-1350 when the bubonic plague known as the Black Death swept though Europe and was responsible for the deaths of about a third of the population. Many people blamed the Jews for this terrible and inexplicable epidemic, since Jews were widely believed to be the enemies of Christians and wished to harm them. Throughout Europe people attacked and killed the Jews in revenge and Belgium andthe Netherlands were no exception. A contemporary monk, Henry of Hereford, wrote “in that year of 1349 the Jews were exterminated most cruelly. This was done either on account of their wealth, which many people were able to seize illegally, or because they, as the general rumour hath it, maliciously poisoned the wells all over the world” (Blom, Fuks-Mansfeld and Schoffer,1996, p.19-20).

In the fifteenth century Jews were discriminated against in a number of ways. They were prohibited from being money-lenders and from living in several towns. The only city to provide a benign environment for Jews was Nijmegan and this was where the majority lived. Many Jews left as a result of this hostile environment in the rest of the Low Countries and settled in Germany, mainly to Cologne and Frankfurt am Main.

From 1540 onwards a number of Sephardic Jews from Portugal settled in Antwerp. The Jews were officially given notice to leave Portugal in 1496, but were given some years grace to wind up their affairs. In 1511 some of them left for Antwerp where they founded a colony of twenty families and traded in imports of salt, figs, oranges and lemons from Portugal, sugar and tobacco from the Portuguese colony in Brazil, and spices and silks from the East, largely shipped via Lisbon. They also exported grain and textiles back to Portugal. In the next few years more Jewish families moved to Antwerp as the Inquisition made life increasingly uncomfortable for them in Portugal. However, in 1549 Charles V, the ruler of Benelux at the time, became concerned at the growing numbers of Jews in Antwerp and expelled those who had arrived since 1543. Those who remained continued to increase in numbers and by 1598 there were 93 Jewish family households in the city.

In 1587-8 the States of Zeeland and the States General permitted Portuguese Jews to come to the northern provinces. These included Amsterdam, where a number of Sephardic Jews settled. In the early 1600s they were joined by a number of Ashkenazim refugees from Germany and Poland. The Ashkenazim and the Sephardim co-existed as separate communities with their own synagogues and burial sites. Many of the Sephardim were the rich and the wealthiest were among the social elite – “some of the splendid houses they purchased in Amsterdam became tourist attractions, while those who lived in The Hague bought homes on the prestigious boulevard, the Lange Voorhout; they kept carriages and servants some of whom were Negroes and mulattos, who were slaves brought in from the Caribbean” (Blom, Fuks-Mansfeld and Schoffer, 1996, p.147). The Ashkenazim were the poor relations, and the Sephardim took measures to prevent intermarriage with them. In 1671 the Sephardim decreed that any of their men who married an Ashkenazi should be expelled from the Sephardi community. About this time an Ashkenazi middle class began to emerge, and by the middle of the eighteenth century mixed marriages became common and the two communities came together.

From the early 1600s, Amsterdam became the major Jewish city in the Netherlands. By the 1650sJews held 10 per cent of the accounts in the Amsterdam Exchange Bank and were 10 per cent of the registered brokers for commerce and shipping. Jews were prominent in share dealing in the Dutch East India Company and the West India Company, and “all reports agree that by the end of the seventeenth Century these activities were dominated by Jews, who before 1700 were almost always Sephardim; they acted as specialist buyers and vendors on behalf of Dutch regents, Christian merchants and shopkeepers” (Blom, Fuks-Mansfeld and Schoffer, 1996, p.110).

In the mid-seventeenth century Jewish communities were established in several other Dutch cities, including the major ports of Rotterdam, Middleburg and Antwerp, and also in the inland towns of Amersfoort and The Hague. At this time the Netherlands became the most important European center of international trade with the Americas and the East and the Jews were prominent among the Dutch merchants.

By the year 1700 there were 6,200 Jews in Amsterdam, with approximately equal numbers of Ashkenazim and Sephardim and comprising 3 per cent of the population of the city (Blom, Fuks-Mansfeld and Schoffer,1996, pp.91, 100). The city became the center for the import of wool from Spain and of rough diamonds from the Portuguese colony of Goa in India. The Jews in Amsterdam established the two major centers for cutting and polishing rough diamonds, and then selling them on. In the late seventeenth century the wealthiest Sephardim were Jacob Delmonte, Jeronimo Nunes da Costa, Antonio and Francisco Lopes Suasso, Manuuel de Belamonte, and the De Pintos and Pereiras. The wealthiest Ashkenazim were the Gompertz family in Amsterdam and the Boas family in The Hague. The Amsterdam Jew who acquired the greatest permanent reputation was Baruch Spinoza (1632-77) who was born into a Sephardic family from Spain. He was critical of Judaism, denied the divine origin of the bible and the authority of the rabbis. The Sephardic community convicted him of heresy and excommunicated him in 1656.

In the seventeenth century Jews had greater civil rights in the Netherlands than in the rest of Europe. They were permitted to attend the Dutch universities where a number of them qualified in medicine. At the end of the century there were thirty Jewish physicians in the Collegium Medicum, the professional medical association of Amsterdam.

In the 1650s there was a community of Dutch Jews in the British colony of Barbados, who exported sugar and tobacco to Amsterdam and Hamburg. Towards the end of the seventeenth century Jews played a significant part in the development of the Dutch colony of Surinam in South America. In 1730, Jews owned 115 of the 400 sugar plantations in the colony. Jews were also prominent as traders in the Dutch island of Curacao in the Caribbean.

Numbers of Jews in the Netherlands and Belgium

During the eighteenth century “stockbroking and share dealing remained key sectors of Jewish economic activity in Amsterdam and a growing number of Ashkenazim gradually found a place in what had hitherto, to all intents and purposes, been a Sephardic preserve” (Blom, Fuks-Mansfeld and Schoffer,1996, p.110). The first half of the eighteenth century saw a huge increase in the numbers of Ashkenazim, largely due to immigration of from eastern and central Europe after 1726, while the numbers of Sephardim declined slightly as a result of emigration to London and to Surinam and the Caribbean, where many the sugar plantations were in Sephardi ownership. In the middle of the century had by far the largest concentration of Jews in western and central Europe. Among the social elite, Jews and gentiles mixed together comfortably in social life. Many Jews, however, were poor and were supported by charities established and administered by wealthy Jews. At the time of the first census carried out in 1795 there were approximately 25,000 Jews recorded in the city, comprising about 12 per cent of the population, of whom 22,000 were Ashkenazi and only 3,000 were Sephardic.

In 1796 Napoleon emancipated the Jews from restrictions on where they were permitted to live and gave them full civil rights. In the nineteenth century the Amsterdam continued to be the major Jewish city in the Netherlands. In 1869 there were 29,952 Jews in the Amsterdam comprising 11.3 per cent of the population of the city and 44 per cent of Jews in the Netherlands.

Jews became better integrated into Dutch society. In 1808 Jewish schools were required to teach Dutch and 1814 Yiddish was proscribed in official Jewish affairs. Within a generation the Ashkenazim abandoned Yiddish and began to speak Dutch as their first language. Amsterdam remained the major Jewish city. In the middle decades of the century the German Rothschild and the French Pereire banking houses established branches in and recruited Jews to work in them, and young well-educated Jews began to enter the civil service, the professions, education, and the army and navy. In Amsterdam and Antwerp Jews dominated the diamond trade that consisted of importing rough diamonds, cutting and polishing them, and then selling them on. In Amsterdam in the middle decades of the nineteenth century Jews were forty-three out of the fifty diamond dealers and retailers in the city. In the last two decades of the nineteenth century about 12,000 refugees from Russia and Poland came to the Netherlands, increasing the Jewish population by around 15 per cent.

The numbers and percentages of Jews in the Netherlands and Belgium in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are given in Table 5.1. In the Netherlands about 5 per cent of these were Sephardic Jews of Portuguese origin. The increase in the number of Jews from 1899 to 1929 was largely caused by an influx of refugees from Eastern Europe. In 1930 there were also an additional 20, 900 half and quarter Jews. Following the accession of Hitler to power in Germany in 1933 and the rise of virulent anti-Semitism, about 35,000 German Jews fled to the Netherlands, and about 20,000 of these moved on to other countries during the course of the 1930s.

Table 5.1 Numbers and percentages of Jews in the Netherlands and Belgium 1869-2001
The NetherlandsBelgium
YearN. Jews% populationN. Jews% population
186968,0001.9--
187981,0002.1--
1899103,0002.0--
1920115,0001.7--
1930112,0001.4--
1941140,5221.665,0001.4
194728,0000.1625,0000.3
200126,5000.1631,5000.3

The German invasion of the Netherlands took place in May, 1940. In 1941 the Germans carried out a census of the whole population in which everyone was required to register and receive identity cards. The Jews were required to identify themselves and had a J stamped on their cards. The census produced a figure of 140,522 full Jews, 14,549 half-Jews and 5,719 quarter-Jews. In the 1941-2, Jews were prohibited from sending their children to gentile schools and from entering the universities, were dismissed from their jobs, and stripped of their civil rights, goods and property. In July, 1942, the Germans began to send the Jews to the concentration camps for extermination. Over the next two years about 107,000 were deported, of whom about 5,500 survived. About 5,000 Jews were exempted from deportation, mainly because they assisted the Germans in various ways such as by working in industries that served the war effort, and a further 10,500 partners of mixed marriages were also exempted. About 25,000 Jews were able to avoid deportation by going into hiding. About 9,000 were detected and killed, while about 16,000 survived. About 1,000 wealthy Jews were permitted to leave the country on payment of large sums. And some where between 1,800 and 2,700 were able to escape by boat to England or overland to Switzerland and Spain. After the liberation in 1945, it is estimated that there were about 28,000 Jews left in the Netherlands.

There was some increase numbers and percentages of Jews in the Netherlands from 1930 to 1941 as a result of the immigration of about 15,000 German Jews. The huge fall from 1941 to 1947 reflect the deaths in the concentration camps. In the post World War Two period an increasing number of Jews abandoned their Jewish identity and approaching half married gentiles, so it becomes difficult to define and identify their numbers. In the 1947 census 14,346 people declared themselves to be Jews. This was about half the number with Jewish ethnicity, the remainder of whom did not consider themselves Jews or did not care to reveal this to the census. There was therefore an estimated total number of Jews of about 28,000 (Brasz,1996, p.345). In the 1960s around 10,000 Israelis came to the Netherlands, and in the early 1990s they were joined by about 2,000 Jews from Eastern Europe. In the 1980s the number of Jews affiliated to Jewish congregations had declined to around 9,000, and by 2001 this had fallen further to 5,139, but the . total number of Jews in the Netherlands in 2001 has been estimated in the American Jewish Yearbooks at about 30,000, not including the 10,000 or so Israelis.

In Belgium there were approximately 65,000 Jews in 1940. Approximately 40,000 of these were killed in the German occupation. By 2001 the numbers has increased to 31,500, largely as a result of immigration from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Socio-economic Status of Jews in the Netherlands, 1860-1909

The socio-economic status of Jews in the Netherlands in the second half of the nineteenth century has been analysed by Schellekens and van Poppel (2006). They took The Hague as a typical city and examined the socio-economis status of Jews, Protestants and Catholics from population registers and census returns for the period 1860-1909. The percentages of the three religious denominations in various socio-economic categories are shown in Table 5.2. We see that Jews were over-represented in the first three higher socio-economic status categories, and under-represented in the second three lower socio-economic status categories.

Table 5.2 Socio-economic status of Jews in the Netherlands, 1860-1909
GroupJewsProtestantsCatholics
Numbers7271,114621
Upper class7.46.83.2
Petty bourgeoisie57.817.024.5
Lower white collar8.16.66.1
Farming & fishing0.17.52.4
Skilled laborers13.136.335.3
Unskilled laborers3.79.39.7
Unknown9.816.418.8
Crime Rates of Jews in the Netherlands, 1910-20

Some useful information on the crime rates of Jews in the Netherlands during the years 1910-20 has been given by Bonger (1943). He has provided statistics for those sentenced, subdivided by Jews, Protestants, Catholics and No Church. His results are shown in Table 5.3. The first row gives the percentages of the four groups (aged 20 and over) in the population. The next rows give the percentages of those sentenced for various crimes. The general pattern of results is that Jews were under-represented among those sentenced for what may be regarded as the less intelligent crimes of violence (rape, murder, assault, etc.), but were over-represented among those sentenced for the more intelligent financial crimes of embezzlement, swindling and receiving stolen goods.

Table 5.3 Crime Rates of Jews in the Netherlands, 1910-20
JewsProtestantsCatholicsNo Church
Per cent in population1.854.435.57.3
Rape0.059.739.00.0
Murder/manslaughter0.458.338.32.0
Sexual offences by teachers0.559.838.11.6
Serious assault0.648.249.31.5
Domestic violence0.858.238.12.6
Assault1.356.340.12.0
Theft1.352.443.91.8
Minor sexual offences1.472.724.11.7
Embezzlement2.556.337.82.6
Swindling4.653.838.12.6
Receiving stolen goods4.951.541.11.9
Position of Jews in the Netherlands, 1930

The 1930 Dutch census provided some of best information on the position of the Jews in the Netherlands in the first half of the twentieth century. Amsterdam continued to be the major Jewish center. The 1930 census recorded that the number of Jews in the city had risen to 65,523, when they comprised 8.65 per cent of the population of the city and 58 per cent of Jews in the Netherlands.Jews became increasingly integrated with Dutch society. Thus, in Amsterdam the percentage of mixed marriages increased from 6 per cent in 1901 to 17 per cent in 1934 (Blom, Fuks-Mansfeld and Schoffer, 1996, p. 234).

The 1930 census in the Netherlands showed that Jews comprised 1.4 per cent of the population and provided information on the numbers and percentages of Jews with university education and in the major professions. It was found that 2.6 per cent of Jews were university graduates. The percentages of Jews who were lawyers, doctors and dentists are summarized in Table 5.4. Jews were over-represented in all three professions by factors of between 2.3 and 5.7. Blom, Fuks-Mansfeld and Schoffer (1996, p. 248) who present these data and are the authors of the standard text on the Jews in the Netherlands explain that the large proportion of Jewish university graduates and in the professions “was related to Jewish traditions, in which learning is highly esteemed”.

Table 5.4 Occupations of Jews in the Netherlands in 1930 (percentages)
OccupationPercent JewsAQ
1Lawyers3.22.3
2Doctors3.82.7
3Dentists7.45.3

As in the United States, Jews in the Netherlands were prominent in the music business: “a remarkably large number of musicians had Jewish origins, among them Lez van Delden, Sem Dresden, Jo Juda, Bertus van Lier, Max Tak, and the musical educator Oskar Back” (Blom, Fuks-Mansfeld and Schoffer,1996, pp. 248, 267). Two Dutchman are listed among the 141 top rated chess players from 1851 to 2000 (Rubinstein, 2004, p.37). One of these was the Jewish Max Euwe, the only Dutch world champion, who defeated the legendary Russian champion Alexander Alekhine in 1935 and held the world title for two years until he was defeated by Alekhine in 1937. The other was Timman, a gentile who appeared among the top rated chess players in the 1980s.

Educational and Occupational Status in the Netherlands, 1999.

A survey carried out in 1999 compared the educational and occupational status of Jews (18-64 year olds) in the Netherlands with the general population. The results are summarized in Table 5.5. The samples consisted of 776 Jews and 10,617 general population. Among men, 9 per cent of the general population had university degrees, while the percentage of Jews was almost four times greater at 34 per cent. Among women, Jews were four times over-represented among university graduates. Occupational status was scored on a scale that ran from 13 for garbage collectors to 89 for surgeons. Among both men and women, Jews had higher average scores than the general population.

Table 5.5 Educational and occupational status of Jews in the Netherlands, 1999
StatusJewsPopulation
University degree %: men349
women215
Occupational status: men5545
women4739
Nobel and Mathematics Prize-winners

The Dutch have won thirteen Nobel Prizes for science, literature or economics. One of these was Jewish – Tjalling Koopmans, who received the prize for economics in 1975 (in addition Tobias Asser, a member of the Dutch Jewish Asser banking family, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1911). The Belgians have won five of Nobel Prizes none of whom have been Jewish. The Belgians have produced two Prize-winning mathematicians, the Fields Medalist Jean Bourgain (1994), who is a gentile, and the Wolf Prize-winner Elias Stein (1999), who is Jewish. Thus, the two countries together have produced 20 Nobel Prize-winners, Fields Medalists and Wolf Prize-winners, of whom two have been Jewish. Thus, Jews who have been about 0.23 per cent of the population of the two countries during the second half of the twentieth century have produced 10 per cent of the Prize-winners, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 43.

Fertility, Mortality and Exogamy

In the nineteenth century Jews in the Netherlands had higher fertility than gentiles with an average family size of 11 children as compared with 8 children for gentiles. In the early twentieth century this fertility differential was reversed and Jews had the low fertility characteristic of middle class and more intelligent sub-populations that I have reviewed in Dysgenics. Among Jews married between 1906 and 1910, Jews had an average of 3.4 children compared with 5.2 children for gentiles (Blom, Fuks-Mansfeld and Schoffer, 1996, p. 235).

Infant mortality and general mortality were lower among Jews in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century: “in the period between 1905 and 1910, for instance, the mortality rate of Jews was about 20 per cent lower than that of Protestants, whose rate in turn was about 20 per cent lower than that of Catholics. The figures for infant mortality show similar differences. Studies showing this for Amsterdam have been summarized by Condran and Kramarow and are shown in Table 5.6.

Table 5.6 Infant mortality per 1,000 live births
YearsJewsGentiles% Difference
1901-137710125
1914-18525810
1919-20414815

Blom, Fuks-Mansfeld and Schoffer (1996, p. 235) suggest the explanation of the comparatively low infant mortality of Jews include better parental care, closer family ties in general, a healthier life-style due to Jewish dietary and other ritual laws, a different occupational structure (a marked preference for commerce and the liberal professions), and a greater number living in large cities; in addition, Jews were less subject to tuberculosis, syphilis, other infections, and respiratory and intestinal diseases. They do not mention that low mortality is associated with higher intelligence and that this might be a factor in the lower rate of infant mortality of Jews.

In the post World War Two period, Jews in the Netherlands increasingly married gentiles. In 1934, 17 per cent of Jews married gentiles, while between 1946-1999 61 per cent of Jewish men and 48 per cent of Jewish women married gentiles (Kalmijn, Liefbroer, van Poppel and van Solinge, 2006).

Chapter 6 • Britain • 5,200 Words

Jews first came into England shortly after the Norman Conquest in 1066.

In the 12th century the largest community was in Norwich, where it numbered around 200. There were also Jewish communities in London, York, Oxford, Winchester and some other cities. In the year 1290 their total number in England has been estimated at around 2,500. Jews made a living as money-lenders, as elsewhere in Europe, and as traders, particularly in eastern goods such as spices and silk, for which they had a virtual monopoly.

There were large scale attacks on Jews during the Third Crusade of 1189-90, during which a number of Jews were massacred in London, York and Norwich(Russell, 1945, p. 434). In 1290 Edward 1 confiscated the Jews’ money and property and expelled them. There were no Jews in England until the end of the fifteenth century, when a few of those expelled from Spain in 1492 and Portugal in 1497 came to England. However, there were no significant numbers until they were officially permitted to settle by Cromwell in 1656. From this time a number of Ashkenazi Jews from East and Central Europe settled in England and also a number of Sephardim from the Netherlands, which declined economically in the eighteenth century. Nearly all these immigrants settled in London.

In the nineteenth century Jews were not subjected to violence in Britain. They had to fight to acquire full civil rights such as becoming members of parliament, holding public office and entering the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, which they did not achieve until 1871. Despite certain disabilities, a number of Jews did well in the nineteenth century. Nathan Rothschild (1777-1836) who had been sent by his father from Frankfurt to set up a bank in Britain, made a fortune in the Napoleonic War and established the bank as the greatest in the world. His grandson Nathan was made Baron Rothschild in 1885 and the family joined the ranks of the British aristocracy. Benjamin Disraeli entered parliament in 1837, which he was able to do so because he had converted to Christianity, and became Prime Minister from 1874 to 1880. Sir Moses Montefiore (1784-1885) was the first Jew to become Sheriff of London and was created a baronet in 1846. Sir William Herschel (1792-1871), who was half Jewish, became president of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1848. In 1858 Lionel de Rothschild became the first professing Jew to enter parliament and in taking the oath was allowed to omit the words “on the true faith of a Christian”…

Size of the Jewish population

By 1730 there were about 6,000 Jews in Britain. By 1800 this had grown to about 20,000 and by 1860 to approximately 60,000, partly through immigration and partly through natural increase. It the first half of the nineteenth century the Jewish community in London was dominated by a dozen or so very rich families among whom the leading were the Rothschilds, Montefiores, Goldsmids, Cohens, Mocattas and Samuels.

Between 1880 and 1900 the number of Jews increased nearly fourfold. This was due to the immigration of about 100,000 Jews from Russia and Poland, where they were persecuted following the assassination of Tsar Alexander 11 in 1881, for which the Jews were widely blamed. This was largely responsible for the increase in the number of Jews to around 300,000 by 1920. Most of these settled in London, which has been home to around 65 to 70 percent of Jews in Britain in the twentieth century. The next largest communities have been in Manchester followed by Leeds and Glasgow. The majority of Jews in Britain at the end of the twentieth century were the descendants of those who had fled from Russia between 1881 and 1905 (Waterman and Kosmin, 1986).

Estimates of the size of the Jewish population in Britain and of their percentage of the population from the middle ages to the end of the twentieth century have been given by Brook (1990) and by Waterman and Kosmin (1986) and are shown in Table 2.1. It appears from these figures that the size of the Jewish population peaked around 1950 and declined substantially over the next 50 years. The reason for the increase in the number of Jews from 330,000 in 1930 to 380,000 in 1940 is the immigration of about 50,000 Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria in the 1930s. From 1940 to 2001 the numbers of Jews declined. The main likely reason for this is that many Jews assimilated into the gentile community and lost their Jewish identity. The figure for 2001 is the number who identified themselves as Jewish in the census of that year. It should be noted also that these figures are difficult to estimate with any precision because many Jews have taken British sounding surnames and the numbers of these cannot be ascertained from electoral rolls or from records of births, deaths and marriages, and substantial numbers who are ethnically Jewish do not subscribe to Judaism so they do not appear in statistics of religious affiliation.

Table 6.1. Numbers of Jews in Britain
YearN. Jews% populationYearN. Jews% population
12902,500.0051920310,000.70
17306,000.011930330,000.71
180020,000.011940380,000.79
185030,000.011970360,000.65
188060,000.201980340,000.60
1900225,000.591990304,000.54
1910280,000.672001267,000.46

Jews in Britain range between the strictly orthodox and those with no Jewish affiliation designated secular and non-practising. In the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey of 1990 (Schmool and Cohen, 1998), 47 percent of the sample considered themselves as having been raised in traditional Jewish homes. The percentages of these who identified with different degrees of Judaism are given in Table 2.2. The last three groups who identified themselves as Just Jewish, Progressive and Secular/non-practising, together totalling 44 percent, had moved towards a more liberal identification than the traditional homes in which they had been reared. This trend away from traditional and orthodox Judaism was confirmed by asking the total sample how similar their Jewish identity was to that of their parents. 49 per cent said they were the same as their parents, 38 per cent considered themselves less orthodox, while only 13 percent considered themselves more orthodox.

Table 6.2. Identities of Jews in Britain in 1990 (percentages)
IdentityPercent
Strictly Orthodox5
Traditional51
Just Jewish16
Progressive13
Secular15

Despite some degree of social and legal discrimination, Jews did well in Britain. In 1857 a survey in London found Jews over-represented in the middle class: 76 per cent of Jews had incomes of over £100 a year, as compared with 69 of per cent of gentiles (Feldman, 1994). Jews had lower infant mortality than gentiles in the early twentieth century. In 1903 the infant mortality per 1,000 live births was 128 for Jews and 161 for gentiles, so that the rate for gentiles was 25 per cent higher than that of Jews (Condran and Kramarow, 1991).

Intelligence

There have been four studies of the intelligence of the Jews in Britain. These are summarized in Table 6.3. Rows 1 through 3 give the results of a study carried out in the mid-1920s in London. Children aged 8-14 were tested in three schools in which Jewish and gentile children were present in approximately equal numbers. The children were tested for general intelligence with the Northumberland Test. The Jewish children obtained a mean IQ of 110.5. The children were also tested on arithmetic and reading and obtained an arithmetic quotient of 110.6 and a reading quotient of 113.0. These are both are very close to their IQ and show, as in many other studies, that differences in educational attainment are closely similar to differences in intelligence and are largely due to differences in intelligence. Row 4 gives an IQ of 113 obtained on a reasoning test for Jewish children attending two schools together with gentile children in two schools in the East-end of London. The East-end was a lower socio-economic community, so the gentile children were probably a little below average. Typically the IQ gap between lower class and middle class children is about 10 IQ points, suggesting that the IQ of the Jewish sample in relation to a socially representative sample of gentile children would have been approximately 108-110. Row 5 gives an IQ of 111 for a sample of 907 10 year old Jewish children in the city of Glasgow. These children were found to have a mean IQ of 117.8 on the Moray House Test, a verbal comprehension and verbal reasoning test, compared with an IQ of 100 of non-Jewish Gentile children (number not given) tested at the same time in the same city. The unusually high IQ of the Jewish children is this study is explained by the intelligence of non-Jewish children in Scotland being somewhat depressed as compared with that in Great Britain as a whole, as shown in detail in Lynn (1979). The intelligence of non-Jewish children in Glasgow was at this time more depressed than that in the rest of Scotland. The extensive data presented by Vernon (1951) on mean IQs in different regions of Great Britain put the mean IQ in Glasgow at 93.7 in relation to 100 for the country as a whole. To compare the mean IQ of Jewish children in Glasgow with that of British non-Jewish Gentile we have therefore to subtract 6.3 IQ points from their score, giving them a mean IQ of 111.5. This brings the mean IQ of the Jewish in Glasgow obtained in this study closely into line with results of the two London studies given in rows 2 and 4.

Table 6.3 IQs and educational attainment of Jews in Britain
AgeN. JewsN. GentilesTestMean
18-141081813IQ110.5
28-141081813Arithmetic110.6
38-141081813English113.0
46-14303221IQ113.0
510907-IQ111.5
611-163911,101IQ107.7
78223,350IQ108.5
Sources. Rows 1-3: Davies & Hughes, 1927. Row 4: Winch, 1930. Row 5: Vincent, 1966. Rows 6-7: Lynn and Longley, 2006

Row 6 gives an IQ of 107.7 for a sample of 39 Jewish children in the British National Cohort Study (NCS) of all babies born in the week 3-9th March, 1958. The children were tested on reading and arithmetic at the age of 7 years, on reading comprehension, mathematics, verbal and non-verbal IQ at the age of 11, and on reading comprehension and mathematics at 16 years. The total sample size at age 7 was 11,140, among whom there were 39 Jewish children. The sample size fell to 29 among the 16 year olds because of attrition inevitable in longitudinal studies. The number of Jews is quite small and comprises 0.3 per cent of the sample. This is roughly what would be expected because the numbers of Jews in Britain in 1970 is estimated at 360,000 (Waterman and Kosmin, 1986) and this was approximately 0.65 per cent of the population. The percentage of Jews among the children in the sample may appear too small, but Jews in Britain are an aging population (Waterman and Kosmin, 1986), so the percentage of Jewish children would be expected to be lower than their percentage in the population. The results are given in detail in Table 6.4. The bottom row gives the IQs and EQs (Educational Quotients) of the Jewish children in relation to 100 for the total sample. Despite the small numbers of Jews, all the differences are highly statistically significant (p < .001). To calculate an IQ for the sample the three verbal means (verbal IQ at 11, reading comprehension at 11, and reading comprehension at 16) have been averaged to give a verbal IQ of 107.3, and this has been averaged with the non-verbal mean of 108 at 11 to give an overall IQ of 107.7 (the IQ difference between the Jews and the total sample is statistically significant at p < 0.01). This is the figure entered in row 6. Row 7 gives a mean Jewish IQ of 108.5 derived from the British 1946 national cohort study of all babies born in the first week of March of that year. The sample was intelligence tested at the age of 8 years but their religious affiliation was not recorded until the age of 26 years, when 22 described themselves as having been brought up as Jewish out of a total of 3,374. There were four intelligence tests given at age 8 years (a 60 item non-verbal picture test, a 35 item reading comprehension test, a 50 item word reading test and a 50 item vocabulary test). The scores on the four tests were summed to give an IQ. The higher Jewish IQ is statistically significant (t=2.31, p < 0.031). Although the samples whose IQs are given in rows 6 and 7 are small, they are well drawn and representative of the British population. It is sometimes suggested that differences based on small samples cannot be taken seriously, but this is a misunderstanding of statistics. The crucial thing is whether the difference is statistically significant. The average IQ of the six studies is 110.2 and is regarded as the best reading for the IQ of Jews in Britain in relation to white gentiles.

Table 6.4 IQs and educational attainment of Jews in the NCS sample
7 yrs Problem Arithmetic7 yrs Reading11 yrs Verbal IQ11 yrs N Verbal IQ11 yrs Reading Comp11 yrs Math16 yrs Reading Comp16 yrs Math
Jews
N3637393939392929
Mean6.5026.5727.9525.1320.4925.6729.2118.56
Sd2.615.398.387.706.3310.256.756.94
Total
N11,10411,10411,10410,79010,78910,7859,5089,467
Mean5.1923.6722.6321.2716.3117.1925.7213.09
Sd2.479.959.257.526.2010.306.846.98
d.53.28.28.51.67.82.51.78
IQ108104104108110112108112
Educational Attainment

The educational attainment of all 11 year old children in England attending state schools was collected in 2004 under the direction of the Government Department for Education and Skills (DfES). The children were tested in English, mathematics and science under a program known as Key Stage 2. On the basis of their performance in the tests, the children were graded into levels 2, 3, 4 and 5. The DfES has released the results as percentages of those attending Jewish schools and white gentiles from all schools passing at levels 4 and 5. These are shown in Table 6.5. We see that a higher percentage of Jewish children passed in all three subjects. As the sample consisted of all the children attending state schools, it did not include children at independent schools, who are approximately 6 per cent of the cohort. Children attending these independent schools come largely from affluent families and perform well in educational tests, so the exclusion of these is likely to have reduced slightly the attainment scores of both the Jews and the gentiles. Affluent Jews as well as gentiles typically send their children to independent schools, so it is doubtful whether the omission of small numbers of these has any significant effect on the differences shown in Table 6.5.

Table 6.5 Educational attainment of Jews and gentiles in 2004 (percentages passing)
GroupNEnglishMathScience
Jews905929195
Gentiles489,887787487

A greater proportion of Jews than of gentiles are in universities and have university degrees. This was first found by Krause (1969) in which he estimated that about 3 per cent of university students are Jews, although Jews at this time were only approximately 0.5 per cent of the population. This was confirmed in the National Jewish Population Survey of 1990 (Schmool and Cohen, 1998), in which it was found that 48 per cent of Jewish men aged 18-64 held university degrees, as compared with 10 per cent of gentile men. Among women, 45 per cent of Jews held university degrees, as compared with 8 per cent of gentiles.

Earnings and Wealth

The numbers of Jews and gentiles possessing large wealth in the nineteenth century and from 1809-1939 have been calculated by Rubinstein (2000) from probate returns on death. He has found 7,574 persons leaving estates worth £100,000 or more during the period 1809-1899. 179 of these were Jews, representing 2.4 per cent. His detailed figures are shown in Table 6.6. This gives the numbers of Jews leaving these large estates, the percentage of Jews among all estates of this size, the percentage of Jews in the population, and finally the Jewish Wealth Quotient calculated by dividing the percentage of Jews among the wealthy by their percentage in the population given in Table 2.1 (.01 per cent in 1809-49 and .30 per cent in 1850-99). Thus, in the first period the Jewish Wealth Quotient of 10.5 indicatesthat Jews were 10.5 times over-represented among the very wealthy, relative to their numbers in the population. In the second half of the century the Jewish Wealth Quotient fell slightly because of the large number of impoverished Jewish immigrants from 1881 onwards. Row 3 gives the number of Jews who died leaving in excess of £1 million during the period 1809-1939. Rubinstein (2000) found 199 such individuals of whom 28 were Jews (14.1 per cent). Taking the average number of Jews in the population during this period as 0.4 per cent, Jews obtain a Wealth Quotient of 28.4. Row 4 gives the number of Jews who died leaving in excess of £2.5 million during the period 1870-1919. Rubinstein (2000) found 24 such individuals of whom 4 were Jews (16.7 per cent). Adopting the average number of Jews in the population during this period as approximately 0.59 per cent (the percentage in 1900), Jews obtain a Wealth Quotient of 28.3. All these figures show that Jews were greatly over-represented among the very wealthy.

Table 6.6. Percentages of Jews among the very wealthy
YearsWealthN Jews% JewsWQ
1809-1849£100,000131.0510.5
1850-1899£100,0001662.588.6
1809-1939£1 million2814.1028.4
1870-1919£2.5 million416.7028.3
Socio-economic Status.

Jews have higher socio-economic status than gentiles. An early study showing this was published by Krause (1969). He examined the occupational structure of the London district of Edgware and found that 57 per cent of Jewish men worked in professional or managerial occupations, compared with 39.4 per cent of gentiles. Figures giving national statistics for the over-representation of Jews in the professional class and their under-representation in the manual class and among the unemployed are given in Table 6.7. The table gives these as percentages of Jews and gentiles in the socio-economic classes and the right hand column gives the odds ratios, representing the proportion of Jews in relation to a gentile proportion set at 1.0. Row 1 gives results from a study of the percentages of Jews and gentiles in 1961 by Prais and Schmool (1975) showing that 10 per cent of Jews and 4 per cent of gentiles were in the higher professions and hence a Jewish odds ratio of 2.5 signifying that Jews were 2.5 times over-represented.

To obtain a comparison of the occupational distribution of Jews and gentiles in 1990, the proportions of Jews in the professions and in manual work are taken from the National Jewish Population Survey of 1990 (Schmool and Cohen, 1998). The proportions of white gentiles are taken as the averages obtained in the 1982 and 1994 surveys carried out by the Policy Studies Institute (Modood and Berthoud, 1997). The results are given in rows 2 through 5 of Table 6.7and show that Jews were substantially over-represented in the professions and under-represented among manual workers. Row 6 gives the percentage of Jews and gentiles who were unemployed for men and women combined aged 16-64 (men) and aged 16-59 (women) from the same two sources and show that the percentage of Jews who were unemployed was 40 percent of the rate of gentiles.

Table 6.7 Jewish and Gentile socio-economic status, 1961-1990 (percentages)
SESYearSexJewsGentilesOR
1Professional1961M & W1042.5
2Professional1990Men54252.2
3Professional1990Women50143.6
4Manual1990Men6170.4
5Manual1990Women2250.1
6Unemployed1990M & W6140.4
The Professions

An analysis of the numbers and proportions of Jews in most of the major professions around 1985 has been made by Tropp (1991). He began by noting that it is impossible to find the numbers of Jews in professions by searching through the directories for Jewish names because many Jews have anglicised their names and cannot be identified. This is a common problem that is not confined to identifying Jews in Britain. His method of overcoming it was to select forty indisputably Jewish names (Cohen, Goldberg, Stein, etc.). He found that these comprise 7 percent of Jews in the Jewish Board of Deputies list of Jewish names. He inferred that in directories of members of professions the number of those with these Jewish names will represent 7 percent of the number of Jews. To obtain an estimate of the number of Jews in each of a number of professions he multiplied this number by 14.26 (7 times 14.26=100). He then counted the total number in the profession and calculated the percentage of these who are Jews. His figures are shown in Table 6.8.

Tropp did not take the final step of comparing the percentages of Jews in the professions in relation to their percentages in the population. I have made good this omission by calculating the percentage of Jews in the professions as a proportion of their percentages in the population in 1985. To make this calculation, the number of Jews in the population in 1985 is taken as 322,000 (given in Table 6.1) and the total population in the United Kingdom is taken as 56,379,000, the figure in the 1981 census. Thus, in 1985 Jews were approximately 0.6 percent of the population. I have constructed an index of the comparative representation of Jews by calculating the ratio of their percentage in the professions to their percentages in the population to give Jewish Achievement Quotients.

It will be seen that in all of the eleven professions Jews have Achievement Quotients much greater that 1.0 and hence Jews are very substantially over-represented in relation to their proportion in the population. The magnitude of their over-representation varies considerably as between the professions. It is greatest among opthalmic opticians and barristers with Achievement Quotients of 13.0 and 12.5, respectively, and lowest among architects and chartered surveyors with Achievement Quotients of 3.8 and 2.2, respectively. Tropp does not suggest any reasons for these differences. A possible explanation for the relatively low ratios of architects and chartered surveyors may lie in American studies that have found that Jews are less strong on visualization abilities than on verbal and reasoning abilities, and it is likely that visualization abilities are required to succeed in the professions of architecture and chartered surveying. Tropp omits some professions from his study, including veterinary surgeons and chiropodists on the grounds that these are too few for analysis, members of parliament, “clergymen” (Church of England?), senior civil servants and senior members of the armed forces.

Table 6.8 Percentages and Achievement Quotients of Jews in the major professions
ProfessionPercent JewsAQ
Opthalmic Opticians7.813.0
Barristers7.512.5
Dentists4.98.2
Pharmacists4.67.7
University Faculty4.37.2
Doctors4.06.6
Solicitors4.06.6
Dispensing Opticians4.06.6
Accountants3.66.0
Architects2.33.8
Chartered Surveyors1.32.2

I have examined two further high status professions for the percentages of Jews. The first is Members of Parliament and the second vice chancellors of universities. The results are summarized in Table 6.9. There were 29 Jewish Members of Parliament (MPs) elected to the House of Commons in 1950 and these were 4.5 per cent of the total. In 2000, 21 Jews were elected, representing 3.2 per cent of the total (these figures are given in the Jewish Yearbooks). In 1950 Jews were approximately 0.70 per cent of the population, giving Jews an Achievement Quotient of 6.4. In 2000, Jews were 0.46 per cent of the population, giving Jews an Achievement Quotient of 7.0. These are just about the average of their over-representation in the eleven professions shown in Table 6.8. As regards university vice chancellors, in 2006 there were 161 of these of whom 7 were Jews. These were K.Calman, B.Cantor, A.Cohen, K.Fidler, D. Lachman, and J.Levinsky. These were 4.3 per cent of the total. University vice chancellors were all middle aged or elderly, so we should compare this 4.3 per cent with the percentage of Jews in the population around 1970 (0.65 per cent) to give an Achievement Quotient of 6.6.

Table 6.9 Numbers and percentages of Jewish MPs and university heads
YearProfessionN. Jews% JewsAQ
1950MPs294.55.4
2000MPs213.27.1
2002University heads74.36.6
The Royal Society and the British Academy

We look now at two indices of Jewish intellectual distinction of a more elevated order than membership of a profession. These are Fellowship of the Royal Society and the BritishAcademy, honors bestowed on the nation’s intellectual elite. The Royal Society was founded in 1660 for leading British scientists. Its website asserts that election to its fellowship is an intellectual distinction second only to the Nobel Prize. We will not dispute this assertion. Our present purpose is to examine the numbers of Jewish Fellows and the proportion of these in relation to their numbers in the population. The Jewish fellows are given in the British Jewish Yearbooks although these have missed the distinguished geneticist Sir Walter Bodmer, which reminds us that even the expert compilers of the Jewish Yearbooks can fail to identify all Jews with complete accuracy. This omission has been made good by adding Sir Walter to the numbers in 1985 through 2003. With this addition, the numbers and percentages of Jewish Fellows of the Royal Society are shown for selected years from 1901 through 2003 in Table 6.10. The percentages (but not the numbers) for the years 1901 through 1940 are given by Tropp (1991). The Achievement Quotients of Jews have been calculated in the same way as described above for the professions.

We can see that Jews have been over-represented in all years except 1910. The reason for this lies in the large immigration of impoverished Jews from Russia between 1881 and 1914 that increased their percentage in the population, while they had not acquired the education to achieve the degree of eminence required for Fellowship of the Royal Society. As they established themselves in Britain they took advantage of the educational opportunities and their over-representation (shown by their Achievement Quotients) increased steadily. Notice that in 1901-1920 the average Achievement Quotient is 1.8; in 1930-50 it increases to 4.7, and 1965-2003 it rises again to 9.6. This reflects the rise and rise of Jewish attainment over the course of the century.

Table 6.10 Jewish Fellows of the Royal Society
YearN. Jews% JewsJewish AQ
1901-1.01.7
1910-0.60.9
1920-2.02.8
1930-3.04.3
1940-3.74.7
1950193.75.1
1965365.28.0
1985537.613.3
1995474.69.2
2003483.78.0

We look next at the numbers of Jewish Fellows of the British Academy. This was founded in 1902 as a society for eminent scholars in History, Philosophy and Philology, and was later extended to those who have achieved distinction in the social sciences. Fellowship of the British Academy was intended to confer the same distinction for eminent scholars in these subjects as fellowship of the Royal Society conferred on scientists. Whether it has quite succeeded in this aspiration I will not venture to say, but it is a satisfactory criterion for those who have achieved distinction in the humanities and social sciences. The numbers of Jewish fellows are given in the Jewish Yearbooks and are shown for selected years from 1950 through 2003 in Table 6.11 (the Yearbooks do not give this information for the first half of the century). The Achievement Quotients of Jews have been calculated in the same way as described above for the professions and the Royal Society, i.e. by calculating the ratio of the percentage of Jewish Fellows to their percentage in the population. We can see that Jews have been over-represented with Achievement Quotients of between 8.0 and 10.7 throughout the period, just about the same as their over-representation among fellows of the Royal Society

Table 6.11 Jewish and gentiles Fellows of the British Academy
YearN. JewsN. Gentiles% JewsAQ
1950101406.79.6
1965192357.510.7
1985254445.39.3
1995266224.08.0
2003287253.78.0
Significant Figures

Murray (2003, p. 280) has calculated the numbers of Jewish and gentile “significant figures” (i.e. great names in science and the arts) in Britain who had most of their careers between 1870 and 1950. He finds 8 Jews and 185 gentiles. Calculating the ratio of Jewish to gentile “significant figures” he arrives at an Achievement Quotient (Jewish over-representation) of 8.1. This is close to the Jewish Achievement Quotients for Fellowship of the Royal Society and the British Academy.

Eminence

There are four further apogees of eminence in Britain. The first is a life peerage that confers on the holder the title of baron or baroness, the second the Order of Merit, which is confined to a maximum of 24 members, the third is the Companion of Honour, and the fourth is the title of Dame, reserved for eminent women. These distinctions are conferred on those who have achieved eminence in a variety of fields. For instance, life peerages have been conferred on Maurice Saatchi (the advertising tycoon, and George Weidenfeld (the publisher), who are Jewish, and on John Birt (a former director of the BBC) and William Rees-Mogg (a former editor of The Times), who are gentiles. The Order of Merit has been conferred on Lucian Freud (the painter), Lord Rothschild (the banker), and Tom Stoppard (the playwright), who are Jewish, and on Norman Foster (the architect) and Joan Sutherland (the soprano), who are gentiles. The Companion of Honour has been conferred on Harold Pinter (the playwright) and Eric Hobsbawm (the historian), who are Jewish, and on Paul Scofield (the actor) and Peter Brook (the theatre producer) who are gentiles.

The numbers of Jews and gentiles who held these honors in 2002 are given in Table 6.12. Those holding the Order of Merit and the Companion of Honour have been combined because they are so few amounting to only 64. Column 5 gives the percentages who are Jewish. Column 6 gives the Jewish Achievement Quotients calculated on the basis of 0.6 for the percentage of Jews in the population in 1980, adopted because these honors are normally awarded to those in late middle age and the old, so it is appropriate to use an earlier figure when Jews formed a larger percentage of the population. We can see that Jews are hugely over-represented with AQs of 14.5 for Life Peers and 27.3 for the Order of Merit and the Companion of Honour. Jewesses are less over-represented among Dames, with an AQ of only 3.8.

Table 6.12 Jewish and gentile Life Peers, holders of the Order of Merit and the Companion of Honour, and Dames.
HonorYearN. JewsN. Gentiles% JewsAQ
Life Peers2002434398.714.5
OM/CH200295514.027.3
Dames200272512.33.8
Chess Champions

The British Chess Federation was formed in 1904 and has held tournaments every year except during World Wars One and Two. The winners of these tournaments are given in Table 6.13. Some people won in more than one year, but their names are only given once. Jewish winners are asterisked. Of the 47 chess champions, 7 have been Jewish (15 per cent). Adopting a figure of 0.65 per cent for the percentage of Jews in the population during the twentieth century, Jews have an Achievement Quotients of 23.

Table 6.13 British chess champions (Jews are asterisked)
NapierBardenShort
AtkinsPhilipsAdams
GriffithsFazekas*Plaskett
YatesPenroseHodgson
ScottHaygarthHennigan
ThomasLeeWatson
KhanKeeneSadler
WinterEleyWard
FairhurstHartston*Adams
AlexanderBotterillShort
CoombeMestel*Gallagher
Golombek*Speelman*Ramesh
BroadbentBellinKunte
Klein*NunnRowson
WadeLittlewood
Yanofsky*Miles
Bridge

Bridge is a cognitively demanding game. Britain does not produce many top-level bridge players. There are only seven British players among the 157 top rated names among the Open World Champions recognised by WorldBridge Federation in 2004. Their names ranked by their position are given in Table 6.14. Two of them are Jews, denoted by asterisks. Hence, Jews who were 0.46 per cent of the population, produced 29 per cent of the top bridge players, giving them an Achievement Quotients of 62.

Table 6.14 British Bridge Champions in 2004; Jews are denoted by asterisks.
Boris Schapiro*Kenneth KonstramTerence Reese
Leslie DoddsAdam Meredith
Nico Gardener*Jordanis Pavlides
Nobel Prize-winners

British Nobel Prize-winners are listed in Table 6.15. Those listed in the Table are those born in Britain, not those who were born elsewhere but assumed British nationality. Britain has produced 76 Nobel prize-winners of whom three have been Jews (Brian Josephson, physics, 1973; Herbert C. Brown, chemistry, 1979; Harold Pinter, literature, 2005). Thus, Jews have been4 per cent of British Nobel prize-winners. In 1970 the Jewish population in Britain was about 360,000 when they were approximately 0.65 per cent of the population. Adopting this figure, Jews are over-represented by a factor of 6.1. All the Jewish prize-winners were in the second half of the twentieth century, confirming the same trend that was found for Fellows of the Royal Society.

Table 6.15 British Nobel Prize-winners (Jews are asterisked)
YearNameSubjectYearNameSubject
1902Ronald RossMedicine1962John KendrewChemistry
1904William RamsayChemistry1960Francis CrickMedicine
1904Lord RayleighPhysics1960Maurice WilkinsMedicine
1906J.J. ThomsonPhysics1963Alan HodgkinMedicine
1907Rudyard KiplingLiterature1963Andrew HuxleyMedicine
1915William BraggPhysics1964Dorothy HodgkinChemistry
1915Lawrence BraggPhysics1967Ronald NorrishChemistry
1917Charles BarklaPhysics1969George PorterChemistry
1908Frederick SoddyChemistry1969Derek BartonChemistry
1922Francis AshtonChemistry1972John HicksEconomics
1922Archibald HillMedicine1972Rodney PorterMedicine
1927C.T.R. WilsonPhysics1973Geoffrey WilkinsonChemistry
1928Owen RichardsonPhysics1973Patrick WhiteLiterature
1929Arthur HardenChemistry1973Brian Josephson*Physics
1929Frederick HopkinsMedicine1974Paul FloryChemistry
1932John GalsworthyLiterature1974Antony HewishPhysics
1932Edgar AdrianMedicine1974Martin RylePhysics
1932Charles SherringtonChemistry1977James MeadeEconomics
1933Paul DiracPhysics1977Neville MottPhysics
1935James ChadwickPhysics1978Peter MitchellChemistry
1936Henry DaleMedicine1979Herbert Brown*Chemistry
1937Norman HaworthChemistry1974Godfrey HousefieldMedicine
1937George ThompsonPhysics1980Frederick SangerChemistry
1945Alexander FlemingMedicine1982John VaneMedicine
1947Robert RobinsonChemistry1983William GoldingLiterature
1947Edward AppletonPhysics1984Richard StoneEconomics
1948Patrick BlackettPhysics1988James BlackMedicine
1950Bertrand RussellLiterature1993Michael SmithChemistry
1950Cecil PowellPhysics1993Richard RobertsMedicine
1951John CockcroftPhysics1996Harold KrotoChemistry
1952Archer MartinChemistry1996James MerrleesEconomics
1950Richard SyngeChemistry1997John WalkerChemistry
1953Winston ChurchillLiterature1998John PopleChemistry
1956Cyril HinchelwoodChemistry2001Tim HuntMedicine
1956William ShockleyPhysics2001Paul NurseMedicine
1958Lord ToddChemistry2003Peter MansfieldMedicine
1958Frederick SangerChemistry2003Anthony LeggettPhysics
1960Peter MedawarMedicine2005Harold Pinter*Literature

Britain has also produced 7 mathematicians who have received the Fields Medal or the Wolf Prize awarded for outstanding work in mathematics. These are Michael Atiyah 1966; Alan Baker 1970; David Mumford, 1974: Simon Donaldson, 1986; Andrew Wiles, 1995; Richard Borcherds, 1998; and Timothy Gowers, 1998. However, none of these is Jewish.

We have seen that the great majority of British Jews are the descendants of impoverished immigrants who came to Britain between 1881-1914 seeking refuge from the pogroms in Russia. Already by the 1920s their children had substantially higher average IQs at approximately 110 than that of gentiles, and by the second half of the twentieth century their grand-children were massively over-represented in the professions, among fellows of the Royal Society and the BritishAcademy, among the top chess and bridge players, and among Nobel Prize-winners.

Chapter 7 • Canada • 2,800 Words

A small number of Sephardic Jews, originally from Spain and Portugal, settled in Montreal in the middle decades of the nineteenth century. But the great majority of Canada Jews are the Ashkenazim descendants of immigrants who sought refuge from Russia, Poland and Lithuania from 1881 onwards, and particularly between 1900 and 1918. In the 1930s there was some further immigration from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia.

Numbers and percentages of Jews in Canada

Numbers and percentages of Jews in Canada from 1901 through 2002 are shown in Table 7.1. It will be seen that there were very few Jews in Canada in 1901, but a considerable increase by 1911 resulting from refugees from Russia. The numbers had increased again by 1931 as a result of natural increase and further immigration, and rose again by 1981 and 2002. However, the percentage of Jews in the population remained approximately constant at between 1.0 and 1.5 per cent.

Table 7.1 Numbers and percentages of Jews in Canada
YearN. Jews% populationYearN. Jews% population
190116,0000.21981264,0201.0
191175,6811.02002362,0001.1
1931156,7261.5
Intelligence of Jews in Canada

There have been two studies of the intelligence of Jews in Canada. The results are given in Table 7.2. Row 1 gives the results of the first study carried out by Wendt and Burwell (1964) in the early 1960s in three schools, two of which were Jewish while the third was mixed Jewish and gentile. They were tested with the WISC and obtained a Full Scale IQ of 111.1, a verbal IQ of 113.1 and a performance (non-verbal and to some degree spatial-visualization) IQ of 107.8. These results need adjustment for the secular rise of IQs known as the Flynn effect, which has found that Full Scale IQs have been increasing at 3 IQ points a decade, verbal IQs at two IQ points a decade and performance IQs at four IQ points a decade (Flynn, 1984). The WISC standardization sample was obtained in 1949 and the adjusted results are a Full Scale IQ of 107.1, a verbal IQ of 108.1 and a performance IQ (entered as spatial) of 104.8.

The second study was carried out by Majoribanks (1972). He compared 100 Jewish boys aged 11 years with 200 white gentile boys (100 Protestant Anglos and 100 French Canadians). His results are shown in row 2 of Table 7.2. In relation to the combined scores of the two gentile groups set at 100, the Jewish boys obtained a non-verbal reasoning IQ of 105, a verbal IQ of 119, a spatial IQ of 103, and a numerical IQ of 115. To calculate a general IQ, these have been averaged to give a figure of 110.5. The two studies can be averaged to give an IQ of 108.8 for Jews in Canada, or 109 to the nearest whole number. This is closely similar to the IQs of Jews in the United States and in Britain, where the mean IQ of Jews is about 110. Both the Canadian studies show the strong verbal-low spatial ability profile that has also been found among Jews in the United States.

Table 7.2 IQs of Jews in Canada
TestIQReasVerbSpatialNum
1WISC107.1-108.1104.8-
2PMA110.5105119103115
Educational Attainment.

Jewish educational attainment compared with that of ethnic British, French and other Europeans are shown in Table 7.3. Row 1 gives the percentages that were illiterate found in the 1921 census. The British had the fewest (1%) illiterate reflecting their higher educational and socio-economic status in Canada at this time. Next come the Jews (7%) showing that even at this early date the Jews were relatively well educated. They were followed closely by the French (8%), who performed consistently at a lower level than the British until the end of the twentieth century. Then come the Other Europeans (14%) reflecting the immigration of large numbers of illiterate Italians (19%), Poles (20%) and Ukranians (30%) in the last decades of the nineteenth century and early decades of the twentieth century.

Row 2 gives the percentages that were found to be illiterate in the 1931 census. As in 1921, the British had the fewest (1%) illiterate reflecting their continued high educational and socio-economic status in Canada at this time. Once again, Jews (4%) came next, followed closely by the French (6%). The Other Europeans had 8 per cent illiteracy, a significantly lower percentage than their 14 per cent in 1921.

Rows 3 through 6 give percentages of the ethnic groups who had reached 10th grade of secondary school found in the censuses of 1951, 1961, 1971 and 1981. Row 3 gives the data for 1951 shows that the British had the greatest percentage (55%), followed closely by the Jews (53%). There is a considerable drop to the Other Europeans (35%), and the French (30%).

Row 4 gives the data for 1961 and shows that the Jews had marginally overtaken the British to become the group with the highest percentage (64%) with 10th grade education. The British came second with 63 per cent, followed by the French at 38%, The Other Europeans came next at 31 per cent, a little lower than the 35 per cent of 1951, reflecting post World War Two immigration of substantial number of illiterate Poles (40%) and Ukranians (38%). Once again the Native American Indians had by far the fewest with 10th grade education at only 9 per cent.

Row 5 gives the data for 1971 and shows that the Jews were again the group with the highest percentage (80%) with 10th grade education. The British came second with 77 per cent. There followed quite a large drop with the French at 59 per cent and the Other Europeans at 58 per cent. Row 6 gives the data for 1981. Once again the Jews were again the group with the highest percentage (85%) with 10th grade education followed by the British with 84 per cent. The French came next at 77 per cent followed by the Other Europeans at 72 per cent.

Table 7.3 Literacy and educational attainment of Jews and gentiles
MeasureYearJewsBritishFrenchEuropean
1Illiterate %192171814
2Illiterate %19314168
310th grade %195153553035
410th grade %196164633831
510th grade %197180775958
610th grade %198185847772
7Years- NB198113.511.711.111.9
8Years-FB198112.712.712.410.7
9Years-M199115.012.311.712.4
10Years-W199114.612.612.212.5
Sources: rows 1-6: Herberg, 1990b; rows 7-8: Li, 1988; row 9-10: Sweetman & Dicks, 2000

Rows 7 and 8 give the average years of education given in the 1981 census, broken down by the native born (NB) and the foreign born (FB). Among the native born, the Jews had the most years of education (13.5 years), followed by the Other Europeans (11.9 years), the British (11.7 years) and the French (11.1 years). The figures for the foreign born a are little different. The foreign born Jews and Other Europeans had fewer years of education than the native born, while the foreign born British and French had more years of education than the native born. These differences reflect different patterns of immigration, with somewhat less educated Jewish and Other Europeans entering Canada as compared with the native born, and the reverse for British and French.

Rows 9 and 10 give the average years of education given in the 1991 census, separately for men (row 9) and women (row 10). Among the men the Jews once again had the most years of education (15.0 years), followed by the Other Europeans (12.4 years), the British (12.3 years), and the French (11.7 years).

Table 7.4 gives Jewish and European figures for the percentages with any kind of tertiary, college or university education found in the censuses of 1951 through 1991. Row 1 gives the data for 1951 and shows that Jews had the greatest percentage (13%) with some tertiary education, followed by the British (11%). The French (4%) and Other Europeans (5%) had much lower percentages.

Row 2 gives the data for 1961 and shows that again the Jews had the highest percentage (9%), followed by the British (8%), the French (5%) and Other Europeans (5%). Row 3 gives the data for 1971 and shows that once more the Jews (40%)had the greatest percentage (42%) with some tertiary education, followed by the British (29%), the Other Europeans (26%) and the French (23%).

In 1981, shown in row 4, the Jews still had the greatest percentage with tertiary education at 53 per cent, again followed by the British (38%), the Other Europeans (34%) and the French (29%).

Row 5 gives the percentages with university degrees in 1981. The figures are lower than those in row 4 because they exclude those with other forms of tertiary education. However, the rank order of the ethnic groups remains the same with a much greater percentage of Jews than of the three categories of gentiles. Row 6 gives the percentages of those aged 25-34 with university degrees in the 1991. Once again the Jews had by far the highest percentage with university degrees (55 per cent) followed by the British, Other Europeans, and the French with between 12-15 per cent.

Table 7.4 Jewish and gentiles with tertiary education (percentages)
YearJewsBritishFrenchEuropean
11951131145
2196115855
3197140292326
i198153382934
51981321089
6199155121315
Sources: 1951-1981: Herberg, 1990a & b; 1981: Li, 1988; 1991: McMullin, 2004.

Further evidence for the better educational attainment of Jews comes from grade 8 (approximately 14 year olds) high school students in Ontario in 1994. At this stage the students are streamed by ability into three groups: (1) basic: where students are 2 years behind the average for grade 8; (2) general: for students of average abilities; and (3) advanced: for high ability students who achieve over 70% in both English and in math. The percentage of Jews and whites are shown in Table 7.5. It will be seen that a much higher percentage of Jewish children were placed in the high ability advanced streams and a much lower percentage in the basic streams.

Table 7.5 Jewish and gentiles in advanced streams and basic streams (percentages)
GroupAdvancedBasic
Jews4213
Whites2625
Source: The Toronto Star, Feb 11th, 1995
Earnings

The earnings of Jews compared with those of ethnic British, French and other Europeans are shown in Table 7.6. The figures are for the employed labor force obtained from census returns for 1941 through 2001. Row 1 gives the average earnings for 1941 and shows that the British had the highest average earnings ($1,515), reflecting the dominant position of the British in Canada at this time. The Jews came next ($1,327), followed by a substantial drop to the Other Europeans (Germans, Italian, Dutch, Scandinavians and Poles) ($1,115) and the French ($1,007).

Row 2 gives the average earnings in 1951 and shows that the Jews had overtaken the British as the group with the highest average earnings ($2,619 as compared with $2,481). Other Europeans (Germans, Italian, Dutch, Scandinavians, Ukrainians and Poles) came next at ($2,232) followed by the French ($2,150).

Row 3 gives the average earnings in 1961 and shows that the Jews had increased their lead as the highest earning group ($7,426) with a substantial advantage over the British ($4,852). These were followed by the French ($3,872) and the Other Europeans ($3,319). Row 4 gives the average earnings in 1971 and shows that the Jews retained their position as the highest earning group ($12,368), again with a substantial lead over the British ($8,500). The Other Europeans come next ($7,846), followed by the French ($7,307).

Row 5 gives the average earnings in 1981 and shows that the Jews continued to retain their lead as the highest earning group ($21,349) with a substantial lead over the British ($15,100). The French ($13,831) still had significantly lower average earnings than the British, and Other Europeans were fractionally lower ($13,167).

Rows 6 and 7 give the average earnings in 1991 and 2001 and show that Jews continued to maintain their position as much higher earners than gentiles.

Table 7.6. Jewish and gentile earnings, 1941-2001
YearJewsBritishFrenchEuropean
119411,3271,5151,0071,115
219512,6192,4812,1502,232
319617,4264,8523,8723,319
4197112,3688,5007,3077,846
5198121,34915,10013,83113,367
6199150,10034,66031,61533,100
7200173,92851,985--
Sources: 1941-81: Herberg (1990b); 1981: Li, 1988; 1991: Sweetman & Dicks, 2000; 2001:census

Consistent with the Jewish high average earnings, there are fewer Jews in poverty. Kazemipur and Halli (2001) give the percentages of native born Canadians living in poverty found in the 1996 census as British: 19.3; French: 19.6; and Jews: 12.2.

Socio-economic Status

The percentages of Jews and gentiles in the professions in the censuses of 1921 through 1981 are shown in Table 7.7. Row 1 gives the percentages in the professions in 1921 and shows that the British had by far the highest percentage (12%), reflecting the dominant position of the British in Canada at this time. The French had 5 per cent in the professions, well below the British, and reflecting the under-performance of the French in all indices of education and socio-economic status in the early and middle decades of the twentieth century. The Jews also had 5 per cent in the professions. Thus, the Jews were not doing particularly well in 1921. The reason for this is that nearly all of them were recent immigrants from Eastern Europe and had not been able to obtain the educational qualifications for entry into the professions.

In the years 1931 and 1941, we see that the British retained their leading position (11% and 10%) but the French had narrowed the gap (9% and 8%). The Jews had also improved their position to 7%, but were below the British and the French.

The 1951 census saw a dramatic shift in the position of the Jews. They were by far the most over-represented group with 45% in the professions. The British had lost their hitherto dominant position and dropped to 19%. The French were still behind at 14 per cent. The censuses of 1961, 1971 and 1981 saw a continuation of these trends. The Jews continued to be by far the most over-represented group in the professions. The British continued to be second, the French continued to be third, and the Other Europeans continued to be fourth. The under-representation of the Other Europeans reflects the immigration of numbers of Greeks, Portuguese and Italians without professional qualifications.

Table 7.7 Jews and gentiles: percentages in the professions, 1921-1981
YearJewsBritishFrenchEuropean
1192151254
2193171194
3194171084
419514519145
5196148231714
6197132211615
7198145262418
Source: Herberg (1990a, 1990b)

The occupations of Jews and of all Canadians found for men in the 1991 census are given in Table 7.8. Row 1 shows Jews massively over-represented among doctors and dentists, while row 2 shows Jews substantially over-represented among lawyers and accountants. Row 3 shows Jews only slightly over-represented among architects and engineers. Rows 4 through 6 show Jews moderately over-represented among teachers, managers and sales. Row 7 shows Jews highly under-represented among manual workers.

Table 7.8 Occupations of Jews and all Canadians; men, 1991 (percentages)
OccupationJewsAllAQ
1Doctor, dentist4.60.59.2
2Lawyer, accountant8.11.84.5
3Architect, engineer5.85.11.1
4Teacher12.56.41.9
5Manager19.210.61.8
6Sales16.38.02.0
7Manual16.347.30.3
Source: Torczyner and Brotman, 1995

The occupations of Jews and of all Canadians found for women in the 1991 census are given in Table 7.9 and show similar differences to those for men. Row 1 shows Jews greatly over-represented among doctors and dentists, while row 2 shows Jews somewhat over-represented among lawyers and accountants. Row 3 shows Jews only slightly over-represented among architects and engineers. Rows 4 through 6 show Jews moderately over-represented among teachers, managers and sales. Row 7 shows Jews highly under-represented among manual workers.

Table 7.9 Occupations of Jews and all Canadians; women, 1991 (percentages)
OccupationJewsAllAQ
1Doctor, dentist1.10.25.5
2Lawyer, accountant2.71.51.8
3Architect, engineer1.71.31.3
4Teacher22.014.41.5
5Manager11.06.21.8
6Sales11.07.31.5
7Manual7.218.80.4
Source: Torczyner and Brotman, 1995
Nobel and Wolf Prize-winners

There have been eight Canadian Nobel prize-winners and one Wolf Prize-winner for mathematics (Robert Langlands). These are listed in Table 7.10. Four of the nine have been Jewish. Thus, Jews who comprised about 1.25 per cent of the population of Canada during the twentieth century have produced 44 per cent per cent of the Nobel and Wolf Prize-winners, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 35.

Table 7.10 Canadian Nobel and Wolf Prize-winners (Jews are asterisked)
YearNameSubjectYearNameSubject
1976Saul Bellow*Literature1995Robert LanglandsMathematics
1983Henry TaubeChemistry1996William VickreyEconomics
1989Sidney Altman*Chemistry1997Myron S. Scholes*Economics
1990Richard E. TaylorPhysics1999Robert A. MundellEconomics
1992Rudolph A. Marcus*Chemistry
Assimilation and Fertility

Jews in Canada have resisted assimilation with gentiles more than in the United States. In 1991 only 12.9 per cent of Canadian Jews had married gentiles (Torczyner and Brotman (1995). This has contributed to the continued survival of Jews as an ethnic group. However, acting against this is the low fertility of Jewish women in Canada. Canadian Jewish women have had the lowest fertility of the four major religious groups. Table 7.11 gives statistics showing this expressed as children ever born per 1,000 ever -married women aged 15-44 and aged 44 and over from the 1981 census (Brym, Shaffir and Weinfeld, 1993, p.32). As these figures are for ever-married women and therefore exclude unmarried women, the true fertility of all women and of Jewish women in particular will be lower and possibly below replacement.

Table 7.11 Children ever born per 1,000 ever-married women, 1981
GroupAge 15-44Age 44+
Catholic1.783.85
Protestant1.802.80
Eastern Orthodox1.802.80
Jewish1.602.24
All1.783.30
Conclusions

The Jews have been the most successful ethnic group in Canada. In the second half of the twentieth century they had the most education, the highest percentage with university degrees, the greatest proportion in the professions and the highest average earnings of all racial and ethnic groups. The success of the Jews is difficult for social scientists to explain. The Canadian sociologist Peter Li has written that “the income advantage enjoyed by Jews and those of West European origin, except the French, is probably due to their historical position in which they already enjoyed an advantage over other groups” (Li, 1988, p.138). This is not convincing. Most of the Jews arrived in Canada between 1881 and 1914 as impoverished refugees fleeing persecution in Russia and Poland. When they arrived in Canada they could not speak English or French, were for the most part penniless and at the bottom of the earnings and socio-economic status hierarchy. The British possessed the wealth and held the powerful positions in most of Canada and the French were the established dominant ethnic group in Quebec. The Europeans discriminated against Jews to some degree by excluding them from clubs and associations, as they did in the United States and Europe. Yet by 1951 the Canadian Jews had a far greater proportion in professional occupations than the British at 45 per cent as compared with 19 per cent and they maintained this advantage in the successive censuses of 1961, 1971 and 1981 (Table 7.7). They have also had higher average earnings from 1951 through 1991 (Table 7.6). The high IQ of Canadian Jews of 109 must be a major factor in their over-representationin the professions and their high average earnings. It may or may not be surprising that this is not mentioned by sociologists such as Li (1988) and Herberg (1990a and 1990b) in their analyses of the success of the Jews in Canada.

Chapter 8 • Denmark • 1,100 Words

Jews first began to settle in Denmark in the seventeenth century. Virtually all of them went to Copenhagen, where they have remained. More Jews came to Denmark from Germany in the eighteenth century. Jews were discriminated against in Denmark until the early nineteenth century. They were not allowed to vote, hold public office, or marry non-Jews.

1814-1939

The nineteenth century saw a transformation of the socio-economic position of Jews in Denmark from poverty to predominantly bourgeois status. Thus “at the beginning of the nineteenth century the majority of Jews in Denmark were in poor circumstances, but by 1900 they mostly belonged to the middle and upper middle classes”(Encylopedia Judaica, 1968, 15, p.1537). The socio-economic ascent of the Jews in Denmark began with their partial emancipation in 1814 when Jews were given citizenship and were permitted to hold public office and to marry gentiles. In 1834 Jews were allowed to vote. In 1843 Jews could be appointed to medical professorships at the University of Copenhagen, but it was not until 1872 that all formal restrictions on the appointment of Jews to the University were lifted. During the course of the nineteenth century Jews became well assimilated in Denmark. Between 1880-1889 35.9 per cent of Jewish marriages were to gentiles. Between 1890-1899 this figure had increased to 40.7 per cent, and between 1900-1905 it had increased further to 48.2 per cent. Only about half of the children of these mixed marriages were raised as Jews, so there was some reduction in the number of those who were identified as Jews. Thus, in 1834 there were 4,064 Jews in Denmark, while in 1902 there were only 3,476. Immigrants seeking refuge from Eastern Europe in the early twentieth century pushed the number of Jews in Denmark up to 5,875 in 1921 (Buckser, 2003, pp.37-8, 41).

From 1881 onwards Jews came to Denmark as refugees from the pogroms in Russia and there was some further immigration from the Middle East in the 1990s. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Jews have been about 0.10 per cent of total population in Denmark. In 2002 there were 6,400 Jews in Denmark, representing 0.11 per cent of the population of 5,360,000.

During the nineteenth century, Jews prospered socially and economically in Denmark. According to the leading historian of Danish Jewry “over the course of the nineteenth century Jews found their way into almost all of the nation’s most prestigious positions; by the opening of the twentieth century, most Jews belonged to the upper end of the middle class, with incomes and living standards far above the Danish average” (Buckser, 2003, p.39). One of the most successful Danish Jews in the nineteenth century was I. C. Jacobsen, the brewer of Carlsberg lager. In 1876 he founded the Carlsberg Foundation, which remains one of the leading Danish foundations for the support of research. The trust stipulates that 51% of the shares of the Brewery must be owned by the Foundation at all times. One of the best known of the Danish Jews is Victor Borge, the pianist and comedian.

In April 1940 the Germans occupied Denmark but they did not treat it as a conquered country but as a “protectorate”. Danes kept their own civil government and administration. The Germans exerted pressure on the Danes to round up and transport the Jews, but the Danes did not co-operate and resisted these demands. In August 1943 the protectorate was abolished and the Germans took control of the country. They tried to round up the Jews with a view to eliminating them, but word of the plan got out and the great majority of the Jews were able to go into hiding and later the Danes ferried many of them across the sea to Sweden. In the event almost all of the approximately 7,000 Jews in 1943 were saved from the Holocaust.

Nobel Prize-winners

The best known Danish Nobel prize-winner is the physicist Niels Bohr (1885-1962). His mother, Ella Adler, was a member of a prominent Jewish banking family. Jews count those who have Jewish mothers as Jews. Frequently, the fathers are also Jews, but Niels Bohr’s father was a gentile and professor of physiology at the University of Copenhagen. Neils Bohr was a brilliant student at the University of Copenhagen, who after graduating in physics worked with J.J.Thomson in Cambridge and was appointed professor of physics at the University of Copenhagen at the early age of thirty-one. His principal achievement was the formulation of a theory of the spectrum of hydrogen based on an atomic model and quantum theory structure, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1922. In the early years of World War 2 he was visited by Werner Heisenberg, the German theoretical physicist, who tried to recruit him to work on the development of a nuclear bomb. Neils Bohr declined and was among those who escaped to Sweden in 1943. He then went to the United States and joined the Manhattan Project that developed the atom bomb. His son, Aage Neils Bohr, is also a physicist and succeeded his father as professor of physics at the University of Copenhagen. In 1975 he too won the Nobel Prize for Physics. There has been one other Danish Nobel prize-winner who has been Jewish. This is Benjamin Mottelson who won the prize for physics in 1975. In total there have been eleven Danish Nobel prize-winners who are listed in Table 7.1, of whom three have been Jews. Thus, Jews who comprise 0.1 per cent of the Danish population have won 27 per cent of the Nobel Prizes, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 270.

Table 7.1 Nobel Prize-winners (Jews are asterisked)
YearNameSubjectYearNameSubject
1917Karl GjellerupLiterature1944Johannes V. JensenLiterature
1917Henrik PontoppidanLiterature1975Ben Mottelson*Physics
1920August KroghMedicine1975Aage N. Bohr*Physics
1922Niels Bohr*Physics1984Niels K. JerneMedicine
1922Johannes FibigerMedicine1997Jens C. SkouChemistry
1922Henrik DamMedicine
The Royal Danish Academy

The Royal Danish Academy for Arts and Sciences was established in 1742 as an institution for the most eminent scholars in Denmark, akin to the National Academy of Sciences in the United States and the Royal Society in Britain. In 1999 it had 236 members, of whom 143 were in the sciences and 93 in the humanities and social sciences. Eleven of these were Jewish (Aage Bohr, Henrik Bohr,Tomas Bohr, Miriam Gelfer-Jorgensen, Lotte Melchior Larsen, Martin Schwarz Lausten, Ben Mottelson, Jytte Reichstein Nilsson, Peter Roepstorff, Ove Sten-Knudsen, and Ebbe Spang-Hanssen). Thus, Jews who comprise 0.1 per cent of the Danish population are 4.7 per cent of the Academicians, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 47.

Chapter 9 • France • 3,000 Words

Jews are known to have lived in what is now France between 300 and 600. They were expelled by King Dagobert of the Franks in 629. Early in the ninth century, Charlemagne (768-814) ruled a large empire that included France, west Germany, northeast Spain and northern and central Italy, including Rome. Charlemagne was keen to promote culture and learning in his empire and he observed that the Jews in Italy were strong in this regard.Accordingly, he invited the Italian Jews to relocate in France and the Rhineland. He promised good conditions for them, including physical protection, liberty to travel, the freedom to practi se their religion and to build synagogues, to own property, hold public office, and to adjudicate their own disputes. A number of Jews took up this invitation. However, they also suffered some discriminationin so far as they were banned from the guilds and they were heavily taxed.

In France, as throughout Europe, many Jews became money-lenders and traders. Money-lending was a good niche for them because of the Christian prohibition against charging interest on loans promulgated by the Pope in 1179. This prohibitionwas based on Deuteronomy, which decrees that “thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother”. Thiswas Church law and therefore applied only to Christians and not to Jews. Few Christians were willing to incur the risk of lending money without the incentive of receiving interest, so there was a demand for money lenders that Jews took advantage of. They extended loans to a wide range of borrowers including peasants, tradesmen, knights, courtiers, and occasionally even to monasteries. A record from Perpignan in southwest France states that in 1270, 80 percent of the 228 adult Jewish men made their living lending money to their Gentile neighbors, according to Marcus Arkin’s Aspects of Jewish Economic History.

Jews were also traders and “were practically alone in maintaining links between the primitive and agrarian Carolingian society and the most important trading centers in the Middle East, India and even China; in exchange for slaves, furs, arms they brought back spices, perfumes, precious cloth, jewels and many other goods”

In the tenth century the Carolingian empire founded by Charlemagne collapsed and the empire broke up into a number of independent states. In most of these Jews had a number of their privileges withdrawn. They were no longer permitted to own land or hold public office, and they were banned from the trade and craft guilds that had monopolies. Money-lending remained one of the few activities open to them, together with street peddling and the repair of utensils and clothing, and the practice of medicine.

In 1096, at the time of the First Crusade, “Jews were murdered on a large scale for the first time, by the Crusaders themselves and by the rabble that followed in their wake” (Blom, Fuks-Mansfeld and Schoffer (1996, p. 15). The reason for this was that Jews were perceived to be ethnically related to the Saracens who occupied the Holy Land and therefore as sympatheticto the enemy.

The second major persecution of Jews occurred in 1348-1350 when the Black Death (the bubonic plague) swept though Europe and was responsible for the deaths of about a third of the population. Many people blamed the Jews for this terrible and inexplicable epidemic, since Jews were widely believed to be the enemies of Christians. Throughout Europe people attacked and killed the Jews in revenge and France was no exception. The Jews were expelled from France in 1394.

In the late sixteenth century King Henry 11 invited the Jews who were being harassed by the Inquisition in Portugal to settle in Southwest France between Bordeaux and Spain and a number of them did so. Most of them worked as traders importing goods from Lisbon and exporting grain back to Portugal. Some of the Jews in Southwest France did well including the philosopher Montaigne (1533-92) who was half Jewish and mayor of Bordeaux.

In the eighteenth century Jews were subject to restrictions in France similar to those in most of the rest of continental Europe. A poll tax levied on Jews until 1784, when it was abolished, but in the same year the rights of Jews to lend money and trade in grain and cattle were curtailed, they were required to obtain crown permission to marry and secure residence qualifications, without which they could be expelled. The Revolution of 1789 saw the emancipation of the Jews from these restrictions. The revolutionaries appreciated that their slogan Liberty, Equality, Fraternity was inconsistent with the limited rights of Jews and in 1781 these restrictions were abolished. Jews became full citizens and able to enter the universities and, at least in theory, any occupation.

Numbers of Jews in France

The numbers of Jews and their percentages of the population are shown in Table 9.1. The big jump in numbers from 1890 to 1914 was due to the immigration of approximately 120,000 refugees from Russia. The increase from 1914 to 1940 was largely due to refugees from Germany. The fall from 340,000 in 1940 to 250,000 in 1945 was a result of the killing of approximately 90,000 Jews in World War Two.

Table 9.1 Numbers of Jews in France
YearN. JewsPercentYearN. JewsPercent
189086,0000.21945250,0000.6
1914296,0000.51985670,0001.1
1940340,0000.82002520,0000.86
1789-1945

Following their emancipation in 1789 Jews in France had considerable freedom and generally prospered. Most Jews in the nineteenth century “were modest garment makers, small provincial salesmen, sellers of livestock, furniture, iron or canvas” (Birnbaum, 1992, p. 98).

The first field in which Jews began to achieve success was banking. In the middle decades of the nineteenth century about a third of the major banks in France were run and owned by Jews, including Deutsch, Bamberger, Heine, Lippman, Periere, Ephtussi, Stern, Bischoffsheim, Hirsch, Reinach and Rothschild. Pre-eminent among these were the Rothschilds who were “almost certainly the richest family in France dueing the nineteenth and twentieth centuries” (Rubinstein, 2000, p.32). In 1858 Emmanuel Lambert became the first Jew to be appointed a prefet (a senior public official). In the second half of the nineteenth century Jews who achieved prominence included Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), the early impressionist painter, Georges Bizet (1838-75), the composer (who was half Jewish) and is best remembered for his opera Carmen, and Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), who became the most acclaimed actress of her day.

Inthe closing decades of the nineteenth century that Jews began to gain acceptance in French professional life. From this time up to 1940, a number of the most famous intellectuals and public figures were Jews including Leon Blum, who was Prime Minister in 1936, the sociologist Emile Durkheim (1858-1917), the novelist Marcel Proust (1871-1922), the writer Emile Herzog (1885-1967), better known by his pen name Andre Maurois, the anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss (1908-88), and the psychoanalyst and literary critic Jacques Lacan.In the twenty years 1895-1914, 148 Jews graduated from France’s most prestigious college, the Ecole Polytechnique. Jews became quite prominent in public life during the ThirdRepublic which began in 1870. In the period 1870-1914, 21 Jews were elected deputies to the French Parliament, and between 1914 and 1940 a further 31 were elected. In the years 1870-1940, 25 generals in the French army were Jews (Birnbaum, 1992, pp. 186, 383-4 – he does not give the total numbers of Ecole Polytechnique graduates, deputies or generals). In the 1930s it is estimated that 15 per cent of doctors in France were Jews (Brustein, 2003), drawn from a Jewish population of about 0.8 per cent of the French population.

Despite the absence of legal restrictions there was a strong undercurrent of anti-Semitism in the nineteenth century that persisted up to the deportation of many Jews to the concentration camps during World War Two. Although Jews were admitted to the civil service, by an unwritten rule none were appointed to the three most important ministries: the Quai d’Orsay (the ministry for foreign affairs), the Cour des Comptes, and the Inspection des Finances (finance ministries). In 1853 Joseph de Gobineau published his Essai sur l’inegalite des races humaines, which maintained that the Aryans are superior to the Semitics, who included the Jews. Three years later Ernst Renan published his Vie de Jesus, the best selling book in France in the whole of the nineteenth century, which maintained that “the Semitic race, compared to the Indo-European, represents an inferior level of human nature”; he asserted that Jesus was an exception who “was immune to all the defects of his race” (Johnson, 1987, p. 282). These anti-Semitic sentiments encountered the problem of why, if Jews were inferior, they were so successful. The answer was provided by Edouard Drumont in his best-selling La France juive (1886) in which he argued that Jews succeeded by cheating and conspiring together to advance their own kind.

In 1893 a further discussion of the reasons for the remarkable success of the Jews was offered by Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu in his book Israel chez les Nations. He wrote that “we marvel at the variety of Jewish aptitudes, at their singular ability to assimilate, at the speed with which they appropriate our knowledge and our methods”. How to explain these Jewish aptitudes? “They have been prepared by heredity, by two thousand years of mental gymnastics; the centuries have not only equipped them for stock-market wars and assaults on fortune, they have armed them for scientific battles and conquests” (p.221). Leroy-Beaulieu was perceptive in identifying high intelligence as the key to Jewish success and in noting that this could be channelled into a variety of fields including commerce and science. He erred only in his Lamarckian theory of the inheritance of historically acquired characteristics in so far as he evidently believed that high intelligence of the Jews had been acquired by “two thousand years of mental gymnastics”.

Anti-Semitism erupted in 1895 in the Dreyfus case. This involved Captain Alfred Dreyfus, who was the only Jew serving in the French army general staff, who was accused of handing military secrets to the Germans. He was tried, found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment on Devil’s Island. The case aroused tremendous passions between the supporters of Dreyfus and his opponents. There were anti-Semitic riots in Paris and a number of provincial cities. After eleven years in prison, Dreyfus was released and pardoned.

At the time of the Dreyfus case, in the last decade of the nineteenth century, there was growing unease over the apparently large numbers of Jews in the public services. In 1895, two deputies raised this matter in the French parliament. One asked “what measures the government intends to take to stop the predominance of Jews in various branches of the French administration”, while the other called for an inquiry “into the dangers of the continual infiltration of the Jewish race into our midst” (Birnbaum, 1992, p. 301).

The German invasion of France took place in May, 1940, and it took the German army only a few weeks to secure victory. The Germans partitioned the country, occupying Paris and the north, while allowing the remainder to be governed from Vichy by Marshal Petain, a German sympathizer. In October 1940 the Germans and the Vichy government issued statutes that banned Jews from all public offices, including school and university teaching, and the armed services. Jewish generals and other officers were retired. Many prominent Jews were stripped of their French citizenship, including Maurice de Rothschild (the head of the banking family) and Pierre Mendes-France, who was later to become Prime Minister. A census of Jews was drawn up and all Jews were required to wear a yellow badge. In June, 1942, Eichmann issued instructions that Jews in France should be rounded up and taken to camps to await deportation for extermination in the concentration camps in Germany. In August this plan began to be implemented with the deporteation of approximately 10,000 Jews. Among those imprisoned in transit camps was Arthur Koestler, but he managed to escape. It is estimated that the Germans and the Vichy government deported approximately 90,000 French Jews (about 26 per cent of the total) who died in the concentration camps during World War Two.

1945-2005

The increase in the number of Jews in France from 250,000 in 1945 to 670,000 in 1985 was largely due to the immigration of North African Jews from Algeria (120,000), Tunisia (80,000), Morocco (65,000) and Egypt (25,000), and of South Asian Jews from Syria, Lebanon and Turkey (Johnson, 2004, p. 563). In addition, about 40,000 Jews were admitted from Poland.

In the post World War Two period Jews were prominent in public life, in the professions, in intellectual life, banks, commerce and industry. Distinguished Jews included the politicians Leon Blum, Prime Minister, 1946-7; René Mayer, Prime Minister (1953); Pierre Mendès-France, Prime Minister, 1954-5; Michel Debré, Prime Minister, 1959-1962; Rabrice Reinach, Prime Minister, 1960; Laurent Fabius, Prime Minister, 1984-6; Simone Veil, Health Minister, 1974-6, President of the European Parliament, 1979-82; and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Finance Minister, 1997-9; the activists René Cassin, who drafted Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Nobel Peace Prizewinner, 1968; Daniel Cohn-Bendit, student leader and Green MEP; Bernard Kouchner, founder of Médecins Sans Frontières; and Alain Krivine, student leader and Trotskyist MEP; the cleric Jean-Marie Lustiger, former archbishop of Paris and cardinal (born Jewish; converted to Roman Catholicism); the academics in the social sciences and humanities Raymond Aron, sociologist; Jacques Attali, economist; Claude Lévi-Strauss, anthropologist; George Steiner, historian and literary critic; Simone Weil, philosopher; and the impenetrable philosopher and deconstructionist Jacques Derrida (1930-2005).

In the world of music distinguished Jews included Adolphe Adam, composer; Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, who composed the music for Les Miserables and Miss Saigon;Jacques Canetti, music producer and brother of writer Elias Canetti, the Nobel prize-winner; Sacha Distel, singer. In business distinguished Jews have included Marcel Bleustein & Maurice Lévy, founder and head of Publicis Groupe; Isaac & Daniel Carasso, founders of Danone; André Citroën, founder of Citroën automobiles; Marcel Dassault (born Marcel Bloch), aerospace industrialist; Maurice Girodias, founder of Olympia Press; Philippe Kahn, founder of Borland; Alexandre, Simon and Elie Lazard, founders of the Lazard bank; Armand, Georges, Maurice and Paul Marciano, founders of GUESS; Gilbert Trigano, founder of Club Med; and Pierre Wertheimer, co-founder of Chanel, the perfume business

Socio-economic Status

The socio-economic status distribution of Jews and gentiles in 1988 has been given by Della Pergola (1993) and is shown in Table 9.2. We see that Jews are highly over-represented in the major professions and senior management, and also among traders which include s the proprietors of medium sized and small businesses. Jews are also highly over-represented among skilled craftsmen. Jews and gentiles are about equally represented in the minor professions. Jews are under-represented among the clerical workers and in the “Other blue-collar” category.

Table 9.2 Socio-economic status of Jews and gentiles
Socio-economic statusJewsGentiles
Professional & managerial41.712.2
Traders19.45.8
Minor professional18.117.5
Clerical11.125.0
Skilled craftsmen8.32.1
Other blue-collar1.437.4
Nobel Prize-winners

France has produced 37 Nobel Prize-winners who are listed in Table 9.3. Six of these have been Jews (Henri Moissan, chemistry, 1906; Gabriel Lippmann, physics, 1908; Henri Bergson, literature, 1927; François Jacob, Chemistry, 1965; André Lwoff, medicine, 1965; Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, physics, 1997). Thus, Jews who have been about 0.8 per cent of the population during the twentieth century have produced 16.7 per cent of French Nobel Prize-winners, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 20. In the first half of the twentieth century three of the 21 Nobel Prize-winners were Jewish representing a rate of 8.8 per million. In the second half of the twentieth century three of the 16 Nobel Prize-winners were Jewish, but the number of Jews in France had almost doubled from 340,000 to 670,000, so Jewish Nobel Prize-winners as a rate per million almost halved to 4.5 per million. The explanation for this is that many of the new Jews in France came from North Africa and have lower IQs than the Ashkenazim of Europe.

Table 9.3 French Nobel Prize-winners (Jews are asterisked)
YearNameSubjectYearNameSubject
1901Sully PrudhommeLiterature1937Roger Martin du GardLiterature
1903Henri BecqueralPhysics1937François MauriacLiterature
1903Pierre CuriePhysics1956André F. CournandMedicine
1904Frédéric MistralLiterature1957Albert CamusLiterature
1906Henri Moissan*Chemistry1960Saint-John PerseLiterature
1908Alphonse LaveranMedicine1964Jean-Paul SartreLiterature
1908Gabriel Lippmann *Physics1965François Jacob*Chemistry
1912Victor GrignardChemistry1965André Lwoff*Medicine
1912Paul SabatierChemistry1966Jacques MonodPhysics
1912Alexis CarrelMedicine1966Alfred KastlerPhysics
1913Charles RichetMedicine1970Louis NéelPhysics
1915Romain RollandLiterature1977Roger GuilleminMedicine
1921Anatole FranceLiterature1980Jean DaussetMedicine
1926Jean Baptiste PerrinPhysics1987Jean-Marie LehnChemistry
1927Henri Bergson*Literature1988Maurice AllaisEconomics
1928Charles NicolleMedicine1991Pierre-Gilles de GennesPhysics
1929Louis de BrogliePhysics1997C.Cohen-Tannoudji*Physics
1935Frédéric JoliotChemistry2005Yves ChauvinChemistry
1935Irène Joliot-CurieChemistry
Fields Medallists and Wolf Prize-Winners

France has produced 16 of the mathematicians who have received the Fields Medal or the Wolf Prize awarded for outstanding work in mathematics. These are listed in Table 9.4. Five of these have been Jews. Thus, Jews who have been about 0.8 per cent of the population during the twentieth century have produced 31 per cent of top French mathematicians, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 39.

Table 9.4 French Mathematicians (Jews are asterisked)
YearFields Medal YearFields Medal
1950Laurent Schwartz* 2002Laurent Lafforgue
1954Jean-Pierre Serre
1958René Thom YearWolf Prize
1974Enrico Bombieri 1979Jean Leray
1978Pierre Deligne 1979Andre Weil*
1982Alain Connes 1980Henri Cartan
1984Pierre-Louis Lions 1986Albert Libchaber*
1994Jean-Christophe Yoccoz 1993Jacques Tits
1998Maxim Kontsevich* 2000Jean-Pierre Serre
Significant Figures

Murray (2003, p. 280) has drawn up a roster of “significant figures” (i.e. great names in science and the arts) in world cultural and intellectual achievement. For France he finds 170 gentiles and 18 Jews, 13 of whom are listed in Table 9.5. Murray’s list is more comprehensive than Nobel Prize-winners and includes painters, mathematicians, composers, philosophers and engineers, and only two of the French Nobel Prize-winners appear in his list Henri Bergson and André Lwoff). Murray calculated the numbers of Jews and gentiles who had most of their careers between 1870 and 1950 and the ratio of Jewish to gentile “significant figures” in relation to their numbers in the population. These calculations gave a Jewish Achievement Quotient of 19.1, remarkably close to the Jewish Achievement Quotient of 20.9 based on Nobel Prize-winners.

Table 9.5. French Jewish “significant figures”
NameSubjectYearsNameSubjectYears
Michel de MontaignePhilosophy1533-1592Henri BergsonPhilosophy1859-1941
Fromental HalévyMusic1799-1862Jacques HadamardMathematics1865-1963
Adolphe AdamMusic1803-1856Paul DukasMusic1865-1935
Camille PissarroArt1830-1903Marcel ProustLiterature1871-1922
Ludovic HalevyLiterature1834-1908Max JacobLiterature1876-1944
Ferdinand MoissanTechnology1852-1907Darius MilhaudMusic1892-1974
Ferdinand MoissanChemistry1852-1907André LwoffBiology1902-1994
Bridge Champions

Jews are also prominent in top-level bridge. The names of the twenty two French Open World Bridge Champions recognised by World Bridge Federation in 2004 are given in Table 9.6. Five of them are Jews, denoted by asterisks. Thus, Jews who were about 0.86 per cent of the French population at the beginning of the twenty-first century contributed 23 per cent of the top bridge players, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 27.

Table 9.6 French Open World Bridge Champions in 2004; Jews are denoted by asterisks.
Rene BacherichPierre GhestemGerard Bourchtoff
Paul Chemla*Michel Lebel*Claude Delmouly
Pierre JaisFranck MultonAlbert Faigenbaum*
Alain Levy*Philippe SouletRoger Lattes
Christian MariHenri Szwarc*Dominique Pilon
Herve MouielPierre AdadBertrand Romanet
Michel PerronMaurice Aujaleu
Chapter 10 • Germany • 4,000 Words

Jews are known to have lived in Cologne in western Germany between 300 and 600 AD. Early in the ninth century, the emperor Charlemagne ruled a large territory that stretched from western Germany through France and into northeast Spain. He was keen to promote culture and learning and to further this objective he invited a group of Jews in Italy to relocate to his territories in the Rhineland and France. He promised the Italian Jews good conditions, including physical protection, liberty to travel, and the ability to adjudicate their own disputes. A number of Jews took up this invitation and those who settled in Germany adopted the name Ashkenazim. However, they also suffered a number of restrictions. They were not permitted to own land, they were banned from the guilds and they were heavily taxed. As elsewhere in Europe, a number of the Jews adapted to their new environment by becoming money-lenders. Jews also had a virtual monopoly of the trade in Eastern goods such as spices and silk.

Throughout their sojourn in Germany until the nineteenth century “Jews were subjected to pogroms, extraordinary taxes, limitations on land ownership, bans on intermarriage with gentiles, special residential and sumptuary laws, and a host of other restrictions that were common in Europe” (Gordon, 1984, p.7). There were large scale murders of Jews in Germany at the time of the First Crusade (1095) (Russell, 1945, p. 434) when Jews were perceived as having ethnic affinity and sympathy with the infidels who occupied Jerusalem, and therefore as enemies of Christians. A second major persecution of Jews occurred in 1348-1350 when the Black Death (the bubonic plague) swept though Europe and was responsible for the deaths of about a third of the population. Many people blamed the Jews for this terrible and inexplicable epidemic, since Jews were again widely perceived as the enemies of Christians. In Germany, as elsewhere throughout Europe, people attacked and killed the Jews in revenge for the plague.

In the fifteenth century there was a growing wave of anti-Semitism in Germany. In 1414 the Jews were expelled from Trier and in 1424 they were expelled from Cologne, in 1430 from Saxony, and in 1446 from Brandenburg.Most of them headed eastwards to Prussia, Poland and Russia. In the sixteenth century expulsions of Jews continued from a number of the small German states including Wurttemburg (1521), Saxony (1536), Upper and Lower Bavaria (1551), Brunswick, Hanover and Luneburg (1553), the Palatinate (1556-9), and Brandenburg (1573) (Blom, Fuks-Mansfeld and Schoffer,1996, p.45).

The year 1618 saw the beginning of the Thirty Years War and attendant deprivation and suffering. Many Jews migrated to Poland and the Ukraine, others moved to Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and some went to Hamburg which was a free port in which there was a community of Sephardim, among whom the wealthiest was the da Costa family.

In the eighteenth century Germany was still divided into a number of independent principalities and remained such until it was united by Bismarck in 1867-70. In virtually all of these Jews suffered varying degrees of discrimination and restrictions, but the severity of these varied in the different states. In Prussia, the largest of the German states, Jews were prohibited the craft trades for which guild membership was necessary. Frankfurt required Jews to live in the ghetto whose entrance was locked at night by soldiers and reopened in the morning. Jews were limited to five hundred families and twelve marriages a year and were prohibited from farming, manufacture of handicrafts and dealing in weapons, silk and fruit. In the seventeenth and eighteenth century most Jews worked as petty traders dealing largely in second hand goods, especially clothes and household furniture, and operating pawn shops and other forms of money lending and exchange. Many of them dealt in second hand goods. A few Jews achieved high social positions as “Court Jews” who served as the financial agents of princes in the control of salt and tobacco monopolies, arranging army contracts, establishing industrial enterprises, founding of banks, and granting loans to finance military and civil expenditures. In the late eighteenth century the two most prominent of these were Mayer Rothschild who began trading in old coins , who founded the banking dynasty and became the financial agent of the Elector of Hesse-Kessel, the richest of the German princes, and the Oppenheim family who ran a bank in Cologne, which has survived up to the present day as the largest private bank in Germany.

The Napoleonic wars in the first decade and a half of the nineteenth century saw an improvement in the position of the Jews in Germany. In 1812 Napoleon emancipated the Jews in southwest Germany from numerous restrictions but many of these freedoms were withdrawn in the 1930s. However, during the Napoleonic wars a number of Jews used their money to finance the armies and made substantial sums from interest. After the end of the wars they had capital to launch and fund commercial enterprises. Many of them did so successfully and rose to positions of economic power and social eminence. According to Mosse (1987) who has written what is one of the most authoritative works on the economic and social rise of the Jews in the nineteenth century and up to the accession to power of Hitler in 1933, there were some “peripheral prejudices” against Jews but little overt discrimination in the nineteenth century in Germany. On the contrary, the Jews who acquired wealth were generally socially accepted by gentiles. Most of the wealthy descendants of the successful Court Jews of the eighteenth century converted to Christianity and many of them married into the gentile upper middle-class and nobility. By the middle of the nineteenth century many of them had become integrated into the upper echelons of gentile society and had disappeared from economic life.

Numbers of Jews in Germany

The approximate numbers of Jews in Germany and their percentages of the population for various dates are given in Table 10.1. Between 1871 and 1910 Jews were approximately 1 per cent of the German population. Although the numbers of Jews increased during this period their percentage of the population fell slightly due to lower fertility and intermarriage with gentiles, as a result of which a number of Jews became assimilated. From 1910 to 1935 the numbers of Jews and their percentage of the population declined as a result of continued lower fertility and intermarriage with gentiles. The decline from 1935 to 1945 was due to emigration and the Holocaust in the years 1942-45 (the figure for 1945 is for East and West Germany combined; these became two independent states in 1945). The increase from 1945 to 1985 was due to immigration, largely from Russia.

Table 10.1 Numbers and percentages of Jews in Germany
YearN.Jews% populationYearN.Jews% population
1871410,0001.00194526,6030.04
1910615,0000.95198542,0000.08
1935525,0000.78200295,0000.11
Sources: Gordon, 1984, p.8; American Jewish Yearbooks
The Nineteenth Century

During the nineteenth century the restrictions placed on Jews were gradually relaxed. Jews became entitled to vote in 1848. Jews flourished as indexed by their greater longevity than gentiles. A study in Frankfurt in 1855 found that Jews had an average life span of 49 years, while for gentiles it was only 37 years (Johnson, 2004, p.356). However, this was offset by low fertility. It has been estimated that the birth rate of Jews in Munich in 1875 was 20 per cent below that of Catholics (Chiswick, 1988).

When Bismarck had completed the unification of the hitherto independent states in 1870 he gave the Jews full civil rights, although it was not until 1875 that Jews were permitted to marry gentiles. During the century Jews succeeded in a number of fields and by its closing decades they were prominent in banking, commerce, industry, the professions, the arts and intellectual life. Jews were approximately 1.0 per cent of the population but they had much higher percentages on a number of indices of educational, social and economic achievement and standing. Many of the most famous in Germany in the nineteenth century were Jews, including the poet and essayist Heinrich Heine 1979-1856), the political economist Karl Marx (1818-83), the composers Felix Mendelssohn (1809-47), Jacques Offenbach (1819-80) and Giacomo Mayerbeer (1791-1864); and the physicist Albert Einstein (1879-1955) who was born in Bavaria although he was educated in Switzerland and took Swiss nationality in 1901.

The field in which Jews achieved their greatest prominence was banking. The Rothschilds in Frankfurt (later the Goldschmidt-Rothschilds) and the Oppenheims in Cologne continued in business and expanded their banks, and a number of other Jews established banks. The most successful of these were the Kaskells who founded the Dresdner Bank in 1872 (which still exists as Dresdner-Kleinwort-Benson), the Seligmans and the Hirsches who founded the Bayerische Hypotheken-und Wechselbank (still one of the largest banks in Germany), the Kaullas family who founded the Wurttembergerische Hofbank in Stuttgart, the Pfeiffers who with other small Jewish bankers established the Wurttembergerische Vereinsbank, and the Warburgs who remain to this day (2006) a major bank in London.

Jews also established successful businesses in textile manufacture and distribution, chemicals, brewing and distilling, sugar-refining, metallurgy, alum and lignite mining, and transport. The most prominent in textiles were the Meyers, Liebermanns, Reichenheims, Weigerts, Kauffmanns, Frankels, Pinkuses, and Goldschmidts. In chemicals: Heinrich Caro, Franz Oppenheim, Fitz Haber, the Berends, Beers, Goldschmidts and Kunheims. In brewing, distilling and sugar-refining: the Bachers, Berends and Beers. In metallurgy: the Harzes, Hirsches and the Coppels. In alum and lignite mining: the Kunheims and the Henochs. In transport, consisting initially of horse drawn carriages and later of railways: the Henochs, Guterbocks and Berrs.

Jews who established successful businesses in the nineteenth century were accepted socially by the gentile business community. In Prussia public recognition of successful and creditable businessmen was accorded by the conferment of the coveted titles of Kommerzenrat (KG) and the more prestigious Geheimer Kommerzenrat (GKG). These were analogous to the orders of nobility and the Geheimer Kommerzenrat were entitled to be addressed as Geheimrat. There were rigorous selection procedures for the conferment of these titles that took account of income and wealth, economic services to the state, public service, charitable activities, standing among peers, and respectable life-style.

The numbers of Jews and gentiles who were awarded the titles of KG and GKG during the period 1819 to 1900 have been given by Mosse (1987). From these I have calculated the percentages of these who were Jews from the totals and broken these down into those who were bankers, merchants and manufacturers for four periods spanning the nineteenth century. These figures are given in Table 10.2. Three points are particularly striking. First, the percentage of Jews in the population in Germany during the nineteenth century was approximately 1.0 per cent, so Jews were hugely over-represented among the economic elite on whom these titles were conferred and they were over-represented in all sectors of the economy and at all times. Second, the percentage of Jews among these top businessmen nearly doubled from the first half of the century (1819-1852) when it stood at 10 per cent to the second half (1861-1900) when it averaged 18 per cent. Third, the percentage of Jews was much higher in banking, where they constituted about half of the bankers, rather less in merchandizing, where they were around a quarter in the second half of the century, and lowest in manufacturing where they ranged between 5 and 7 per cent. Jews were also 7 per cent of journalists in 1881 (Gordon, 1984, p.14).

Table 10.2 Percentages of Jews among the economic elite in Germany in 1819-1900
YearsTotalBankersMerchantsManufacturers
1819-1852105455
1861-18721950257
1879-18892052267
1890-19001545216

Inevitably it took time for Jews to take advantage of these new opportunities but they gradually did so. As the century progressed an increasing number of Jews achieved eminence. Falk and Bullough (1987) have collected information on 375 Jews who achieved eminence in academia and the professions (but not business) and who were born in Germany between 1785 and 1884. They used the criteria of listing in Die Neue Deutsche Biographie, The Dictionary of Scientific Biography, The Jewish Encyclopedia, The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia Judaica. They found that the numbers of Jews who achieved eminence gradually increased over the course of the century. Their figures are shown in Table 10.3. We can see that during the century there was a more than five fold increase in the numbers of Jews achieving eminence. This shows that it takes a couple of generations for an oppressed people to find their place in the socio-economic hierarchy.

Table 10.3 Numbers of Jews who achieved eminence in Germany
1785-18041805-18241825-18441845-18641865-1884
25596787137

Falk and Bullough (1987) have also analysed the occupational distribution of Jews and gentiles in Germany at the end of the nineteenth century. Their results for1895 are shown in Table 10.4. It will be seen that Jews were slightly over-represented in the professional and civil service category and were massively over-represented as business proprietors. On the other hand, Jews were substantially under-represented in manual occupations, domestic service and farming. Their average position in the socio-economic hierarchy was clearly substantially higher than that of Gentiles.

Table 10.4 Occupational distribution of Jews and gentiles in Germany in 1895 (percentages)
OccupationJewsGentiles
Prof/Civil Service7.16.4
Business59.85.3
Railroads5.45.3
Manual22.537.5
Domestic Service3.68.0
Farming1.637.5

Many studies have shown that crime is predominantly committed by the less intelligent. Probably the main reasons for this are that the more intelligent have a better understanding of the costs of crime, and that they generally have better jobs and higher social status, so the cost of crime is greater for them. It is therefore interesting to note that Jews have tended to have lower crime rates than gentiles. This was noted by Lombroso (1911, p.37): “statistics of many countries show a lower degree of criminality for Jews than for their gentile fellow citizens. In Bavaria one Jew is sentened for every 315 of them in the population, and one Catholic for every 265. In Baden, Jewish criminality was 63.8 per cent of Christian criminality”. This was confirmed by Lenz (1930, p.680) for the last decade of the nineteenth century. His figures for conviction rates for all crime are 103 per 10,000 population for Jews and 124 per 10,000 population for gentiles.

Infant mortality was lower among Jews in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Studies showing this have been summarized by Condran and Kramarow and are shown in Table 10.5, where it will be seen that the infant mortality of gentiles was between 35 and 250 per cent higher than that of Jews.

Table 10.5 Infant mortality per 1,000 live births
YearsLocationJewsGentiles% Difference
1812-40Prussia12917435
1819-70Westphalia9614046
1827-56Magdeburg13522567
1857-73Baden18527647
1878Bavaria15229695
1891-1913Frankfurt67146118
1894-1905Munich87264203
1901-1912Hesse7012882
1906Breslau62217250
1900-1918

Jews prospered in Germany during the early years of the twentieth century. This has been shown by the percentages of Jews who were wealthy. Statistics for the economic success of Jews in 1908-1911 derived from tax returns have been published by Mosse (1987, 1989) and are shown in Table 10.6. Jews were about 0.08 per cent of the population at this time. Yet row 1 shows that 36 per cent of prominent businessmen were Jewish (chairmen, managing directors and directors of the 100 largest corporations). Row 2 shows that 21.7 percent of millionaires (worth five million marks or more) in Prussia (by far the largest state) in 1908 were Jewish. Row 3 shows that 31 percent of multi-millionaires were Jewish (families worth 50 million marks or more: there were 29 such families of which 9 were Jewish).

Table 10.6 Percentages of Jews among the wealthy in Germany in 1908-1911
The Wealthy% Jews
1Prominent businessmen36.0
2Millionaires21.7
3Multi-millionaires31.0

The names of the wealthiest families ranked in order of the value of their holdings are given in Table 10.7, in which Jewish families are asterisked. Of the 29 wealthiest families, 10 (31 per cent) were Jewish.

Table 10.7 Wealthiest families in Germany in 1908-1911: Jews are asterisked
HanielThyssenSchottlander*
Rothschild*StummBallestrem
HenckellTiele-WincklerDippe
KruppArenbergHenschel
HohenloheGans/Weinberg*Simon*
Speyer*Bleichroder*Schichau/Ziese
WaldthusenGuilleaumeMosse*
Mendelssohn*Oppenheim*Borsig
Schaffgotschvon RothMetzler
PlessMumm von Schwarzenstein
Source: Mosse (1987)

Statistics showing the over-representation of Jews in the higher socio-economic strata of Germany for the years 1904-1910 are given in Table 10.8. During these years Jews were approximately 1 per cent of the population. Row 1 shows that in 1900 50 per cent of the doctors in Berlin were Jews. Row 2 shows that in 1904 27 per cent of the lawyers were Jewish. Rows 3, 4,5 and 6 show that in 1910 Jews were 7 per cent of university professors, 25 per cent of Law & medical students, 5.4 percent of all university students in the country, and 17 per cent of students at the University of Berlin.

Table 10.8 Jews in Germany 1904-1910
YearsOccupation% JewsAQ
11900Berlin doctors5050
21904Lawyers2727
31910University professors77
41910Law & medical students2525
51910University students5.45.4
61910BerlinUniversity Students1717
Sources: rows 1-2: Gordon, 1984; row 3-6: Slezkine (2004)

During World War One the suspicion that Jews might be more intelligent than gentiles appeared to be confirmed with the publication of a study by Nemeck (1916) in which he analysed the scholastic records of 1549 15-18 year old school students. He reported that Jewish students were on average superior in all academic subjects including math, physics, chemistry, languages, history and geography.

The Weimar Republic, 1918-1933

Between 1918-1933 it was quite widely recognized that Jews were on average more intelligent than gentiles. For instance, Fritz Lenz (1930, p.670), who held the Professorship of Racial Hygiene at the University of Munich, wrote that “when we compare the average German Jew with the average German gentile we cannot doubt that the Jews excel in intelligence and alertness. In the higher schools, where the pupils represent a selection for talent, the proportion of Jewish children is many times as large as the proportion of Jews in the general population. In the elementary schools, the Jewish children on the average perform better than the gentiles; Jews form an immoderately large proportion of undergraduates at the universities; at the Prussian universities in 1911-12, Jews were 5.6 per cent of the students” (Jews were only one per cent of the population).

Jews remained prominent in the economic elite during the WeimarRepublic. Mosse (1987, pp.355, 362), the historian of the socio-economic position of Jews in Germany, writes that “men of Jewish extraction were to be found in some 39 of the largest industrial companies… and down to 1931, there is little evidence of any significant overall decline of the role of Jews in German economic life” although he does not provide any further statistics to substantiate these assertions. In these years Jews were becoming increasingly assimilated with gentile society. In 1901-1905, 15 per cent of Jews married gentiles. In 1926-1932 this figure had risen to 36 per cent, and by 1933 to 44 per cent (Gordon, 1984, p.17).

Statistics showing the percentages of Jews among the socio-economic elite in the WeimarRepublic are given in Table 10.9 (at this time Jews were about 0.78 per cent of the population). Rows 1-3 show that in 1925 16 per cent of the doctors, 15 per cent of the dentists and 25 per cent of the lawyers were Jews. Row 4 shows that in 1928 80 per cent of the leading positions in the Berlin stock exchange were occupied by Jews. Row 5 shows that in 1930 43 per cent of the leading positions in Jewish private banks were held by Jews and row 6 shows that in the same year 6 per cent of the leading positions in non-Jewish banks were held by Jews. Row 7 shows that in the same year 80 per cent of the plays produced in Germany were written by Jews and row 8 shows that in 1931 50 per cent of theatre directors were Jews. In addition, “ a large number of prominent actors and actresses were Jewish” (Gordon, 1984,p.14).

Table 10.9 Jews in Germany 1918-1933
YearsOccupation% JewsAQ
11925Doctors1620
21925Dentists1519
31925Lawyers2532
41928Berlin stock brokers80102
51930Private bankers4355
61930Public bankers68
71930Playwrights7596
81931Theatre directors5064
Sources: rows 1-3: Slezkine (2004); rows 4-8: Gordon (1984)
Nazi Germany, 1933-45

Hitler came to power in 1933 and one of his objectives was to rid Germany of the Jews. Hitler’s motives for doing this appear to have been that he believed that the Jews are exceptionally talented and could take over control of the world. He may also have believed that the Jews were parasitical and had certain poor character qualities. Be this as it may, he began to take measures against the Jews shortly after he acquired power. In 1935 the Nuremberg laws deprived Jews of their citizenship and prohibited them from marrying gentiles, from attending public schools, engaging in business or the professions, and owning land. In 1938 a pogrom destroyed Jewish synagogues, and most of Jewish financial assets were confiscated, and Jews were required to live in ghettos. In the 1930s it seems that the Nazis thought the way to rid Germany of the Jews would be to encourage them to emigrate and between 1933 and 1945 approximately 300,000 Jews who had been robbed of their goods and property were allowed to leave the country. The Nazis also considered plans to resettle the Jews in other countries. Madagascar was considered as a possible place to send them (Gordon, 1984). It appears that it was not until late 1941 or early 1942 that the Nazis formulated and began to implement the plan of the extermination of the Jews. During the next three years approximately 160,000 were killed in the gas chambers, while some 26,600 survived, a figure that includes those in mixed marriages.

Jewish Achievement in Chess

Chess is a cognitively demanding game and is one of the fields in which Jews have excelled in a number of countries. Up to 1939 Germany was no exception. Table 10.10 gives the names of the top-rated German Jewish and gentile chess grandmasters for the years 1851 to 2000 given by Rubinstein, 2004 (p.37). There were 6 Jews and 7 gentiles among grandmasters in the years between 1851 and 1939. The Germans have only produced one top-rated grandmaster since 1940. Thus, Jews who were about 1 per cent of the population in the 1871-1914 were 46 per cent of the top-rated German chess grandmasters, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 46.

Table 10.10 Jewish and gentile chess grandmasters
YearJewsGentiles
1851-99Horowitzvon der Lasa
HarrwitzAnderssen
NewmannPaulsen
Schwarzvon Minckwitz
Tarraschvon Bardelben
1900-39LaskerLipke
Teichmann
1940-2000 Hubner
Nobel Prize-winners

A list of all German Nobel Prize-winners is given in Table 10.11. Of the 86 Nobel Laureates, 21 have been Jewish. Thus, Jews who were about 0.78 per cent of the population in the 1930s received 24 per cent of the Nobel Prizes, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 31. The prize-winners listed are those born in Germany, a number of whom emigrated in the 1930s.

Table 10.11 German Nobel Prize-winners (Jews are asterisked)
YearNameSubjectYearNameSubject
1901Emil von BehringMedicine1953Hermann StaudingerChemistry
1901Wilhelm RontgoenPhysics1953Hans Krebs*Medicine
1902Emil FischerChemistry1953Fritz Lipmann*Medicine
1902Theodor MommsenLiterature1954Max Born*Physics
1905Adolf von Baeyer*Chemistry1954Walther BothePhysics
1905Philipp LenardPhysics1955Polykarp KuschPhysics
1907Eduard BuchnerChemistry1956Werner ForssmannMedicine
1908Rudolf EuckenLiterature1961Rudolf MössbauerPhysics
1908Paul Ehrlich*Medicine1963Karl ZieglerChemistry
1909Wilhelm OstwaldChemistry1963M.Goeppert-MayerPhysics
1909Ferdinand BraunPhysics1963J.Hans JensenPhysics
1910Otto Wallach*Chemistry1964Konrad Bloch*Medicine
1910Paul Heyse*Literature1964Feodor LynenMedicine
1910Albrecht KosselMedicine1966Nelly SachsLiterature
1911Wilhelm WienPhysics1967Manfred EigenChemistry
1912Gerhart HauptmannLiterature1967Hans Bethe*Physics
1914Max von LauePhysics1969Max DelbrückMedicine
1915Richard Willstätter*Chemistry1970Bernard Katz*Medicine
1918Fritz Haber*Chemistry1971Gerhard Herzberg*Chemistry
1918Max PlanckPhysics1972Heinrich BöllLiterature
1919Johannes StarkPhysics1973Ernest FischerChemistry
1920Walther NernstChemistry1978Arno Penzias*Physics
1921Albert Einstein*Physics1979Georg WittigChemistry
1922Otto Meyerhof*Medicine1984Georges KohlerMedicine
1925Richard ZsigmondyChemistry1985Klaus von KlitzingPhysics
1925James Franck*Physics1986Gerd BinnigPhysics
1925Gustav HertzPhysics1987Georg BednorzPhysics
1927Heinrich WielandChemistry1988Johann DeisenhoferChemistry
1928Adolf WindausChemistry1988Robert HuberChemistry
1929Thomas MannLiterature1988Hartmut MichelChemistry
1930Hans FischerChemistry1988Jack Steinberger*Physics
1931Otto WarburgMedicine1989Hans DehmeltPhysics
1931Friedrich BergiusChemistry1991Erwin NeherMedicine
1931Carl BoschChemistry1991Bert SakmannMedicine
1932Werner HeisenbergPhysics1992Rudolf MarcusChemistry
1935Hans SpemannMedicine1994Reinhard SeltenEconomics
1939Adolf ButenandtChemistry1995C Nusslein-VolhardMedicine
1939Gerhard DomagkMedicine1998Horst L. StörmerPhysics
1943Otto Stern*Physics1999Günter GrassLiterature
1945Ernst B. Chain*Medicine1999Günter BlobelMedicine
1946Hermann HesseLiterature2000Jack S. KilbyPhysics
1950Kurt AlderChemistry2005Robert Auman*Economics
1950Otto DielsChemistry2005Theodor HarschPhysics
Mathematicians

Germany has produced seven mathematicians who have received the Fields Medal or the Wolf Prize awarded for outstanding work in mathematics. These are listed in Table 10.12. Three of these have been Jews. Thus, Jews who have been about 0.4 per cent of the population during the second half of the twentieth century have produced 43 per cent of top mathematicians, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 107.

Table 10.12 German Mathematicians (Jews are asterisked)
YearFields MedalYearWolf Prize
1958Klaus Roth*1978Carl Siegel
1966Alexander Grothendieck*1984Hans Lewy*
1986Gerd Faltings1988Friedrich Hirzebruch
1994Jürgen Moser
Significant Figures

Murray (2003, p. 280) has calculated the numbers of Jewish and gentile “significant figures” (i.e. great names in science and the arts) in Germany who had most of their careers between 1870 and 1950. He finds 40 Jews and 155 gentiles. Calculating the ratio of Jewish to gentile “significant figures” he arrives at an Achievement Quotient (Jewish over-representation) of 22.1. This is not greatly different from the Jewish Achievement Quotient of 32 for Nobel Prize-winners.

Chapter 11 • Israel • 8,400 Words

The contemporary state of Israel is approximately coterminous with the historic land of Palestine, the original homeland of the Jews, from which they were expelled on three occasions between the sixth century BC and the second century AD. A few remained or returned, but the land was mainly occupied by Arabs until the end of World War One. It was ruled by Turkey from 1516 until 1918, when the British took control of Palestine as a mandate, which was in effect a colony. In 1917 the British Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, issued a statement that “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object”. This became known as the Balfour Declaration and encouraged the growth of the Zionist movement whose objective was to establish a Jewish state in the territory. The British plan was to divide Palestine into two independent states, one Jewish and the other Arab. The British held discussions to attempt achieve this, but the Jews and Arabs could not agree on the details of the partition.

Nevertheless, during the 1920s and 1930s a number of Jews, mainly from Russia and eastern Europe, migrated to Palestine in the expectation that a Jewish state would be eventually be established. From 1933 onwards a number of German Jews also migrated to Palestine to escape the Nazis. In the census of 1922 it was found that 12.9 per cent of the population were Jews. By 1929 this had increased as a result of immigration to 18.9 per cent, and by 1940 the census found that this had increased further to a third of the population, the remaining two thirds consisting largely of Arabs.

The Jewish aspiration for their own country remained unresolved until 1947 when the United Nations recommended that the British should withdraw and the country be partitioned into independent Jewish and Arab states. In 1948 the British did withdraw but the Arabs refused to accept partition. In May of that year the Jews proclaimed the establishment of the state of Israel. The Arabs objected and the five neighbouring Arab countries of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq attacked in an attempt to restore the single state. The Israelis defeated them and the state survived. However, the state continued to be harassed by Arab and Egyptian terrorists. In 1956, to prevent incursions from Egyptian fedayeen (terrorists) who operated from Sinai the Israelis invaded and occupied Egypt east of the Suez canal. Later in the year the Israelis withdrew and the Sinai was policed by a UN international force.

The Population

Following the establishment of Israel in 1948 a Law of Return was passed giving all Jews world wide the right to immigrate to the country. In the years 1948-1956 about 850,000 did so, mainly from central and eastern Europe, Yemen, Iraq and North Africa. In 1956 the population consisted of 1,872,390, including about 200,000 Arabs. By 1990 the population had grown to 5,696,000 million and by 2000 to approximately 6 million. There are five ethnic subpopulations in Israel. These are (1) the Ashkenazim mainly from Europe and the United States, and a smaller number from other countries such as South Africa. This group is about 40 per cent of the population of Israel and numbers approximately 2.4 million . The Ashkenazim are sometimes called the European Jews but this is not accurate because the term Ashkenazim designates the Jews of central and eastern Europe and their descendants in western Europe , North America and elsewhere, whereas European includes Jews from the Balkans who are mainly Sephardim. Furthermore; the terms Ashkenazim and European Jews also include a number of Russians who pretended to be Jews in order to obtain permission to leave Russia and the former Soviet Union (Abbink, 2002; Lazin, 2002). It has been estimated by Israeli demographers that only about half of the 1.8 million Russians who emigrated to Israel between 1985 and 2000 were Jews (Tolts, 2003). Thus of the 2.4 million classified as European Jews in Israel, about 1.4 million or just about half are Ashkenazim, about 900,000 are non-Jewish Russians and about 110,000 are Sephardim who escaped from the Balkans during the German occupation during World War Two or survived the holocaust and migrated to Israel after the end of the war.

(2) The Sephardic Jews were originally from Spain and Portugal from which they were expelled in 1492 and 1497. Most of them settled in the Balkans and a number also settled in the ports of the Levant (the littoral of the eastern Mediterranean). The term Sephardim is sometimes used to designate Jews from the Near and Middle East and North Africa, but this is inaccurate and the term Sephardim should be reserved for those originally from Spain and Portugal and more recently largely from the Balkans.

(3) The Oriental Jews of Near and Middle Eastern and North African origin most of whom migrated to Israel from Iraq and Iran, together with some from Syria, Yemen and other countries in southwest Asia, and from North Africa, largely between 1950 and 1958. In the last decade of the twentieth century these numbered approximately 2.4 million and were about 40 per cent of the population. The Oriental Jews are sometimes designated the Mizrahim but are more commonly described as Oriental and I shall use this term even though it is inaccurate because many of them came from North Africa.

(4) The Ethiopian Jews, sometimes known as the Black Jews or Falashas. Although they have no genetic affinity with other Jews, they were accepted as Jews by Israel in 1973 and hence acquired the right of abode in Israel. Most of them took advantage of this privilege and by 2000 there were approximately 80,000 of them in Israel, about 1.3 per cent of the population.

(5). The Arabs who in the 1996 census comprised 20 per cent of the Israeli population and numbered approximately 1.2 million.

Intelligence of Jews and Arabs

There have been six studies comparing the intelligence and related cognitive ability of Jews and Arabs in Israel. These have shown that Jews have a higher IQ than Arabs by about 14 IQ points. The studies are summarized in Table 11.1, in which the means obtained by the Arabs are expressed in relation to Jewish means set at 100 with a standard deviation of 15. Row 1 gives an IQ of 86 for Arabs in Israel obtained in the late 1970s in the standardization sample of the WISC-R. Rows 2 and 3 give IQs of 87 and 89 for two reasoning tests, the first non-verbal and the second verbal, for Jewish and Arab applicants for university. Rows 4 and 5 give means of the same applicants of 92 for mathematics and 91 for English. These are selected samples and will understate the true difference, but are nevertheless closely similar to the difference shown in row 1. Row 6 shows the mean score of 87 on a test of general knowledge of osteoporosisof Arab and Jewish women who had attended an outpatient clinic for women’s health and were surveyed in 1999. The result can be regarded as a test of general knowledge, which is an important component of intelligence. Only the study given in row 1 is based on a representative sample of the population and the IQ of 86 is therefore adopted as the best reading of the IQ of Israeli Arabs in relation to 100 for Jews.

Table 11.1 IQs of Jews and Arabs
AgeTestN-JewsN-ArabsArab IQReference
16/16WISC-R211163986Leiblich & Kugelmass, 1981
220-24Reasoning: NV1778101787Zeidner, 1987a
320-24Reasoning: V1778101789Zeidner, 1987a
420-24Math1778101792Zeidner, 1987a
520-24English1778101791Zeidner, 1987a
653Knowledge1768087Werner, 2003

The lower IQ of Arabs compared with that of Jews is expressed in their higher rate of mental retardation (0.8 per cent compared with 0.4 per cent among Jews), and also in their over-representation in classes for slow learners. In the 1990s, Arabs were 20 per cent of children in Israeli schools, but 25-30 per cent of children in classes for slow learners (Dinero, 2002).

Intelligence of European and Oriental Jews

A number of studies have shown that European Jews have higher IQs than Oriental Jews. These are summarized in Table 11.2, which expresses the means obtained by the Oriental Jews in relation to a European Jewish mean of 100 with a standard deviation of 15. Row 1 gives an IQ of 84 for 5 year old Oriental Jewish children on the Full Scale IQ of the Israeli standardization of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC). Rows 2 and 3 give the verbal and performance IQs of 84 and 86, respectively, in the same study and show that the Oriental Jews were not significantly handicapped verbally. Rows 4 and 5 give smaller European-Oriental differences of 94 (verbal) and 96 (non-verbal) on the Milta test (an Israeli test). Row 6 gives results from the Israeli standardization of the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Test (WPPSI) for children aged 4-6 years and shows that Oriental Jewish children had an IQ of 87. These were children whose fathers had come from Middle East or from North Africa. There was little difference in the IQs of the two groups, who obtained IQs of 88 and 86, respectively. Row 7 gives a verbal IQ of 84 a small sample of for 9 year old Oriental Jewish children. Row 8 gives an IQ of 84 for a sample of 4 year old Oriental Jewish children. Row 9 gives an IQ of 85 derived from the standardization sample of the WISC. Row 10 gives an IQ of 90 for 5 year old Oriental children but these were from high socio-economic status families matched to Europeans, so the IQ difference is reduced. Then studies are in close agreement. If the study in row 10 is discarded on the grounds the samples were not representative (as well as being very small), the median gap between European and Oriental Jewish children is 15 IQ points. Five of the studies (rows 4,5,6,8 and 10) are on pre-school children and show the same difference as on older children, suggesting that the lower IQ of Oriental children cannot be attributed to poorer schools.

Table 11.2 IQs of Oriental and European Jewish children
AgeTestEuropean NOriental NOriental IQReference
15WISC: FS7513884Smilansky, 1957
25WISC:Verb7513884Smilansky, 1957
35WISC:Perf7513886Smilansky, 1957
43-6Milta-verbal11519591Ortar et al., 1966
53-6Milta-Non verbal11519594Ortar et al., 1966
64-6WPPSI IQ18644387Leiblich et al., 1972
79WISC:Verb414184Gill, 1974
84Stanford-Binet18745084Smilansky et al., 1976
96-16WISC36371585Gafni, 1978
105WPPSI IQ362790Gross, 1978

Table 11.3 gives mean scores, calculated from Burg and Belmont (1990), on verbal, reasoning, numerical and spatial abilities for 6-7 year old children whose fathers had come from Europe, Iraq, North Africa and Yemen. The scores are expressed in terms of means of 50 and sds of 10 for the groups for each test. The children had all been born in Israel in 1964 and had attended kindergarten and primary schools. There were 80 children in each of the four groups, of whom 40 came from middle class and 40 from lower class families. The effect of this is that they were not representative of the four ethnic groups for socio-economic status because European Jews have higher socio-economic status than the three groups of Orientals. Matching the groups for socio-economic status disguises the magnitude of the group differences present in representative samples. Nevertheless, the Europeans obtained generally higher scores and a higher overall mean than the other three groups, consistent with the results given in Table 11.2. The interest of the study lies in the size of the differences on verbal, reasoning, numerical and spatial abilities. The Europeans scored much higher than the three groups of Orientals on verbal ability, somewhat higher on reasoning and numerical abilities, but not so much higher on spatial ability. In fact, on spatial ability the Iraqis scored fractionally higher than the Europeans. This pattern of the abilities of European Jews is similar to that found in New York when Jewish children were compared with Chinese, blacks and Puerto Ricans by Lesser, Fifer and Clark (1965): Jewish children scored much higher than the other three groups on verbal ability, about the same as the Chinese on reasoning and numerical abilities, but below the Chinese on spatial ability. It appears therefore that the European Jews have particularly strong verbal ability and somewhat less strong reasoning and numerical abilities, but their spatial ability is not nearly so good, not only compared with Oriental Jews but also with other racial groups, viz. Chinese, blacks and Puerto Ricans. This pattern of European Jewish abilities confirms the theory that these abilities evolved because they found a niche in Europe as money lenders and tax farmers for which verbal, reasoning and numerical abilities were required, and were excluded from the craft occupations for which spatial ability is required. This theory is discussed further in Chapter 19.

Table 11.3. Abilities of European and Oriental Jews
GroupVerbalReasoningNumberSpatialMean
European55.553.452.752.053.4
Iraqi50.451.750.552.351.2
North African47.546.548.948.847.9
Yemeni46.648.447.646.847.3

Table 11.4 gives IQs for reasoning and verbal ability and an EQ for mathematics and the Grade Point Average (GPA) obtained by European and Oriental Jewish applicants to university in 1983. These figures have been calculated from data published by Zeidner (1987b). The applicants had an average age of 24 years and were not representative of the populations because fewer Oriental Jews apply, making them more highly selected and therefore reducing the differences between them and the European. Thus they are only 4 IQ points lower on reasoning and 3 EQ points lower on mathematics, although they were 13 IQ points lower on verbal ability. This confirms the results given in Table 12.3 showing that the European are particularly strong on verbal ability. Row 4 gives the grade point average (GPA) of the Oriental Jews at the university and shows that this was lower than that of the European by 3 points. The author notes that “the mean academic performance for the Oriental Jewish group was at least as low as predicted by test scores” and hence “the cultural bias hypothesis – contending that standardized aptitude tests are systematically biased against minority groups – was once again disconfirmed” (Zeidner, 1987b, p. 47).

Table 11.4 Mean IQs and EQs of European and Oriental Jewish college applicants and students
TestEuropean NOriental NOriental IQ/EQ
Reasoning77350396
Math77350397
Verbal77350387
GPA77350397

Further evidence on intelligence differences between European and Oriental university students at Technion, the Israeli University of Technology, has been published by Rim (1983) and is summarized in Table 11.5. He provides scores for tests of verbal IQ, non-verbal reasoning (measured by the Dominos Test), mechanical ability and number series, a test of reasoning with numbers. The standard deviation of the verbal IQ is 10, so the difference between the European and Oriental is .411 standard deviations and is the equivalent of 6.2 IQ points. The report does not give standard deviations for the remaining three tests, but the significance levels are lower than for the Verbal IQ, so the European-Oriental Jewish differences are evidently a little smaller. Once again the Europeans are particularly strong on verbal ability. These samples of university students are selected for high intelligence, so the IQ difference is less than in general population samples.

Table 11.5 Mean IQs of European and Oriental students at Technion
TestsEuropeanOriental
Number180144-
Verbal IQ52.5248.41.001
Non-verbal IQ33.4132.26.05
Mechanical 1Q12.5410.57.01
Number Series7.546.52.01
Educational Attainment of European and Oriental Jews

European Jews have higher educational attainment than Orientals, consistent with their higher IQs. Studies of the differences in educational attainment have been summarized by Dar and Resh (1991).They are shown in Table 11.6 which gives Oriental educational quotients (EQ) in relation to European quotients of 100. The median EQ of the Orientals in the twelve studies is 88, fractionally higher than the median IQ of 85. This suggests that the lower IQ of the Oriental Jews is largely responsible for their lower educational attainment.

Table 11.6 Educational attainment of Oriental Jewish children
YearAgeTestEQReference
1954/6714Seker86Ortar, 1967
196314Language85Smilansly & Yam, 1969
196314Math87Smilansly & Yam, 1969
1969/7111General87Levy & Chen, 1976
19717Reading85Smilansly & Shefatiya, 1977
197215English88Levi et al., 1978
197314General87Chen et al., 1978
19756/12Reading90Eshel (1980)
198014General91Chen (1983)
198211Science93Zuzovsky (1987)
198315Science91Levin (1988)
198512General92Chen (1987)

The evidence is conflicting on whether the gap in educational attainment between European and Oriental Jews decreases with assimilation in Israel. Ortar (1967) in her study of 13 year olds on tests of geography, arithmetic, bible studies, language and history divided her sample into two groups, those whose fathers had been born in Israel and those who had been born outside Israel. Both groups of Oriental Jewish children had the same mean educational quotient, showing that being reared and educated in Israel had no advantageous effect on their educational attainment. However, among the European Jewish children, those born in Israel had an educational quotient 5 IQ points higher than those born outside Israel. The explanation for this may be that being reared and educated in Israel had an advantageous effect on their educational attainment. Alternatively, it may be that more recent immigrants had lower IQs than earlier immigrants and transmitted these to their children.

In contrast to Ortar’s results, Minkowitch, Davis and Bashi (1982) found that the gap in educational attainment between European and Oriental Jews decreased from the first to the second generation. Their sample consisted of 12 year olds tested in reading, math and geography and the results are shown in Table 11.7. It will be seen that the attainment of the Oriental Jews improved in the second generation in reading and math, although not in geography.

Table 11.7 Educational attainment of first and second generation Oriental Jews
GenerationNReadingMathGeography
First2753878885
Second423909385
Genetic Basis of European-Oriental IQ Difference

Evidence that there is a substantial genetic basis of the European-Oriental Jewish IQ difference has been presented by Storfer (1990, p.221) in a summary of some research on the IQs of the two groups brought up from early infancy in the same kibbutzim. The research showed that the children of European parents had much higher IQs than the children of Oriental parents, while the children of mixed European-Oriental parents had IQs intermediate between the two. Unfortunately, Storfer did not report mean IQs of the three groups but only the percentages of children with IQs above 128, 120, and 110. Furthermore, he reported the percentages for the three groups broken down by the fathers’ educational level into High School graduates (n = 401) and those with Elementary School only or less (n=268). Nevertheless, the results are informative and are shown in Table 11.8. We can see that at both educational levels the children with two European parents had substantially greater proportions at all three levels of intelligence, the children with one European parent came next, while the children with two Oriental parents had the smallest proportions. The average of the two percentages of children of European parents with IQs above 128 is 18.6, indicating that the mean IQ of these must have been about 115. The average of the two percentages of children of two Oriental parents with IQs above 128 is 2.7, indicating that the mean IQ of these must have been about 100. Thus the mean IQs of these two groups differs by about 15 IQ points, virtually exactly the same as the differences shown in Table 11.2. Since these children were all brought up in the same kibbutzim environment, the only conclusion that can be drawn is the IQ differences must be wholly genetically determined. The mean IQs of the total sample are evidently somewhat higher than 100 and appear to be approximately 107.5 (the average of the children of the High School graduates and Elementary School fathers). The reason for this is that the test used in the study was the 1947 American WISC and the norms were outdated by the Flynn effect.

The greater proportion of children among those with high IQs whose fathers were High School graduates must also be a genetic effect. This result confirms several studies carried out in Britain and the United States where the intelligence of children brought up in orphanages has been found to be related to the socio-economic status of their fathers. In the first of these studies, Jones and Carr-Saunders (1927) in Britain reported that these children with professional fathers had an average IQ of 107, and the IQs of the children fell with declining socio-economic status of their fathers to 93 for the children of laborers. I have summarized several other studies showing the same phenomenon in my book Dysgenics.

Table 11.8 IQs of kibbutzim children with European and Oriental parents (percentages)
High School Graduates128+120+110+
Both Parents European26.147.071.2
One Parent European19.742.374.6
Both Parents Oriental0.440.865.2
Elementary School
Both Parents European11.228.046.4
One Parent European8.431.348.2
Both Parents Oriental5.012.527.6
Abilities of Jews and Arabs in Math and Science

The Third International Maths and Science Study consisted of the collection of scores on tests of 14 year olds in 49 countries. The results are given for math by Mullis, Martin, Gonzales and Chrostowski (2004) and for science by Martin, Mullis, Gonzales and Chrostowski (2004). Among the countries were Israel and the Palestine National Authority, which is treated as a country for the present purpose. The mean scores of the Israelis were substantially higher than those of the Palestinians. The means are given in Table 11.9, together with the standard deviations for the set of 49 countries. The bottom row gives the ds, i.e. the differences between the Israelis and the Palestinians expressed in standard deviation units. The IQ difference between Jews and Arabs shown in Table 11.2 is 16 IQ points and is the equivalent of 10.7 d. Thus, the advantage of the Israelis over the Palestinians is greater for maths but less for science, as compared with the IQ difference. However, the average of the maths and science (10.2 d) isalmost the same as the IQ difference.

Table 11.9 Abilities of Jews and Arabs in Math and Science
CountryNumberMathScience
Israel385395.2438.8
Palestine504492.4489.0
SD-.73.70
d-1.33.71
Education of European Jews, Oriental Jews and Arabs

Education was made free and compulsory for all children in Israel between the ages of 5 and 13 by law in 1956. However, more European Jews have chosen to continue into secondary and tertiary education than Oriental Jews and Arabs. Studies showing this are summarized in Table 11.10. Rows 1 and 2 give results from the 1961 census for men and women for the percentages of Oriental and European Jews who had completed 9 years of school and shows that for both men and women this was about twice as high for Europeans asfor Orientals. Row 3 gives the percentages of Oriental and European Jewish school students passing the matriculation examination in 1970 and shows a considerably greater rate of success for the Europeans than for Orientals (80.6 per cent as compared with 58.4 per cent).

Row 4 gives the average years of education of men of the three groups found in 1974 and shows that the Europeans had the most years of education, followed by the Orientals, while the Arabs had the least. Rows 5 and 6 give the average years of education of men and women of the three groups found in the 1983 census and show that for both men and women Europeans had the greatest amount of education, followed among men by the Orientals, while the Arabs had the least education. However, among women, the Arabs had about five months more education than the Orientals. Rows 7 shows that in 1983 a much higher percentage of Europeans (17.4) had university degrees than of Orientals (3.4: 3.8 per cent from Asia and 3.0 per cent from North Africa). Row 8 shows that in 1992 the same differences in years of education remained between the Europeans, the Orientals, and the Arabs.

Rows 9 and 10 give percentages from the 1995 census for third generation Israeli born who were university graduates and show that three times as many European men as Orientals were graduates, while among women nearly two and a half times as many were graduates. These results show that even among those who are acculturated to Israeli society, a substantial gap in educational attainment remains between the Europeans and the Orientals. Rows 10 and 11 show that in 1998 the percentages of university students who were European was much higher than the percentages who were Oriental, and among Ph.D. students the disparity was even greater. These figures are for those born in Europe and the Near East (including North Africa), respectively.

Table 11.10 Education of European and Oriental Jews and Arabs
EducationYearEuropeanOrientalArabs
19 Years school: men196148.028.0-
29 Years school: women196138.013.0-
3Matriculation197080.658.4-
4Years schooling: men197411.18.15.9
5Years schooling: men198312.89.98.4
6Years schooling: women198313.310.110.6
8Years schooling: men199314.211.79.6
9University graduates: men199531.010.0-
10University graduates: women199547.020.0-
11University students199840.327.1-
12Ph.D. students199858.115.7-
Sources: rows 1-2: Friedlander et al., 2002; row 3: Eisikovits, 1997; row 4: Kraus & Hodge, 1990; row 5-6: Neuman, 1998; 7: Schmelz, Della Pergola and Avner (1990); row 8: Haberfeld and Cohen, 1998; 9-10: Cohen and Haberfeld, 2004; 11-12: Yisraeli, 1998.

The percentages of Orientals among university students in different faculties in 1999 have been given by David (2003) and are shown in Table 11.11. Arabs were 9.6 of all students and the remainder were European. It is apparent that the Europeans were most heavily over-represented in the more prestigious faculties of medicine, science together with math, law and engineering with about 80 per cent of the students. They were considerably over-represented, although less so, in the less prestigious faculties of social science and humanities. The percentages of Orientals are intermediate between the European and the Arabs.

Table 11.11 Percentages of Oriental university students, 1999
Subject% OrientalSubject% Oriental
Medicine18Engineering22
Science/math19Social Science30
Law21Humanities33

There is a widespread consensus among Israeli social scientists that the Oriental Jews have been disadvantaged and discriminated against by the Europeans and that with time they would gradually improve their position. Whether this has occurred has been investigated by Savit, Cohen, Steir and Bolotin (1999) by examining the percentages of 30-34 year olds in the 1946-62 birth cohorts who became university graduates. They confined their analysis to those born in Israel and subdivided the Orientals into Asians (including Egyptians) and North Africans. Their results for men are shown in Table 11.12 and for women in Table 11.13. We see in Table 11.12 that the percentage of Europeans who became university graduates remained stable at approximately 30 per cent over the 16 year period. The percentage of Asians increased from 12 per cent to 15 per cent, and the percentage of North Africans also increased from 1 per cent to 7 per cent. Table 11.13 shows similar trends for women. These figures show that Oriental Jews have improved their position relative to Europeans and that Asians have done considerably better than North Africans. Nevertheless, even among the youngest cohort the Europeans were still doing much better than the Orientals.

Table 11.12 Percentages of men university graduates
Group194619541962
European302831
Asian121015
N.African157
Table 11.13 Percentages of women university graduates
Group194619541962
European262730
Asian4513
N.African346

Further data for the education of European and Oriental Jews and Arabs together with their average earnings were obtained in income surveys of representative samples in 1975 and 2001 and have been given by Cohen and Haberfeld (2003). The data are for employed men aged 25-54 and are shown in Table 11.14. It will be seen that in both years the Europeans had the most education and the highest average monthly earnings, the Orientals came next, while the Arabs came lowest. The gap in years of education was reduced over the quarter century, but the gap in earnings increased. For instance, Europeans earned less that twice as much as Arabs in 1975, but in 2001 they earned more than twice as much. The authors attribute this to the increased demand for skilled men and therefore their earnings have increased. As European Jews have more skills than Oriental Jews and Arabs, their earnings have risen more. They do not mention that there has been an increased demand for those with higher IQs.

Table 11.14 Education and earnings of European and Oriental Jews and Arabs
YearMeasureEuropeansOrientalsArabs
1975Years education13.710.37.6
1975Earnings5,2104,0413,559
2001Years education14.812.911.8
2001Earnings13,1039,0775,854
Socio-economic Status of European and Oriental Jews and Arabs

Differences in socio-economic status of European Jews, Oriental Jews and Arabs are shown in Table 11.15. Row 1 gives the percentages of the three populations working in professional occupations found in a labor force survey carried out in 1955 and shows that Europeans had the highest percentage (8.5), followed by the Arabs (4.6), while the Orientals had the lowest percentage (3.4). Row 2 gives similar data from a labor force survey in 1974 and shows again that the Europeans had a much higher percentage in professional occupations (27.0) than the Orientals (7.8). Arabs had a slightly higher proportion in professional occupations (8.5) in this survey, as in 1955. Row 3 gives the percentages of the three populations working in unskilled and service occupations found in the labor force survey of 1974 and shows that Europeans had the lowest percentage (8.4), followed by the Orientals (21.1), while the Arabs had the highest percentage (23.3). Row 4 gives the percentages of the three populations working in professional occupations in the labor force survey in1986 and shows once again that Europeans had the highest percentage (36.2), but this time the Orientals had the next highest percentage (14.6), while the Arabs had the lowest percentage at 10.3. Evidently the Orientals had gained some ground as compared with the Arabs over the 31 year period 1955-1986.

Rows 5 and 6 give socio-economic data for men and women for the three groups from the 1983 census data consisting of the percentages in low status occupations. Among men (row 5) Europeans had the lowest percentage (15.3), followed by the Arabs (21.8) while the Oriental Jews had the highest percentage (28.0). The same gradient is present for women shown in row 6. Rows 7 and 8 give the average hourly wage in shekels of men and women of the three populations found in the 1983 census and show that for men and women Europeans had the highest wages, followed among men by Orientals, while the Arabs had the lowest wages. However, among women, the Arabs had fractionally higher average wages than the Orientals. These results are consistent with the differences in education and demonstrate the association between education and earnings that has frequently been found.

Table 11.15 Socio-economic status of Arabs and Jews
Socio-economic StatusYearArabOrientalEuropean
1Professional %19554.63.48.5
2Professional %19748.57.827.0
3Unskilled & service %19742 23.321.18.4
4Professional %19861 0.314.636.2
5Low status: men %198321.828.015.3
6Low status: women %198336.541.118.0
7Hourly wage: men1983118152219
8Hourly wage: women1983133132180
Sources: rows 1-4- Kraus & Hodge, 1990; rows 5-8: Neuman, 1998
Nobel and Wolf Prize-winners

Six Israelis have won Nobel Prizes and one has received the Wolf Prize for outstanding work in mathematics. This is quite an impressive record, working out at 1 per million population, and considerably better than that of any other country except Britain which had virtually exactly the same ratio in the second half of the twentieth century (57 Prize-winners from a population of about 57 million). The six Israeli Prize-winners are listed in Table 11.16. All of them are European.

Table 11.16 Israeli Nobel and Wolf Prize-winners
YearNameSubjectYearNameSubject
1966Samuel AgnonLiterature2004Aaron CiechanoverChemistry
1990I. Piatetski-ShapiroMathematics2004Avram HershkoChemistry
1999Daniel KahnemanEconomics2005Robert AumannEconomics
Ethiopian Jews

The Ethiopian or Black Jews are Jewish by religion rather than by descent. They are not genetically related to the other Jews but converted to Judaism many centuries ago. In Ethiopia “They lived in small villages and made their living in agriculture and craftsmanship; most of the older generation were illiterate” (Ben-David and Ben-Ari, 1997, p. 511). The Israeli government recognised them as Jews in the 1970s, following which they were permitted to migrate to Israel. By 1998 virtually all of them had done so. In the year 2000 the number of Ethiopian Jews in Israel was approximately 80,000, representing approximately 1.4 per cent of the population.

There have been two studies of the intelligence of the Ethiopian Jews in Israel. A sample of 250 15 year olds was assessed by Kaniel and Fisherman (1991) using the Standard Progressive Matrices. The authors write: “The Ethiopian Jews were tested one year after they arrived in Israel. All the subjects were tested in groups in their schools, using standard procedure. Each group was shown the first practice item of the test and solved it together. Special care was taken to make sure the Ethiopian Jews understood how the test was organized, to ensure their ability to fill out the answer sheet. There was no time limit” (p.28). The authors made errors in the calculation of the IQ of the Ethiopians and I have given the correct figures in Lynn (1994). The mean score on the test was equivalent to the second percentile on the British 1979 standardization norms and to an IQ of 69. It is assumed that the Israeli data were collected in 1989 and that the British IQ increased by 2 IQ points between 1979 and 1989. To adjust forthis increase, the IQ of the Ethiopian Jews needs to be reduced to 67.

A second study of the IQ of Ethiopian Jews has been published by Kazulin (1998). These were 14-16 year olds who had been in Israel four or more years, were attending Israeli boarding schools and were tested with the Progressive Matrices. Their mean IQ was 65. These results suggest that education in western schools does not benefit the African IQ. The results of the two studies are in close agreement and indicate a mean IQ of about 66. This is similar to the average IQ of sub-Saharan Africans throughout Africa that I have summarized in Race Differences in Intelligence (2006).

The Ethiopian Jews in Israel have all the characteristics of a low IQ population.

They are a social problem: “they make up one of Israel’s poorest communities” (Clayton, 2000, p. 12); and “many are not equipped with sufficient language, professional and social skills for Israeli society; there is a large proportion of Ethiopians living in relative poverty, and many do not or cannot improve themselves; the number of high school drop-outs as well as crime figures among the young are rising significantly. In the 1990s, Ethiopian youth gangs made their appearance, terrorizing shopkeepers and neighbourhoods. They identify with an aggressive and semi-criminal African-American youth culture” and have become “ a kind of ethnic underclass” (Abbink, 2002, p.13).

A report on the social problems of the Ethiopian immigrants has been issued by the Brookdale Institute (2004) based on a survey of about 15,000 Ethiopians in eight Israeli cities. The principal findings were (1) in 2004, Ethiopians accounted for 4.1% (933 of 22,839) of juvenile crimes — double the proportion of Ethiopians in Israel’s youth population; (2) each Ethiopian immigrant costs the government about
$100,000 over the course of his or her lifetime; (3) 30% of the Ethiopian family units are single-parent families compared with 9 per cent for Israel (Lazin, 2002); (4) a school drop-out rate of 6% compared to 4% among the general Jewish population in Israel; (5) at age 17 (based on data from the Ministry of Education on the number of Ethiopian students in school and on estimates from the Central Bureau of Statistics on the size of the age cohorts) some 25% of Ethiopians in 2002 were not in schools under the auspices of the Ministry of Education compared to about 15% of all 17 year-old Israeli youth.

(6 ) Poor school achievement: according to the national achievement tests of the Ministry of Education in 2002, some 75-80% of the Ethiopian children in 5th and 8th grades were below the national average in English, Science, Math and Hebrew. A national study was conducted in 2000 for the Ministry of Education on achievements of Ethiopian children in 5th, 9th and 11th grades. It found that the average achievement scores in Math and Hebrew of Ethiopian children are 60-70% of the average of all Jewish children in the 5th grade and declined to 40-60% of the average in the 11th grade. Data from the national evaluation survey of 2003 found that the average scores of Ethiopian children aged 3 in language and basic concepts were some 70% of the scores of all Israeli children. At ages 5, 6 and 8 the average scores of Ethiopian children in language skills were 62%, 56% and 43% of the average scores of Israeli children respectively. In Math, the scores of Ethiopian children at ages 5, 6 and 8 were 65%, 60% and 39% respectively.

(7) High School Matriculation Exams: Ethiopians do poorly in the matriculation exams taken at the end of high school that are the basis for acceptance to higher education. Table 11.17 shows data for 2002 and 2003 for Ethiopian and for all Israeli 17 year olds for the matriculation pass rate (Level 1) and the higher level pass rate (Level 2) required for university entry. Thus, in 2002 31 per cent of Ethiopians achieved a Level 1 pass compared with 52 per cent of all Israeli students.

Table 11.17 Matriculation pass rates in 2002 and 2003
20022003
Ethiopian IsraelisAll IsraelisPercentage gap*Ethiopian IsraelisAll IsraelisPercentage gap*
Level 131520.6032520.62
Level 213450.2915450.33
Source: Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute special analysis of Ministry of Education data
• Percentage gap:the Ethiopian eligibility rate as a percentage of the rate for all Israelis

The authors of the report comment: “These findings reinforce the need for a greater effort to enhance the educational achievement of Ethiopian Israelis and reduce the educational gaps. At the same time the findings also point to the opportunity. They reveal that there is a large group who has successfully passed the matriculation exams, yet not at the level that meets university requirements. There is a high probability that with extra assistance they can take this significant additional step ahead.”

(8) Employment rates: in 2003, about 45% of Ethiopian men age 18-64 were employed. This is a decline from 54% in 1995/6. This decline reflects the growing difficulties that unskilled workers have been experiencing in Israel in the last decade. Among women of the same ages, there was an increase in employment from 24% in 1995/6 to 32% in 2003. This reflects a significant increase in the number of women looking for work, which is particularly influenced by length of stay in Israel. Indeed, along with the increase in those employed, there was a significant increase in the percentage of Ethiopian women who were looking for work but were still unemployed. The authors of the report comment: “There is a serious concern that the immigrants may develop a reliance on public assistance rather than becoming integrated into the labor force”.

(9) Family structure and size: some 60% of Ethiopian families have five or more children (ages 0-18); 20 % of families with children are single-parent; a large percentage of single-parent families have three or more children.

(10) Hebrew proficiency: about 45% of Ethiopian parents are unable to hold a simple conversation in Hebrew, and most (about 75%) are unable to read or write simple Hebrew. This is true even of a large proportion of those who have been in the country for a relatively long time. The immigrants’ success in learning Hebrew has been limited.

(11 ) Demographic status: some measures obtained in a 1995 survey of the socio-economic status of Ethiopians compared with all Israelis are summarized in Table 11.18. Rows 1 through 4 show the low levels of education of the Ethiopians. Row 5 shows the higher percentage single-parent families (18 per cent compared with 10 per cent). Row 6 shows that 41 per cent of Ethiopian children were being raised in families without an earner and were therefore dependent on welfare support, compared with only 9 per cent of all Israeli children.

Table 11.18 Demographic status of Ethiopian and all Israeli children in 1995 (percentages)
Demographic statusEthiopian ChildrenAll Israeli Children
Father’s education
– No education61.03.3
– Education 1-8 years20.014.7
– Education 13 + years5.635.0
Single-parent families18.010.0
No earner41.09.0
Source: Brookdale Institute, special analysis of 1995 National Census of the Central Bureau of Statistics

(12) Delinquency: the most reliable data on the delinquency rate of Ethiopian children are for 1996, when a police file was opened for 2.6% of Ethiopian children, as opposed to 1.4% of non-Ethiopians. It was found that Ethiopian children become delinquent at an earlier age and have more offences on average than do non-Ethiopian offenders.

(13 ) Military service: the report notes “the serious problems of Ethiopian families impact on Army service and thus about 25% do not complete their Army service”. It does not give the corresponding figure for all Israelis.

The authors of the report conclude: “There are a number of worrying trends among Ethiopian youth. The special characteristics and challenges facing Ethiopian families place many of them in risk situations. About half the families are known to the social service departments and receive assistance for a variety of needs, ranging from household equipment to help with difficulties in the functioning of the family. Because of the difficulties facing the families, the percentage of Ethiopian children known to the social services is three times the percentage found in the general population, reaching a third of all Ethiopian children. In light of the special difficulties faced by the immigrants from Ethiopia, Israel adopted a strategy of affirmative action and from the beginning provided special assistance beyond that available to other immigrants. This is consistent with the overall framework of differential assistance to immigrant groups within absorption policy in Israel.”

The authors of the report fail to note the low IQ of the Ethiopian immigrants and that this goes a long way to explaining the social problems they present of poor educational attainment, high unemployment, single motherhood, and high rates of crime.

The Ethiopian Jews have several of the characteristics of the black underclass in the United States and Britain including low average IQs, poor educational attainment, high unemployment, and high rates of single mothers, rate of crime and HIV infection (Pollack, 1993). The Ethiopian Jews have become ghettoised because many white Jews prefer not to live in communities with a large number of black Jews (Lavin, 2000).

Fertility of European and Oriental Jews and Arabs

From the foundation of the state of Israel the Oriental Jews have had higher fertility than the European Jews, and fertility has been still higher among the Arabs. These fertility differences are shown for the years 1950-2000 in Table 11.19. The fertility difference between the European and the Orientals has been partly due to the more efficient use of contraception by the Europeans. A survey carried out in 1988 found that 38 per cent of unmarried European young women born in Israel used contraception at first sexual intercourse, compared with only 20 per cent of Orientals (Wilder, 2000). This is itself partly attributable to the difference in intelligence. The fertility of all three groups has declined over the twenty-five years and the differences have converged. The difference between the European and the Oriental Jews had virtually disappeared by the year 2000 for those born in Israel, although the fertility of those born in Asia and Africa was about 43 per cent greater than of those born in Europe. The fertility of the Arabs has also declined but was still well above that of the Jews by the year 2000.

Table 11.19 Fertility of the European and Oriental Jews and Arabs
YearJews born Europe AmericaJews born Asia AfricaJews born IsraelJews born Israel, father born Europe AmericaJews born Israel, father born Asia AfricaArabs
19503.285.693.94--
19602.385.102.76--9.31
19702.844.073.122.953.148.95
19802.753.042.762.682.795.98
19902.313.092.762.732.814.70
20002.253.202.782.582.624.74
Source: Israel Central Bureau of Statistics
Infant Mortality and Life Expectancy

Jews enjoy better health than Arabs as indexed by rates of infant mortality and life expectancy. Differences between Arabs and Jews in infant mortality have been published for 1977 through 1999 by Chernichovsky and Anson (2005) and are shown in Table 11.20. It will be seen that throughout the period the rate of infant mortality of Arabs was more than double that of Jews. The Israeli National Health Insurance Act of 1995 gave free medical care to all Israeli residents, including Arabs, but this evidently did not reduce the different rates for Arabs and Jews.

Table 11.20 Infant mortality per 1,000 births
YearArabsJews
19773214
1987178
199994

Chernichovsky and Anson (2005) have also published life expectancy for Arabs and Jews for 1975 through 2001. The figures for these are shown in Table 11.21. It will be seen that throughout the period life expectancy was greater for Jews by three or four years. Life expectancy was greater for women than for men, as is invariably the case.

Table 11.21 Life expectancy of Arabs and Jews
YearSexArabsJews
1975Men6871
1975Women7174
1987Men7375
1987Women7578
2001Men6878
2001Women7882
Intelligence of Jews in Israel, Britain, Canada and the United States

We now consider the question of how the intelligence of European and Oriental Jews in Israel compares with that of European Jews in Britain and the United States. There are no studies that give direct evidence on this question but it can be answered indirectly. To do this we need to look first at

studies of intelligence in Israel in relation to the “Greenwich standard” IQ of 100 for intelligence in Britain. Eight such studies are summarized in Table 11.22. The IQs lie in the range of 89-97 with a median of 95. We adopt this as the IQ of Israel. Approximately half of the Jews in Israel are European Jews and the other half are Orientals from Asia and North Africa. Seven studies carried out in Israel summarized in Table 11.2 have found that the Orientals have a mean IQ approximately 16 IQ points lower than the European Jews. From these figures it can be estimated that the European Jews in Israel have a mean IQ of 106, Oriental Jews have a mean IQ of 90 (16 IQ points lower). The combination of both groups gives an IQ of 98 for Jews in Israel. The population of Israel also consists of approximately 20 per cent of Arabs, whose IQ is 16 IQ points below that of Jews (as shown in Table 11.1, row 1) and must therefore be 84. This is not surprising, since it is precisely the same as the IQ of other south west Asian Arabic peoples (see Lynn, 2006). The weighted mean of the IQs of the three groups gives the IQ of 95 for Israel.

Table 11.22 Intelligence in Israel
AgeNTestIQReference
113/14200WISC95Ortar, 1952
211-15267SPM95Moyles & Wolins, 1973
310-12180Lorge-Thorndike97Miron, 1977
410/12268SPM95Globerson, 1983
5112,781SPM89Lancer & Rim, 1984
6552CPM96Tzuriel & Caspi, 1992
79-151,740SPM90Lynn, 1994
813-SPM96Kazulin, 1998

The IQ of 106 calculated for European Jews in Israel is lower than the IQ of 110 of European Jews in Britain, Canada and the United States, given in the chapters on these countries. The explanation for this is that the Jews in Britain, Canada and the United States are Ashkenazim, whereas the not all of those of those classified as European in Israel are Ashkenazim. As noted in Section 1, of the 2.4 million classified as European Jews in Israel, approximately 1.4 million (58 per cent) are Ashkenazim, about 900,000 are non-Jewish Russians and about 110,000 are Sephardim from the Balkans. We can assign the Ashkenazim an IQ of 110 and the non-Jewish Russians and the Sephardim an IQ of 99 (see Lynn, 2006, and Chapter 17). Weighting these figures with their proportions among European Jews, we arrive at the IQ of 106 for European Jews in Israel.

Conclusions

It was soon observed in the early days after the foundation of the state of Israel that European Jews did better than Orientals and Arabs in education, earnings and occupational status. Virtually all Israelis believed that these differences would soon diminish and eventually disappear as the Orientals and Arabs became assimilated. The evidence has shown, however, that this has not happened. In fact the earnings gap has become greater: “the earnings gap between second generation Eastern and Western immigrant men has increased in the period 1975-1992 (Cohen and Haberfeld, 1998. p.507).

We have seen that there is a gradient of intelligence in the four ethnic populations in Israel. Intelligence is highest in the European Jews (IQ=106), lower in the Orientals (IQ=90), lower still in the Arabs (IQ=84) and lowest in the Ethiopian Jews (IQ= 66). These IQ differences predict and largely explain the differences in educational attainment, earnings and socio-economic status. However, Israeli social scientists have been very shy about explaining that most of the racial and ethnic differences in educational attainment, earnings and socio-economic status in Israel can be explained by differences in intelligence. A number of Israeli social scientists attribute the poor performance of the Orientals, the Arabs and the Ethiopian Jews to discrimination by European Jews against the other groups. For instance, Savit, Cohen, Steir and Bolotin (1999, p.6) write that “the Israeli Arabs suffer from severe discrimination… and scholars agree that the social disadvantages of the Mizrahim have their roots in the way they were received by the Ashkenazim establishment during the early years of the state… inequality persists because the dominant ethnic group, the Ashkenazim, manages to perpetuate its privileges by excluding others from the higher and more selective educational tracks” (p.18). In similar if opaque vein, Friedlander, Okun, Eisenbach, and Elmakias, (2002, p.135) assert that “ethnic gaps are functions of political and economic historical factors and contextual factors”.

Two other social scientists who believe that the poor performance of the Orientals, the Arabs and the Ethiopian Jews is attributable to discrimination by European Jews against the other groups are Vared Kraus, a sociologist at the University of Haifa, and Robert Hodge, a sociologist at the University of Southern California (Kraus and Hodge, 1990). They have concluded that Israel is meritocratic in so far as the racial and ethnic differences in socio-economic status are virtually wholly determined by the differences in education, so “the process of occupational attainment is basically egalitarian” (p. 179). Why, therefore, do the European Jews do so much better than the Orientals and the Arabs? Their explanation is that the Europeans discriminate against the Orientals and the Arabs and keep them in a socially subordinate position. They do this to maintain their own position and are particularly motivated to do so because they are aware of their low fertility and the threat this poses to their dominance. Thus “the dominant European-American Jewish elements in the Israeli population sought, by means of established institutions of education, to control the flow of other ethno-religious groups into positions of power and prestige. Their scheme was ostensibly fair because it was meritocratically based; nevertheless, it effectively excluded Arabs and Asian-African Jews from the highest echelons of the nation’s social institutions and economy because of their lack of access to educational opportunities. Thus, what appears to be a meritocratic system may also be construed as a system of social control based on their educational credentials by the dominant elite (European-American Jews) in order to exclude the educationally disadvantaged (Asian-African Jews as well as Arabs)” (p.175).

This is the standard sociological theory of racial and ethnic differences in educational attainment, earnings and socio-economic status. With few exceptions, it is axiomatic for sociologists that all groups are equal in intelligence, despite massive evidence to the contrary. Hence, ethnic differences in socio-economic status must be caused by discrimination by the socially dominant group. But this explanation does not stand up to examination. How can the Europeans use their power to secure higher marks for their children than for the Oriental Jews and the Arabs in examinations at school and university? It is not suggested that the Europeans fake the marks, but how else can the better performance of the European children be explained? And if the European used their power to exclude the Oriental Jews and the Arabs from higher education and higher socio-economic status positions, they would surely have exercised this more strongly against the Arabs, who are widely perceived by Jews in Israel as enemies, than against their ethnic co-religionists the Oriental Jews. Yet the Arabs do pretty much as well as the Oriental Jews in socio-economic status, and even had higher percentages in the professional class in 1955 and 1974. Contrary to the Kraus and Hodge conspiracy theory of the poor status of the Oriental Jews and the Arabs in Israel, there is nothing to stop these from entering the universities and the professions except that fewer of them are able to pass the entrance examinations, and the reason they cannot do this is that they have lower IQs.

Other Israeli social scientists including Cohen and Haberfeld have concluded that the poor performance of the Orientals, the Arabs and the Ethiopian Jews cannot be explained by discrimination by the European Jews. Reviewing the studies, they write that “most previous research detected no differential labor market discrimination of Jews of Eastern origin” (1998, p.510), and their own studies have confirmed this conclusion. They believe much of the gap can be explained by “the increase of returns to college education” (p.507), but they have no explanation to offer for why so many more European Jews have college education than Orientals and Arabs. It is difficult to believe that these social scientists are unaware of the higher intelligence of the European Jews and that this can explain their better achievements. It can only be presumed that they have chosen not to mention it.

Chapter 12 • Italy • 2,300 Words

There has been a Jewish community in Rome since the first century AD when thirty Jewish families were brought from Palestine and settled in a ghetto in the Travevere district. In the late Roman Empire the number is estimated at about 50,000 (Roth, 1946). At this time Jews do not appear to be in any way exceptional: “if there were any callings characteristic of the Italian Jews at this period they were of the lowliest nature; there were Jewish butchers, tailors, tentmakers and other craftsmen (Roth, 1946, p.23). This substantiates the view that the early Jews do not seem to have had a high IQ but that this came later as a result of experiences in the middle ages.

In the early middle ages “attitudes to Jews were fairly tolerant” (Johnson, 2004, p.216). However, in the 1480s when there were about 50,000 Jews in Italy, they were expelled from most of the northern cities including Perugia, Parma, Milan, Lucca, Florence and Venice. In 1493 they were expelled from the Kingdom of Sicily, and in 1510 from the Kingdom of Naples, in 1569 from the papal states except Rome and Ancona (Barnaav, 1998; Castello and Kagan, 1994).

During the period between 1480 and 1600 Jews were intermittently expelled and readmitted and then expelled again throughout the numerous independent states that existed in Italy until the country was unified in the mid-nineteenth century. In the 1490s a number of Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal moved to Italy. The descendants of these formed the great majority of Jews in Italy, although some Ashkenazim came to Italy from Germany in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In 1541 Jews were expelled from Naples and in 1550 from Venice and Ancona, but in the later 1500s they were readmitted to Venice and number of other Italian cities (Barnaav, 1998; Castello and Kagan, 1994). In 1555 Pope Paul 1V issued a Papal Bull Cum Nimis Absurdum that required the segregation of Jews into ghettos throughout the papal domains.

In second hald of the sixteenth century “the position of the Jews was pitiable; the bulls of Paul 1V and Pius V had reduced them to the utmost humiliation and had materially diminished their numbers. In southern Italy there were almost none left; in each of Rome, Venice and Mantua, there were about 2,000, while in all Lombardy there were about 1,000 (Castiglioni, 1904 , pp.7,10). From the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries throughout Italy “generally speaking, Jews were not allowed to have shops outside the ghetto, or to engage in retail trade except among their corel igionists, or to practi ce any organized handicraft, or to follow any liberal profession, or to enter any branch of manufacture, or to employ Christians. There was a small aristocracy of wholesale importers and textile magnates, but the vast majority were itinerant hawkers, rag-pickers and second hand dealers; the economic history of Italian Jewry is a record of fruitless endeavors to extend the range of their activities, alternating with bursts of savage repression” (Roth, 1946, p.373).

Napoleon liberated the Jews in 1796 but at the end of the Napoleonic war “restrictions were re-imposed and until the revolution of 1848 there was hardly a country in Europe where the restrictions placed on Jews were more galling”;“the liberty acquired under Napoleon was of short duration; it disappeared after his downfall. Pope VII reinstalled the Inquisition; he deprived the Jews of every liberty and confined them to the ghetto” (Castiglioni, 1904, p.7). In the early nineteenth century Jews were severely discriminated against in most of Italy: “students were expelled from all educational institutions, from the elementary and trade schools to the universities; they were not allowed to become lawyers, notaries, apothecaries, or physicians, except for practice among their coreligionists” (Roth, 1946, p. 449). Jews were subjected to frequent intermittent persecution in Italy until the middle of the nineteenth century. In the early nineteenth century Jews in Italy seem to have had the low fertility typical of Jews. It has been estimated that at this time the birth rate of Jews in Florence was 47 per cent below that of gentiles (Chiswick, 1988).

1859-1944

In 1859 the numerous formally independent Italian states were united to become the Kingdom of Italy and the Jews obtained full emancipation. At this time “most Italians could neither read nor write, whereas literacy in the Jewish community was nearly 90 per cent” (Stille, 2005, p. 25). From 1859 until 1938 Jews enjoyed civic liberties in Italy and there was very little anti-Semitism. Jews flourished during this period: “there was no part of the world where religious freedom was more real or religious prejudice so small” (Michaelis, 1978, p.3). In the first House of Deputies (the Italian Parliament) of 1861 there were three Jewish deputies and this rose to eleven in 1871 and 15 in 1894. In 1906 Italy acquired a half-Jewish Prime Minister (Sidney Sonnino) and in 1910 Italy a fully Jewish Prime Minister in the person of Luigi Luzzati. The most famous Italian Jew of this period was the painter Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1929) who emigrated to Paris, where his frank nudes shocked even the French to such an extent that his first exhibition in 1918 was closed on the first day for indecency. Hardly less famous were Camillo Olivetti, who founded Olivetti typewriters in 1911, and Alberto Pincherle, better known by his pen name Alberto Moravia, who was half Jeiwsh.

The approximate numbers of Jews in Italy and their percentages of the population between 1901-2001 are given in Table 12.1. The growth in numbers from 1901 is attributable to natural increase although this was to some degree offset by Jews leaving the community. It is estimated that 44 per cent of Jews married gentiles during the interwar years and many of these defected from Judaism (Zimmerman, 2005). The fall in numbers from 44,000 in 1940 to 29,000 in 1945 was a result of the killing of approximately 7,700 by the Germans in World War Two and the emigration of around 6,000 to Switzerland and elsewhere (Michaelis, 1978). The small increase from 1945 to 1965 was due to immigration (Johnson, 2004, p. 563), and the subsequent decline to below replacement fertility.

Table 12.1 Numbers and percentages of Jews in Italy
YearN. Jews% populationYearN. Jews% population
180034,000.2194529,000.06
190134,653.1196532,000.07
194044,000.1200129,500.05

From 1900 to the 1930s Jews were accepted and did well in Italy. In 1904 King Victor Emmanuel 111 asserted that “Jews may occupy any position, and they do…Jews for us are full-blown Italians” (Johnson, 2004, p. 501). In World War One the foreign minister, Sidney Sonnino, was a Jew, and there were eleven Jewish generals in the Italian army. Jews were prominent in the socio-economic elite: “Jewish families played key roles in rural land development, the silk industry, and urban construction, and held substantial influence in the insurance business; Jewish banking firms, such as Weil-Weiss and Malvano in Turin, and Weil-Schott in Milan, and Treves in Venice, held key positions in the Italian banking industry; Jews were over-represented among owners, editors, and journalists in the Italian newspaper industry, and the Jewish firms of Treves, Bemperad, Lattes, Formiggini, and Voghera stood out among Italy’s major publishing houses; Jews were over-represented within the Italian civil service, law, business, and academia” (Brunstein, 2003, pp 253-4); “the number of outstanding Jewish scholars was disproportionately high; the number of Jewish university teachers was disproportionately high, as was the number of Jewish generals and admirals” Michaelis (1978, p. 51). In the period from 1900-1939 Jews were highly over-represented among of the professors in Italian universities. The percentages of these who were Jewish are shown in Table 12.2. It will be seen that Jews, who were approximately 0.1 per cent of the population, constituted between 6.4 to 8.0 per cent of professors in the universities.

Table 12.2 Percentages of professors in Italian universities who were Jewish
Year% JewsYear% Jews
19016.419286.7
19196.819388.0

Mussolini assumed power in the 1922 and began to express some anti-Semitism. In 1926 he founded the Academia d’Italia as a national academy for the most distinguished academics and instructed that no Jews were to be elected members. However, in the early years of his dictatorship he was not stridently anti-Semitic, possibly because both Minister of Finance, Guido Jung, and his his mistress, Margherita Sarfatti, were Jewish. Mussolini became more anti-Semitism in the mid-1930s and “saw to it that members of the Jewish community did not reach positions of control either in the government or in the party hierarchy” (Michaelis, 1978, p.51).

By 1938 “the Italian Jewish population had been highly integrated into general society and, on the whole, was solidly middle class” writes Zimmerman (2005, p. 4), who gives a statistical analysis of the percentages of Jews and gentiles in different occupational categories. This is shown in Table 12.3. We can see that 8.8 per cent of Jews, as compared with 0.6 per cent of Italians, worked in the liberal professions of medicine, dentistry, law, architecture, engineering and journalism, (Zimmerman, 2005, p.4). Jews were also about ten fold over-represented in financial services that included banking, insurance. In public administration Jews were about 40 per cent over represented, indicating very little anti-Semitic discrimination. In all the other occupational categories Jews were under-represented.

Table 12.3 Percentages of Jews and gentiles in different occupational categories
OccupationJewsGentiles
Professions8.80.6
Finance5.90.6
Public administration11.67.5
Industry22.129.3
Transportation3.63.8
Trade43.38.2
Agriculture1.550.0

It was not until the September of 1938 that Mussolini instituted serious anti-Semitic measures. These were a law that prohibited Jewish children from attending public and private schools, and that expelled Jews from teaching positions in schools and universities and from membership of learned societies. In the universities 96 professors were dismissed including Emilio Segrè, a physicist who moved to the United States and received the Nobel Prize in 1956, and Tullio Levi-Civita, the most distinguished Italian mathematician. These expulsions had a damaging effect on Italian academic work: “some branches of study, such as physiology, in which a majority of university chairs happened to be filled by Jews, seemed to be completely denuded” (Roth, 1946, p. 528). One of the most serious losses was Enrico Fermi, the professor of physics at Rome University, where he had split the atom for which he later received the Nobel Prize, and who left Italy for Columbia University in New York, where he shortly joined the Manhattan Project for developing the nuclear bomb. Fermi was not Jewish himself but he had a Jewish wife.

In addition to these expulsions, Mussolini introduced anti-Semitic laws that prohibited marriages between “Aryans” (i.e. white gentiles) and Jews (and also between “Aryans” and blacks). Jews were prohibited from entering the military and the civil service, from owning land of more than 50 hectares, owning or managing enterprises employing more than a hundred persons. Jews were expelled from the Fascist Party, a serious deprivation because membership was required for virtually all employment. They were expelled from all positions on the Stock Exchange, joint stock banks and insurance companies, and were forbidden to open new businesses; “almost the only category of Italian Jews as yet unaffected was the proletariat of street peddlers, still common in Rome; but in the end they too were menaced” (Roth, 1946, p. 531). Italian citizenship granted to Jews after 1919 was revoked and all foreign Jews except those aged over 65 were ordered to leave the country. In 1939 a new law was passed imposing further restrictions of Jews that included banning them from the professions of medicine, dentistry, law, architecture, engineering and journalism.

Despite these hostile measures against Jews, Mussolini did not order the killing of any of them. But in 1943 the Germans acquired greater powers in Italy and Himmler ordered the round up of Jews for execution. Most of the Italians were sympathetic to the Jews and many of those who were given these orders were uncooperative: “many Italian police were not particularly eager to carry out the arrests of Jews and warned them beforehand so that they might flee” (Stille, 2005, p.31). Many Italians helped Jews to escape deportation and gave Jews refuge in convents, monasteries and private houses. Nevertheless , as noted above, about 7,700 Jews were deported to concentation camps and killed during World War Two.

1944-2006

From 1944 and in the Post World War Two period Jews recovered their position in Italy. In 1944 Jews who had been expelled from their university positions were reinstated. In the 1950s 14 per cent of Jews were university graduates as compared with 1.4 per cent of gentiles (Encyclopedia Judaica, 1968). Jews had the low fertility and high longevity typical of Jews elsewhere. A study carried out in 1965 found that the birth rate of Jews in Italy was 11.4 per 1,000, compared with 18.3 for the population as a whole (Johnson, 2004, p. 563).

Nobel Prize-winners

A list of Italian Nobel prize-winners is given in Table 12.4. Of the 17 Nobel Laureates, 4 have been Jewish. Thus, Jews who comprised about .075 per cent of the population during the twentieth century produced 24 per cent of the Nobel Prize-winners, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 320.

Table 12.4 Italian Nobel Prize-winners (Jews are asterisked)
YearNameSubjectYearNameSubject
1906Giosuè CarducciLiterature1969Salvador Luria*Medicine
1906Camillo GolgiMedicine1975Eugenio MontaleLiterature
1909Gugliemo MarconiPhysics1975Renato DulbeccoMedicine
1926Grazia DeleddaLiterature1984Carlo RubbiaPhysics
1934Luigi PirandelloLiterature1985Franco Modigliani*Economics
1938Enrico FermiPhysics1986Rita Levi-Moltancini*Medicine
1959Salvatore QuasimodoLiterature1997Dario FoLiterature
1959Emilio Segrè*Physics2002Riccardo GiacconiPhysics
1963Giulio NattaChemistry
Infant Mortality

There is an association between intelligence and low infant mortality that has been found among individuals and between groups. For instance, Savage (1945) in Britain found that the mothers of infants who died in their first year of life (this is the definition of infant mortality) had below average intelligence, and this was confirmed in the United States by Herrnstein and Murray (1994) who reported in their analysis of the American Longitudinal Study of Youth that the mothers of infants who died in their first year of life had an average IQ of 92, 8 points below the national average. One of the principal reasons for this is that more intelligent mothers look after their babies more effectively, for example by feeding them properly, taking care of them when they are ill, and insuring that they do not have accidents.

From the early nineteenth century it has been found that Jews in Italy had lower

lower infant mortality than gentiles. Four studies showing this have been summarized by Johnson (2004) are shown in Table 12.5. It will be seen that the rate of infant mortality of gentiles ranged between 45 and 146 per cent higher than that of Jews.

Table 12.5 Infant mortality per 1,000 live births
YearsLocationJewsGentiles% Difference
1818-37Florence12921869
1838-47Florence14921645
1851Trieste105258146
1901-07Rome7213893
Chapter 13 • Latin America • 2,300 Words

The history of Jews in the Americas dates back to Christopher Columbus and his first Atlantic voyage across in 1492, when he left Spain and “discovered” the New World. His date of departure was also the day on which the Catholic monarchs Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon decreed that the Jews of Spain had to convert to Catholicism or be expelled from the country. There were at least seven Jews (either crypto-Jews, Marranos, or sincere Jewish converts to Catholicism) who sailed with Columbus in his first voyage including Roderigo De Triana, who was the first to sight land, Maestre Bernal, who served as the expedition’s physician, and Luis De Torres, the interpreter, who spoke Hebrew and Arabic, which it was believed would be useful in the Orient (their intended destination).

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a number of Spanish and Portuguese Jews settled in Latin America, largely in Argentina , Brazil, Suriname, Peru, and Mexico. They were intermittently persecuted and put to death by the Inquisition. Bernal Díaz del Castillo describes a number of executions of soldiers in Hernán Cortés‘s forces during the conquest of Mexico because they were Jews. These Jewish communities assimilated with local gentile populations and had almost entirely disappeared by the end of the nineteenth century. From the 1880s there was an influx of Jews from Eastern Europe, principally to Argentina, where about half of the Jews in Latin America live, and to Brazil which accounts for a further 20 per cent. The six Latin America countries containing the most Jews and their numbers and percentages of the population in 1982 have been given by Schmelz and Della Pergola (1985, p.55) and are shown in Table 14.1.

Table 14.1. Jews in Latin America
CountryNumber Jews% of PopulationCountryNumber Jews% of Population
Argentina233,0000.80Chile20,0000.20
Brazil100,0000.80Uruguay30,0001.20
Mexico35,0000.05Venezuela20,0000.14
Argentina

After the expulsion from Spain in 1492, a number of Jews settled in Argentina. Most of these immigrants assimilated into the general population and, by the mid-1800s, Jews had virtually disappeared. Immigration of Jews on a significant scale began in the middle decades of the nineteenth century. The majority of these were Yiddish speakers from Poland, although there were also some from France, and some Sephardim from the Ottoman Empire. Initially they were denied a number of civil rights including that of having Jewish marriages registered. This right was won in 1860. It was not until 1888 that Jews were given full civil rights. By the beginning of the twentieth century the Jewish immigrants were prospering: “their children and grandchildren often became professionals – lawyers, teachers, artists, and doctors” (Elazar and Redding, 1983, p.95). They even secured control of over half of the prostitution trade, hitherto in the hands of the French.

From 1881 onwards there was a third wave of immigrants fleeing poverty and pogroms in Russia and Poland. Baron Maurice de Hirsch founded the Jewish Colonization Association that bought some 600,000 hectares of land for Jews to settle as farmers. Between 1906 and 1912, Jewish immigration increased at a rate of 13,000 immigrants per year. Most of the immigrants were Ashkenazi m from Europe, but there were also a number of Jews from Morocco and the Ottoman Empire. By 1920, more than 150,000 Jews were living in Argentina. By the year 2000, Argentina’s Jewish community numbered about 250,000, of whom about 200,000 lived in Buenos Aires and most of the remainder in provincial towns. About 85 per cent are Ashkenazi. Many young Jews have been migrating to other countries because of the poor state of the economy.

Anti-Semitism has not been particularly strong in Argentina although Jews have been by convention excluded from work in the government, the judiciary and the officer corps of the military. Between 1918 and 1930, there was an increase of anti-Semitism largely because Jews were perceived as communists who had played a large part in the Russian Revolution. In 1919 there was a pogrom against the Jews in Buenos Aires in which many were beaten and had their property burned. There was a further outbreak of anti-Semitism in 1960-61, as a result of the abduction of Adolf Eichmann from a Buenos Aires suburb by Israeli agents and his trial in Jerusalem.

Statistics for the educational attainment and socio-economic status of Jews in Argentina in 1960 are given by Schmelz and Della Pergola (1984) and are shown in Tables 14.2 and 14.3. It will be seen in Table 14.2 that Jews had better education than gentiles. Fewer Jews had no education or only primary education, while more Jews had secondary and university education. The proportion of Jews with university education was more than four times that of gentiles.

Table 14.2 Education of Jews and Gentiles in Argentina in 1960 (percentages)
EducationJewsGentiles
None5.310.5
Primary51.371.6
Secondary32.115.2
University11.32.7

Table 14.3 gives the occupational distribution of Jews and gentiles in Argentina in 1960 and shows that Jews had higher socio-economic status than gentiles in Argentina with approximately twice the proportion in professional occupations and more than three times the proportion in managerial occupations. In the lower socio-economic status categories, there were lower proportions of Jews in blue-collar occupations, services and agriculture.

Table 14.3 Occupational distribution of Jews and Gentiles in Argentina in 1960 (percentages)
OccupationJewsGentiles
Professional11.16.5
Managerial9.52.6
Clerical13.211.9
Sales37.210.3
Blue collar22.334.1
Services4.514.7
Agriculture2.219.8

Jews in Argentina have had lower fertility than the general population. In the 1960 census it was found that for ever-married women aged 45-64 the average number of children was 2.4 for Jews and 3.2 for the general population, while for ever-married women aged 65 and over the corresponding figures were 3.6 and 4.1 (Schmelz and Della Pergola, 1984).

Brazil

Jewish history in Brazil dates back to 1500 when Gaspar da Gama, a Jew by birth, but later forcibly baptized, accompanied the Portuguese admiral Pedro Alvares Cabral when he landed in what is now Brazil. Following their expulsion from Portugal in 1497, Jews fled to places throughout the world, including Brazil. They arrived in Brazil primarily as New Christians or Conversos (Jews converted to Christianity), but many secretly practi ced Judaism. Despite continued persecution by the Brazilian Inquisition, the New Christians successfully established sugar plantations and mills. By the 1600s, approximately 50,000 Europeans lived in Brazil, with New Christians making up a significant percentage. Many of them settled in Sao Paulo. They were businessmen, importers, exporters, teachers, writers, and poets. In 1624, the Dutch established the colony in northeast Brazil. The Dutch tolerated the Jews who flourished in the sugar industry, tax farming and the slave trade, buying slaves cheap and reselling them at a profit. In 1645, the Dutch Jewish population was 1,500, approximately half of the gentile European population of about 3,000. The Portuguese drove the Dutch out of Brazil in 1654.

The Portuguese Inquisition persecuted the Jews. In 1647, the Portuguese authorities arrested Isaac de Castro for teaching Jewish rites and customs in Portuguese controlled Brazil and sent him back to Portugal where the Inquisition sentenced him to death and burned him at the stake. Portuguese anti-Jewish persecution led to a mass immigration to places like Curacao and New York, where they laid foundations for new Jewish communities, while others returned to Europe. Most who could not escape were killed, but some became Crypto Jews, practicing Judaism in secret. They lived away from the authorities, in the interior of Brazil, many becoming ranch hands or cowboys. The persecutions, arrests, confiscation of property and emigration of the Jews greatly damaged the Brazilian economy by bringing the manufacture and export of sugar to a near standstill and seriously disrupting trade between Portugal and Brazil.

In 1773, a Portuguese royal decree finally abolished discrimination against Jews and a number settled in Brazil. In 1822, Brazil gained independence from Portugal, and a number of Moroccan Jews arrived and settled in Belem in northern Brazil and Manaus. By World War I, there were approximately 7,000 Jews in Brazil.

Approximately 47,000 Western European Jews came to Brazil in the 1920s and1930s. In the late 1950s, another wave of Jewish immigration brought more than 3,500 North African Jews to Brazil. By the 1960s, Brazilian Jewry was thriving. In the 1966 parliamentary elections six Jews, representing various parties, were elected to the federal legislature. In addition, Jews served in state legislatures and municipal councils. By 1969, approximately 140,000 Jews lived in Brazil, mostly in the large cities: Rio de Janeiro (50,000), Sao Paulo (55,000), Porto Alegre (12,000), Belo Horizonte (3,000), Recife (1,600) and Belem (1,200).

From the end of World War Two, Jews prospered in Brazil. The University of Sao Paulo has a Center for Jewish Studies. In 1969, 36 per cent of Jewish men and 13 per cent of Jewish women aged 15-29 had university degrees, compared with 6.4 per cent of white Brazilians recorded in the 1980 census (Schmelz and Della Pergola, 1985). Jewish and Israeli film festivals are common in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. In 1994, Jaime Lerner was elected head Jewish governor. In 1998, Professor Dr.EvaAltermanBay became the first Jewish woman to serve in Brazil’s Senate. Jews have also served in the Cabinet. Jews have made a large contribution to the Brazilian economy. Jewish families own Brazil’s two largest publishing and jewelry companies, the sixth largest bank and are among the executives of several other large corporations.

While Brazil’s total population exceeds 160 million people, the Jewish population has stabilized at approximately 95,000. About half of these are in Sao Paulo. More than 8,000 Brazilian Jews have moved to Israel since 1948. By the end of the twentieth century about half of Brazilian Jewry were intermarrying with gentiles.

Chile

Chile became a refuge for Russian Jews in the early part of the twentieth century. More Jews came from Germany in the 1930s and a number of Hungarian Jews entered the country following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

Jews have generally been treated well in Chile and have participated in business, politics and the professions. Julio Bernstein started the first sugar refinery in Vino del Mar. Saloman Sack was a successful steel businessman and financed the University of Chile’s School of Architecture. Under the Allende government (1970-1973) a number of Jewish individuals achieved high status. Among them were Jacques Chonchol, minister of agriculture; Jacobe Shaulson, a Radical party Parliament member; Volodia Teitelbaum, senator and leader of the Communist Party; Oscar Weiss, editor of the government newspaper; Enrique Testa, professor commercial law at the University of Chile and later the president of the State Defense Council. Others were prominent in the political opposition to the Allende government. These included Angel Faivovich, a former senator, Marcos Chamudes, who owned the opposition paper P.E.C. and. Brigadier General Jose Berdichevsky Scher, who was one of the Air Force officers responsible for the bombing of the presidential palace where Allende died.

In the 1990s Jews continued to be influential and active in the universities, politics, theatre, music, education and the arts. These include Alejandro Lipschuetz, an anthropologist and endocrinologist who has acquired a reputation for his research on the Native American Indians: Dr. Abraham Horowitz, director of the Pan American Health Service; Efrain Freidmann, the director of the Chilean Atomic Research Committee; and Jaime Wisnaik, the director of the department of engineering at the Catholic University of Santiago. In theatre, prominent Jews actors include Don Francisco (born Mario Kreutzberger); Alejandro Cohen and Nissim Sharim, along with actresses Birginia Fischer, Jael Unger and Anita Klesky. Vitor Tevah is the foremost violinist and was the conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra and 1980 winner of the National Art Prize, while Andy Pollack is a leading Jewish jazz musician.

Peru

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Lima was the capital of the Spanish colony in Latin America. The city contained a number of Sephardic Jews from Spain and Portugal who had converted to Christianity or, more often, pretended to convert in order to be allowed to continue living in Spain and Portugal, and their colonies in Latin America. They were known as marranos, converses, and New Christians. They were prominent in the commercial life of the colony: “by the 1930s, the “New Christians” controlled much of the commerce in Latin America; large numbers of Jews were starting to acquire tremendous wealth and power” (Elazar and Redding, 1983, pp.65-6 ); “from brocade to sack-cloth, from diamonds to cumin-seed, everything passed through their hands; the Castilian who had not a Jewish partner could look for no success in trade… They would buy cargoes of whole fleets with the fictitious credits they exchanged, thus rendering capital unnecessary, and would distribute the merchandise through the land by their agents who were likewise Jewish” (Cohen, 1971, p.24). By the 1630s the commercial prominence of the Jews was beginning to excite envy. In 1639 the Inquisition ordered the burning of all Jews as heretics. A few escaped but a large number were burned in Lima in the public ceremony of auto da fe, as a result of which the Jewish community in Lima and much of Spanish Latin America was virtually wiped out. The elimination of the Jews had the effect that “the entire viceroyalty of Peru went into an economic decline; the Inquisition had sequestered the property of the Jews so there was a scarcity of capital and no-one to carry on commerce on the scale heretofore handled by the Jews” (Elazar and Redding, 1983, p.67).

Nobel and Wolf Prize-winners

Latin America has produced eight Nobel Prize-winners and one Wolf prize-winner for Mathematics. These are listed in Table 13.4. Two of the Nobel Prize-winners have been Jews. These are Baruj Benacerraf of Venezuela who won the prize for medicine in 1980, and César Milstein of Argentina who won the prize for medicine in 1984. Thus, Jews who are about 0.1 per cent of the population of Latin America have produced 22 per cent of Latin American Nobel and Wolf prize-winners, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 220.

Table 13.4 Latin American Nobel and Wolf Prize-winners (Jews are asterisked)
YearNameCountrySubject
1945Gabriela MistralChileLiterature
1947Bernardo HoussayArgentinaMedicine
1967Miguel AsturiasGuatemalaLiterature
1970Luis LeloirArgentinaChemistry
1971Pablo NerudaChileLiterature
1980Baruj Benacerraf*VenezuelaMedicine
1982Gabriel MarquezColombiaLiterature
1984César Milstein*ArgentinaMedicine
1989Alberto CalderonArgentinaMathematics
Chapter 14 • Poland, Lithuania and Latvia • 2,100 Words

Jews migrated into Poland from France and Germany following the pogroms against them during the First Crusade of 1095. The French and Germans widely perceived the Jews as allies of the Moslems who occupied the Holy Land which the crusaders were trying to liberate, and therefore as enemies of Christianity. At the start of first crusade there were massacres of Jews in France and Germany: “the ancient, rich and populous Jewish communities of the Rhineland were destroyed, most Jews being killed or dragged to fonts; others scattered” (Johnson, 2004, p.208). Among those who escaped, most migrated east and settled in Poland. There were more attacks on Jews during the third crusade of 1189-90 – “the preaching of a crusade always brought anti-Semitism to the boil” (Johnson, 2004, p.210) and again a number escaped to Poland. Further migrations into Poland took place following the expulsions of the Jews from England in 1290, from France in 1396 and from a number of German states in the early decades of the fifteenth century including Trier in 1414 and Cologne in 1424.

In 1385, Poland was united with Lithuania and the two countries remained united until 1772-95. In the 1400s some Jews migrated into Lithuania. By 1570, the number of Ashkenazi Jews in Poland-Lithuania is estimated at 385,000, and comprised 10 per cent of the population, and was the largest community of Jews in the world (Sm, 1960, p. 216). In general the Jews lived fairly safely in Poland-Lithuania but in the seventeenth century they were persecuted during the war against Sweden (1648-50) and some of them fled to the Netherlands, which had a flourishing Jewish community and was a safe haven for Jews at that time.

During the years between 1772-1795 Poland-Lithuania disappeared as an independent state. It was carved up between Russia, which took the whole of Lithuania and the east of Poland, the Austro-Hungarian empire, which took the south-west of Poland (Galicia), and Prussia, which took the north-west of Poland. In 1919, following the end of World War One, Poland regained independence. In 1939 Lithuania and eastern Poland were occupied by the Soviet Union. In 1941-44 they were occupied by the Germans who killed the great majority of the Jews. They gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1989.

Numbers and Percentages of Jews in Poland

Numbers and percentages of Jews in Poland at various dates are shown in Table 14.1 The figure for 1570 is for Poland-Lithuania There were censuses in Poland in 1921 and 1931. Over this ten year period the numbers of Jews increased, but their percentage in the population declined from 10.5 to 9.8 per cent. The principal reason for this is that Jews had lower fertility than gentiles, and in addition there was some emigration.

Table 14.1 Numbers and percentages of Jews in Poland
YearN. Jews% populationYearN. Jews% population
1570385,00010.0195665,0000.2
19212,855,38110.519855,0000.0
19313,110,9339.820023,5000.0
1800-1919

During the first two thirds of the nineteenth century Jews suffered from a number of restrictions, but they were emancipated in the 1860s, after which they obtained equality of rights, were admitted to government schools and universities, and became a significant presence in the professions and the government bureaucracy. About half the Jews lived in the cities of Warsaw and Lodz where “there emerged a wealthy Jewish industrial and commercial class which played a key role in the development of the region” (Mendelsohn, 1983, p.20). Jews became prominent in the professions, intellectual life, banks, commerce and industry. The most internationally famous Jewish Poles of this period were the composer Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) who was born in Kalist. In the southern province of Galicia Jews were more backward. They “were basically of the East European type, lower middle class, and proletarian, extremely conspicuous in local commerce” (Mendelsohn, 1983, p.18). This region was a stronghold of the Hassidic Jews whose men wore black coats, white stockings and long side curls.

Infant mortality was lower among Jews than among gentiles in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Studies showing this have been summarized by Condran and Kramarow (1991) and are shown in Table 14.2, where it will be seen that the infant mortality of gentiles was between 2 and 20 per cent higher than that of Jews.

Table 14.2 Infant mortality per 1,000 live births in Poland
YearsLocationJewsGentiles% Difference
1851Galicia2132172
1891-1910Lvov1601674
1851-1909Cracow15218320
1919-2005

Poland became independent after World War 1 and Jews were given full civil rights and a share of public funds for their own schools. However, in practice there was a great deal of discrimination against the Jews: “the government engaged in a tacit conspiracy to make the life of the Jew so unpleasant that he would be forced to migrate; Jews were kept out of the civil service, the co-operatives and the government monopolies; they were discriminated against in the licensing of traders and craftsmen, refused bank loans, limited in the practice of law and medicine, and in many instances were driven out of the universities” (Ms, 1960, p.62). In the early post war years there were a number of riots throughout Poland in which Jews were attacked and killed, and their properties damaged. Jews in the civil service were pensioned off and no more appointed. In the 1930s “violent anti-Semitism made a dramatic reappearance…Jewish doctors were not appointed in state hospitals, and Jewish lawyers were not employed in state institutions; Jewish professors in Polish universities were virtually unknown; there were hardly any Jewish officers (aside from doctors) in the Polish army” (Mendelsohn, 1983, pp. 42, 68). In 1921, 24.6 per cent of the student body were Jews, but the universities increasingly discriminated against Jewish applicants and by 1938 Jews were only 8.2 per cent of students. Much of the anti-Semitism was fuelled by resentment of Jewish socio-economic success. In 1935 the centrist Peasant Party issued a statement that “The Jews as a middle class occupy a far more important position in Poland than in any other country, so that the Poles have no middle class of their own. It is vital for the Polish state that these middle class functions shall more and more pass into the hands of Poles” (Mendelsohn, 1983, p.72). To promote this objective there were widespread boycotts of Jewish shops and businesses, and there were numerous attacks on Jews during the 1930s. The government made plans to expel the Jews to Palestine. A number of Jews thought it would be wise to go voluntarily and 139,756 Jews emigrated to Palestine during the years 1919-1942, from which many moved on to other countries. Among these were Maurice and Anne Charpak who moved to Paris in 1931. Their son Georges survived the Holocaust and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1998.

The Jewish population in inter-war Poland has been described as largely “lower middle class and proletarian, with a numerically small but important intelligentsia and wealthy bourgeoisie; the typical Jewish workers were craftsmen employed in light industry such as shoemakers, bakers and tailors, possibly with a few other journeymen but often alone” (Mendelsohn, 1983, p. 27). Jews were prominent in the intellectual and cultural life and included two of the leading poets, Julian Tuwim and Antoni Slonimski, the historian Szymon Ashkenazi and the pianist Wanda Landowska (1879-1959) who was born in Warsaw, moved to Berlin where she was appointed professor of music at the Berlin Hochschule, moved on to Paris, and in 1940 sought refuge in Switzerland. The historian Ezra Mendelsohn has commented that “the presence of a small but important Polish Jewish cultural elite belies any meaningful comparison with other oppressed groups such as the American Blacks, whose contribution to the high culture of the majority is far less striking” (1983, p.68). Despite strong anti-Semitism Jews were highly over-represented in the professions. Statistics showing this from the 1931 census are given in Table 14.2. It will be seen that Jews who were 10.2 per cent of the population were 56 per cent of doctors in private practice, 43 per cent of private teachers, 33 per cent of lawyers, 24 per cent of the pharmacists and 22 per cent of the journalists, publishers, and librarians. However, Jews were only 2.5 per cent of state primary and secondary school teachers because they were debarred from appointment through anti-Semitism.

Table 14.2 Jews in the Professions in Poland in 1931
ProfessionsPercent JewsAQ
1Doctors-private practice565.6
2Teachers-private schools434.3
3Lawyers333.3
4Pharmacists242.4
5Journalists & Publishers222.2
6State school teachers2.5.25
Source: Slezkine (2004)

Gernany invaded Poland in the September of 1939 and from 1940 began killing the Jews. Many of them were worked to death in forced labor camps. Others were sent straight to the concentration camps at Auschwitz, Sobidor, Belzec and Treblinka. Of the 3,350,000 Jews in Poland in 1939 nearly 90 per cent were killed during the war. About a quarter of a million escaped, leaving approximately 90,000 in 1945. After the war there was still anti-Semitism and in 1946 there was a pogrom in Kielce against Jews who had survived the war. Many of the 90,000 or so who survived emigrated, with the result that the numbers declined to 65,000 in 1965 and fell to 3,500 in 2002.

Jews in Chess

Remarkable as is the over-representation of Jews in the higher socio-economic strata of Poland, it is overshadowed by their prowess in chess. There have been six Polish players among top-rated chess grandmasters for the years 1851 to 2003 given by Rubinstein (2004). They are listed in Table 15.3. All of the six were Jewish.

Table 15.3 Polish top-rated chess grandmasters
YearsChess ChampionsYearsChess Champions
1851-99Rosenthal1900-39Rubinstein
Zuckertort Reshevsky
Janowsky1940-69Najdorf
Nobel and Wolf Prize-winners

Poland has produced 10 Nobel Prize-winners of whom four have been Jewish, and two Wolf Prize-winners for mathematics, both of whom have been Jewish. They are listed in Table 14.4 (Marie Curie, née Sklodowska, is one of the few who have been awarded the Nobel Prize twice but is only counted once here). All six of the Jews escaped the Holocaust by emigrating from Poland. George Wald, Isaac Singer, Raold Hoffman, Samuel Eilenberg, and Benoît Mandelbrot emigrated to the United States, while Georges Charpak went to Switzerland. Thus, Jews who comprised about 5 per cent of the population of Poland during the twentieth century have produced 50 per cent per cent of the Nobel and Wolf Prize-winners, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 10.

Table 14.4 Nobel and Wolf Prize-winners (Jews identified by asterisks)
YearNameSubjectYearNameSubject
1903Marie CuriePhysics1980Czeslaw MiloszLiterature
1905Henryk SienkiewiczLiterature1981Roald Hoffmann*Chemistry
1911Marie CurieChemistry1982George StiglerEconomics
1967George Wald*Medicine1986Samuel Eilenberg*Mathematics
1977Andrew SchallyMedicine1992Georges Charpak*Physics
1978Isaac Singer*Literature1993Benoît Mandelbrot*Mathematics
Lithuania and Latvia

Lithuania and Latvia have had Jewish populations from the sixteenth century, when they were joined with Poland. In 1923 there were approximately 157,527 Jews identified by religion in Lithuania, comprising 7.3 per cent of the population, and of whom 54,600 lived in the capital city of Vilnius (Mendelsohn, 1983, p. 224; Sm, 1960, p. 218). The Jews occupied a similar socio-economic position to that in Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, i.e. “a lower middle class and proletarian community of small shop-keepers and artisans, with the usual thin but important stratum of wealthy businessmen, industrialists and professionals. In commerce, 77 per cent of the population were Jews and in industry, 21 per cent; very important was the relatively large number of Jewish intellectuals in the community, particularly the teachers, but also the editors, journalists, writers and the like… In 1922 Jewish students comprised 31.5 per cent of the student body at the University of Kaunas (the second city of Lithuania), but by 1934 their percentage had fallen to 15.9 per cent” (Mendelsohn, 1983, pp. 226, 237). The decline in the percentage of Jewish students was a result of discrimination against Jewish applicants. The most internationally famous Lithuanian Jew of the early twentieth century was Chaim Soutine (1893-1943), the expressionist painter who emigrated to Paris.

In Latvia, there were 95, 675 Jews recorded in the census of 1925, comprising 5.2 per cent of the population. 41 per cent lived in the capital city of Riga, where “over one fourth of all commercial and industrial enterprises were in Jewish hands, as were a number of banks, and Jews were conspicuous in the professions ((Mendelsohn, 1983, p. 244). Latvia has produced two of the top-rated chess grandmasters for the years 1851 to 2003 given by Rubinstein (2004). These were Nimzovitch in the 1930s and Tal in the 1960s. Both of them were Jewish.

Of the 253,203 Jews in Lithuania and Latvia in the 1920s, approximately 26,000 emigrated to Palestine during the years 1925-39. About 200,000 perished in the Holocaust. By 2002 there were approximately 4,000 Jews in Lithuania (0.12 per cent of the population) and about 9,000 in Latvia. The 2001 Lithuanian Census recorded the occupations of Jews and gentiles and the results are given in Table 14.5. Notice that Jews were greatly over-represented among the first two categories of legislators, senior officers and managers, and professionals, and greatly under-represented among the first six categories of skilled and unskilled blue collar workers.

Table 14.5 Occupations of Jews and gentiles in Lithuania in 2001 (percentages)
OccupationJewsGentiles
Legislators, senior officers and managers19.68.1
Professionals28.615.0
Technicians and associate professionals9.69.6
Clerks2.74.4
Service workers, shop and sales workers7.411.2
Skilled agricultural and fishery workers1.210.1
Craft and related trades workers5.814.1
Plant and machine operators and assemblers3.211.5
Unskilled occupations3.47.1
Other or not indicated18.48.9
Chapter 15 • Russia • 5,400 Words

The first significant settlement of Jews in Russia took place in 1396 as a result of their expulsion from France in that year, and more came in the early decades of the fifteenth century following their expulsion from a number of German states. There were massacres of Jews in the Ukraine in 1648-50, when many of those who escaped fled to the Netherlands.

Throughout the nineteenth century about 90 per cent of Jews lived in the Pale of Settlement, an area of the south west of the Russian Empire that included the east of present day Poland, Lithuania, Byelorussia, and the Ukraine. Jews were legally restricted to this region. They spoke Yiddish and lived largely in shtels (Jewish villages), although some lived in the major cities of Warsaw, Kief, Lodz, and Vilna. They were prohibited from working in the civil service and on the railroads, when these were built in the middle decades of the century. Apart from these restrictions, Jews were fairly well treated and tolerated until the series of pogroms from 1881 onwards. Jews were successful and prominent in commerce: “Jews dominated the commercial life of the Pale for most of the nineteenth century; Jewish banks in Warsaw, Vilna and Odessa had been among the first commercial lending institutions in the Russian empire. Their representation in the wealthiest commercial elite was particularly strong” and “it was the initiative of Jewish contractors that accounted for the construction of fully three-fourths of the Russian railroad system” (Slezkine, 2004, pp.118, 120). By the end of the century the Jewish Gintsburgs controlled a large portion of the Siberian gold mining industry, the Jewish Gessen brothers ran the main shipping business between the Baltic and Caspian seas, and Jews developed the Caucasus oil industry, financed by the Rothschilds. In the middle decades of the century Jewish bankers financed and built most of the railways.

In 1900 approximately 94 per cent of Jews worked as traders serving as middlemen between the farmers and the towns, buying agricultural produce, shipping it to the towns and reselling it; others provided credit; leased and managed estates and various processing plants such as factories, tanneries, distilleries and sugar mills; kept shops and inns; provided professional services principally as doctors and pharmacists; and performed artisan work as tailors, blacksmiths, shoemakers, jewellers and watchmakers (Slezkine, 2004, p.105). They lived in their own segregated quarters and spoke Yiddish. About 4 per cent worked in factories or as farmers.

It was not just in banking, commerce and industry that Jews did well in Russia. They were also prominent in the professions and the arts. While Jews were approximately 4 per cent of the population they had much higher percentages on a number of indices of educational, social and economic achievement and standing. It was well recognised that Jews were generally intelligent. Lenin is recorded as having said, according to Maxim Gorky, that ” a smart Russian is almost always a Jew or somebody with an admixture of Jewish blood”, and Lenin himself was a quarter Jewish through his maternal grandfather (Slezkine, 2004, p.163). Many of the most famous Russians have been Jews, including the revolutionary communist Leon Trotsky (1879-1940, born Lev Bernstein) who together with Lenin was mainly responsible for organising the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 and served as commissar for foreign affairs until Lenin’s death in 1924. Other famous Russian Jews include the painter Marc Chagall (1889-1980), the novelist Boris Pasternak (1890-1960), and the anthropologist Franz Boas who emigrated to the United States, where he took up the chair of anthropology at ColumbiaUniversity where he did anthropology a huge disservice by divorcing it from biology.

Numbers of Jews in Russia and the Soviet Union

The approximate numbers of Jews in the Russian empire and the Soviet Union at various dates and their percentages of the population are given in Table 15.1. In 1800 there were approximately one million Jews in the Russian Empire which at that time included Poland. Their numbers grew by natural increase to about 5.2 million by 1900, when they constituted about 4 per cent of the population. By 1913 the number of Jews in Russia had increased to 6,946,000 out of a total population of 170,903,000, and Jews therefore comprised 4.1 per cent of the population (Rubinstein, 2000). The increase in the number of Jews was partly due to their lower mortality. In the period 1880-1914 the age standardized death rate of Jews was 14.2 per 1,000 per year in European Russia, less than half of the 31.8 per 1,000 per year of Orthodox Russians (Johnson, 1987, p. 356).

In 1926 the number of Jews in the Soviet Union had fallen to about 2.6 million. This was due to the independence of Poland and the Baltic States, which had become independent in 1918, and to deaths in World War One. By 1985 the number of Jews in Russia had fallen to about 2.1 million. The explanation for this is that approximately 1.4 million Jews were killed by the Germans in World War Two. The remaining loss of 0.6 million was due to deaths in the war and to emigration, much of it to Israel. The Soviet Union broke up in 1989 and the figures for 1989 and 2002 are for the Russian Federation. The number of Jews in the Russian Federation was only 550,000 in 1989 and fell to 230,000 in 2002 as a result of emigration.

Table 15. 1 Numbers and percentages of Jews in Russia and the Soviet Union
YearN. Jews% populationYearN. Jews% population
19005,200,0004.019852,100,0001.2
19136,945,0004.11989550,0000.4
19262,672,0001.82002230,0000.16
19393,000,0001.8
Sources: American Jewish Yearbooks
1800-1917

During the first two thirds of the nineteenth century Jews did not do well in education but they surpassed gentiles in the last third of the century. Some statistics showing this are given in Table 15.2. Row 1 shows that in 1840 Jews were only 0.5 per cent of university students in Russia and were therefore under-represented in relation to their 4 per cent of the population. Row 2 shows that in 1853 Jews were 1.3 per cent of Gymnasium (elite high school) students and were again under-represented in relation to their 4 per cent of the population. However, row 3 shows that by 1878 Jews were 19 per cent of Gymnasium students and were therefore over-represented in relation to their 4 per cent of the population by a factor of 4.75, while row 4 shows the same story for university students in 1886. Row 5 shows that in 1886 Jews were 40 per cent of students in the faculties of medicine and law at the University of Kharkov.

These figures show the rapid upward social mobility of Jews in Russia in the third quarter of the nineteenth century.

Table 15.2 Jews in Russian universities and gymnasia 1840-86
YearsOccupationPercent JewsAQ
11840University students0.50.12
21853Gymnasium students1.30.32
31878Gymnasium students19.04.75
41886University students14.53.60
51886Kharkov: medicine/ law40.010.00
Source: Slezkine (2004)

By the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth Jews in Russia were highly successful in the professions and business. Some statistics showing this are given in Table 15.3. Rows 1 and 2 show that in 1889 Jews were 14 per cent of certified lawyers in the Russian empire and 43 per cent of apprentice lawyers (the next generation of professionals) (Slezkine, 2004). Row 3 shows that in 1910 Jews comprised 35 per cent of the mercantile class (Rubinstein, 2000). Row 4 shows that in 1914 Jews comprised 37 per cent of the managers in Kief (Slezkine, 2004).

Table 15.3 Jews in the professions and business 1889-1914
YearsOccupationPercent JewsAQ
11889Certified lawyers143.5
21889Apprentice lawyers4310.7
31910Mercantile class358.7
41914Kiev: managers379.2

Jews were also prominent in the arts in the second half of the nineteenth century. The first Russian music school for children was founded by the Gnesin sisters, while the Rubinstein brothers founded the Russian Music Society and the St. Petersburg conservatory and the Moscow conservatory. In the visual arts many of the leading painters were Jewish. They are not generally well know in the west except for Marc Chagall (1889-1980), the surrealist painter who migrated to Paris and then to the United States, and Leon Bakst (1866-1924, born Lev Rozenberg), the painter and premier stage designer who designed the décor and costumes for Diaghilev’s ballet. In addition to these were Leonid Pasternak, (the father of Boris Pasternak, the author of Dr.Zhivago), the foremost portraitist; Mark Antokolsky, generally reckoned the greatest Russian sculptor of the nineteenth century; Isaak Levitan, “who became, and still is, the most beloved of all Russian landscape painters ” (Slezkine, 2004, p.126).

There was a large Jewish community in the Black Seaport of Odessa. Some statistics for the educational and commercial standing of Jews in the city are given in Table 15.4. Row 1 shows that in 1878 Jews were one third of all Gymnasium (elite high school) students in the city and, according to a contemporary observer, they typically outperformed the Russians: “all the schools are filled with Jewish students from end to end and, to be honest, the Jews are always at the head of the class” Slezkine (2004, p.124). Row 2 shows that in 1886 Jews were one third of students at the University of Odessa, while row 3 shows that 40 per cent of students in the faculties of medicine and law were Jews. Row 4 shows that Jews were 49 per cent of lawyers in the city. Rows 5, 6 and 7 show that in the last quarter of the nineteenth century 50 per cent of the city’s guild merchants were Jews, 57 per cent factory output was produced by Jews, and that Jews were responsible for 70 per cent of the grain exports.

Table 15.4 Jews in Odessa 1878-1899
YearsOccupationPercent Jews
11878Gymnasium students33
21886University students33
31886Medicine/ law students40
41886Lawyers49
51875-99Guild merchants50[
61875-99Factory output57
71875-99Grain exports70
Source: Slezkine (2004)

Statistics for St. Petersburg tell the same story. St.Petersburg lay outside the Pale and therefore Jews were not legally permitted to live in the city. Nevertheless, some Jews did live there illegally in the years from 1880 up to World War 1. They comprised about 2 per cent of the population and were massively over-represented in the commercial and professional life of the city. Statistics showing this are given in Table 15.5. Rows 1 through 4 show that in 1881 Jews constituted 43 per cent of stock brokers, 41 per cent pawnbrokers, 27 per cent all business owners, and 16 per cent of the brothel keepers. Rows 5 and 6 show that in the same year Jews were 11 per cent of the doctors and 9 per cent of the dentists in the city. By 1913 these percentages had increased to 17 per cent and 52 per cent, respectively. Rows 7 and 8 show that in 1915 Jews were 41 per cent of the members of the St. Petersburg Stock Exchange Council and 40 per cent of joint-stock bank managers.

Table 15.5 Jews in St. Petersburg 1881-1915
YearsOccupation% JewsAQ
11881Stock brokers4321.5
21881Pawnbrokers4120.5
31881Business owners2713.5
41881Brothel keepers168.0
51881Lawyers3216.0
61881Doctors115.5
71881Dentists94.5
81913Doctors178.5
91913Dentists5221.0
101915Stock Exchange Council4120.5
111915Bank managers4020.0
Source: Slezkine (2004)

In the first half of the nineteenth century Jews in Russia were tolerated without much overt discrimination. But by the 1870s their success had begun to excite concern. Russian officials became worried by the numbers of Jews among the socio-economic elite. In the 1880s the universities introduced quotas restricting the numbers of Jews applying for places. Many Jews overcame this problem by attending universities abroad. As V.D. Spasovich, the chairman of the St. Petersburg bar, observed in 1889 “we are dealing with a colossal problem”, and as V. Kokovtsev, the Finance Minister of the Russian government, put it in 1906: “the Jews are so clever that no law can be counted on to restrict them” (Slezkine, 2004, p.158).

In the last three decades of the nineteenth century the commercial success of the Jews generated so much resentment that the gentiles began a series of attacks on them known as pogroms. The first of these broke out in 1871 in Odessa, started by local Greeks who found themselves unable to compete with the Jews. In 1881 there were further pogroms against the Jews in a number of cities following the assassination of Tsar Alexander 11, for which the Jews were widely blamed. These were followed by a series of further outbreaks. As a result of these many Jews emigrated. Between 1897 and 1914 approximately 1,288,000 left the Russian Empire. About one million of these went to the United States and about 100,000 to Britain. There were more attacks on the Jews during the 1914-1918 War, when Jews were perceived as potentially or actually disloyal.

Infant mortality was lower among Jews in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Studies showing this have been summarized by Condran and Kramarow and are shown in Table 15.6, where it will be seen that the infant mortality of gentiles was between 106 and 213 per cent higher than that of Jews.

Table 15.6 Infant mortality per 1,000 live births
YearsLocationJewsGentiles% Difference
1896-97Russia130268106
1900-04Russia119254113
1905-09Leningrad117262124
1910-14Leningrad78244213
1922-24Leningrad78178128
The Bolshevik Revolution and the Soviet Union, 1917-1939

It was partly as a result of the series of attacks on Jews from the 1870s up to and during World War 1 and the failure of the Tsarist state to protect them that many Jews joined the Bolsheviks. Their objective was to overthrow the Russian dominated state and replace it with a new order of communism based on the ideals of ethnic equality and universal brotherhood. Jews were prominent among the Bolsheviks during the Civil War between the Red and the White Russians of 1917-1921. The Red Army was led by Trotsky, who was Jewish, and Jews were 40 per cent of the top elected officials in the army. At the First All-Russian Congress of Soviets in 1917, 31 per cent of the Bolshevik delegates were Jews. In the Second Congress of Soviets Jews were 37 per cent of the Bolshevik delegates. The first two heads of the SovietState – Kamenev and Sverdlov – were both Jews, and so also were the first Bolshevik bosses of Moscow and Petrograd – Kamenev and Zinoviev. During 1919-21 Jews were approximately twenty-five per cent of the Party’s Central Committee. When Cheka (the secret police) was set up in 1918 Jews were 19 per cent of the investigators and 50 per cent of the investigators employed in the department for combating counter-terrorism. In 1923 Cheka was replaced by OGPU and Jews made up 15 per cent of the senior officials and half (4 out of 8) of the governing Secretariat.

Jews prospered in the Soviet Union in the period between the two World Wars: “there is no doubt that the Jews had a much higher proportion of elite members than any other ethnic group in the USSR” (Slezkine, 2004, p.236). A higher percentage of Jews than of gentiles were literate: 85 per cent in 1926, compared with 58 per cent of Russians; 94 per cent in 1939, compared with 83 per cent of Russians. In 1939, 26.5 per cent of Jews had had a high school education compared with 7.8 per cent of the population of the Soviet Union as a whole and 8.1 per cent of Russians in the Russian Federation. Further statistics showing the educational and socio-economic standing of the Jews are given in Table 15.7. During the period 1917-1939 Jews were approximately 1.8 per cent of the population. Row 1 shows that in 1926 9 per cent of the officers in military academies were Jews. Row 2 shows that at the First Congress of Soviet Writers in 1934, Jews made up 34 per cent of the delegates. Row 3 shows that in 1934, when the secret police OGPU was transformed into the NKVD, Jews made up 63 per cent of the senior officials (37 out of 59). Row 4 shows that in 1939, Jews made up 11 per cent of the university students and row 5 that Jews were 15 per cent of the university graduates. Row 6 shows that in the same year Jews were 11 per cent of the doctors. Rows 7 through 9 show that Jews constituted 14 per cent of the university professors in Russia, 33 per cent of the university professors in Belarus, and 29 per cent of the university professors in the Ukraine.

Table 15.7 Jews in the Soviet Union 1928-39
YearsOccupation% JewsAQ
11926Military officers95.0
21934Writers1910.5
31934NKVD6335.0
41939University students116.1
51939University graduates158.3
61939Doctors2011.1
71939University professors: Russia147.7
81939University professors: Belarus3318.3
91939University professors: Ukraine2916.1
Source: Slezkine (2004)

In Moscow during the years 1926-39 the number of Jews in the city was approximately 250,000 (6.0 per cent of the total). In 1939 40 per cent of Jews were High School graduates as compared with 27 per cent of the population of the city Table 15.8 shows that in 1926 Jews were 45 per cent of the professors of music in Moscow, 17 per cent of university students and 24 per cent of university graduates in the city.

Table 15.8 Jews in Moscow 1926-39
YearsOccupation% JewsAQ
11926Music professors457.5
21939University students172.8
31939University graduates244.0
Source: Slezkine (2004)

In Leningrad also Jews were prominent amomg elties. The number of Jews in the city increased from 35,000 (1.8 per cent) in 1910 to 84,600 (5.28 per cent) in 1926, and again to 201,500 (6.3 per cent) in 1939. Jews were massively over-represented in the professional life of the city. Statistics showing this are given in Table 15.9. Row 1 that Jews were 19 per cent of university students, 45 per cent of lawyers, 39 per cent of the doctors, 69 per cent of the dentists, 31 per cent of journalists & writers, 18 per cent of university professors, 12 per cent of artists, actors and directors, and 31 per cent of the store managers.

Table 15.9 Jews in Leningrad 1939
Occupation% JewsAQ
1University students193.0
2Lawyers457.1
3Doctors396.2
4Dentists6911.0
5Pharmacists599.4
6Journalists & writers314.9
7University professors182.9
8Artists121.9
9Actors & directors121.9
10Store managers314.9
Source: Slezkine (2004)

Jews assimilated well with gentiles in the years between the two World Wars. There was an acceleration of mixed marriages between Jews and gentiles, which between 1924 and 1936 increased from 17.4 to 42.3 per cent in the Russian Republic. There was little overt anti-Semitism but nevertheless the authorities were at pains to defuse a certain degree of resentment about Jewish prominence among the elite. When it was discovered that Lenin’s maternal grandfather was Jewish, Stalin decreed that this fact should be suppressed lest it foster the notion that the revolution had been engineered by Jews.

In 1937-38 there began The Great Terror in which thousands of officials were executed or deported to the gulags. Jews survived the purges fairly well. Only about 1 per cent of all Soviet Jews were arrested for supposed political crimes, as compared with 16 per cent of Poles and 30 per cent of Latvians. In 1939 the proportion of Jews in the gulags was about 16 per cent lower than their proportion in the population. The explanation for this is that Jews were nearly all loyal to the Soviet Union and the Marxist ideology. This is shown by the high proportion of Jews among the professors of Marxism-Leninism in the universities and the research institutes. Jews were 20 per cent of these, and 25 per cent in the elite universities of Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and Kharkov.

Post World War Two Jews continued to be hugely over-represented among the professional elite. Statistics showing this for 1949 are given in Table 15.10. At this time Jews were about 1.8 per cent of the population, yet they constituted 39 per cent of the faculty at the Moscow Institute of Jurisprudence (row 1). Row 2 shows that Jews were 80 per cent of the members of the Institute of Literature of the Academy of Sciences. Rows 3 through 6 show that they were between 39 per cent and 51 per cent of the directors of Directors of Moscow theatres, Art galleries Popular music shows and Circuses. Row 7 shows that Jews were 33 per cent of the chief engineers at Soviet armaments plants. Row 8 shows that Jews were 23 per cent of the top managers at the Telegraphic Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS).

Table 15.10 Jews among the professional elite in 1949
Occupation% JewsAQ
1Moscow Institute of Jurisprudence3921.7
2Institute of Literature8044.0
3Directors, Moscow theatres4223.3
4Directors, art galleries4022.2
5Directors of popular music shows3921.7
6Directors of circuses5128.3
7Chief engineers3318.3
8Telegraphic Agency2312.8
Source: Slezkine (2004)
Discrimination against Jews, 1939-1989

In 1939 Stalin began to develop suspicions about the loyalty of the Jews. He put Molotov in charge of Soviet diplomacy and ordered him to remove the Jews from the Commissariat of External Affairs. The purge of the Jews increased during the war with Gernany “and turned into an avalanche in 1949, when ideological contagion became the regime’s chief concern and Jews emerged as its principal agents” (Slezkine, 2004, p. 301). In January 1948, one of the best known and high profile Soviet Jews, Solomon Mikhoels, was murdered on Stalin’s orders. The establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 increased Stalin’s growing paranoia about the Jews. The state of Israel was welcomed by many Russian Jews and Stalin thought they would become more loyal to Israel than to the Soviet Union and that Jews and Jewish institutions were already subversive. During the years 1948-1952 all Jewish theatres and writers’ organizations were closed and many Jewish writers were arrested. In 1952, fifteen members of the former Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee were put on trial as “bourgeois nationalists”, and all but one were shot. “By 1950 few Jews could make it to the top bureaucratic positions, though Jews continued to be widely represented in the Soviet academic, cultural and artistic elite” (Sacks, 1998, p.249).

Stalin died in 1953 and the purges of the Jews ceased. From 1953 onwards “Jews returned to the top of the Soviet professional hierarchy; they remained by far the most successful of all Soviet nationalities” (Slezkine, 2004, p.331). In 1955 the Soviet physicists in a largely Jewish team led by Jewish Andrei Sakharov successfully exploded the hydrogen bomb. Other brilliant Jewish scientists of this period included the physicists Igor Y. Tamm and Lev Landau, the mathematicians Izrail Gelfand and Leonid Kantorovitch, and the novelist Boris Pasternak. However, despite the ending of overt discrimination against Jews, covert discrimination continued: “in the 1970s, career advancement and job appointments were limited by something akin to percentage quotas”. Many Jews who found conventional careers blocked found new fields to work in: “when access to top research institutions was restricted, Jews poured into the burgeoning fields of computer science and information services; Jews had specialized knowledge and experience that remained in short supply and this assured their entry into high status positions” (Sacks, 1998, p. 249).

Throughout the 1960s to the 1990s there remained a strong current of anti-Semitism generated by resentment about the obvious and inescapable Jewish over-representation among the professional elite. By this time Jews had consolidated their position among the professional elite to such an extent that they had come to form “hereditary members of the cultural elite” (Slezkine, 2004, p. 335) who lived in the affluent suburbs of Moscow and Leningrad, sent their children to elite schools and universities, and whose children in turn entered the elite). To combat this the Soviet state put quotas on the numbers of Jews admitted to elite universities and prestigious professional positions. However, many Jews were able to overcome these affirmative action programs directed against them. In some cases the projects, such as the development of nuclear weapons, missiles and space research, were too important and the Jewish scientists had to be appointed because they were the best, and those in post were too valuable to dismiss. Some Jews changed their names to make them sound Russian. Others took positions is less prestigious universities and research institutes and transformed them into first-rate institutions. Thus, “anti-Jewish discrimination was not very successful; the enormous achievement gap between Jews and everyone else was narrowing very slowly” (Slezkine, 2004, p. 337).

Nevertheless, despite the ability of many Jews to overcome the discrimination against them, many of them felt uncomfortable in the Soviet Union from the 1950s onwards. The Jewish writer Mikhail Agursky described the widespread Jewish sentiments of this period: “Could one really expect that a nation -the Jews – who had given the Soviet state political leaders, diplomats, generals, and top economic managers would agree to become an estate whose boldest dreams would be to a position as head of a laboratory at the Experimental Machine-Tool Research Institute or senior researcher at the Automatics and Telemechanics Institute? The Jews were oppressed and humiliated to a much greater degree than the rest of the population”

(Slezkine, 2004, p. 338). Jews increasingly identified with Israel, especially after the victory in the Six Day War of 1967, which established Israel in the eyes of Soviet Jews as a serious country of which they could be proud. The next year –1968 – saw the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Many Soviet Jews disapproved of the brutal crushing of the incipient democracy and became further alienated from the Soviet Union.

The response of many Jews to this increasingly unfriendly and sometimes hostile atmosphere was to emigrate. Increasing numbers applied to for exit visas. The government responded by further discrimination against Jews in education and employment, and by raising the fee for an emigration visa, which further alienated the Jews. Between 1968 and 1994 about 1.2 million left the USSR and its successor states. Officially they applied to go to Israel, but many treated this as a staging post en route to the United States. By 1988, 89 per cent of emigrants were going to the United States and to stem this outflow the United States reduced its quota for Soviet Jews. By 1994, 63 per cent of Jewish émigrés from the USSR had ended up in Israel and 27 per cent in the United States (Slezkine, 2004, p. 358). The result of the extensive emigration of Jews in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s was that their numbers in the Soviet Union fell precipitously. In 1973 there were approximately 3.5 million Jews in the Soviet Union out of a total population of approximately 200 million, and they comprised approximately 1.7 per cent of the population, as compared with about 4 per cent during the nineteenth century.

Jews continued to be over-represented among the professional elite during the post World War Two years. Statistics showing this in 1959 and 1989 are given in Table 15.11. Rows 1 and 2 show that in 1959 11.4 per cent of Jews were college graduates compared with 1.8 per cent of Russians, and 1.35 per cent of Jews were employed as scientists compared with 0.01 per cent of Russians. Rows 3 and 4 show that in 1989 64 per cent of Jews were college graduates compared with 15 per cent of Russians, and 5.3 per cent of Jews were employed as scientists compared with 0.5 per cent of Russians.

Table 15.11 Jews among the professional elite in 1959 and 1989 (percentages)
YearOccupationJewsRussians
11959College graduates11.41.8
21959Scientists1.30.01
31989College graduates64.015.0
41989Scientists5.30.5
Sources: Altshuler, 1987; Sacks, 1998)
Jews in Chess

It is well known that Russians have been pre-eminent at chess, but what is less well known is that Jews have been are highly over-represented among top Russian chess players. There is an annual Soviet chess championship tournament in which there are typically about 20 participants. In the Soviet championship tournaments for the years 1947-49 and 1970-76 there were 83 Jewish and 110 gentile participants. In these years Jews in the Soviet Union numbered about 2 million in a population of approximately 230 million. Jews were therefore 88 times more likely than gentiles among these top Russian chess players.

Jews have been similarly over-represented among Russian chess grandmasters.

The top-rated Russian chess grandmasters for the years 1851 to 2003 are given by Rubinstein (2004) and are listed in Table 15.12. There were only one Russian grandmaster (von Jaenisch) between 1851 and 1870. It was not until the 1870s that the first Russian Jew (Winawer) appeared the top-rated Russian chess grandmasters. In the whole period there are 14.5 Jews and 18 gentiles among the grandmasters ( Gari Kasparov (born Weinstein) is only half Jewish, so he is counted as 0.5). Hence Jews have been44 per cent of the total. It will be noted that the period 1970-2003 the number of gentile top-rated Russian chess grandmasters exceeded the number of Jews for the first time since 1900. This is explained by the massive emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union in these years. During this period Jews were only approximately 1 per cent of the population of the Soviet Union, as compared with about 2.5 per cent during the first three quarters of the twentienth century.

Table 15.12 Top-rated Russian chess grandmasters (Jews are asterisked)
YearsChess ChampionsYearsChess Champions
1851-79von Jaenisch1940-69Spassky*
1870-99Chigorin Korchnoi*
Winawer* Taimanov*
1900-39Bogolyubov1970-2003Polugayevsky*
Bernstein* Kasparov*
Tartakower* Gurevich*
Nimzovitch* Gelfand*
Alekhine Beliavsky
Keres Romanishin
Lillienthal* Ivanchuk
1940-69Smyslov Salov
Petrosian Bareev
Kholmov Beliavsky
Karpov Kramnik
Botvinnik* Shirov
Bronstein* Morozevich
Tal*
Nobel Prize-winners

A complete list of the Russian Nobel Laureates is given in Table 15.13 with Jews identified by asterisks. The Russian empire and the Soviet Union have produced 22 Nobel Prize-winners of whom 15 (68 per cent) have been Jewish. Thus, Jews who comprised about 2.1 per cent of the population of the Soviet Union during the twentieth century have produced 68 per cent per cent of the Nobel prize-winners, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 32.

Table 15.13 Russian Nobel Prize-winners (Jews are asterisked)
YearNameSubjectYearNameSubject
1904Ivan PavlovMedicine1970Alexandr SolzhenitsynLiterature
1908Ilya Mechnikov*Medicine1971Simon Kuznets*Economics
1933Ivan BuninLiterature1973Wassily Leontief*Economics
1952Selman Waksman*Medicine1975Leonid Kantorovich*Economics
1958Boris Pasternak*Literature1977Ilya Prigogine*Chemistry
1958Pavel A. CherenkovPhysics1978Pyotr KapitsaPhysics
1958Il´ja M. Frank*Physics1982Aaron Klug*Chemistry
1958Igor Y. Tamm*Physics1987Joseph Brodsky*Literature
1962Lev Landau*Physics2000Zhores Alferov*Physics
1964Nicolay G. BasovPhysics2003Alexei Abrikosov*Physics
1964Alexander ProkhorovPhysics2003Vitaly L. Ginzburg*Physics
Mathematicians

Russia has produced 12 mathematicians who have received the Fields Medal or the Wolf Prize awarded for outstanding work in mathematics. These are listed in Table 15.14. Nine of these have been Jews. Thus, Jews who have been about 1.5 per cent of the population during the second half of the twentieth century have produced 75 per cent of top mathematicians, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 42.

Table 15.14 Russian Mathematicians (Jews are asterisked)
YearFields MedalYearWolf Prize
1970Serge Novikov1978Izrail Gelfand*
1978Gregori Margulis*1980Andrei Kolmogorov
1990Vladimir Drinfeld*1981Oscar Zariski*
1994Efim Zelmanov*1982Mark Krein*
2002Vladimir Voevodsky1993Mikhael Gromov*
1996Yakov Sinai*
2001Vladimir Arnold*

Murray (2003, p. 280) has calculated the numbers of Jewish and gentile “significant figures” (i.e. great names in science and the arts) in Russia who had most of their careers between 1870 and 1950. He finds 9 Jews and 63 gentiles. Calculating the ratio of Jewish to gentile “significant figures”, he arrives at an Achievement Quotient (Jewish over-representation) of 4.1.

Lenin Prize-winners

About 200 Lenin Prizes have been awarded annually for meritorious work. The numbers of these and the numbers who have been Jews for the years 1967-68 and 1971-72 are shown in Table 15.15. Once again it will be seen that Jews have been over-represented among the recipients of these prizes.

Table 15.15 Lenin Prize-winners
YearN. Prize-winnersN. Jews% JewsAQ
1967203291411.7
1968192301613.3
197122826119.2
197218521119.2
Jews in the Post 1989 Russian Federation

In 1989 the Soviet Union disintegrated and its constituent republics became the independent states of the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus and so forth. Discrimination against Jews was relaxed and it was made easier for Jews to emigrate. Large numbers of Jews took advantage of this opportunity. Between 1989 and 2002 more than 1,500,000 Jews and their relatives emigrated from the former Soviet Union, mainly to Israel (about 940,000, or 62 percent), and the reminder largely to the United States and Germany. In the Russian Federation Gorbachev introduced a more liberal order and discrimination against Jews largely came to an end. Nevertheless, many Jews still felt uncomfortable and continued to emigrate. In 1989 there were 551,000 Jews in the Russian Federation. By the 2002 census the number of Jews had approximately halved to 230, 000, and became only 0.16 per cent of the population.

In the new Russian Federation “Jews are still heavily concentrated at the top of the professional hierarchy” (Slezkine, 2004, p. 362). The 1989 census showed that 64 per cent of employed Jews had a higher education compared with only 15 per cent of Russians. The percentages of Jews and Russians in the professions are shown in Table 15.16. By this time, Jews were 0.4 per cent of the population , but 16.1 per cent of employed Russians were graduate engineers as compared with 5.1 per cent of Russians, and 6.3 per cent were employed as physicians, as compared with 0.9 per cent of Russians (Sacks, 1998).

Table 15.16 Jews and Russians in the professions in 1989 (percentages)
OccupationJewsRussiansAQ
Engineers16.35.13.2
Physicians6.30.97.0
Scientists5.30.510.6
School teachers5.22.22.4
Managers3.30.65.5
University faculty2.60.46.5

Conversely, Jews were under-represented in manual occupations. As shown in Table 15.17, Jews were under-represented as compared with Russians as metalworkers, automobile drivers, salespersons electricians and cleaners (Sacks, 1998).

Table 15. 17 Jews and Russians the manual occupations in 1989 (percentages)
OccupationJewsRussians
Metalworkers2.67.2
Automobile drivers6.71.3
Salespersons2.01.2
Electricians2.00.7
Cleaners1.90.5

In the Russian Federation it continues to be widely recognised that the Jews are successful. In a conducted in poll 1997, 75 per cent of the respondents said they believed that Jews are well brought up and well educated, and 80 per cent said they believed that Jews include a large number of talented people. It is remarkable but perhaps unsurprising that of the seven top multi-millionaires who made huge fortunes when Russia privatised its oil and natural gas industries in the Yeltsin era, six were Jews – Petr Aven, Boris Berezovsky, Mikhail Fridman, Vladimir Gusinsky, Mikhail Khodorovsky, and Alexander Smolensky. Jews who at this time were about 0.2 per cent of the population had produced 86 per vent of the new plutocracy.

However, most of the Jews that have chosen to remain in Russia have largely abandoned their Jewish identity and come to think of themselves as Russians. In a poll carried out in 1995, only 16 per cent of Russia’s ethnic Jews considered themselves as religious. Increasing numbers of Jews have been entering into mixed marriages. In 1988-1989 in the Former Soviet Union as a whole, 58 per cent of Jewish men and 47 per cent of Jewish women had entered into mixed marriages. About 84 percent of mixed marriage couples raise their children as gentiles (Altshuler, 1998; Tolts, 2003). It seems likely that the great majority of Jews who remain in Russia and the other now independent states of the Former Soviet Union will increasingly assimilate with the ethnic Russians through intermarriage and lose their Jewish identity. It the foreseeable future Jews in the Former Soviet Union are likely to disappear as a self-conscious ethnic group, much as the Jews of Spain and Portugal who converted to Christianity in the late fifteenth century.

Chapter 16 • South Africa • 1,200 Words

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the DutchEast India Company established a settlement in Cape Town as a staging post en route to the Far East. A number of Jewish merchants in the Netherlands were involved in the Dutch East Indies trade and a few of them settled in Cape Town. They were prohibited from further settlement in 1652 when the Company banned all settlers except Protestants. This prohibition lasted until 1806, when the British gained control of the province of South Africa and allowed Jews to settle. A number of mainly Dutch, British and German Jews took advantage of this opportunity and “Jews had much to do with the development of South Africa” (Johnson, 1966, p. 272). Noteworthy among these were the De Pass brothers who developed copper mining at Port Nolloth and sugar plantations in Natal, and the Mosenthals who introduced the Mohair goat, ostrich farming, sheep and cattle breeding. “Other South African Jews who have taken a prominent part in science, the legal profession, in political, philanthropic, industrial, and mining affairs have been Simeon Jacobs (a judge of the supreme court), the Mendelssohns, Papaports, Rabinowitzes, Solomons, Lilienfelds, Kisches, Neumanns, Moselys; Alfred Beit, Sir David Harris, Sir Lionel Phillips, and Sir George Albu” (Johnson, 1966, p. 274).

Between 1860-1900 a number of Eastern European Jews emigrated to South Africa to participate in the mining of diamonds after their discovery in Kimberley in the 1860s, and of gold following the discoveries in the Rand in the 1880s. During the last decades of the nineteenth century “Jews played a notable part in the South African deep-level mines and in the financial system which raised the capital to sink them” (Johnson, 2004, p. 573). The foremost among these in the diamond industry was Sir Ernest Oppenheimer (1880-1957), the son of a German Jewish cigar manufacturer, who formed the Anglo-American Corporation of South Africa. By 1957 this controlled over 95 per cent of the world’s supply of diamonds. He endowed several university chairs in South Africa.

In 1899 a British journalist, J.A. Hobson, visited South Africa and commented on the prosperity of the Jews. At this time there were about 7,000 Jews in Johannesburg and they were so powerful that the Johannesburg stock exchange was closed on the Day of Atonement. Hobson observed that “the shop fronts and business houses, the market place, the saloons, the smart suburban houses are sufficient to convince one of the large presence of the chosen people” (Johnson, 2004, p. 573).

In 1930 a Quota Act was passed that effectively stemmed further immigration of Jews.

Numbers of Jews

Figures for the numbers of Jews in South Africa and their percentage of the white population are given in Table 16.1. Both figures are taken from Elazar & Redding, 1983) and the American Jewish Yearbook. The decline in numbers of Jews from 1970 to 2001 is largely a result of emigration. There has also been anincrease in the number of gentile whites due to immigration from Zimbabwe that has contributed to the reduction in the percentage of Jews among the white population.

Table 16.1. Numbers and percentages of Jews in South Africa
YearN. Jews% of WhitesYearN. Jews% of Whites
190438,1013.411960114,7623.70
192662,1034.091970118,2003.15
193690,6454.521991100,0002.00
1946104,1564.39200179,0001.30
Education

Jews in South Africa have a high level of educational attainment as compared with white gentiles. Statistics showing this are given in Table 16.2. Row 1 gives figures for 1970 for the percentages of Jews (56 per cent) and the much lower percentages of whites (23 per cent) that had passed the matriculation examination taken by school leavers. Row 2 gives the percentages that had university degrees in 1970 showing 10 per cent for Jews and 4 per cent for whites. Row 3 shows Jews had double the percentage that had doctorates in the 1970 census. Row 4 gives the percentages that had university degrees in the 1980 census showing that the percentage for Jews had increased to 15.7 per cent and of white gentiles to 7.1 per cent. Row 5 gives the matriculation rate of 93 per cent for Jews found in a survey of a representative sample of 1,000 Jews carried out in 1998 and published by Kosmin, Goldberg, Shain and Bruk (1999), and 23.4 per cent for whites found in the 1991 census. Row 6 gives the percentages that had university degrees in the 1991 census showing 22.6 per cent for Jews taken from the same survey as compared with 10.1 per cent for whites.

Table 16.2. Education of Jews and whites in South Africa (percentages)
YearMeasureJewsWhitesAQReference
11970Matriculation56232.4Dubb, 1991
21970University degree1042.5Dubb, 1991
31970Doctorate0.20.12.0Dubb, 1984
41980University degree15.77.12.2Dubb, 1991
51991Matriculation93.023.44.0Census, 1991
61991University degree22.610.12.2Dubb, 1991
Income and Socio-economic Status

Jews in South Africa have higher average incomes than white gentiles.Della Pergola and Dubb (1988) have calculated that in 1980 the median income of Jews 8,323 Rand, approximatley twenty five per cent greater than the s white gentiles in Rand, and shows the income of Jews to be about 25 per cent higher than the 6,139 Rand of white gentiles.

Jews in South Africa also have higher socio-economic status than white gentiles.The percentages of Jews and white gentiles in six socio-economic status categories in 1936,1960,1970, 1980 and 1991 obtained from census returns have been given by Arkin (1984), Della Pergola and Dubb (1988) and Dubb (1994). The occupational distributions for 1936,1960, and 1970 are shown in Table 16.3. It will be seen that in 1936 Jews were slightly over-represented in the professions and in clerical and sales, but under-represented in administrative and managerial occupations and among blue-collar workers and in agriculture. By 1960 the position of the Jews had improved. They were now considerably over-represented in the professions, in administrative and managerial occupations and in clerical and sales, and again under-represented in blue-collar occupations and in agriculture. The occupational distribution for 1970 is similar except that Jews had become somewhat under-represented in clerical and sales occupations. Table 16.4 gives the occupational distributions for 1980 and 1991 and shows that these were similar to those in 1970.

Table 16.3. Socio-economic Status of Jews and whites in South Africa, 1936-1970 (percentages)
193619601970
JewsWhitesJewsWhitesJewsWhites
Professional9.78.220.012.322.715.4
Admin/managerial2.012.719.75.217.55.3
Clerical & sales53.523.149.733.320.726.7
Services5.35.71.85.34.06.8
Blue collar17.647.17.533.55.326.1
Agriculture1.93.21.310.41.03.0
Table 16.4. Socio-economic Status of Jews and whites in South Africa, 1980-1991 (percentages)
19801991
JewsWhitesJewsWhites
Professional28.719.829.818.5
Admin/managerial17.17.322.011.5
Clerical & sales20.036.832.432.6
Services4.37.93.27.9
Blue collar7.128.212.629.5
Agriculture1.51.6--
Nobel Prize-winners

South Africa has produced five Nobel Prize-winners for science and literature, which is creditable for a white population of around 3.7 to 5 million whites. They are listed in Table 16.5. It is remarkable that two of the five have been Jews, who were 3.1 per cent of the population in 1970 and to 2.0 per cent of the population in 1991. Thus, Jews who comprised about 2.5 per cent of the population of the South Africa in the second half of the twentieth century have produced 40 per cent per cent of the Nobel prize-winners, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 16.

Table 16.5 Nobel Prize-winners (Jews are asterisked)
YearNameSubjectYearNameSubject
1951Max TheilerMedicine2002Sydney Brenner*Medicine
1979Allan CormackMedicine2003J.M. CoetzeeLiterature
1991Nadine Gordimer*Literature
Fertility

Della Pergola and Dubb (1988) have published the fertility rates of Jews and gentile whites in South Africa for 1940 through 1970. Their figures for these are shown in

Table 16.6. The fertility rates of Jews have been consistently lower than those of white gentiles, as has virtually invariably been the case in many countries in the twentieth century. Nevertheless, in the period 1950-1970 the Jewish fertility rates have been comfortably above the 2.1 required for replacement.

Table 16.6. Fertility rates of Jews and gentiles
YearJewsGentiles
19402.13.1
19503.03.4
19603.03.5
19702.73.2
Chapter 17 • The Balkans • 4,600 Words

Jews settled in the Balkans in the first century AD following the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Romans. This original population is known as the Romaniot.In AD 330 the Roman emperor Constantine established the Byzantine empire that extended over the Balkans and Asia Minor. Constantine ruled the empire from its capital at Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople, and established Christianity as the official state religion. The Roman empire in the east survived for the next eleven centuries during which “the Jews faced severe persecution under Byzantine rule” (Goffman, 2000, p.16) and “the treatment of Jews was always bad” (Johnson, 2004, p. 205).

In the fourteenth century the Turks began to conquer parts of the southern Balkans and incorporate them into the Ottoman Empire. The Turks welcomed Jewish refugees from other domains and “offering a place of refuge, attracted many Jews”, according to the standard text The Jews of the Balkans (Benbassa and Rodrigue,1995, p.4). In 1361 they conquered the city of Edirne (Adrianople) and welcomed Jewish refugees from Hungary from which they were expelled in 1376, from Spain fleeing the massacres of 1391, and from France from which they were expelled in 1394. In the census of 1477, 1,647 Jewish households were recorded in Edirne comprising about 8,000 individuals and about 11 per cent of the population of the city.

In 1453 the Turks captured Constantinople, which they renamed Istanbul, and which they made the capital of the Ottoman Empire. They welcomed the Jews and a number of the Romaniot Jews moved to the city where “they worked mainly in trade, and their role was particularly important in farming taxes, the collection of custom dues , and the mint;they controlled all major tax farming in the Istanbul region in 1470-80” (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.6). More Jews arrived from Spain when they were expelled in 1492 and in 1497 when they were expelled from Portugal. The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire invited them to come to Istanbul because he needed competent people to populate the city, and somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 took up this invitation to settle in Istanbul and other towns in the Balkans.Others settled in North Africa and the Levant (the eastern Mediterranean littoral)and a smaller number went to the Netherlands.These refugeesfrom Spain and Portugal became known as the Sephardim. At the time of the expulsions the Jews in Spain and Portugal were given the option of leaving or converting to Christianity. About 80,000 to 120,000 chose to convert and became known as Marranos, but many of these continued to practise Judaism in secret. The Spanish and Portuguese suspected this and from time to time had them investigated by the Inquisition, which had those convicted burned. As a result of this continued persecution many of the Marranos left and most of them went to the Balkans.

From 1500 the Turks gradually colonized the whole of the Balkans until by 1683 the Ottoman Empire included the whole of southeast Europe comprising Greece, the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. In 1687 they reached the outskirts of Vienna and laid siege to the city, although they were not able to capture it. During this time large colonies of Turks were settled in the Balkans with the result that they became a Turkish-European ethnic mix with an average IQ of about 92, only a little higher than that of 90 in Turkey (see Lynn, 2006). The cities with the greatest Jewish populations in the Balkans during Turkish rule were Istanbul and Salonica, but there were Jewish communities in towns throughout the Balkans.

There were three groups of Jews in the Balkans. The first of these were the Romaniot (the original population) who settled in the Diaspora in the first century AD Second, there were the Sephardic Jews who immigrated following their expulsion from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal in 1497. Most of these settled in Istanbul but some went to other cities in the Balkan Ottoman Empire, particularly Salonica and Edirne. After a century of so the Romaniots “completely assimilated into the Sephardi group”. According to Benbassa and Rodrigue (1995, p.14) there were fewer Sephardim but they “succeeded in dominating the Romaniots” because of “the weight of their scholars, their culture, and the dynamism of many of their rabbis”.

The third group of Jews in the Balkans were the Ashkenazim from central and northern Europe who from time to time moved to the Balkans because they were expelled or were being persecuted. A number of these came from Hungary from which they were expelled in 1360. Most of the Ashkenazim settled in Romania but some settled in other parts of the Balkans, especially in Bosnia-Hertzegovina. However, these were quite few compared with the Sephardim-Romaniots, who were by far the largest group of Jews in the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans, except in Romania where the Ashkenazim were the majority.It is estimated that in 1900, there were approximately 400,000 Sephardic Jews in the Balkans (Montgomery,1902).

Jews in the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire provided a benign environment for the Jews, which is why so many of them who were persecuted in Spain, Portugal and northern Europe sought refuge in it. The Ottomans “success in government largely consisted in the wise policy of toleration which they practised towards Jews…” (Fisher, 1936, p.138); and “the Ottoman takeover significantly ameliorated the Jews’condition” (Goffman, 2000, p.16). In the early 1400s “there were prosperous and growing Jewish communities in the Ottoman Balkan cities of Edirne (Adrianople) and Salonica” (Inalcik, 2000, p.4). Jews were allowed much greater liberty in the Ottoman Empire than in northern Europe. They were allowed to work as craftsmen and shopkeepers; most of them “were engaged in food processing, soap making, tanning, and a host of other artisanal occupations” and “ a smaller elite emerged that became significant in often interlocked areas such as finance, international commerce and brokerage, and the manufacture and marketing of textiles (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.36, 41).

The Sultan Mohammed the Conqueror (1451-81) also welcomed the Jews – his minister of Finance (Ya’kub) and his physician (Moses Hamon) were both Jews.

Around 1510 the Jews of Salonika wrote to the Jews who were being expelled from Provence “Come and join us in Turkey and you will live in peace and freedom as we do” (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.8). Many of them did so, and by 1529 Jews were about 55 per cent of the population of the city, which became one of the most important Jewish centers in the world.

Many authorities have testified that the benign toleration of Jews in the Ottoman Empire contrasted with the frequent persecutions of Jews in central, northern and eastern Europe. Thus, “Jews fleeing from Spain and other European countries found in the Ottoman Empire a secure and friendly haven; what makes their experience unique – especially when compared with that of European Jewry – is that over a period lasting five centuries, in good times and bad, Jews were never singled out for persecution; in fact for much of the period they enjoyed the status of a favored minority” (Levy, 2002, p.xix); “the Ottoman bureaucracy demonstrated particular sympathy towards the Jews” (Inalcik, 2000, p.6); “under Moslem rule, it was easier for Moslems and Jews to live side-by-side without disturbance than in Christian lands” (Roberts, 1996, p. 159).

Jews in the Ottoman Empire were much more accepted and occupied more prominent positions than Jews in central and northern Europe: “in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries they were instrumental in developing and expanding the Ottoman administration and economy, and they continued to maintain a prominent role in those areas for a long time thereafter. Jews performed important services as government advisors, ambassadors, tax farmers, financial agents, scribes, international and interregional traders, and in a wide range of urban industries and trades. They also made significant contributions to Ottoman society in science, medicine, technology, culture, and entertainment” (Levy, 2002, p.xix). The sultan Sulaiman the Magnificent (1520-66) “had a Jewish physician, Jews held positions of trust and honor, and took part in diplomatic negotiations; commerce was largely in their hands; in Constantinople they owned beautiful houses and gardens on the shores of the Bosporus… In the nineteenth century also “the attitude of the government was uniformly kind”(Montgomery, 1904, 280-4).

One of the major reasons for the greater acceptance of Jews in the Ottoman Empire than in Europe was that for some five centuries from around 1400 up to 1918 the Muslim Ottoman Empire was in conflict and frequently at war with Christian Europe for control over the Balkans in Southeast Europe. There was a clash of civilizations between the two cultures divided by religion and ethnicity. The Jews were conscious of being persecuted in Europe, so the Ottomans and the Jews regarded each other as ethnic allies in what was widely regarded as a holy war. It may also be that Jews and Turks are of the same race (South West Asians) and are more compatible than Jews and Europeans, in accordance with the principles of genetic similarity theory that states that people are more compatible with those of the same race as themselves (Rushton, 1989).

The Jews prospered in the benign environment provided in the Ottoman Empire. Thus, “the Jews flourished more within the Ottoman economy and society than any other group” and “in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries Jews instituted tremendous innovations in commerce, between the Ottoman Empire and Europe; their situations as bankers, industrialists, and especially Ottoman officials helped propel that empire beyond military dominance into economic distinction as well” (Goffman, 2000, pp.17, 33); “the Sephardim became extraordinarily significant in the sixteenth century in the manufacture of textiles and international commerce” (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.39); “Jewish bankers and tax farmers gained a predominant place in Ottoman finances and long distance trade” (Inalcik, 2000, p.8). The leading Jewish family was the house of Mendes “which controlled a large share of the international spice trade and had accumulated enormous capital in Europe” (Inalcik, 2000, p.10). Some four centuries later a descendant of the same family, Pierre Mendes-France, became Prime Minister of France.

It was not only in commerce that the Jews flourished: “the Ottoman Jewish communities became the most important centers of Jewish scholarship and learning in the world, a position they maintained for a long time” (Levy, 2002, p.xix). Jews were also prominent among doctors in the Ottoman Empire from 1450 up to 1900: “the primacy of Jewish physicians within the medical profession was unchallenged” (Murphey, 2000, p. 73). The apogee of the profession was the palace corps of physicians who looked after the sultan and his household. In 1548, there were 30 of these, among whom 14 were Jews, representing 25 per cent; by 1609, the number had risen to 62, among whom 41 (66 per cent) were Jews (Murphey, 2000, pp. 65, 73). However, “their numbers declined by the eighteenth century” (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.38).

Many authorities are agreed that the Jews did well in the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century but after this their position declined. Thus, “the sixteenth century saw the heyday of their role, which went into a relative decline in the following century until the modern period” (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.36); “while at the beginning of the sixteenth century there is evidence for a highly literate Jewish culture in the Ottoman Empire, this culture gradually disappeared after the sixteenth century…Jews became increasingly degraded” (MacDonald, 1994, p. 197); “from the mid-eighteenth century there was an unmistakable picture of grinding poverty and ignorance” (Lewis, 1984, p164).

Apparently, the position of the Jews declined because they could not withstand the competition of other ethnic groups. Thus, “other minorities simply out-competed Jews” and MacDonald (1994, p.197) attributes this not to “deficits in the capabilities of Jews” but to Christians networking skills. “Muslim Turks, Armenians, and especially Greeks were also active in customs and tax collection and often outshone the Jews” (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.37). However, according to MacDonald (1994, p.198) there was “a resurgence of Ottoman Jews in the nineteenth century as a result of patronage and protection from European Jews… and once again a flowering of a highly literate culture, including secular schools based on European models”

In the nineteenth century Turkey began to lose control of its territory in the Balkans. Greece achieved independence in 1830, and the largely Jewish city of Salonica became part of Greece in 1913. In 1875 the provinces of Bosnia, Hertzegovina, Serbia and Bulgaria rebelled. Bosnia-Hertzegovina was annexed by Austria-Hungary in 1878, while Serbia and Bulgaria achieved independence. Turkey retained Macedonia, but lost this and all her remaining territory in the Balkans in 1918, except for Istanbul and the hinterland of which she retains to this day.

Infant mortality was lower among Jews in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Studies showing this have been summarized by Condran and Kramarow and are shown in Table 17.1 , where it will be seen that the infant mortality of gentiles was between 20 and 50 per cent higher than that of Jews.

Table 17.1 Infant mortality per 1,000 live births
YearsLocationJewsGentiles% Difference
1851Buscovina14319825
1851Transylvania8917850
1896-1905Serbia14017020
Bulgaria

The Jews did well in the Bulgaria that achieved independence in 1878 up to World War Two. Before World War One “they controlled 90 per cent of the country’s exports of cereals, tobacco, fruit and dairy produce, a proportion that fell to 60-70 per cent in 1932; they controlled between 30 and 40 per cent of the imports of soap, oil and colonial produce” (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.95). These are impressive figures considering that the Jews were about 0.9 per cent of the population. In the 1920s and 1930s about half of the Jews lived in the capital Sophia. They “were composed of small businessmen, merchants, and artisans and did not face any significant threat to their existence until the Second World War”; and “anti-Semitism was not very significant in the interwar years” (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p. 173). In 1941 Bulgaria joined Germany as an ally and the effect of this was that German troops did not occupy the country. The Germans pressurized the Bulgarian government to transport the Jews to the death camps. The Bulgars were reluctant to comply (“anti-Semitism was not very significant in the interwar years” according to Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.163), but they did hand over about 11,300 foreign Jews to the Germans who killed them mainly at the camp at Treblinka. Apart from these, the Jews who had Bulgarian nationality almost entirely escaped the holocaust.

The numbers of Jews in Bulgaria and their percentages in the population between 1881 and 1949 are given in Table 17.2. It will be seen that the Jews were approximately 0.9 per cent of the population between 1881 and 1900. By the 1934 census the numbers of Jews had increased but their percentage in the population had fallen to 0.80 per cent. It fell further by around 7,398 by 1945, largely as a result of the killings by the Germans. By 1949 it had fallen again to about 6,000. The reason for this is that most of the Jews felt uncomfortable in Bulgaria after the end of World War Two and thought they would likely have a better and safer future in Israel. Approximately 35,000 of them emigrated to Israel between 1945 and 1949, leaving only about 6,000 in Bulgaria.

Table 17.2 Numbers and percentages of Jews in Bulgaria
YearN. Jews% populationYearN. Jews% population
188120,5030.90
190033,6630.90
193448,3980.80
194541,0000.58
19496,0000.08
20012,5000.03
Sources: Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.190, 256-7; American Jewish Yearbook, 2004

Bulgaria is the only country in the Balkans for which it has proved possible to find statistics for the numbers of Jews in the two major professions of medicine and law. These are shown in Table 17.3 where we see that in 1940 Jews were 4.6 of the doctors and 3.0 per cent of the lawyers. As Jews were 0.80 per cent of the population, they had Achievement Quotients of 5.75 and 3.75, respectively.

Table 17.3 Percentages of Jewish doctors and lawyers in Bulgaria
YearOccupationPercent JewsAQ
1940Doctors4.65.75
1940Lawyers3.03.75
Source: (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.95)
Greece

Numbers and percentages of Jews in Greece are shown in Table 17.4. Of the 79,950 Jews in 1940, 62,573 were deported to the concentration camps and killed, leaving 10,371 in 1947. Over the next twelve years about half of these emigrated, largely to Israel, leaving 5,260 in 1957.

Table 17.4 Numbers and percentages of Jews in Greece
YearN. Jews% populationYearN. Jews% population
192892,0201.50
194079,9501.10
194710,5730.13
19595,2600.07
Source: Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p. 256
Romania

The Jews in Romania were nearly all Ashkenazim, unlike the Sephardim in other parts of the Balkans except in Bosnia-Hertzegovina. They were treated less well

than in the rest of the Ottoman Empire according to historians: “the story of the Romanian Jews in the Turkish provinces of Moldavia and Wallachia in the nineteenth century is a story of cruel, brutal mistreatment” (Ms, 1960, p. 59); “in 1870, the Romanian government introduced a series of harsh anti-Jewish restrictions and even tacitly encouraged mob attacks on Jews” (Sachar, 1992, p. 83). On the eve of World War 1 Jews in Romania were 36 per cent of the doctors, dentists and vetinary surgeons (Brunstein, 2003).

At the end of World War 1 Romania achieved independence from Turkish rule and Jews were given full civil liberties. However, anti-Semitism was strong: “Romania had a well deserved reputation for being, along with Russia, the most anti-Semitic country in Europe” (Mendelsohn, 1983, p.174). Despite this Jews did well. According to Mendelsohn (1983, pp. 179, 189) “the number of Jewish students far exceeded the Jewish percentage in the population; the Jews played a dominant role in commerce, crafts and the professions”. The occupational distribution of Jews and gentiles in the 1930 census in shown in Table 17.5. Jews were effectively debarred from the civil service, so the 2.7 per cent of Jews in row 1 were virtually all in the professions. The great majority (73.7 per cent) of gentiles were peasant farmers, while the great majority of Jews (81.1 per cent) workedin commerce, industry, and crafts.

Table 17.5 Occupations of Jews and gentiles in Romania, 1930
OccupationJewsGentiles
Civil Service/ professions2.73.1
Commerce48.34.2
Industry/ crafts32.811.3
Transportation2.42.3
Army1.92.9
Agriculture4.173.7

The percentages of Jews in various occupations in Romania in 1937 have been given by Brustein and King (2004, p. 696) and are shown in Table 17.6. The Jewish population in the census of 1930 numbered 756,930 and was 4.2 per cent of the population. It will be seen that Jews were greatly over-represented among Army doctors, engineers in the textile industry, journalists, lawyers, stockbrokers and university students.

Table 17.6 Percentages of Jews in occupations in Romania, 1937
Occupation% JewsAQ
Doctors – Army Medical Corps5011.9
Engineers – textile industry8019.0
Journalists7016.7
Lawyers408.5
Stockbrokers9923.6
University students153.6

Anti-Semitism increased from the late 1930s onwards. In 1937 the premier Octavian Goga disenfranchised the Jews and deprived them of citizenship, as a result of which they were not allowed to work. In 1940, Jewish property was confiscated and Jewish shops boycotted. Between 1941 and 1944 about 261,300 Jews were killed in the death camps. Approximately 346,440 survived the war (Mendelsohn, 1983, p.210). After the war many Jews emigrated to Israel. In 1965 the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu did a deal with the United States whereby American Jews paid $8,000 for every Jew permitted to emigrate. Between 1967 and 1989 165,000 departed for Israel, leaving around 20,000 in Romania (Sachar, 1992).

Turkey

In 1900 there were approximately 400,000 Jews in the Ottoman Empire and about 320,000 of these were in Europe (Levy, 2002). As a result of the loss of most of its territory in the Balkans at the end of World War one, in the 1927 Turkish census there were 81,872 Jews in Turkey, mostly in Istanbul and Edirne in Europe, and in Izmir in Asia Minor. When the Germans began to persecute the Jews from 1933 onwards, Turkey admitted three hundred distinguished Jewish doctors, scientists and intellectuals, many of who found positions in universities, but they did not admit others except for a few with specialist qualifications. In 1942 heavy taxes were imposed on Jews of 179 per cent of their annual income and about 40 per cent of them emigrated to Israel as soon as this became possible in 1949. Numbers and percentages of Jews in Turkey are given in Table 17.7.

Table 17.7 Numbers and percentages of Jews in Turkey
YearN. Jews% populationYearN. Jews% population
192781,8720.6
194576,9630.4
195545,9950.2
199019,0000.02
Source: Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.95.
Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia was created after World War 1. The numbers of Jews are shown in Table 17.8. In the 1931 census there were 68,405 Jews of whom 57 per cent were Ashkenazim, 38 per cent Sephardic and 5 per cent defined themselves as Orthodox. “In the areas of Yugoslavia where the Sephardim lived, anti-Semitism was not very significant in the interwar years” (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.95). The number of Jews increased to 82,242 in 1940. Approximately 62,000 of these were killed during the holocaust. About 20,000 survived by going into hiding or escaping to the Italian controlled west of the country or Switzerland. Many of these later went to Israel.

Table 17.8 Numbers and percentages of Jews in Yugoslavia
YearN. Jews% populationYearN. Jews% population
193168,4050.49
194082,2420.50
194515,0000.10
20023,4000.00
Source: (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.93, 256-7)
Nobel Prize-winners and Chess Champions

The Balkans have produced six Nobel Prize-winners who are listed in Table 17.9. One of these (Elias Canetti) was Jewish and was born in Bulgaria but emigrated to Britain. The remaining five were gentiles, of whom George Pelade emigrated to the United States, and Vladimir Prelog to Switzerland. Thus, the Sephardic Jews who constituted about one per cent of the population in the Balkans (leaving aside Romania because the Jews there were nearly all Ashkenazim) produced 20 per cent of the Nobel Prize-winners.

Table 17.9 Nobel Prizewinners (Jews are asterisked)
YearNameCountrySubject
1961Ivo AndricYugoslaviaLiterature
1963Giorgos SeferisGreeceLiterature
1974George PeladeRomaniaMedicine
1975Vladimir PrelogBosniaChemistry
1979Odysseus ElytisGreeceLiterature
1981Elias Canetti*BulgariaLiterature

Another index of intellectual distinction is chess championship. There have been two three rated chess champions from the Balkans from 1851 to 2000 among the 160 listed by Rubinstein (2004 ) of whom Vidmar (Yugoslavia) was Jewish, while Kostic (Yugoslavia) and Topalov were or are gentile. Thus, Jews comprising about one per cent of the population in the Balkans in the period between 1851-1940 produced abthird of top rated chess champions. The sample is small, but the huge over-representation of Jews in top class chess is consistent with their huge over-representation among Nobel Prize-winners.

Intelligence of the Sephardic Jews

There have been no studies of the intelligence of the Sephardic Jews in the Balkans. Nevertheless, it is possible to make an approximate estimate of their intelligence. In general terms there is little doubt that intelligence of the Sephardim higher than that of gentiles in the Balkans, is lower than that of the Ashkenazim of central, eastern and northern Europe but higher that that of Mizrahim Jews from the Middle East and North Africa. The following considerations point to this conclusion.

(a) When the Sephardim were expelled from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal in 1496, some of them settled in North Africa. The Sephardim quickly came to dominate the local Jews and “rapidly became dominant in the economy as well as in rabbinic learning” (Benbassa and Rodrigue,1995, p.4). It can be inferred from this that they had higher intelligence. When the Balkans were occupied by the Turks from the late fifteenth century it was observed that “The Turks were good soldiers but they were unsuccessful as business men; and accordingly they left their commercial occupations to other nationalities; hence the Jews soon became the business agents of the country (Montgomery, 1902, 280). This again suggests that the Sephardic Jews had higher intelligence than the Turks.

(b) Numerous authorities have testified that the Sephardim of the Balkans did better in socio-economic status than the gentile communities among whom they lived and were over-represented among physicians, merchants and professionals. It can be inferred from this that they were more intelligent.

(c) In the nineteenth century the Ashkenazim “regarded Eastern Sephardi Jewry as exotic and backward” (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.113), which they undoubtedly were compared with the Ashkenazim of central, eastern and northern Europe. This suggeststhat the Ashkenazim were more intelligent than the Sephardim.

(d) In Yugoslavia in the 1920s and 1930s there were both Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities and the Ashkenazi were more prosperous: “there were the Ashkenazim, comprising two thirds of Yugoslav Jewry, living in the most urbanized and westernized areas in the north, and the Sephardim, settled in the poorer zones in the south and east of the country” (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.144). The Ashkenazim had fewer children than the Sephardim (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.91), invariably a sign of higher intelligence (Lynn, 1996).

(e) In Israel it has been found that there is an ethnic status hierarchy such that “the

Sephardim show a position midway between Jews from central and eastern Europe and Jews from North Africa and Asia” (Benbassa and Rodrigue, 1995, p.191). This hierarchy is based on differences in intelligence. It is shown in Chapter 11 on Israel that European Jews in Israel have an average IQ of 106 and Mizrahim an average IQ of 90. Hence, as the Sephardim fall midway between the other two groups, they should have an IQ of about 98.

(f) In Britain Jews are over-represented among doctors by a factor of 6.6 and among lawyers by a factor of 9.0. Bulgaria is the only country in the Balkans for which there are comparable statistics and here Jews in 1940 were over-represented among doctors by a factor of 5.75 and among lawyers by a factor of 3.75. The over-representation in the two professions in Britain averages 7.8, while in Bulgaria it averages 60 per cent of this: 4.75. In Britain Jews have an average IQ of 110 as compared with 100 for gentiles. It can be reasonably assumed that in Bulgaria Jews had about 60 per cent of this 10 IQ point advantage over gentiles, i.e. an IQ of 106 compared with 100 for gentiles in Bulgaria. Two studies of the IQ of gentiles in Bulgaria have given IQs of 91 and 94, which can be averaged to 92.5 (Lynn, 2006). Hence the IQ of Bulgarian Jews should be approximately 98.5 (92.5 + 6.0 = 98.5). This is virtually identical to the estimate of 98 given in the last paragraph.

(g) The Sephardim of the Balkans have only produced one Nobel prize-winner (Elias Canetti from Bulgaria) from a population in 1940 of about 288,000, estimated by adding the populations in Bulgaria, Greece, Yugoslavia, and Turkey. This is a rate of 3.5 per 1 million. The Ashkenazim have produced 120 Nobel prize-winners from a population in 1940 of about 18 million, a rate of 6.7 per 1 million. Thus, the Ashkenazim have produced approximately double the rate of Nobel prize-winners as the Balkans Sephardim. This provides further confirmation that the intelligence level of the Ashkenazim is higher than that of the Sephardim.

(h) In the United States two studies by Gross (1967,1986) found that Ashkenazic 6 year olds obtained higher IQs than Sephardic children. In the first study of 90 children, the Ashkenazic children outscored the Sephardic on vocabulary by 17 IQ points. In the second study, the Ashkenazic children outscored the Sephardic by 12 points (Gross, 1986). The Ashkenazim in the United States do better socially than the Sephardim. From 1890 to 1930 about 30,000 Sephardim from the Levant migrated to the United States, where about 90 per cent settled in New York. They did not do nearly so well as the Ashkenazim: “without marketable skills, living in the wretchedest of Lower East Side tenements, the newcomers eked out their existence as bootblacks, as candy and ice-cream vendors, as cloakroom attendants or waiters; the women, all but illiterate found intermittent employment in the garment industry but more commonly as maids or laundresses. Alcoholism, prostitution, and wife abandonment were far more extensive among them than among Ashkenazic immigrants. Few shared the Russian-Jewish passion even for functional education” (Sachar, 1992, p.338).

Conclusions

Four salient points stand out in this chapter. First, the Sephardim of the Balkans did better socio-economically and in the medical and legal professions than the gentile communities among whom they lived. This can be attributed to their higher intelligence. Second, intelligence of the Sephardim in the Balkans can be estimated at an IQ 98, as compared with that of 92 of the gentiles in the Balkans, and 100 of gentiles in central and northern Europe. Third, the IQ of 98 of the Sephardim is well below the IQ of 110 of the Ashkenazim of Britain, Canada and the United States (see the chapters on the Jews in these countries). Fourth, this difference can be attributed to the Sephardim in the Balkans having been generally free from persecution over the course of approximately five centuries when they were in the Ottoman Empire, to which numerous authorities cited in this chapter have testified. This contrasts with the repeated pogroms against the Ashkenazim of central, eastern and northern Europe. The effect of these pogroms of the Ashkenazim will have been to selectively eliminate the less intelligent, leaving those with higher intelligence as survivors.

Chapter 18 • United States • 9,200 Words

The first Jews to come to the United States in the 1660s settled in New York. They were Sephardim and by the 1770s they numbered approximately 2,500 in the thirteen colonies out of a population of approximately 3.75 million (Kosmin and Lachman, 1993). Between 1830-1881 a number of Ashkenazim from Eastern Europe and Germany arrived and by 1860 they numbered about 275,000. From the eighteenth century Jews had greater freedom in the United States than anywhere else including the right to engage in all trades, own property and attend universities. Many of them prospered, including the Speyer and Saligman banking families. The third wave of Jewish immigration began in 1881 from Russia and Poland as a result of the pogroms. By 1924 approximately 2.5 million of these had arrived. A further 150,000 or so came the United States in the 1930s as refugees from Germany and another 100,000 or so Holocaust survivors entered after the end of World War Two.

Numbers in the Population

The numbers of Jews and their percentages in the population are given in Table 18.1. The figures for 1927 are provided by Sachar (1992, p.372). The 1957 figure is derived from a Census Bureau survey of 35,000 households that were asked their of religion, of whom 3.2 percent gave Jewish. The figures for 1957 and 1980 are given by Johnson (2004) and for 1990 and 2002 by the American Jewish Yearbooks. In 1924 the Immigration Act restricted the numbers of immigrants. Between 1931 and 1941 580,207 immigrants entered the United States, of whom 161,262 were Jews. It will be seen that the number of Jews increased during the twentieth century but their percentage of the population declined during the period from 1927-2000. The reasons for this lie in the lower fertility of Jews than of the rest of the population and the immigration of Hispanics, Asians, Caribbeans and Africans. These figures are for what are called “core Jews”, i.e. those who identify themselves as Jews.

Table 18.1. Jews in the population of the United States
YearN. JewsPercent
17802,500.0007
19274,228,0003.55
1957-3.2
19705,420,0002.7
19905,515,0002.2
20025,700,0002.0
Intelligence

An early indication that Jews in the United States had high intelligence appeared in

Maller’s (1933) study of schools in New York City. He found Jews had the lowest percentage of backward children at 25.7 per cent compared with 29.0 per cent for the city as a whole. The other major ethnic groups were the Germans with 27.0 percent, Poles with 35.5 per cent, Italians with 35.7 per cent, and blacks with 31.8 per cent. Many of these children (ecept for the blacks) did not speak English as their first language and this explains the high percentages that were backward.

Studies of the intelligence of Jews began to appear in the 1920s and are summarized in Table 18.2. The IQs obtained by Jews are calculated in relation to gentile white means set at 100 with a standard deviation of 15, and where appropriate are corrected for secular increases in norms known as the Flynn effect. Row 1 gives results for Jewish and Italian children of foreign born parents in New York for the National Intelligence Test, which contains items of arithmetic, sentence completion, synonyms-antonyms, “logical selection” (not defined) and digit symbol, and is a largely verbal test of general intelligence. On the test norms the Jewish children obtained a mean IQ of 102.5 and the Italian children a mean IQ of 90.4. As both groups were recent immigrants and were handicapped by an imperfect command of English, it is considered that the best reading of the results is to take the 12 IQ point advantage of the Jewish children as the best estimate of the Jewish IQ in relation to European gentiles.

Row 2 gives results for 9-13 year old native white American, Polish Jewish and Russian Jewish children given the Pintner-Cunningham Primary Mental Test. In relation to a white mean of 100, Polish Jews (N=75) obtained an IQ of 104.5 and Russian Jews (N=627) an IQ of 101.2, giving an average of 102.

Row 3 shows an IQ of 106 for Jewish children in California compared with European American children. Row 4 gives results for second generation Jewish and Scandinavian children in Minneapolis public schools tested with the 1916 Stanford-Binet. In addition to the IQs, the children were scored for vocabulary. Row 5 gives results for students (age not given) attending nine Hebrew schools on the 1916 Stanford-Binet. Their mean IQ was 118.6. Adjusting for the secular rise of intelligence at 2.5 IQ points a decade brings the mean IQ down to 111. Row 6 gives results for 4-5 year olds applying for New York yeshivas for the 1937 Stanford-Binet. Their mean IQ was 114.9. Adjusting for the secular rise of intelligence at 2.5 IQ points a decade brings the mean IQ down to 110. Row 7 gives a vocabulary IQs of 117 for a sample of Jewish adults. Row 8 gives results for a sample of adults who obtained a Flynn effect adjusted IQ of 116 (the Flynn effect is the name given to the secular increase of intelligence which means that IQs need adjustment for the year when the test was standardized. It has been shown by Flynn (1984) that the Full Scale Wechsler IQ has been increasing at 3 IQ points a decade, verbal IQs at two IQ points a decade and performance IQs at four IQ points a decade. Hence IQs obtained after the year of standardization need downward adjustment to allow for this. All IQs given in this book are Flynn effect adjusted). Row 9 gives results for 5 year olds applying for New York yeshiva schools for the 1949 WISC (their mean Full Scale IQ was 108.68 with verbal and performance IQs of 108.6 and 107.4, respectively. These IQs are adjusted for the Flynn effect. The WISC standardization sample was obtained in 1949 and the adjusted results given in the Table are a verbal IQ of 106 and a non-verbal and visualization IQ a little lower at 103. This study also reported IQs of for 60 bilingual Jewish children whose IQs were 102.7 for Full Scale IQ, 103.0 for verbal and 101.6 for performance IQ. The author considered, probably correctly, that these children were handicapped because they spoke Yiddish as their first language.

Row 10 give results for 11-13 year old Jewish children in New York schools tested with the WISC. Their adjusted mean IQ was 106. Row 11 gives an IQ of 110 for a vocabulary test (the Quick Test) obtained by Jews in the Youth in Transition study. Row 12 gives an IQ of 117 for a sample of adults tested with the largely verbal Otis test. Row 13 gives an IQ of 111 obtained by a sample of adults on the Stanford Binet. Row 14 gives an IQ of 116 for 6 year old Ashkenazic Jewish children entering Jewish parochial schools. This study also reported an IQ of 104 for Sephardic children entering Jewish parochial schools, confirming other studies showing that the Ashkenazim have a higher IQ than the Sephardim. Row 15 gives an IQ of 112.6 for Jews given by Herrnstein and Murray, 1994 in The Bell Curve taken from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth study. The test was the AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test) which consists of subtests of word knowledge, verbal comprehension, arithmetical reasoning and mathematics. This figure is in relation to 100 for whites, not for the whole American population including blacks and Hispanics, in comparison with whom the Jewish IQ is 115.

Rows 16 and 17 give means of 113 for math and 107 for reading from the NELS national sample of eighth graders, aged approximately 14, tested in 1988. These are treated here as IQs. Row 18 gives an IQ of 107.5 for Jewish adults given a 10 word vocabulary synonyms test in which a word is presented and the task is to identify the synonym from five alternatives. Vocabulary is a good measure of general intelligence. The test was given in the General Social Surveys of representative samples from continental United States (i.e. excluding Alaska and Hawaii) and results presented for the years 1990-96. The IQ is a little lower than the other recent studies, possibly because the test is short and has reduced reliability. Row 19 gives an IQ of 109 for Jewish adults calculated from a more extensive analysis of the 10 word vocabulary test in the General Social Surveys spanning the years 1972 through 2004.

Table 18.2 IQs of Jews in the United States
AgeN JewsN GentilesTest1QReference
19-15500500Pressy101Murdoch, 1920
26-1081129Trabue101Jordan, 1921
35-779367Binet100Pintner & Keller, 1922
410100200Binet109Bere, 1924
512-188721,442Army Alpha99Feingold, 1924
612800-NIT102.5Seago & Koldin, 1925
764760Binet106Graham, 1925
89-137021,030PCPM102Hirsch, 1926
96-1155500DAM106Goodenough, 1926
108-134458,130NIT99Rigg, 1928
117-8174811Dearborn/Otis100Easterbrooks, 1928
1213378Terman Group114Franzblau, 1934
1310-1591Pintner103Pintner & Artensian, 1937
14112,999NIT101Pintner & Maller, 1937
156335334S. Binet101Brown, 1944
162,453Binet/Otis/Pintner111Nardi, 1948
1714246160Pintner107Solomon, 1956
184-52,083-S. Binet110Levinson, 1957a
1951,451-S. Binet107Levinson, 1957b
20Adult491,414Vocabulary117Miner, 1957
21Adult64-WAIS116Levinson, 1958
22557-WISC106Levinson, 1959
2310-1347-WISC106Levinson, 1960
2416652,171Quick110Bachman, 1970
2512-18720-Otis115Romanoff, 1976
264-6400S. Binet111Levinson & Block, 1977
276324-S. Binet116Gross, 1986
2814-23989,426AFQT112.6Herrnstein & Murray, 1994
29143979,658Math113Fejgin, 1995
30143979,658Reading107Fejgin, 1995
3118-701505,300Vocabulary107.5Lynn, 2004
3218-7043317,335Vocabulary109Lynn & Kanazawa, 2008

Two conclusions can be dawn from these results. First, in all the 19 studies Jews obtained higher IQs than gentiles. This establishes beyond dispute the high average IQs of Jews in the United States. Second, the median of the set of studies is an IQ of 110. This is about the same as the IQ of Ashkenazic Jews in Israel and closely similar to the IQs of 110.7 for Jews in Britain and 108.8 for Jews in Canada. This is not surprising because the great majority of the Jews in the United States,Britain and Canada are descended from Russian and Polish immigrants of the same stock. Not included in Table 18.2 is Derschowitz’s study summarized by Derschowitz and Frankel (1975), of 50 middle class Jewish children who obtained a WISC IQ of 115.10, which needs to be reduced by 4.5 IQ points for the Flynn effect to 111.0. As these children were middle class they cannot be regarded as representative.

A population with am average IQ of 110 has a large proportion at high levels of intelligence. This is illustrated for the Jews in a study by Sheldon (1954) in which he identified all the children in the New York public school system with measured IQs of 170 or higher. He found 28, and of these 24 were Jews.

The Jewish Ability Profile

Jews have higher verbal than visualization-spatial IQs. Four studies where these two abilities have both been measured are summarized in Table 18.3. The fourth study by Lesser, Fifer and Clark (1965) requires some explanation. The study tested the abilities of Jewish, Chinese, black and Puerto Rican 6-7 year olds in New York, with 80 children in each group. The absence of a white group makes it difficult to make the usual comparison with whites as the standard. However, the scores of the black sample can be used as an alternative. It has long been known that blacks in the northern states have a higher average IQ than those elsewhere, and Kaufman and Doppelt (1976) report an average IQ of 93 for blacks in the north-eastern region. Adopting this figure, the Jewish sample in this study obtained a higher verbal IQ than the black group by 16.5 IQ points, giving them a verbal IQ of 109.5 in relation to a white IQ of 100 ; a higher numerical IQ by 13.5 IQ points, and therefore a numerical IQ of 106.5 in relation to a white IQ of 100; a higher non-verbal reasoning IQ of 9.5 IQ points, and therefore a non-verbal reasoning l IQ of 102.5 in relation to a white IQ of 100; and a higher spatial IQ by 8.2 IQ points, and therefore a spatial IQ of 101.2 in relation to a white IQ of 100.

It will be seen that in all four studies Jews had higher verbal than visualization-spatial IQs. The average disparity is 13 IQ points. It appears from these studies that Jewish intelligence is verbal and their visualization-spatial intelligence is about the same as that of gentile Europeans.

Table 18.3 Verbal and visualization-spatial IQs of Jews in the United States
AgeN JewsN GentilesTestVerbVizDiffReference
1Adult64-WAIS12510520Levinson, 1958
2557-WISC1061033Levinson, 1959
310-1347-WISC1159421Levinson, 1960
46-78080-109.5101.27Lesser et al., 1965
Mean---11410113-

A further study finding the same Jewish ability profile is Backman’s (1972) analysis of the data in Project Talent, a nationwide American survey of the abilities of 17 year olds carried out in 1960. The study was based on 1,236 Jewish and 1,051 non-Jewish whites, in addition to 488 blacks and 150 Orientals. IQs were calculated for six abilities. The mean IQs of the Jews in relation to non-Jewish white means of 100 and standard deviations of 15 were as follows: verbal knowledge (described as “a general factor, but primarily a measure of general information” and identifiable with Carroll’s (1993) verbal comprehension factor) – 107.8; English language – 99.5; mathematics – 111.0; visual reasoning (a measure of reasoning with visual forms) – 91.3; perceptual speed and accuracy – 102.2; memory (short term recall of verbal symbols) – 95.1. These are consistent with the other reports that Jews perform well on tests of verbal ability (although not of English language) and mathematics but less well on visual and spatial tests; the IQ of 91.3 for visual reasoning is remarkably low. These differences were calculated on Jews and gentiles matched for socio-economic status. Because Jews have higher average socio-economic status than gentiles, the reported differences are not an accurate measure of the true differences and there is no way of estimating the Jewish IQ from this study.

Literacy, 1889-1910

The percentages of Jews, whites and blacks who were literate were obtained in the censuses of 1880, 1900 and 1910 are given by Darity, Dietrich and Guilkey (1997) and are shown in Table 18.4. During this period the whites were nearly all literate (these figures are for the ethnic English; non-English speaking whites were counted as illiterate if they could not read English and this applied to 14-20 per cent of them in these years). But in 1880 only 83 per cent of Jews with literate. This is because 17 per cent of them still spoke Yiddish or German and were not counted as literate in English. The percentage of literate Jews fell to 79 in 1900 and 1910 because of the immigration of large numbers from Russia among whom a significant number continued to speak Yiddish and were illiterate in English.

Table 18.4 Racial and ethnic differences in literacy 1880-1910 (percentages)
Group188019001910
Whites959999
Jews837979
Over-representation in Ivy League Universities

As early as the 1910s people began to comment on the high intelligence and educational attainment of Jewish children. An Industrial Commission Report of this period noted that “In the lower schools the Jewish children are the delight of their teachers for cleverness at their books, obedience and general good conduct” (Steinberg, 1974, p.9). By 1910 Jews began to outperform gentiles in the entrance tests for universities that were first constructed by the College Entrance Examination Board in 1899. Increasing numbers were gaining admission to the Ivy League colleges. This alarmed the gentile WASPs who were the presidents and most of the faculty and they devised ways to restrict the numbers of Jews that have been described by Farron (2005). To keep the numbers of Jews down, the Ivy League colleges introduced selection procedures using “character” tests and regional quotas. ColumbiaUniversity had a particularly large Jewish intake because it is situated in New York where there was a large Jewish population. In 1919 it introduced a new application form that asked about extracurricular activities, required essays and letters of recommendation, the purpose of which was to legitimise taking gentile applicants with lower examination marks than Jews. In 1922 Harvard tried a different strategy of limiting the intake of Jews to 15 per cent. The problem here was that Jews did not always admit to being Jewish and anglicised their names to conceal their ethnic identity. To overcome this problem, Harvard’s application form asked “What change, if any, has been made since birth in your name or than of your father”. The Ivy League colleges set geographical quotas to limit the number of Jews, who live mainly in New York, and increase the numbers of gentiles. These devices kept the number of Jewish students down to more or less acceptable limits, except in Columbia.

Some figures for the percentages of Jews in the Ivy League colleges are shown in Table 18.5. Rows 1 and 2 show that in 1908 and 1909 the percentages of Jews in all colleges and at Harvard were 7 and 6 per cent, respectively. Rows 3 through 7 show that by 1919 this had increased to 20 per cent of the students at Harvard and about the same figure at Yale, Brown and Pennsylvania, while at Columbia 40 per cent of the students were Jewish (Slezkine, 2004). Rows 8 and 9 show that that in 1920 90 per cent of the students in the two colleges in New York (City College and Hunter College) were Jewish. Rows 10, 11 and 12 show that in the 1950s Jews were slightly more over-represented that in 1919. For instance, Jews were 20 per cent of students at Harvard in 1919 and this had risen to 24 per cent in 1952. In 1957, Jews were 23 per cent of students at all the Ivy League universities, a little higher than in 1919 except for Columbia. The Ivy League universities were for men only at this time, but there were the “seven sister” elite colleges for women (Radcliffe, Smith, Bennington, etc) and in 1957 16 percent of the students at these were Jewish (Moynihan and Glazer, 1970). The numbers of Jews at these colleges was contained by assessing applicants by “character” tests for “manliness, uprightness, cleanliness and native refinement” and by regional quotas to combat what became known as “the Jewish invasion”. Harvard, Yale and Princeton also introduced selection procedures that favored applicants who were the children of alumni (Karabel, 1984).

Table 18.5 Percentages of Jews at Ivy League colleges and other universities
YearCollegePercent Jews
11908All colleges7
21909Harvard6
31919Harvard20
41919Yale13
51919Brown20
61919Pennsylvania25
71919Columbia40
81920NY CityCollege90
91920HunterCollege90
101952Harvard24
111957Ivy League23
121957Seven Sisters16
Anti-Semitism

The restriction on the numbers of Jews admitted to universities was one expression of the anti-Semitism that was widespread in the United States at this time. Anti-Semitism developed following the immigration of large numbers of Jews from Russia from 1881 onwards. Anti-Semitism was a significant factor in the 1924 Immigration Act which fixed quotas for the numbers of immigrants from different countries in order to restrict the entry of Jews from Eastern Europe. According to Daniel Moynihan (the senator) and Nathan Glazer, anti-Semitism persisted into the 1930s when “anti-Semitism was becoming a major issue in American life … Jews were excluded from social clubs, preparatory schools, better neighborhoods, the organized institutions of high society, and the occupations associated with high status”; after World War Two discrimination declined and “in New York City only social and golf clubs and high society remain rigorously closed to Jews” (Moynihan and Glazer, 1970, pp. 156, 160).

Although Jews were about 20 per cent of the students at Ivy League and other major universities in the 1920s and 1930s, Jews were only rarely appointed to the teaching faculty. It was not until 1946 that the first Jew was appointed to the faculty at Yale. With the decline of anti-Semitism after 1945, Jews began to be appointed and by 1970 they were 22 per cent of the faculty at Yale (Hollinger, 2002, p.149). By 1998 the presidents of Harvard, Yale and Princeton were all Jewish.

Education

In the second half of the twentieth century Jews had more education than white gentiles. Statistics showing thisfrom 1957 through 1990 are given in Table 18.6. In 1957 a survey by the Bureau of the Census of the years of education of different religious groups aged 25 and over found that Jews had an average of 12.3 years of education as compared with 10.7 for Protestant whites, 10.4 for Catholics, and 10.6 for the total white population (Chiswick, 1985). The greater education of Jews was found again in the censuses of 1980 and 1990, when higher percentages of Jews than of whites had completed high school and had been awarded High School Diplomas (Darity, Dietrich and Guilkey, 1997).

Table 18.6 Years of education and percentages of Jews and gentiles with High School Diplomas and College Degrees
GroupYears 1957HS Diploma 1980HS Diploma 1990
Jews12.39297
Whites10.67991

Jews also had a higher percentage than white gentiles with college degrees. Table 18.7 gives the percentages of those aged 25 and over who had obtained college degrees found in a census study of 1957 and in the 1990 census (Goldstein, 1971). We see that in both years Jews had more than twice the percentage with college degrees, as compared with all whites.

Table 18.7 Percentages of Jews and gentiles with College Degrees
Group19571990
Jews19.647
Whites9.421
Earnings and Wealth

Average annual earnings (in thousands of US dollars) for Jewish and white gentile men for 1957 through 1990 are given in Table 18.8. Column 1 gives the median annual earnings for 1957 of men aged 14-64 obtained in the 1957 Bureau of the Census study (Chiswick, 1985). Column 2 gives average annual earnings for 1970 of men aged 25-64 obtained in the 1980 census (Chiswick, 1985). The figure for Jews is for native born men of foreign parentage who reported Yiddish, Hebrew or Latino as their mother tongue defined as the language spoken in the home as a child. The figure for white gentiles is also for native born men of foreign parentage. The mean earnings of whites with native born parents was a little lower at $9,441.

Column 3 gives average annual earnings (thousands of US dollars) for native born men aged 25-54 given in the Bureau of the Census Public Use Microdata 1 per cent sample from the 1980 census. The figure of those who identified themselves as ethnic Russians are presented for Jews, because virtually all of these are Jewish. Column 4 gives median annual household earnings (thousands of US dollars) for 1990 found in the National Survey of Religious Identification (Kosmin and Lachman, 1993, p. 260). The figures for the gentiles are for whites for the major religious denominations. Inclusion of blacks would lower these by one or two thousand dollars. In all four years Jews had higher average earnings than white gentiles and the magnitude of this advantage remained about the same at approximately 130 per cent of the average earnings of white gentiles.

Table 18.8 Incomes ($ 1000) of Jewish and white gentile men
Group1957197019801990
Jews4,90016,17632,40036,700
Gentile whites3,60810,43123,40028,080

By the 1990s Jews were hugely over-represented among the very wealthly. Silbiger (2000) has reported that Jews comprised more than a quarter of the people on the Forbes Magazine list of the richest four hundred Americans, 45% of the top 40 richest Americans, and one-third of all American multimillionaires. Among the very wealthy Jews are the hedge-fund manager Michael Steinhardt, Charles and Edgar Bronfman (co-chairs of the Seagram Company), bingo parlor magnate Irving Moskowitz, the financier George Soros, the film maker Steven Spielberg, Leslie Wexner (owner of the Limited and Victoria’s Secret), Laurence Tisch (chairman of the Loews Corporation), Charles Schusterman (owner of an oil-and-gas business in Tulsa), and Mort Mandel of Cleveland (former distributor of electronics parts).

Socio-economic Status

The socio-economic status of Jewish and white gentiles calculated from census data from 1880 to 1990 has been provided by Darity, Dietrich and Guilkey (1997). Socio-economic status was calculated by the Duncan socio-economic index which gives a score to each occupation (e.g. physicians 100, laborers 1, etc.). These scores were then averaged to give a mean for Jews and for the English and Scots-Irish as white gentile comparison groups. The results are given in Table 18.9. It will be seen that in 1880 the Jews scored higher than the English and the Scots-Irish. At this time the Jews were predominantly German Ashkenazim who were established in the United States. In 1900 and again in 1910 the Jews scored a little lower than English and the Scots-Irish. This reflects the large influx of impoverished Jewish immigrants from Russia between 1881-1914, many of whom worked in low socio-economic status occupations such as the garment industry. By 1980 and 1990 the Jews had established themselves in the United States and were well ahead of the English and the Scots-Irish.

Table 18.9 Socio-economic status of Jewish and white gentiles, 1880-1990
Group18801900191019801990
Jews27.4126.9329.1059.6560.97
English24.3828.1430.3945.1747.61
Scots-Irish22.5727.6231.6446.0946.73

Kosmin and Lachman (1993) give the numbers and percentages of Jews who were upper class found by the American Institute of Public Opinion in a survey carried out in 1945, who were Senators in the US Senate of 1989-1991, and who were Judges of Supreme Court from 1990-1990. They comment that there is “a marked over-representation (given their numbers in the population) of Jews” (p.253). Their results are given in Table 18.10. The percentage of Jews in the United States was approximately 3 per cent for the twentieth century and 2.2 per cent for 1990. Adopting these figures gives Jewish Achievement Quotients of 7.3, 3.6 and 3.0 for the three groups.

Table 18.10 Percentages of Jews in high status groups
GroupYear% JewsAQ
Upper Class1945227.3
US Senate1989-9183.6
Judges1900-9093.0

The occupational distribution of Jewish as compared with the general populaton for the years 1954 through 2000 is shown for men in Table 18.11. The figures for 1945 are derived from an Office of Public Opinion Reaerach survey of 12,000 respondents and show that the percentages of Jews in professional and managerial occupations were higher than those in the general population, while the percentage in service occupations were lower (Information Service, 1948). The figures for 1957, 1990 and 2000 compare Jews with white 25-64 year olds and age given in given by Goldstein (1971) and Chiswick (1985, 2005). The data are taken from the Bureau of the Census surveys. The most salient feature of the results is the over-representation of Jews in the professions in all these years, and the increase of this over-representation from 1945 t0 1957, from 1957 to 1990, and again from 1990 to 2000. In 1945, 14.4 per cent of Jewish men were in professional occupations compared with 10.5 per cent of the general population. By 1957, 20.3 per cent of Jewish men were in professional occupations compared with 9.9 per cent of whites (the definition of profession occupations may have changed in the this year comapared with that in the 1945 survey). In 1970, 27 per cent of Jewish men were in professional occupations compared with 15.0 per cent of whites. In 1990 42.3 per cent of Jewish men were in professional occupations compared with 19.0 per cent of whites. In 2000, the percentage of Jewish in professional occupations had increased to 53.0 per cent, while the percentage of whites had barely increased at all (from 19.0 to 19.7 percent). Jews were also over-represented in managerial positions in 1957, 1970 and 1990, but not in 2000. Evidently Jews who in the earlier years were managers became professionals in the later years. Further, Jews were continuing to improve their socio-economic position in the last decade of the twentieth century. Jews are also conspicuously under-representationin the last four blue-collar occupations in the table (farm laborers, construction, transportation and production; farm owner and managers are classified as managerial)

Table 18.11 Occupations of Jewish and white men in 1945 through and 2000 (percentages)
1945195719902000
OccupationJewsPopulationJewsWhitesJewsWhitesJewsWhites
Professional14.410.520.39.942.319.053.019.7
Managerial21.78.535.113.316.513.114.815.1
Sales--14.15.418.311.418.510.4
Clerical--8.06.97.97.13.16.0
Service4.311.22.36.15.48.83.89.1
Farm laborers--0.12.50.01.30.20.9
Construction----4.816.62.818.7
Transportation----1.713.32.19.0
Production----2.89.31.711.0

The occupational distribution of Jewish women given by Goldstein (1971) and Chiswick, 1985, 2005) for the years 1957 to 2000 is shown Table 18.12. In all the years Jewish women were over-represented in the professions and management, and this over-representation increased over the period. In 1957 15.5 per cent of Jewish women were in professional occupations compared with 12.2 per cent of whites. In 1990 41.8 per cent of Jewish women were in professional occupations compared with 23.4 per cent of whites. In 2000, the percentage of Jewish women in professional occupations had increased to 51.4 per cent, while the percentage of whites had only increased from 23.7 to 28.5 per cent. Thus, Jewish women like Jewish men were continuing to improve their socio-economic position up to the last decade of the twentieth century. Jewish women like Jewish men are also conspicuously under-representation in the last four blue-collar occupations in the table (farming, construction, transportation and production).

Table 18.12 Occupations of Jewish and white women in 1957 through 2000 (percentages)
195719902000
OccupationJewsWhitesJewsWhitesJewsWhites
Professional15.512.241.823.751.428.5
Managerial8.95.514.010.215.911.0
Sales14.46.99.812.112.911.1
Clerical43.930.324.715.412.125.1
Service5.122.75.98.84.715.4
Farm laborers0.03.00.00.40.00.3
Construction--1.92.31.70.8
Transportation--0.82.10.62.3
Production--1.06.60.35.8

A breakdown of the professions in which Jews are over-represented has also been presented by Chiswick (2005). His figures for men are given in Table 18.13. We see here that Jews are between 2.1 and 5.3 three times over-represented in the major professions of medicine (including dentistry), law, and the universities. They are only about twice over-represented in the minor professions aggregated as “Other”. Table 18.14 gives the same breakdown for women and shows similar differences except that Jewish women were slightly under-represented among university faculty in 2000.

Table 18.13 Professional occupations of Jewish and white men in 1990 and 2000 (percentages)
19902000
ProfessionJewsWhitesAQJewsWhitesAQ
Medicine3.41.03.44.80.95.3
Law2.91.12.65.31.14.8
University3.70.84.61.90.92.1
Other32.416.12.041.016.82.4
Table 18.14 Professional occupations of Jewish and white women in 1990 and 2000 (percentages)
19902000
ProfessionJewsWhitesAQJewsWhitesAQ
Medicine0.40.22.02.10.45.2
Law2.30.63.83.30.56.6
University2.30.63.80.80.90.8
Other36.822.41.645.126.71.7
Eminence

The first study of the proportion of Jews to achieve eminence in the United States was made by Weyl (1966). He used seven reference books as sources of eminence (e.g. Who’s Who in America, American Men and Women of Science, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, etc), and he counted the numbers in these with identifiable ethnic and racial names. For instance, Cole and Spence are the commonest English names, Schmid and Wagner are the commonest German names, while Cohen and Rosenberg are the commonest Jewish names. Next, he expressed the frequency of ethnic and racial names in the reference books as a ratio of their frequency in the general population taken from Social Security rolls. The ratios for Jews and white gentiles were finally multiplied by 100 to give an “occupational performance coefficient”. Thus, a performance coefficient of 100 is the average for the total population and also the average for white gentiles who formed the great majority of the population at this time. He found that Jews had a performance coefficient of 448 (i.e. Jews were over-represented by a factor of 4.48).

A similar study of was made by Lieberson and Carter (1979) for the years 1924-5, 1944-5 and 1974-5, and McDermot (2002) has updated their analysis for the years 1994-5. They took Who’s Who in America as their source for eminence and followed Weyl in categorizing those listed into ethnic groups on the basis of their names. Thus, the names Bell, Bennet, etc. were classified as English; Amato, Basso, etc. as Italian; Carlson, Dahl, etc, as Scandinavian; and Abraham, Abrams, etc. as Jewish. The frequencies of the names in the general population were taken from Social Security records. The rates of inclusion of the names in Who’s Who in Americawere then calculated as rates per 10,000 of the names in the general population. The results for Jews and for the total population are shown in Table 18.15. We see that in 1924-5 the Jewish index of 1.59 was significantly lower than the 2.27 for the total population. In 1944-5 the Jewish index of 1.79 was still significantly lower than the 2.48 for the total population. However, by 1974-5 their index was more than twice as high (8.39) as the 3.42 for the total population, and by 1994-5 it was more than four times (16.62) higher than that of the total population. The increasingly high Jewish indices reflect the two or three generations it took for impoverished immigrants from Eastern Europe in the period 1880-1924 to establish themselves in the United States and get the college education that is generally required to achieve the degree of eminence for inclusion in Who’s Who in America.

Table 18.15 Rates of inclusion in Who’s Who in America(per 10,000 population)
Group1924-51944-51974-51994-5
Jewish1.591.978.3916.62
Total2.272.483.423.55

In a further study of Jews and eminence, Murray (2003, p. 280) has calculated the numbers of Jewish and gentile “significant figures” (i.e. great names in science and the arts) in the United States who had most of their careers between 1870 and 1950. He finds 48 Jews and 261 gentiles. Calculating the ratio of Jewish to gentile “significant figures”, he arrives at an Achievement Quotient (Jewish over-representation) of 5.1. This is about the same as the Jewish Achievement Quotients in the professions shown in Tables 18.13 and 18.14.

Jews have also become highly over-represented among the business elite. In 1982 Forbes magazine reported a survey that listed the forty richest individuals in the United States. 40 per cent of these were Jews.

However, Jews are not equally over-represented in all occupations. Weyl (1966) has analysed Jewish Achievement Quotients for a number of occupations for about the year 1960. His results are shown in Table 18.16. It will be seen that Jews have high Achievement Quotients ranging between 3.3 and 5.8 for psychiatrists, dentists, mathematicians, doctors, writers and lawyers. Achievement Quotients are substantially lower ranging between 0.5 and 1.7 for architects, engineers, artists and the military (officers). The most likely explanation for these differences is that the professions for which Jews have higher Achievement Quotients require strong verbal and mathematical abilities, which Jews possess, while the professions for which Jews have lower Achievement Quotients require strong visualization and spatial abilities (architecture, engineering, painting) with which Jews are less well endowed (see Table 18.3). The lowest Jewish lower Achievement Quotients is for the military among whom Jews are under-represented. Possibly the explanation for this may be that Jews sense (rightly or wrongly) that there could be an element of anti-Semitism in the Military and that this would hinder their advancement.

Table 18.16 Jewish Achievement Quotients for different professions, 1960
OccupationAQOccupationAQ
Psychiatrists5.8Lawyers3.3
Dentists4.0Architects1.7
Mathematicians3.8Engineers1.1
Doctors3.7Artists1.4
Writers3.4Military0.5
The Academic Elite

In 1969 a survey was carried out of the numbers of Jews among 60,000 American academics. Zuckerman (1977) analysed the results and calculated that Jews were approximately three times over-represented among university faculty, and seven times over-represented among university faculty in elite colleges. His figures for the percentages of Jews in the faculties of the seventeen most prestigious universities are shown in Table 18.17. Achievement Quotients are calculated on the basis of Jews being 2.7 per cent of the population at this time. We see that Jews were massively over-represented in all areas.

Table 18.17 Jews in elite university faculties in 1969 (percentages)
Faculty% JewsAQ
Law3613.3
Sociology3412.6
Economics2810.4
Physics269.6
Political Science248.9
History228.1
Philosophy207.4
Mathematics207.4

A similar study of top American intellectuals in 1970 has been published by Kadushin (1974). The results are summarized in Table 18.18. Row 1 shows that Jews were 50 per cent of top American intellectuals identified as those who published in the top twenty intellectual journals. Rows 2 and 3 show that Jews were 56 per cent of top social scientists, and 61 per cent of those in the humanities.

Table 18.18 Jews in the academic elite in 1970
GroupPercent JewsAQ
Intellectuals5018.5
Social scientists5620.7
Humanities6122.6
Nobel Prize-winners

It will probably come as no surprise to learn that Jews are over-represented among American Nobel Prize-winners. A list of all United States Nobel prize-winners is given in Table 18.19, with those who are Jewish denoted by asterisks. The prize-winners listed are those born in United States, and therefore excludes a number of those, like Einstein, who emigrated and made their home in United States. Of the total of 189 Nobel prize-winners, 59 have been or are Jewish (31 per cent). Jews were about 3 per cent of the population during the twentieth century, so giving them an Achievement Quotient of 10.3. Jews were much less prominent in the first half of the twentieth century, when they were only two out of 19 prize-winners (10.5 per cent) than in the second half and up to 2004, when they were 57 out of the 170 prize-winners (33.5 per cent). Thus, in the second half of the twentieth century Jews who have been about 2.2 per cent of the population have produced 33.5 per cent of Nobel prize-winners, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 15.

The greater representation of Jews among Nobel Prize-winners in the second half of the twentieth century is consistent with other results such as the increasing over-representation of Jews in the higher socio-economic status occupations (see Table 18.9). This trend is not surprising, since most of the Jews arrived penniless during the years 1881-1924 and made a living in skilled manual work like tailoring. It took a generation for them to learn English and establish themselves to the extent that they could give their children the education necessary to do the work meriting a Nobel Prize. These prizes are normally awarded to those in later middle age for work done a number of years previously and that has become accepted as being important. Thus, an immigrant arriving in, say, 1890, might have a child born in 1900 who would get to a good university in 1918. He (or more rarely she) might do brilliant work in the 1930s and 1940s, and this might be recognised by the award of a Nobel Prize in the 1950s and 1960s. Thus, the much greater number and percentage of Jewish Nobel prize-winners in the second half of the twentieth century than in the first half of the century is not unexpected.

Table 18.19 Nobel Prizewinners (Jews are asterisked)
YearNameSubjectYearNameSubject
1914Theodore RichardsChemistry1983William A. FowlerPhysics
1930Sinclair LewisLiterature1984Bruce MerrifieldChemistry
1932Irving LangmuirChemistry1985Herbert Hauptman*Chemistry
1936Carl D. AndersonPhysics1985Jerome Karle*Chemistry
1937Clinton DavissonPhysics1985Michael S. Brown*Medicine
1938Pearl BuckLiterature1985Joseph Goldstein*Medicine
1939Ernest LawrencePhysics1986Dudley HerschbachChemistry
1943Edward A. DoisyMedicine1986James BuchananEconomics
1944Joseph Erlanger*Medicine1986Stanley Cohen*Medicine
1944Herbert S. GasserMedicine1987Donald J. CramChemistry
1946John H. NorthropChemistry1987Robert M. Solow*Economics
1946Wendell M. StanleyChemistry1987Gertrude B. Elion*Medicine
1946James B. SumnerChemistry1988George HutchingsMedicine
1946Hermann Muller*Medicine1988Leon Lederman*Physics
1946Percy BridgmanPhysics1988Melvin Schwartz*Physics
1949William F. GiauqueChemistry1989Thomas R. CechChemistry
1949William FaulknerLiterature1989J. Michael BishopMedicine
1950Philip S. HenchMedicine1989Harold Varnus*Medicine
1950Edward C. KendallMedicine1989Norman RamseyPhysics
1951Edwin McMillanChemistry1990Elias CoreyChemistry
1951Glenn T. SeaborgChemistry1990Harry Markowitz*Economics
1952E. M. PurcellPhysics1990Merton H. Miller*Economics
1954Linus PaulingChemistry1990William F. SharpeEconomics
1954Ernest HemingwayLiterature1990Joseph E. MurrayMedicine
1954John F. EndersMedicine1990E. Donnall ThomasMedicine
1954Frederick C. RobbinsMedicine1990Jerome Friedman*Physics
1954Thomas H. WellerMedicine1990Harry KendallPhysics
1955Vincent du VigneaudChemistry1992Gary S. Becker*Economics
1955Willis E. LambPhysics1992Edwin G. KrebsMedicine
1956Dickinson W. RichardsMedicine1993Kary B. MullisChemistry
1956John BardeenPhysics1993Robert W. FogelEconomics
1956Walter H. BrattainPhysics1993Douglass C. NorthEconomics
1958George BeadleMedicine1993Toni MorrisonLiterature
1958Joshua Lederberg*Medicine1993Phillip A. SharpMedicine
1958Edward TatumMedicine1993Russell A. HulsePhysics
1959Arthur Kornberg*Medicine1993Joseph H. Taylor Physics
1959Owen ChamberlainPhysics1994John F. Nash Economics
1960Willard F. LibbyChemistry1994Alfred G. Gilman*Medicine
1960Donald A. Glaser*Physics1994Martin Rodbell*Medicine
1961Melvin Calvin*Chemistry1994Clifford SchullPhysics
1961Robert Hofstadter*Physics1995F. RowlandChemistry
1962John SteinbeckLiterature1995Robert E. Lucas Economics
1962James WatsonMedicine1995Edward B. LewisMedicine
1964Charles H. TownesPhysics1995Martin L. Perl*Physics
1965Robert B. WoodwardChemistry1995Frederick Reines*Physics
1965Richard P. Feynman*Physics1995Eric F. WieschausMedicine
1965Julian Schwinger *Physics1996Robert CurlChemistry
1966Robert S. MullikenMedicine1996Richard E. SmalleyChemistry
1966Charles B. HugginsChemistry1996David M. Lee*Physics
1966Peyton RousMedicine1996Douglas D. OsheroffPhysics
1967Haldan K. HartlineMedicine1996Robert RichardsonPhysics
1968Robert W. HolleyMedicine1997Paul D. BoyerChemistry
1968Marshall Nirenberg*Medicine1997Robert C. MertonEconomics
1968Luis AlvarezPhysics1997Stanley B. Prusiner*Medicine
1969Alfred D. HersheyMedicine1997Steven ChuPhysics
1969Murray Gell-Mann*Physics1997William D. PhillipsPhysics
1970Paul Samuelson*Economics1998Robert F. Furchgott*Medicine
1970Julius Axelrod*Medicine1998Louis J. IgnarroMedicine
1971Earl SutherlandMedicine1998Ferid MuradMedicine
1972Christian Anfinsen*Chemistry1998Robert B. LaughlinPhysics
1972Stanford MooreChemistry2000Alan Heeger*Chemistry
1972William H. Stein*Chemistry2000James J. HeckmanEconomics
1972Kenneth ArrowEconomics2000Daniel L. McFaddenEconomics
1972Gerald Edelman*Medicine2000Paul Greengard*Medicine
1972John BardeenPhysics2000Herbert KroemerPhysics
1972Leon N. Cooper*Physics2001William S. KnowlesChemistry
1972Robert SchriefferPhysics2001K. Barry SharplessChemistry
1975David Baltimore*Medicine2001George A. AkerlofEconomics
1975Howard M. Temin*Medicine2001A. Michael SpenceEconomics
1975James RainwaterPhysics2001Joseph E. Stiglitz*Economics
1976William LipscombChemistry2001Leland H. HartwellMedicine
1976Milton Friedman*Economics2001Eric A. CornellPhysics
1976Baruch S. Blumberg*Medicine2001Carl E. WiemanPhysics
1976D. Carleton GajdusekMedicine2002John B. FennChemistry
1976Burton Richter*Physics2002Vernon L. SmithEconomics
1977Rosalyn Yalow*Medicine2002H. Robert Horvitz*Medicine
1977John H. van VleckPhysics2002Raymond Davis Physics
1978Herbert Simon*Economics2003Peter AgreChemistry
1978Daniel Nathans*Medicine2003R.MacKinnonChemistry
1978Robert WilsonPhysics2003Robert F. Engle Economics
1979Theodore SchultzEconomics2003Paul C. LauterburMedicine
1979Sheldon Glashow*Physics2004Irwin Rose*Chemistry
1979Steven Weinberg*Physics2004Edward C. PrescottEconomics
1980Paul Berg*Chemistry2004Richard Axel*Medicine
1980Walter Gilbert*Chemistry2004David J. Gross*Physics
1980Lawrence Klein*Economics2004H. David Politzer*Physics
1980George D. SnellMedicine2004Frank WilczekPhysics
1980James CroninPhysics2004Linda B. BuckMedicine
1980Val FitchPhysics2005Robert GrubbsChemistry
1981James TobinEconomics2005Thomas SchellingChemistry
1981Roger W. SperryMedicine2005Roy Glauber*Physics
1981Arthur SchawlowPhysics2005John HallPhysics
1982George J. StiglerEconomics2006Roger Kornberg*Chemistry
1982Kenneth G. WilsonPhysics2006Edmund PhelpsEconomics
1983Barbara McClintockMedicine
Mathematicians

The William Lowell Putnam Competition is an annual event sponsored by the American Mathematical Society and is the most prestigious mathematical competition for undergraduates in the United States. Each year there are about 3,000 contestants.
During the years 1994 through 2002 there were 242 participants who received a prize or an honorable mention, of whom 51 (21 per cent) were Jewish. During these years Jews were approximately 2.1 per cent of the population, so they were 10 times over-represented among these gifted young mathematicians.

The United States has produced 14 of the world class mathematicians who have received the Fields Medal or the Wolf Prize. These are listed in Table 18.20. Of the eleven Fields Medalists, five have been Jews, while of the three Wolf Prize-winners, one has been Jewish. Combining the two awards, Jews who have been about 2.2 per cent of the population during the second half of the twentieth century have produced 43 per cent of top mathematicians, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 19.5. This is a little higher than the Jewish Achievement Quotient of 15 for Nobel prize-winners.

Table 18.20 United States Mathematicians (Jews are asterisked)
YearFields MedalYearFields Medal
1936Jesse Douglas* Wolf Prize
1962John Milnor1982Hassler Whitney
1966Paul Cohen*1996Joseph Keller*
1966Stephen Smale2002John Tate
1970John Thompson2007Stephen Smale
1978Charles Fefferman*2008Philip Griffiths
1978Daniel Quillen2008David Mumford
1982William Thurston
1986Michael Freedman*
1990Edward Witten*
1998Curtis McMullen
Chess

One of the fields in which Jews have excelled in a number of counties is chess. Although the United States has not produced many top-rated chess players, Jews have been prominent among them. In Rubinstein’s (2004) list of the 141 top-rated chess grandmasters for each decade spanning the years 1851 to 2000 only 5 have been American. Their names and dates are given by Table 18.21. In the first period 1851 to 1910 the United States produced two top-rated grandmasters and both were gentiles. It would not be expected that Jews would have made much of a showing in these years, because most Jews were recent immigrants and were too busy making a living to master serious chess. There were no top-rated American grandmasters between 1910 and 1930. The next top-rated American grandmaster (Kashdan) appeared in the l930s, followed by Fine in the 1940s, and Fischer in 1970s. All three were Jewish. Thus, Jews who were 3.55 per cent of the population in 1927, produced 60 per cent of the top-rated chess players over the period 1851-2000, giving them an Achievement Quotient of 16.9.

Table 18.21 Chess grandmasters (Jews are asterisked)
YearsNameYearsName
1851-1910Morphy1930-2000Kashdan*
Pillsbury Fine*
Fischer*
Bridge

In contrast to chess, the United States has produced many top-rated bridge players. In 2004, 55 of the 156 top-rated bridge players among the Open World Champions have been American. The names of these are given in Table 18.21. Eighteen of the 55 are Jews (33 per cent) (a further 10 shown in italics may be Jews but it has not proved possible to verify this). Thus, Jews who were about 2 per cent of the population at the beginning of the twenty-first century have produced 33 per cent of top bridge players,giving them an Achievement Quotient of 16.

Table 18.21 United States Open World Bridge Champions in 2004 (Jews are denoted by asterisks)
Bob HammanEddie Kantar*Ed Manfield*
Bobby Wolff*Bob Lipsitz*Lew Mathe
Billy Eisenberg*Nick NickellRose Meltzer
Chip Martel*Steve RobinsonDon Oakie
Jeff MeckstrothAlan Sontag*Steve Parker
Eric Rodwell*Peter Weichsel*Mike Passell
Lew StansbyRuss ArnoldEric Paulsen
Paul Soloway*Roger BatesPeter Pender*
John CrawfordMike BeckerBud Reinhold
Bobby Goldman*Clifford BishopWilliam Rosen
Jim JacobyPeter BoydMichael Rosenberg*
Mike LawrenceMalcolm BrachmanIra Rubin*
George RapeeMilton EllenbyRonnie Rubin*
Hugh RossCharles GorenSidney Silodor
Howard Schenken*Fred HamiltonJohn Solodar
Samuel StaymanGaylor KasleDouglas Steen
B J BeckerKyle LarsenJohn Swanson
Seymon DeutschBobby Levin*
Dick Freeman*Theodore Lightner
Jews in Music

From the 1920s Jews have dominated American music in the three areas of popular songs, musicals and classical. Thus, “in the golden age of “Tin Pan Alley” popular song-writing from about 1920 to 1960 about half the leading songwriters were Jews, for example George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Richard Rogers, and Irving Berlin. The other half of the leading songwriters were gentiles, e.g. Cole Porter, Harry Warren, Vincent Youmans, Duke Ellington” (Rubinstein, 2004, p.41). Perhaps the greatest of these was Irving Berlin, who was born in Russia as Israel Baline and was brought to the United States at the age of five and later expressed his gratitude for this by writing the song “God Bless America”.

As regards musicals, “the Hollywood musical was almost entirely a product of Jews” (Rubinstein, 2004, p.41). Perhaps the most famous and enduring are Show Boat written by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, and George Gershwin’s An American in Paris and Porgy and Bess.

In classical music Jews have produced Aaron Copland and a number of the greatest virtuosi, including the pianists Artur Schnabel, Vladimir Horowitz and Artur Rubinstein, and the violinists Jascha Heifetz, Nathan Milstein, Isaac Stern and Yehudi Menuhin.

A quantification of the numbers of Jews in music in the early decades of the twentieth century was undertaken by Sward (1933) and his results are summarized in Table 18.22. Row 1 gives number of players in the twelve leading American classical symphony orchestras in the years 1922-1932 and shows that 26 per cent were Jews. Row 2 gives the number of conductors in the twelve leading American symphony orchestras in 1932 and shows that 26 per cent of these were Jews. Row 3 gives the number of violin, piano and cello virtuosi in the twelve leading American symphony orchestras in 1932 and shows that 37 per cent were Jews. Row 4 gives the number of composer-artists who appeared in the four leading American symphony orchestras (Boston, New York, Philharmonic and Philadelphia) in 1922-1932 and shows that 24 per cent were Jews. Row 5 gives the number of players in 23 “amusement orchestras” in 1922-1932 and shows that 36 per cent were Jews. The achievement quotients are calculated on the basis of Jews being 3.6 per cent the population in 1927 (Sward, 1933) and give Jews an average achievement quotient of 9.4. Sward (1933) also carried out a study to determine whether Jews have a particularly strong musical ability but he found no difference between Jewish and gentile 11 year olds matched for IQ on the Seashore and other tests of simple musical ability.

Table 18.22 Jewish musicians, 1922-32
SpecialismNPercent JewsAQ
1Players1048267.2
2Conductors374612.8
3Virtuosi1453710.0
4Composers42246.7
5Amusement5863610.0

Jews have been also been prominent in Hollywood among both producers and stars: “any list of the most influential production executives at each of the major movie studios will produce a heavy majority of recognizably Jewish names” (Medved, 1999). Some of the Jewish stars have retained their Jewish names, including Barbra Streisland, Deanna Durbin, Victor Borge, and the Marx brothers. But most have adopted English sounding names. These include Woody Allen (Konigsberg), Douglas Fairbanks (Ullman), Danny Kaye (Kaminsky), Binnie Barnes (Gittel), Tony Curtis (Schwartz), Lili Palmer (Peiser), Melvyn Douglas (Hesselberg), John Garfield (Garfinkle), Hedy Lamarr (Keisler), Judy Holiday (Tuvim), Paul Muni (Weisenfreund), Edward Robinson (Goldenberg), Sylvia Sidney (Koskow), Jack Benny (Kubelsky), Benny Baker (Zifkin), Judy Garland (Gumm), Mary Livingston (Marks), George Burns (Birnbaum), Edward Bromberg (Bromberger), and Sue Carol (Lederer)

The Media

Jews have also been prominent among the owners and senior employees of American TV, radio and newspapers. Most of the television news and entertainment is broadcast by three companies: American Broadcasting Companies (ABC), Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), and National Broadcasting Company (NBC). CBS was run for more than half a century by William Paley, whose parents were immigrant Jews from Russia. In 1928 Paley bought United Independent Broadcasters and renamed it Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). He took the position of president, became chairman of the board in 1946 and held that post until his partial retirement in 1983. In 1986 Laurence Tisch became the chairman and CEO of CBS. NBC was formerly a subsidiary of Radio Corporation of America (RCA), which from 1930 to 1970 was controlled by David Sarnoff of Russian Jewish origin. Following his death in 1970 his son Robert took over the Corporation. In 1986 General Electric Co. merged with RCA, and now NBC is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Electric. Steve Friedman became executive producer of NBC Nightly News in 1990 and was succeeded in 1993 by Jeff Zuker.

The May 1990 the American Film magazine listed the top 10 US entertainment companies (in terms of gross revenues in 1989) and their CEOs and ranked them by size. These were Time Warner Communications (Steven J. Ross), Walt Disney Co. (Michael D. Eisner), NBC (Robert C. Wright), Paramount Communications (Martin S. Davis), CBS (Laurence A. Tisch), 20th Century Fox (Barry Diller), Columbia Pictures Entertainment (Victor A. Kaufman), Viacom (Sumner Redstone), Capital Cities/ABC (Thomas Murphy), and MCA Inc. (Lew Wasserman). The CEOs of eight of these top 10 entertainment companies — Ross, Eisner, Davis, Tisch, Diller, Kaufman, Redstone, and Wasserman — were Jewish.

The newspapers have also become largely owned by Jews. The three most prestigious and influential newspapers are the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. All three are owned and largely staffed by Jews. The New York Times was founded in 1851 by two gentiles, Henry J. Raymond and George Jones. After their deaths, it was purchased in 1896 by a wealthy Jewish publisher, Adolph Ochs. It remained in the family and his great-grandson, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr., became the publisher and CEO. The Sulzberger family has also owned 33 other newspapers, including the Boston Globe, purchased in June 1993; twelve magazines, including McCall’s and Family Circle with circulations of more than 5 million each; seven radio and TV broadcasting stations; a cable-TV system; and three book publishing companies.

The Washington Post was established in 1877 by Stilson Hutchins, purchased in 1905 by John R. McLean, and later inherited by Edward B. McLean. These were all gentiles. In 1933 the newspaper was forced into bankruptcy. It was purchased by Eugene Meyer, a Jewish financier, and was successively run by his daughter, Katherine Meyer Graham, and grandson, Donald. The Washington Post Co. has a number of other media holdings in newspapers, television, and magazines.

The Wall Street Journal is America’s largest-circulation daily newspaper with sales of approximately 2.1 million copies. It is owned by Dow Jones & Co., which also publishes 24 other daily newspapers and the weekly financial tabloid Barron’s, which islargely Jewish owned. The three largest circulation news magazines – Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report – are largely owned and run by Jews. Time is published by a subsidiary of Time Warner Communications, the media conglomerate formed by the 1989 merger of Time Inc. with Warner Communications. Newsweek is published by the Washington Post Co.,. U.S. News & World Report is owned, edited and published by Mortimer Zuckerman, who also owns the Atlantic Monthly and New York’s tabloid newspaper, the Daily News. Furthermore “the most widely-read American journals like Commentary, The Public Interest, The New York Review of Books, New Republic and Partisan Review are either explicitly Jewish or contain a disproportionately Jewish input (Rubinstein, 1982, p.64).

A quantification of the proportion of Jews among the media elites is given in Table 18.23. Row 1 gives a figure of 26 per cent for the proportion of Jews among the media elite in 1975 (Rubinstein, 1982, p.61). Row 2, 3 and 4 give the results of a study published by Forbes magazine in 1982 that estimated that Jews were 30 per cent of media elite defined as those working on the news divisions of the three television networks and PBS (public broadcasting), the three leading news magazines (Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report), and the four top newspapers. Rows 3 and 4 that show that Jews were 46 per cent of the directors and producers of Hollywood TV films and 66 per cent of the directors and producers Hollywood movies. Row 5 gives the results of a Vanity Fair article of 1994 that published profiles of the 23 most influential media people described as “the new establishment”, and consisting of “men and women from the entertainment, communications, and computer industries”. Eleven of these (48 per cent) were Jews.

Table 18.23 Media Elites
YearGroupPercent JewsAQ
11975Media elite2610.0
21980Media elite3013.6
31980Hollywood movies6630.0
41980Hollywood TV4620.9
51994New establishment4821.8
Sport

Although it appears that Jews are good at pretty well everything, there is a common stereotype that this does not include sport. Henry Ford is said to have observed that “Jews are not sportsmen… whether this is due to their physical lethargy, their dislike of unnecessary physical action or their serious cast of mind, others may decide… it may be a defect of character; it is nevertheless a fact which discriminating Jews unhesitatingly acknowledge” (Hoberman, 1991, p.39). This verdict was not, however, entirely correct. On the contrary, in the first half of the twentieth century Jews excelled at basketball and boxing: “Jewish players dominated the American Basketball League in numbers and accomplishments; almost half the league (45 of 91 players) was Jewish in the 1937-38 season; even a decade later in the 1945-46 season almost 45 per cent (71 of 159) of the players were Jewish” (Klein, 1999, p.216).

Jews were also prominent in boxing: “between 1910 and 1939, the presence of Jewish fighters grew until they became the dominant force; in 1933, Jews held four of the eight division titles” (Klein, 1999, p.216). In the 1930s there were 60 world boxing champions and 15.9 per cent of them were Jewish (Riess, 1998). After World War Two, the Jewish presence in basketball and boxing declined to insignificance. The most likely explanation for the success of Jews in these sports in the first half of the twentieth century is that these did not require years of investment in education. After World War Two most Jewish families had succeeded to the extent that they could give their children the education needed to enter the professions and management and these were more attractive career options. By this time “Jews are not a major sporting success story because they don’t need to be” (Klein, 1999, p.221).

Fertility and Infant Mortality

Jews in the United States as elsewhere have had low fertility in the twentieth century. Table 18.23 give statistics for this expressed as children ever born per 1,000 women aged 44 and over from a Bureau of the Census survey of 1957 reported by Chiswick (1988a). It will be seen for all comparisons Jewish women had substantially fewer children than all women. Chiswick (1988a, p. 587) notes that as early as the 1930s “a survey of contraceptive practices indicated that a higher proportion of Jews used contraceptives, planned their pregnancies, used more efficient methods of birth control, and began to use contraception earlier in their marriages than Protestants and Catholics”. The table also gives almost identical birth rates for 1989 obtained in a survey carried out by the Bureau of the Census (Goldstein, 1993). The comparison group for 1989 is for whites, while that for 1957 is for the total population.

Table 18.23 Children ever born per 1,000 women aged 44+
YearGroupN. Children YearGroupN.Children
1957Jews2.2 1989Jews2.2
1957All2.8 1989Whites2.7

Infant mortality was lower among Jews in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Studies showing this have been summarized by Condran and Kramarow and are shown in Table 18.24, where it will be seen that the infant mortality of white gentiles was approximately 100 per cent higher than that of Jews.

Table 18.24 Infant mortality per 1,000 live births
YearsJewsGentiles% Difference
1885-8981167106
1911-1554108100
Crime

It is well known that crime is associated with low intelligence, so we would expect that Jew swould have low rates of crime. We noted some evidence for this in the chapter on Germany. Low Jewish crime rates of have also been found in the United States. Statistics for the percentages of criminals in the population and in reformatories and jails in three locations have been given by von Hentig (1948, pp. 337-8) and by Goldscheider and Simpson (1967), and are shown in Table 18.25. von Hentig gave data for three locations in all of which Jews wereconsiderably under-represented among criminals as compared with their representation in the population. Rows 1a and 1b give the percentages of Jews, Protestants, Catholics and Others in the population and the percentages in reformatories. This shows that Jews were 6.7 per cent of the popukation but only 3.9 per cent in reformatories. The other three groups have about the same percentages in the population and in jails. There is a somewhat greater under-representation of Jews among adult criminals in the other two locations shown in rows 2a and 2b, and in rows 3a and 3b. The disparities in the “Others” is because this category included “None” and many more criminals claim to belong to religious denominations because “for being a regular church attendant convicts have been recommended by their chaplains for an act of clemency” and many prisoners make an “effort to get the good will of the chaplain” (von Hentig, 1948, pp. 335, 342).

Goldscheider and Simpson (1967) have confirmed the under-representation of Jews among juvenile delinquents in Los Angeles in 1960. Their results aregiven in rows 4a and 4b, showing that Jews were 6.6 per cent of the population but only 2.7 per cent of juvenile delinquents.

Table 18.25 Percentages of Jews and other denominations in the population and among criminals
LocationGroupJewsProtestantsCatholicsOthers
1aMassachusettsPopulation6.725.266.41.7
1bMassachusettsCriminals3.928.666.31.2
2aPennsylvaniaPopulation4.327.823.344.6
2bPennsylvaniaCriminals1.264.333.01.5
3aAlleghenyPopulation4.120.425.249.3
3bAlleghenyCriminals1.349.646.02.3
4aLos AngelesPopulation6.657.821.52.7
4bLos AngelesCriminals2.7-35.2-
Chapter 19 • Theories of Jewish Intelligence • 9,100 Words

We have seen in the body of this book that the Ashkenazim have a high level of intelligence, but that there are four Jewish peoples and that the other three – the Mizrahim, the Sephardim, and the Ethiopians – are not remarkable in this regard. We begin this chapter by summarizing these conclusions and then consider the theories that attempt to explain how these differences have arisen.

Intelligence of the Ashkenazim

The IQ for the Ashkenazim has been examined in Britain, Canada, the United States and Israel, where it has been calculated at 110, 109, 110 and 110. From these results we conclude that the Ashkenazi Jews have an average IQ of 110, in relation to a European gentile mean of 100. This 10 IQ point advantage should give Ashkenazi Jews approximately four times the percentage of individuals with an IQ of 130 and above, and approximately six times the percentage of individuals with an IQ of 145 and above. The effect of this should be that Ashkenazi Jews should be considerably over-represented among the successful. We have seen that this is the case in all of the sixteen countries and regions we have considered. Jews are everywhere considerably over-represented in the professions, among the wealthy, and among intellectual elites.

We now examine Ashkenazi success from a different perspective and consider which populations of Ashkenazi Jews and European gentiles in different countries have achieved the highest awards for intellectual achievement, the Nobel Prizes. We examine the award of Nobel Prizes per 1 million of the population for the periods 1901-1950 and 1951-2005. The results for the top ten populations 1901-1950 are given in Table 19.1. We see that the German Jews had by far the greatest number of Nobel Laureates, followed by the Jews of France, Hungary and Austria. There is a big drop to the fifth and sixth places which are taken by gentiles in Britain and Germany. These are followed by Jews in the United States and then by gentiles in France, the United States and Italy. The British Jews do not appear in this table and the American are only seventh. The explanation for this is that Jews were quite recent immigrants in Britain and the United States and had not had time to establish themselves.

Table 19.1 Nobel Prize-winners per 1 million, 1901-1950
PopulationCountryNobels
JewsGermany19.0
JewsFrance8.8
JewsHungary8.7
JewsAustria3.9
GentilesBritain0.6
GentilesGermany0.5
JewsUSA0.5
GentilesFrance0.4
GentilesUSA0.1
GentilesItaly0.1

The results for the top 16 populations in the second half of the twentieth century and up to 2006 are given in Table 19.2 (these figures are based on the Jewish populations in the 1930s). We see that the first eleven places are taken by Jews in various countries. The huge figure for Italy is based on four Nobel Prize-winners from a population of only 44,000 Italian Jews. The last five places are taken by gentiles. Thus, while the general pattern in the period 1901-1950 was for Jews to do better than gentiles, Jewish achievement in the period 1951-2006 was even more impressive. Jews in Britain and the United States are well up in the second period in fourth and sixth place.

Table 19.2 Nobel Prize-winners per 1 million, 1951-2006
PopulationCountryNobel Prize-winners
JewsItaly110.0
JewsCanada25.5
JewsGermany17.1
JewsUSA10.4
JewsFrance8.8
JewsBritain8.3
JewsSoviet Union6.6
JewsIsrael3.6
JewsAustria1.7
JewsHungary1.3
JewsPoland1.3
GentilesBritain0.8
GentilesUSA0.6
GentilesGermany0.4
GentilesFrance0.2
GentilesSoviet Union0.0
Intelligence of the Four Jewish Peoples

We saw in Chapter 2 that there are four Jewish peoples and we have found that it is only Ashkenazim that have the high IQ. The IQs of the four Jewish peoples are shown in Table 19.3. Also shown for comparison are the IQs of the gentiles among whom these Jewish peoples have lived. The detailed evidence for the derivation of these figures is set out for the Ethiopian Jews and for the Mizrahim in the chapter on Israel, for the Sephardim in the chapter on the Balkans, and for the Ashkenazim in the chapters on Britain, Canada, the United States, and Israel. The evidence for the derivation of the IQs for the gentile peoples is given in my book Race Differences in Intelligence (Lynn, 2006).

Table 19.3. IQs of Jews and gentiles
JewsIQGentilesIQIQ difference
Ashkenazim110European gentiles10010.0
Sephardim98Balkans gentiles92.54.5
Mizrahim90Arabs846.0
Ethiopian Jews66Negroids67-1.0

Looking at these paired comparisons, we see that the IQs of the Ashkenazim, the Sephardim, and the Mizrahim are all higher than those of the gentile communities among whom they have lived. The Ashkenazim have a 10 IQ point advantage over the northern and central European gentiles, with IQs of 110 and 100, respectively. The Ashkenazi Jews were originally an Arabic people who do not appear to have been exceptionally intelligent and can be assumed to have had the same average IQ (84) as other Arabic peoples. Over the course of around 2,000 years they have gained 26 IQ points (from 84 to 110) on their former Arab kinsmen and 10 IQ points on the northern and central European gentiles among whom they have lived.

The second of the paired comparisons, that between the Sephardic Jews and the Balkans gentiles among whom most of them have lived for the last 500 or so years (1492 to the twentieth century), shows that the IQs are 99 and 92.5, respectively. So the Sephardic Jews, also originally Arabs, have gained 15 IQ points (from 84 to 99) on their former Arab kinsmen, and 6.5 IQ points over the gentiles in the Balkans. This is the second problem that requires explanation.

The third of the paired comparisons is between the Mizrahim Jews and the Arabs among whom they have lived, and shows that the IQs are 90 and 84, respectively. The Mizrahim Jews were originally an Arab people, to whom they are still genetically closely related, they have lived among Arabs for 2,000 or more years, and they have to some degree interbred with Arabs. Yet their IQ is 6 points higher. How this has occurred is a further problem that requires explanation.

Finally, looking at the last of the paired comparisons, that between the Ethiopian Jews and the Negroids (sub-Saharan Africans), we see that their IQs are virtually identical at 66 and 67, respectively. The IQ of the Negroids is derived as the median of 57 studies that I have given in Lynn (2006). No significance can be attached to the 1 IQ point difference between the two groups. Their IQs are the same. This is what would be expected, because the Ethiopian Jews are a Negroid people that have no genetic affinity with the Arabic Jews. Nevertheless there is a problem that the other three Jewish peoples have all made intelligence gains on the gentile host communities, while this has not occurred in the case of the Ethiopian Jews.

Achievements of the Four Jewish peoples

The different IQs of the four Jewish peoples are consistent with their educational attainment, earnings, socio-economic status and intellectual achievements. The Ashkenazim with their IQ of 110 have done much better in all these respects than the gentiles in all of the sixteen counties and regions with which we have been concerned in Chapters 3 through 18. The Sephardim did better in the Balkans than their gentile host communities. In Israel the there are parallel gradients of intelligence and of educational attainment, earnings, and socio-economic status that run from the Ashkenazim to the Mizrahim, and to the Ethiopians.

The differences in intelligence between these four Jewish peoples are also consistent with the extent to which they have produced outstanding individuals. It is only the Ashkenazim that have produced the large number of highly talented people. In the twentieth century there have only been two Sephardim among the 143 Jewish Nobel Prize-winners; these are the Bulgarian Elias Canetti, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1981, and the English Harold Pinter (of the Da Pinta Portugese Jewish family), who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2005. None of the numerous Jewish chess champions and top grandmasters from 1851 up to the present have been Sephardic: “One can think of virtually no Sephardi Jew who demonstrated great chess ability” (Rubinstein, 2004, p.40). It is the same in the world of business. The great Jewish banking and financial families – the Rothschilds, Dresdner-Kleinworts, Goldman-Sachs – are all Ashkenazi.

The Sephardim have not produced anything like the huge number of highly talented individuals that have come from the Ashkenazim. Nevertheless, they have produced a handful of distinguished individuals. The Sephardic Jews produced a number of moderately gifted scholars in Spain during the period of Arab rule that lasted from 711 until 1492. Smith (1958) has written in his History of Mathematics that “the most learned scholars in Spain at the close of the 11th century were not Mohammedans but Jews” (p.206). He gives the four most important Jewish mathematicians in Spain during Arabic rule as Savasorda, who produced the Liber Embadorum, a treatise on geometry and a mathematical encyclopedia; Abraham ben Ezra, who wrote on the theory of numbers, the calendar and astronomy; Avenpace, who wrote on geometry; and Averroes, who wrote on astronomy and trigonometry (although it is not certain that he was Jewish). He also lists a number of other lesser figures. However, none of these made any significant advances in mathematics. They were compilers and commentators on the work of the Greeks.

The only significant Sephardic Jews up to the end of the nineteenth century have been Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) – “the one Jewish philosopher produced by the Spanish Jews” (Russell, 1961, p. 420); Michel de Montaigne (1533-92), the French philosopher, who was half Jewish; Benedict Spinoza (1632-77, the philosopher in the Netherlands; David Ricardo (1772-1823), the English economist; and Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81), the British Prime Minister. Considering that the Sephardim were the majority of Jews until the middle of the nineteenth century, this is not a strikingly impressive number and nothing like the remarkable record of the Ashkenazim in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when “nearly every prominent Jew is Ashkenazi” (Rubinstein,1985, p.14). Nevertheless, in the sixteenth century the Sephardic Jews were prominent in commerce and medicine in the Balkans, and in the seventeenth century the Sephardic Jews were prominent in commerce in the Netherlands and Latin America. This suggests they were at least as intelligent as European gentiles of the period.

The Mizrahim have produced even fewer people of any great intellectual or other kind of distinction. Nevertheless, as early as the ninth century AD some moderately gifted Mizrahi Jewish mathematicians appeared in Baghdad. These were Sahl ibn Bishr who wrote on algebra and astronomy, and Abu’l Taiyib, who wrote on trigonometry and compiled a set of astronomical tables. In the next century another gifted Mizrahi Jewish mathematician, Sa’adia ben Joseph, appeared in Egypt (Smith, 1958). The non-Jewish Arabs also produced some gifted mathematicians about this time, so the Mizrahi Jews were not remarkably superior. In contemporary times the contribution of the Mizrahim to world civilization has been quite modest. It is confined to Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967), the First World War poet, and Charles and Maurice Saatchi, the British advertising tycoons. The families of these came originally from Baghdad. Nevertheless, the Mizrahim did better in Arab countries than their Arab hosts, as would be expected from their 6 IQ point advantage: “Beginning in the eighteenth century, the Middle East’s indigenous Jews came increasingly to dominate the most lucrative sectors of the local economy…especially in new economic sectors, including banking and insurance, they became decidedly more competitive than the region’s Muslims (Kuran, 2004, p.72). The Ethiopian Jews have not produced anyone of any distinction.

The Jewish Intelligence Profile.

In addition to their high IQs in relation to the gentiles among whom they have lived, the Ashkenazim in the United States, Canada and Israel have a distinctive pattern or profile of intelligence consisting of strong verbal and mathematical abilities and weaker visual-spatial abilities. This profile is not present in the Mizrahim in Israel (see Chapter 11). This profile should cause the Ashkenazim to excel particularly in fields requiring strong verbal and mathematical abilities but to do less well in fields requiring strong and visual-spatial abilities. It has from time to time been observed that this is the case. Writing in Germany in the 1930, Lenz (1930, p. 672) maintained that Jews are highly intelligent and good at most things, but added the proviso that “very few distinguished painters have been Jews, and scarcely any great sculptors or architects. The visualising and technical ability of the Jews is comparatively small”. This observation seems to be right. There were no Jews among the numerous great painters in Renaissance Italy or in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century, although Jews were prominent in banking and medicine in these countries at this period. In more recent times, in the studies reviewed in Chapter 1, Berry (1999) found that in the years 1830-1929 Jews achieved Achievement Quotients of 10.0 in mathematics (requiring strong verbal and mathematical abilities) but only 1.6 in engineering and 6.7 in painting (requiring strong visual-spatial abilities). Murray (2003) in an independent analysis for the years 1870-1950 found similar results: Jews achieved Achievement Quotients of 12.0 in mathematics and 12.0 in philosophy (perhaps par excellence the subject requiring strong verbal ability) but only 3.0 in engineering and 5.0 in painting. Similar differences in achievement in different fields were shown by Tropp (1991) in twentieth century Britain, where Jews obtained Achievement Quotients of 12.5 as barristers (a profession requiring strong verbal ability) but only of 3.6 as architects and 2.2 as chartered surveyors (requiring strong visual-spatial abilities). Nevertheless, Jews have done better than gentiles even in engineering, architecture and painting. There has certainly been a handful of Jewish painters of moderate distinction, including Marc Chagall (1889-1980), Chaim Soutine (1893-1943), Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) and Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1929). The explanation for the achievements of Jews in these fields is probably that it is only the average who do not seem to have a natural aptitude for this kind of work but there are some who do and they also apply their general intelligence to achieve success.

In the twentieth century the strong Jewish verbal and weaker visualization-spatial abilities are expressed in the extent to which Jews are over-represented in different professions. Typically Jews are highly over-represented among doctors and lawyers (requiring strong verbal ability) but much less over-represented among architects and engineers (requiring visual-spatial ability). Some figures showing this are given in Table 19.2 for Britain, Canada, Russia and the United States (doctors includes dentists). It will be seen that Jewish Achievement Quotients are consistently about twice as great for the “verbal professions” of medicine and law as for the “visual-spatial” of architecture and engineering.

Table 19.4 Jewish Achievement Quotients for doctors, lawyers, architects and engineers
YearCountryDoctorLawyerArchitectEngineer
1985Britain7.49.53.6-
1991Canada9.24.51.11.1
1989Russia7.0--3.2
1960United States3.83.31.71.1
Genetic Basis of Jewish Intelligence

The differences in the intelligence of the four Jewish peoples and between these and the gentile people among whom they have lived are very considerable. The difference of 44 IQ points between the Ashkenazim (110) and the Ethiopian Jews (66) is huge. To put this difference in comparative perspective, it is virtually three times as great as the 15 IQ difference between whites and blacks in the United States and Britain.

There are environmental and genetic theories of the high IQ of the Ashkenazim, as for other ethnic and racial differences. On the environmental side, Jencks (1969, p.28) has written that “Jewish children also do better on IQ tests than Christians at the same socio-economic level, but very few people conclude that Jews are genetically superior”. Jencks does not mention the case for a genetic basis for the high Ashkenazi IQ that had been made six years previously by Weyl and Possony (1963). On the genetic side of the argument, Jensen (1973, p.60) responded to Jencks that “the fact that very few people might suggest a genetic factor in the Jewish v. non-Jewish IQ difference (which averages about 8-10 IQ points), however, does not make it an unreasonable hypothesis that genetic factors are involved in this subpopulation difference”. A strong genetic component to the high Ashkenazi IQ has more recently been argued by MacDonald (1994), and by Cochran, Hardy, and Harpending (2006).

There are five reasons to believe that there must be a substantial genetic basis for the intelligence differences between the four Jewish peoples and between these and the gentiles among whom they have lived. First, the numerous twin studies that have been carried out in Europe, India and Japan, and on blacks and whites in the United States, have all found a high heritability of intelligence in national populations (these are reviewed in my Race Differences in Intelligence). It is improbable that these high heritabilities could co-exist with the absence of any heritability for the differences in the intelligence between the four Jewish peoples and between these and the gentile people among whom they have lived.

Second, the four Jewish peoples in Israel occupy a similar environment with the same access to health care and schooling but the intelligence differences between them are pronounced. We noted in Chapter 11 that Jewish children with European parents and with Mizrahim parents who were brought up in the same kibbutzim have approximately the same 16 IQ point difference as those brought up by their parents. Similarly, each of the pairs of Jews and gentiles shown in Table 19.1 has lived in the same societies and environments and are therefore matched for environmental inputs. From this it can be reasonably assumed that the IQ differences between the pairs are largely genotypic.

Third, it is doubtful whether any environmental theory can explain the remarkable achievements of the Ashkenazim. Much has often made of the importance attached by Jews to education, but Levinson and Block (1977) found that 400 Jewish 4-6 year olds in the United States had an IQ of 111, just about the same as that of Jewish adults. If education were a factor responsible for the high Ashkenazi IQ, their IQ advantage should become greater after several years in school, but it doesn’t.

Environmentalists such as Storfer (1990) have argued that the high intelligence of the Ashkenazi Jews is attributable to the better infant care and stimulation provided by Jewish mothers. It may well be that Jewish mothers provide an excellent environment for nurturing the intelligence of their children, as suggested by their low rates of infant mortality, but this does not mean that the high IQ of the Ashkenazim can be attributed to this favourable early environment. There is now widespread acceptance of the principle of genotype-environment co-variation which states that the genes for high intelligence tend to be associated with favourable environments for the optimum development of intelligence (Plomin, 1994). Thus, intelligent women who are pregnant typically refrain from smoking, drinking excessive alcohol and taking drugs because they are aware that these are likely to impair the growth of the brain and subsequent intelligence of the babies they are carrying. Intelligent parents tend to provide their children with good quality nutrition because they understand the general principles of what constitutes a healthy diet, and a healthy diet is a determinant of intelligence. Intelligent parents are also more likely to give their children cognitive stimulation, which is widely believed to promote the development of the intelligence of their children. This principle operates for populations. The populations with high intelligence (such as the Ashkenazim) provide their children with the double advantage of transmitting favourable genes to their children and of providing them with a favourable environment with good nutrition, health care and cognitive stimulation that enhances the development of their children’s intelligence. Conversely, the children of the less intelligent populations tend to transmit the double disadvantage of poor quality genes and a poor quality environment. Thus, the principle of genotype-environment co-variation implies that differences in intelligence between the populations for which the immediate cause is environmental are also attributable to genetic factors that contribute to the environmental differences.

Fourth, other environmentalists such as Majoribanks (1972) have argued that the high intelligence of the Ashkenazi Jews is attributable to the typical “pushy Jewish mother”. In a study carried out in Canada he compared 100 Jewish boys aged 11 years with 100 Protestant white gentile boys and 100 white French Canadians and assessed their mothers for “Press for Achievement”, i.e. the extent to which mothers put pressure on their sons to achieve. He found that the Jewish mothers scored higher on “Press for Achievement” than Protestant mothers by 5 SD units and higher than French Canadian mothers by 8 SD units and argued that this explains the high IQ of the children. But this inference does not follow. There is no general acceptance of the thesis that pushy mothers can raise the IQs of their children. Indeed, the contemporary consensus is that family environmental factors have no long term effect on the intelligence of children (Rowe, 1994).

Fifth, a final pointer to a genetic basis for the high Ashkenazi IQ is their high prevalence of myopia (short-sightedness), an error of refraction in which near objects can be seen clearly but distant objects appear blurred. It has been shown in a number of twin studies that myopia is largely genetically determined (Post, 1962; Sorsby, 1951). There is a correlation of around 0.20 to 0.25 between myopia and intelligence. This correlation has been found in many studies reviewed by Cohn, Cohn and Jensen (1988), who also show that this is an intrinsic correlation that is present within families, such that adolescents with high IQs have a greater prevalence of myopia than their siblings with lower IQs. Jensen proposes that the reason for this relationship is pleiotropy, i.e. a gene or genes that are responsible for myopia also increase intelligence. Consistent with this theory is the fact shown by Post (1962) that the prevalence of myopia is highest in East Asians (Chinese and Japanese), intermediate in Europeans, and lowest in blacks, and hence the prevalence of myopia in these three major races runs parallel to the differences in intelligence.

The significance of the association between myopia and intelligence is that there is a high prevalence of myopia among the Ashkenazim. This association was found by Pearson and Moule (1927) in London schoolboys among whom the myopia was present in 13.3 per cent in a sample of 900 Jews but only 2.3 per cent in a sample of 10,416 gentiles. This result was confirmed in another British study by Sourasky (1928) who reported that 43.2 per cent of a sample of 1,649 Jewish boys aged 6-14 failed a reading test as compared with only 21.7 per cent in a sample of 600 gentiles. The main reason for the difference was “the rather higher incidence of myopia among the Jewish children” (p.211). He noted that the higher incidence of myopia among the Jewish children was present among 6 year olds and did not increase with age so that “it is apparently not produced by the excessive amount of close work done by Jewish boys”.

It can be inferred from these studies that the gene or genes responsible for myopia and high intelligence are more frequent in Ashkenazi Jews that in Euopean gentiles. It would be useful and interesting to know whether theassociation between myopia and intelligence is present within Jewish populations and whether Ashkenazi Jews have a higher incidence of myopia than the Sephardim and Mizrahim.

For all these reasons it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that there must be a substantial genetic basis for the intelligence differences between the four Jewish peoples and between the Jews and the gentiles among whom they have lived. There is no reason to suppose that the intelligence of the original Jews who lived in Palestine was any different from that of the other Arabic peoples of the Near East. The high intelligence of the Ashkenazim and the lesser intelligence of the Sephardim and the Mizrahim, must have evolved as a result of their different experiences after the diasporas.

The Eugenic Hypothesis

There are three problems that require explanation. First, what has brought about these different IQs of the Ashkenazim, the Sephardim, the Mizrahim and the Ethiopian Jews? Second, why these three sub-populations of Jews developed higher IQs than the gentiles among whom they have lived? Third, why have the Ashkenazim acquired their pattern of high verbal, mathematical and reasoning abilities but weaker visualisation and spatial abilities? We consider now the main theories that have been or can be advanced to explain these problems.

The Eugenic Hypothesis states that the Jews in general and especially the Ashkenazim have practiced eugenics and it is this that this has been responsible for raising their intelligence. Eugenics consists of customs and practices that promote a greater number of surviving children of the more intelligent (and of those with other desirable qualities such as good health and sound moral character), as compared with the less intelligent. The greater reproductive success of the more intelligent can occur in two ways. First, by differential birth rates such that the more intelligent have greater numbers of children than the less intelligent. Second, by the children of the more intelligent surviving to adulthood in greater numbers than the children of the less intelligent. If either of these two conditions is present, the more intelligent will have more children surviving to adulthood than the less intelligent, and are more likely to reproduce and transmit their genes for high intelligence to the next generation. The effect of this is to increase the proportion of genes for high intelligence in the population.

A good case for the eugenic hypothesis as an explanation for the high Jewish IQ has been made by MacDonald (1994, pp.184-8). He notes, first, that Judaism has had a long tradition of according high status to scholars and to wealth, and that the wealthy have been enjoined to marry their daughters to scholars. Thus, the Tannaim advises that “under all circumstances a man should sell everything he possesses in order to marry the daughter of a scholar, as well as to give his daughter to a scholar in marriage…never should he marry his daughter to an illiterate man” MacDonald (1994, p.184). These “eugenic marriages” brought wealth and intelligence together and normally produced relatively large numbers of surviving children because in historical times the wealthy had greater numbers of surviving children than the poor, largely because they were able to provide them with better nutrition and health care. The effect of this would have been that the more intelligent would have had more surviving children than the less intelligent, and hence the intelligence of the Jews would increase over the generations. Second, Jews also practiced negative eugenics (the limitation of the reproduction of the less intelligent) in so far as at some times they restricted the marriages of the poor. This occurred when the gentiles among whom the Jews lived placed a limit on the numbers of Jewish marriages allowed each year, which was widespread throughout Austria and Germany in the eighteenth century. A third factor mentioned by MacDonald (1994, p.184) is that poor (and less intelligent) Jews were more likely to defect from Judaism, thereby raising the average level of intelligence of the remaining community. A fourth eugenic factor may have been the requirement of Christian clergy to be celibate for much of the last two thousand years. It is a reasonable assumption that the Christian clergy had above average IQs, and especially higher verbal IQs, since the church was the principal avenue of advancement for intelligent children, through which they were able to acquire positions of considerable power as bishops, abbots and so on. However, clerics were required to be celibate and this obligation (although not always observed, as in the case of Abelard and Heloise, a few of the popes, and a number more lowly priests) would have reduced the intelligence of the gentiles because a high proportion of the most intelligent were childless in each generation. In contrast, Jewish rabbis were encouraged to marry young and have children, and this would have increased the intelligence of the Jews relative to that of gentiles. A fifth factor may have been that the intelligent rabbis were frequently physicians and with their medical knowledge would have been better able to care for the health of their children.

The eugenic hypothesis seems to provide a persuasive explanation for the high IQ of the Ashkenazim as compared with the gentiles among whom they lived. The effect of Jewish eugenic customs would only need to be quite small in each generation to explain the Ashkenazim IQ of 110. These eugenic customs appear to have been in place for some 2,000 years during which they would have had to raise the Jewish IQ from 84 (the average IQ of Arabs in the Near East given in Lynn, 2006) to 110, i.e. 26 IQ points. This works out at an increase of 1.25 IQ points per century and 0.3 IQ points per generation. The impact of eugenic customs in producing IQ gains of this magnitude seems quite plausible.

The eugenic hypothesis also seems to provide a reasonable explanation for the high verbal IQ and more moderate visualization-spatial IQ of the Ashkenazim. The scholars and rabbis to whom wealthy Jews were enjoined to marry their daughters would have had high verbal IQs required to master the Torar and other sacred Jewish texts but would not have had high visualization-spatial IQs. Hence the genes for high verbal intelligence would have been increased but not the genes for high visualization-spatial intelligence, bringing about the high verbal-lower visualization-spatial IQ profile typical of Ashkenazim. It is known that there are some genes that determine general intelligence and other genes that determine verbal ability and visualization-spatial ability (e.g. Kovas, Harlaar, Petrill and Plomin, 2005). It would have been the genes that determine general intelligence and verbal ability that would have been especially enhanced by Jewish eugenic customs.

However, the eugenic hypothesis may have difficulty in explaining why the Ashkenazim have a substantially higher average IQ than the Sephardim, the Mizrahim and the Ethiopian Jews. MacDonald (1994, p.186) states that “wealthy men would marry their daughters to promising scholars and support the couple to adulthood; this practice became a religiously sanctioned policy and persisted both among the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim”. How, therefore, did this eugenic custom raise the intelligence of the Ashkenazim so much higher than that of the Sephardim? Possibly these eugenic customs were less complied with among the Sephardim, but it has not proved possible to find any evidence for this. There is the further problem of the low IQ of the Mizrahim and of the Ethiopian Jews. MacDonald (1994, p.198) offers an explanation for the low IQ of the Mizrahim inYemen. He suggests that Yemen was so poor and rural that there were too few Mizrahim for them to form a class of money-lenders and tax farmers, and that they suffered intense persecution “generally considered to have been the most extreme in the Muslim world”. He does not mention less adherence to eugenic customs among this group or among the much more numerous and wealthy Jewish community of Baghdad who in the years from 762 provided court doctors and officials and who in 1170 numbered about 40,000. It may be that for some reason eugenic customs were less practiced among the Mizrahim, or that some other explanation is required such as that they were less persecuted and discriminated against than the Ashkenazim. The Ethiopian Jews have just the same IQ as other Negroid peoples. Perhaps the explanation for this is that they did not practice the eugenic customs of the other Jews.

The Persecution Hypothesis

The Persecution Hypothesis states that gentiles have persecuted Jews for some 2,000 years, that in these persecutions Jews were frequently killed, and that it can be surmised that the more intelligent Jews have been able to avoid being killed because they have foreseen the danger in good time and moved to a more friendly country, or by going into hiding, or by paying ransom to their persecutors to spare them. It has been the less intelligent Jews who have been killed. This theory has been discussed by MacDonald (1994, p.192), although he prefers to call it the Gentile Selection Hypothesis. In support of this theory there is no doubt that Jews have frequently been persecuted and killed by gentiles in Europe in large numbers and on numerous occasions: see in particular Costello and Kagan (1994) and Barnaav (1998). In 1012 the Jews were expelled from Mainz and those who remained were burned at the stake. Similar expulsions and retribution for those who failed to leave took place in Bavaria and Austria in 1298, when it is estimated that approximately 100,000 Jews were killed. In the fourteenth century Jews were expelled from France (1394).In the first half of fifteenth century Jews were expelled from Austria (1422), Cologne (1426) and Brandenburg (1446). In the second half of fifteenth century Jews were expelled from Spain (1492), Naples (1493) and Portugal (1496). In the sixteenth century Jews were expelled from most of Italy, beginning with their expulsion from the Kingdom of Naples in 1510. Pope Pius V expelled the Jews from all the Papal states except Rome in 1569. In 1571 Jews were expelled from Tuscany except for the ghettos in Florence and Sienna, and in 1597 the Jews were expelled from Milan. The persecution of the Jews in Russia began in 1881 following the assassination of the Tsar. One of the assassins was identified as a Jewish woman and the assassination was widely believed to be a Jewish conspiracy. The final major persecution of the Ashkenazi Jews occurred in the 1930s in Germany and early 1940s in German occupied Europe.

While it is difficult to show conclusively that the more intelligent Jews have tended to survive these persecutions, it is a reasonable conjecture that this is likely to have been the case. There are occasional instances where this has been recorded. For instance, Weinryb (1972) states that in the Cossacks’ attacks on the Jews in Russia in 1648 it was the poor Jews who were unable to flee or to pay ransom that were disproportionately killed. The hypothesis posits that the rich Jews who survived were more intelligent than the poor Jews who were killed, and this is a reasonable hypothesis considering the association between intelligence and earnings that has frequently been found (for a review, see Lynn and Vanhanen, 2006). In recent times, there is a fair amount of evidence that during World War Two there was a tendency for the more intelligent Jews to avoid being sent to the gas chambers. The Germans allowed Jews to emigrate in the 1930s on payment of large sums and these could have been paid more easily by the more intelligent. Blom, Fuks-Mansfeld and Schoffer (1996)note that during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in World War Two about 25,000 Jews escaped deportation to the concentration camps and that these were largely middle class. A number of countries such as Turkey, Britain and the United States accepted only or mainly qualified professionals and academics as refugees. Other Jews escaped the concentration camps by getting to neutral Spain, Switzerland and Turkey, by going into hiding, or by forging gentile identity papers, and all these require intelligence.

The Persecution Hypothesis provides a reasonable explanation for why the Ashkenazi Jews have acquired a high IQ while the Sephardim, the Mizrahim and the Ethiopian Jews have not acquired such high IQs. The explanation is that the Sephardic Jews, the Mizrahim and the Ethiopian Jews were not persecuted so much as the Ashkenazim. During their sojourn in Spain and Portugal and the five centuries or so of their sojourn in the Ottoman Empire, the Sephardic Jews were well treated, as we have seen in the chapter on the Balkans: “the fate of the Jews in the hands of Islam had on the whole been far more tolerable than in other parts of Europe” (Silvera, 1995, p. 56); and in the Ottoman Empire“Sultan Murad II (1421-51) was favorably inclined towards the Jews; and with his reign began a period of prosperity that lasted for two centuries and which is unequalled in their history in any other country. Jews had influential positions at court; they engaged unrestrictedly in trade and commerce; they dressed and lived as they pleased; and they travelled at their pleasure in all parts of the country. Murad II had a Jewish physician-in-chief; this was the beginning of a long line of Jewish physicians who obtained power and influence at court. The condition of Jews about the middle of the fifteenth century was so prosperous and in such contrast to the hardships endured by their fellow Israelites in Germany and Europe generally that Isaac Zarfati was moved to send a circular letter to all the Jewish communities in Germany and Hungary inviting their members to emigrate to Turkey. This letter caused an influx into Turkey of Ashkenazi Jews” (Montgomery, 1902, pp. 279-291).

The Mizrahim were also fairly well treated in the Near East and North Africa. As Bertrand Russell (1945, p. 323) noted: “Throughout the Middle Ages, the Mohammedans were more civilized and more humane than the Christians. Christians persecuted Jews, especially at times of religious excitement; the Crusades were associated with appalling pogroms. In Mohammedan countries, on the contrary, Jews were not in any way ill-treated”. Similarly, in contrast to their frequent persecutions in Europe “the Jews found it easier to live and prosper in Islamic territories (Johnson, 2004, pp.176, 181). Nevertheless, over the course of 2,000 years, the Sephardim and the Mizrahim did suffer some persecution, sufficient to raise their IQs somewhat higher than those of the gentiles among whom they lived. It can be posited further that the Ethiopian Jews were not persecuted, so their IQ remained the same as that of other Negroid peoples.

The Persecution Hypothesis can also explain why the Ashkenazi Jews have acquired their pattern of high verbal, mathematical and reasoning abilities but weaker visualisation and spatial abilities. Those with high verbal IQs were the ones that acquired status and wealth, and they would have been able to use these to avoid being killed during pogroms because they would have had the money and connections enabling them to escape.

The Discrimination Hypothesis

The Discrimination Hypothesis states that gentiles in Europe discriminated against Jews by limiting the kinds of occupation they were permitted to pursue. The theory has been set out by Cochran, Hardy and Harpending (2006). It states that Jews were generally not allowed to own land and work as farmers, or to work in the craft trades such as stone masons, blacksmiths, carpenters, thatchers, wheelwrights, cartwrights, coopers (barrel makers), fletchers (arrow makers), etc. The discrimination against Jews largely began around the thirteenth century. Until the “they suffered from no explicit economic restrictions; they were farmers, laborers, craftsmen, merchants, artisans, peddlers; if any occupation was characteristic of them it was wholesale trade and certain branches of the textile industry” (Roth, 1946, p.103). From the thirteenth century Jews were excluded from the craft trades that were controlled by the guilds. The guilds were religious as well as trade associations and excluded Jews on religious grounds and as unwelcome competitors. Jews were allowed to be money-lenders, to open banks and charge interest on loans, which was prohibited to Christians, to work as tax collectors and import-export merchants, and to deal in second hand goods as peddlers. Those who were money-lenders, tax collectors and import-export merchants made a reasonable living and were able to rear children who survived to adulthood. Those who worked as peddlers would have found it hard to make much of a living and been less able to rear children. Throughout historical times and up to around 1880, people had high birth rates and high infant and child mortality rates, and in general the more affluent and more intelligent had more children who survived to adulthood, but this selection differential would likely have been greater for Jews.

Although difficult to prove, the Discrimination Hypothesis is plausible. There is no doubt that Jews have frequently been discriminated against in Europe for some 2,000 years. These discriminations have been described for many countries in the body of this book. Even a small tendency for the more intelligent Jews to overcome this discrimination would be sufficient to increase the average Ashkenazim IQ to the level of around 110 that it has become in the twentieth century. The Discrimination Hypothesis also provides a plausible explanation for why the Ashkenazi Jews have acquired their pattern of high verbal, mathematical and reasoning abilities but weaker visualisation and spatial abilities. To succeed as money-lenders, tax farmers and import-export merchants, Jews would have needed strong verbal, mathematical and reasoning abilities to assess the risks and make the calculations. The greater survival of Jews who had these abilities would have increased the genes responsible for them. These Jews would not have needed strong visualisation and spatial abilities. By contrast, the many gentiles who worked as craftsmen would have needed strong visualisation and spatial abilities. Hence there would have been selection pressure for strong visualisation and spatial abilities in gentiles but not in Jews, bringing about the distinctive cognitive profiles of the two peoples.

Cochran, Hardy and Harpending (2006) discuss the problem of the higher intelligence of the Ashkenazim and the lower intelligence of the Sephardim and the Mizhrahim. They propose the following explanation: “The Jews of Islam, although reproductively isolated, seem not to have had the necessary concentration of occupations with high IQ elasticity. Some had such jobs in some of the Arab world, in some periods, but it seems it was never the case that most did. In part this was because other minority groups competed successfully for these jobs – Greek Christians, Armenians, etc., in part because Moslems, at least some of the time, took many of those jobs themselves, valuing non-warrior occupations more highly than did medieval Christians. In fact, to a large extent, and especially during the last six or seven hundred years of relative Moslem decline, the Jews of Islam tended to have “dirty” jobs. These included such tasks as cleaning cesspools and drying the contents for use as fuel – a common Jewish occupation in Morocco, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, and Central Asia. Jews were also found as tanners, butchers, hangmen, and other disagreeable or despised occupations. Such jobs must have had low IQ elasticity; brilliant tanners and hangmen almost certainly did not become rich. The suggested selective process explains the pattern of mental abilities in Ashkenazi Jews – high verbal and mathematical ability but relatively low spatio-visual ability. Verbal and mathematical talent helped medieval businessmen succeed, while spatio-visual abilities were irrelevant.”

The Discrimination Hypothesis provides a plausible explanation for why the Ashkenazi Jews have acquired a high IQ while the Sephardim, the Mizrahim andthe Ethiopian Jews have not acquired such high IQs. The explanation is that the Sephardim, the Mizrahim andthe Ethiopian Jews were not discriminated against so much as the Ashkenazim. The Sephardic Jews in Spain and Portugal and later in the Ottoman Empirewere allowed to work in more occupations including the trade crafts, and as physicians, as we have seen in the chapters on Asia and North Africa and the Balkans. The Mizrahim were also fairly well treated in the Near East and North Africa. Nevertheless, the Sephardim and the Mizrahim did suffer some discrimination, sufficient to raise their IQs somewhat above those of the gentiles among whom they. The Ethiopian Jews were not persecuted, so their IQ remained the same as that of other Negroid peoples.

The Miscegenation Hypothesis

A further factor that has contributed to the explanation of the differences in intelligence between Ashkenazim, Sephardim, Mizrahim andthe Ethiopian Jews arises from interbreeding with the gentile communities among whom they lived (miscegenation). Despite strict Jewish prohibitions on exogamy, there has always been some inter-marriage and inter-mating between Jews and non-Jews living in the same localities. Even a small amount of miscegenation over many generations has been sufficient to introduce significant proportions of gentile genes into the Jewish gene pool. The effects of this are visible in Ashkenazi Jews, a number of whom have fair hair and blue eyes. Fisberg (1904) summarized a dozen studies of a total of 75,377 Ashkenazi Jews in Germany carried out at the end of the nineteenth century and found that approximately 47 per cent had the dark hair and dark eyes of the original south west Asian stock, 42 per cent had mixed hair and eye color (fair hair with dark eyes or dark hair with blue eyes), while 11 per cent had fair hair and blue eyes. Thus, 53 per cent of German Jews had some north European ancestry. The average IQ of gentiles in central and northern Europe is 100 (Lynn, 2006). If it is assumed that all Jews began with the IQ of 84 typical of the Near East, the effect of miscegenation with northern Europeans would have been to increase their IQ to about 90, assuming the proportions with north European ancestry reported by Fisberg (1904). Clearly miscegenation with northern Europeans is nowhere near sufficient to explain the IQ of 110 of Ashkenazi Jews. It should only have raised their IQ by about 6 IQ points to about 90, leaving the additional 20 IQ points to be explained by one or more of the other hypotheses. Nevertheless, miscegenation with northern Europeans can explain about one fifth of the increase of the 26 IQ point increase (from 84 to 110) of Ashkenazi Jews during the course of some 2,000 years.

Let us assume that Sephardic Jews originally from Spain and Portugal and later in the Balkans have an approximately similar percentage of local population ancestry to that of the Ashkenazi Jews of northern Europe. Assume further that the Sephardic Jews spent around 400 years in Spain and Portugal and to some degree interbred with local populations. The introduction of European genes could have raised their IQ by about 2 IQ points. The average IQ of gentiles in the Balkans is 92, so the effect of miscegenation with south-eastern Europeans in the Balkans could have been to increase the IQ of Sephardic Jews by a further 1 IQ point. The upshot of these broad assumptions is that miscegenation with gentiles probably had only a very small effect on the IQ of Sephardic Jews.

The IQ of the Mizrahim Jews of the Near and Middle East would not have been affected by miscegenation with local host populations because both groups have would have begun with the same IQ of 84. Thus, miscegenation with local host populations can account for some 5 IQ points of the 20 IQ point difference between Ashkenazi Jews and Mizrahim Jews (110 and 90, respectively). Other hypotheses are required to account for the 6 IQ point increase of the IQ of the Mizrahim in Israel to 90, as compared with the IQ of 84 of Arabs in southwest Asia. Although there was no doubt some miscegenation of the Ethiopian Jews with local Negroid peoples, this would not have had any effect on their IQ, since both populations have the same intelligence.

The Apostasy Hypothesis

An apostasy theory of the high Jewish IQ has been proposed by Murray (2007). He notes that in 64 CE, an ordinance was issued by Joshua ben Gamala requiring all boys to attend school from the age of about six. The ordinance was implemented and within about a century, the Jews had established universal male literacy and numeracy. Jewish education involved the study of the Torah and the Talmud. These are difficult texts and only those with high verbal intelligence would have been able to cope with them. The result of this was that many Jews who did not possess high verbal ability became discouraged and renounced their faith. Murray suggests that this explains why the number of Jews fell from about 4.5 million in the first century AD to about one to 1.5 million in the sixth century. He argues that some of this decline was due to about one million Jews being killed in the revolts against the Romans in Judea and Egypt, that there were some forced conversions from Judaism to another religion, and that some of the reduction may be associated with a general drop in population that accompanied the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Nevertheless, there was a huge number of Jews who just disappeared and these, Murray suggests, these were predominantly those with lower verbal abilities who many abandoned the faith. He proposes that by around the year 1,000 CE all Jews had a higher verbal IQ than gentiles. During the next millennium the IQs of the Ashkenazi were maintained or perhaps increased by discrimination and persecution, while the IQ of the Oriental Jews living in the Islamic world declined, possibly because they were less subjected to discrimination and persecution, or through intermarriage with gentiles.

It is difficult to find definitive evidence for or against the five theories to explain the evolution of the different IQs of the four Jewish peoples and of the gentiles (the eugenic customs, persecution, discrimination, miscegenation and apostacy hypotheses). It may well be that several or all of these factors contributed to the differences in intelligence between these populations.

Genetics of the High Jewish IQ

There are two genetic processes that may have occurred in the evolution of high intelligence in the Ashkenazim and, to a lesser extent, in the Sephardim and the Mizrahim, but not in the Arabs. The first of these is that differences in the frequencies of the alleles for high and low intelligence may have evolved in the three populations, while the second is that new alleles for high intelligence may have appeared as mutations in Ashkenazim but not in the Sephardim, the Mizrahim, the Ethiopian Jews and in the Arabs. The first of these processes is quite straightforward. It posits that the more intelligent of the Ashkenazim survived more and had more surviving children, because they had the most eugenic customs, were the most persecuted, discriminated against, etc. The result of this would have been that their alleles for high intelligence became more frequent in the Ashkenazim population. Many of the less intelligent Ashkenazim carrying the alleles for low intelligence would have been unable to survive and rear children because of the eugenic customs, persecution, discrimination, etc. and this would have reduced the alleles for low intelligence in the Ashkenazim population. The Sephardim, the Mizrahim, the Ethiopian Jews and the Arabs had weaker eugenic customs, were less persecuted, less discriminated against, etc., so more of those with lower intelligence survived and had surviving children (as compared with the Ashkenazim), and more of the alleles for low intelligence remained in the populations.

A second genetical process in the evolution of higher intelligence in the Ashkenazim than in the Sephardim, the Mizrahim, the Ethiopian Jews and the Arabs may have been in the appearance of one or more new alleles for high intelligence as mutations in Ashkenazim but not in the Sephardim, the Mizrahim, the Ethiopian Jews, and the Arabs (or fewer of them appeared in the Sephardim, the Mizrahim, the Ethiopian Jews and the Arabs, or that they appeared in these but were not selected for). This theory has been advanced by Cochran, Hardy and Harpending (2006). They propose that the clusters of Ashkenazi genetic diseases, the sphingolipid cluster (Tay-Sachs, Gaucher, Niemann-Pick, and mucolipidosis type IV) and the DNA repair cluster in particular, and possibly also dystonia and the disorders of steroid synthesis, increase intelligence in heterozygotes (those with one copy of the gene), and that there is direct evidence for this in the case of Gaucher disease. They argue that the high prevalence of these diseases of biochemically related mutations are extremely unlikely to have occurred by chance or by genetic drift and that the existence of these categories or disease clusters among the Ashkenazi Jews suggests selective forces at work. This process is similar to the sickle cell anemia disorders prevalent in Africa and around the Mediterranean, which are known to confer resistance to malaria in heterozygotes, although homozygotes are impaired by the disease. Thus the more numerous heterozygotes have an advantage. In the case of the Ashkenazim, the theory is that high intelligence was selected for because of the social niche they found in cognitively demanding occupations of money lenders and tax farmers. This brought about an increase in the alleles for these intelligence enhancing mutations in the Ashkenazim but not in their host populations of gentiles, or in the Sephardim, the Mizrahim, the Ethiopian Jews or the Arabs.

Cochran, Hardy and Harpending (2006) provide addional evidence in support of this theory for Gaucher disease. They cite evidence on the occupations of 302 Gaucher patients in Israel. These are virtually all the Gaucher patients in the country. Of the 255 patients who were employed, 81 were in occupations in high IQ occupations. There were 13 academics, 23 engineers, 14 scientists, and 31 in other high IQ occupations like accountants, physicians, or lawyers. 1.35% of Israel’s working age population are engineers or scientists, while in the Gaucher patient sample 37 of the total of 255 or 15% were engineers or scientists. They assert that Ashkenazim make up 60% of the workforce in Israel (this figure looks too high), so a conservative base rate for engineers and scientists among Ashkenazim is 2.25% assuming that all engineers and scientists are Ashkenazi. With this rate, 6 in the sample would be expected but the actual number was 37. The chance of 37 or more scientists and engineers appearing in the sample is a statistically highly improbable over-representation. They found also that there were 5 physicists and 5 unskilled workers in the sample and note that in the United States the fraction of people with undergraduate or higher degrees in physics is one per thousand. Assuming that this fraction applies approximately to Israel the expected number of physicists in the sample would be 0.25 while the observed number is 5, i.e. twenty times the expected number. They conclude that “Gaucher patients are clearly a very high IQ sub-sample of the general population”.

They advance similar arguments for the intelligence enhancing properties of the second major cluster of Ashkenazi mutations, namely the DNA repair cluster, involving BRCA1, BRCA2, Fanconi’s anemia, and Bloom syndrome. These diseases all affect a group of functionally related proteins involved in DNA repair. This is mainly an Ashkenazi cluster, but the common Ashkenazi BRCA1 mutation 187delAG is also common in Sephardim. They show that microcephalin, a gene controlling human brain size, has evolved rapidly throughout the primate lineage leading to humans and that this evolutionary process exhibits strong signs of positive selection.

They argue further that the time of the appearance of the Ashkenazi mutations is consistent with their theory. It would be expected that the IQ increasing mutations with the highest frequency today should have originated shortly afterconditions began favoring high IQ among the Ashkenazim, that is shortly after they began to occupy their niche as moneylenders. Mutations that came into existence earlier, when IQ did not have an unusually high reproductive payoff, would very likely have disappeared by chance. It might be that a mutation would have side effects that would, in the absence of high payoffs to IQ, actually reduce carrier fitness. This must be the case for torsion dystonia. IQ-increasing mutations could have originated later, but would not have had as many generations in which to spread through the population. This implies that almost all of this class of mutations should have originated after the Ashkenazi began to occupy their niche as moneylenders, perhaps 800 years ago, with the most common mutations originating early in this period. They cite evidence that seven of the most common Ashkenazi mutations seem to have originated around that time.

Once a new mutant allele for higher intelligence had appeared it would have conferred a selection advantage and would have spread through the Ashkenazim. The frequent migrations of the Ashkenazim to escape persecution would have provided ideal conditions for the spread of one or more new mutant alleles for higher intelligence that conferred a selection advantage.

Chapter 20 • Conclusions • 5,500 Words

We have seen in the body of this book that in all of the countries and regions that have been considered the Askenazim have been far more successful than their gentile hosts in education, earnings, and socio-economic status, among chess grandmasters and top bridge players, and in the highest levels of intellectual achievement, indexed by the award of Nobel Prizes, Fields Medals and Wolf Prizes for outstanding work in mathematics. We have seen also that the Ashkenazim have a high IQ and argued that this goes some way towards explaining their remarkable achievements. In this concluding chapter we consider whether the high Ashkenazim IQ is sufficient to explain their high achievements or whether they have some other traits that contribute to their successes. We discuss also some implications of the high IQ and achievements of the Ashkenazim, and consider finally the future of the Jewish peoples.

Many of those who have discussed the success of the Ashkenazim have not considered their high intelligence but have attributed their achievements to other qualities, such as their cultural values regarding the importance of success and their strong motivation for achievement or work ethic. In these discussions the evidence for the high IQ of the Ashkenazim has virtually invariably been ignored. This is not a sensible approach to the explanation of Ashkenazic achievements. There is a huge body of evidence showing that intelligence is a significant and necessary condition for all kinds of achievement, so the well-documented high intelligence of the Ashkenazim is the most straightforward factor to consider first in the explanation of their high achievements.

Nevertheless, it is an interesting question whether the Ashkenazic IQ of 110 is sufficient to explain their successes or whether other attributes such as a strong work ethic are also required. This problem can be usefully considered in the following way. A population of gentiles with an average IQ of 100 has 16 per cent of individuals with an IQ of 115 and above, which is about the minimum required to become a physician, lawyer or other major professional. The Ashkenazim with an average of IQ 110 should have approximately double the proportion of individuals with this IQ. Consequently, if their high intelligence was the only factor involved in the Ashkenazim high achievement, they should have about double the proportion of physicians, lawyers and other major professionals, as compared with gentiles. In fact, however, we have seen that in all the countries we have examined the proportion of Ashkenazim has been more than double in these professions, and in most countries considerably more than double. These results are brought together for physicians and lawyers in Table 20.1 in which Jewish over-representation is expressed as Achievement Quotients (calculated by dividing the percentage of Jewish achievements by their percentage in the population). The median of the Jewish Achievement Quotients is 9.2, more than four times greater than the 2.0 that would be predicted from the higher Ashkenazim IQ. This suggests that the success of the Ashkenazim is attributable to more than just their high IQs and that they also possess strong motivational and work ethic qualities that also contribute to their success.

Table 20.1 Jewish Achievement Quotients for physicians and lawyers
CountryYearsPhysiciansLawyers
Austria1983-191014.717.7
Benelux19302.72.3
Britain19856.69.5
Canada19919.24.5
Germany1918-3316.025.0
Hungary192012.010.1
Poland19315.63.3
Soviet Union1928-3911.1-
United States20005.34.8

We can apply the same argument to the large number of Jewish Nobel Prize-winners. It is reasonable to suppose that an IQ of at least 130 must be required for the work meriting the award of a Nobel Prize. A gentile population with an IQ of 100 will have approximately 2 per cent with IQs above this level, while the Ashkenazim with an IQ of 110 will have about 9 per cent, four and a half times more. If their high intelligence were the only factor involved in the Ashkenazim high achievement, we would therefore expect that they would be around four and a half times over-represented among Nobel Prize-winners. Ashkenazim Achievement Quotients for Nobel Prize-winners are shown for fourteen countries in Table 20.3, in which it is evident that their over-representation among Nobel Prize-winners is very considerably greater than this.

It may be considered that for the very high level of intellectual achievement of winning a Nobel Prize, the minimum IQ is greater than 130. The minimum IQ required for winning a Nobel Prize may be more like 145. In gentile populations with an average IQ of 100, this is possessed by 0.14 per cent of individuals, while the Ashkenazim have approximately approximately 0.98 per cent, seven times as many. It would therefore be expected that the Ashkenazim would be around seven times over-represented among Nobel Prize-winners. Yet we see in Table 20.2 that the actual Jewish Achievement Quotients for Nobel Prize-winners in all the countries is greater than this and in most of the countries very considerably greater. The median Jewish Achievement Quotient is 30 and is four and a half times greater than would be predicted from the high Jewish IQ. We are drawn to the same conclusion as for the Jewish over-representation among physicians and lawyers. Jewish are so hugely over-representation among Nobel Prize-winners that there must be more involved in their achievement than their high IQs.

Table 20.2 Jewish Achievement Quotients for Nobel Prize-winners
CountryNobel AQsCountryNobel AQs
Austria28.0Hungary25.0
Benelux43.0Italy320.0
Britain8.0Latin America220.0
Canada35.0Poland8.0
Denmark270.0Russia32.0
France21.0South Africa16.0
Germany32.0United States10.3
Jewish Cultural Values

It has several times been suggested that Jews have cultural values that promote success. It is asserted that a high valuation of success has become a cultural norm in Jewish families, in which parents bring up their children to achieve and socialize them to value success. Thus, “success is so vitally important to the Jewish family ethos that we can hardly overemphasize it… we cannot hope to understand the Jewish family without understanding the place that success for men (and recently for women) plays in the system” (Herz and Rozen, 1982, p.306). The historian Stephan Thernstrom and his wife assert that the achievements of the Jews are “the product of cultural values that they have brought with them and transmitted from generation to generation over a very long time” (Thernstrom and Thernstrom, 2003, p.98). There may be some plausibility inthe theory that Jews have cultural values that promote achievement and that this is a major factor responsible for their success, but these assertions do not have a strong empirical base. I have therefore (in a study carried out in collaboration with Satoshi Kanazawa) examined this theory by looking at some data collected by

the American National Opinion Research Center (NORC). This organization carries out annual or biannual surveys on approximately 1,500 individuals in continental United States (i.e. excluding Hawaii and Alaska). These are known as the General Social Surveys (GSS). The surveys were first carried out in 1972. The samples are representative of the adult population of those aged 18 years and over, except that they exclude those who cannot speak English and those resident in institutions such as prisons and hospitals.

Some of the GSS surveys have collected information about the respondents’cultural values, measured by their responses to a question on the values parents would most like in their children. The surveys have given 13 values and ask respondents to identify the one that they would most like their children to have, and also the three they would most like their children to have. These values are as follows: (1) Success: “that he tries hard to succeed”; (2) Studiousness: “that he is a good student”; (3) Amicability: “that he gets along well with other children”; (4) Cleanliness: “that he is neat and clean”; (5) Considerateness: “that he is considerate of others”; (6) Control: “that he has self-control”; (7) Honesty: “that he is honest”; (8) Interest: “that he is interested in how and why things happen”; (9) Judgment: “that he has good sense and sound judgment”; (10) Manners: “that he has good manners”; (11) Obedience: “that he obeys his parents well”; (12) Responsibility: “that he is responsible” (13) Sex role: “that he acts like a boy (she acts like a girl)”. For an analysis of whether Jews attach greater value than gentiles to their children’s success, the GSS samples have been analysed for the years 1972 through 2004. This gives a total sample of 10, 700, of whom there are 228 who identified themselves as Jews. These are 2.1% of the sample, which is about the percentage of Jews in the American population.

The differences between the Jews and non-Jews in the value they would most like their children to have are shown in Table 20.3. This gives the percentages of the respondents selecting each of the 13 values they would most like their children to have, for five religious categories. The right hand column gives the values of t for the statistical significance of the different percentages of Jews compared with the remainder of the sample selecting each value as the most desired in their children (minus signs indicate that Jews attach less importance to these values). There are only two values in which Jews are significantly different from others. These are honesty, which Jews desire in their children less than do others, and judgment, which Jews desire in their children more than do others.

Table 20.3 Most important values: percentages
JewsProtsCathsNoneOthert
Numbers22867742736781181-
Success1.82.73.72.95.0-1.14
Studiousness0.00.81.20.92.2-1.49
Amicability1.81.72.32.30.60.11
Cleanliness0.10.70.80.90.6-0.51
Considerateness9.25.89.013.19.91.14
Control0.92.73.02.65.5-1.77
Honesty26.337.833.827.529.3-2.96*
Interest3.52.73.08.86.60.21
Judgment32.016.917.320.412.75.82***
Manners1.33.32.92.46.1-1.57
Obedience11.816.813.28.512.2-1.39
Responsibility10.17.19.09.09.41.28
Sex role0.00.80.70.80.0-1.31
• and *** denote statistically significant differences at p < .05 and p < .001, respectively

Table 20.4 gives similar results for values being one of the three most important that the respondents would most like their children to have. The right hand column gives the values of t for the statistical significance of the different percentages of Jews compared with the remainder of the sample selecting each value as the one of the three most desired in their children. There are eight values in which Jews are significantly different from others. Jews attach less importance to cleanliness, honesty, manners and obedience, but they attach more importance to considerateness, interest in how and why things happen, judgment and responsibility. Fuller details of this study are given in Lynn and Kanazawa (2007).

The results evidently provide no support for the theory that Jews attach more importance to success or to studiousness than non-Jews. In fact, Jews attach less importance to success and to studiousness than non-Jews, although the differences between Jews and non-Jewish are not statistically significant. Jews do attach more importance to four values than non-Jews. These are considerateness, interest in how and why things happen, judgment, and responsibility, but it is not easy to see how these would contribute to the success of Jews in virtually all walks of life. The results that Jewish parents are more likely to foster interest in how and why things happen suggest that this might contribute to the high Jewish achievement in science, but Jews have been equally successful in law, the humanities and business, for which an interest in how and why things happen would not seem to confer any obvious advantage. In general, the results show that Jews do not differ much from gentiles in the values they would most like their children to have. Jews and non-Jews attach most importance to their children being considerate, honest and responsible, and Jews and non-Jews attach least importance to their children valuing cleanliness and appropriate sex role behaviour.

Table 20.4 One of three most important values: percentages
JewsProtsCathsNoneOthert
N22867742736781181-
Success10.514.415.615.017.7-1.81
Studiousness5.36.28.15.911.0-0.90
Amicability14.912.214.712.713.80.91
Cleanliness3.98.36.25.53.3-1.99*
Considerateness41.227.130.736.034.34.07***
Control13.217.315.512.921.0-1.36
Honesty58.867.663.658.855.8-2.16*
Interest27.615.016.334.423.84.26***
Judgment52.236.937.143.135.44.55***
Manners10.524.423.316.922.7-4.60***
Obedience19.735.029.217.824.3-3.94***
Responsibility39.030.735.536.134.82.11*
Sex role1.84.03.43.71.1-1.59
• and *** denote statistically significant differences at p < .05 and p < .001, respectively
Jewish Motivation for Achievement

Although Jews do not seem to attach more importance to success than do non-Jews, it is possible that Jews possess some kind of strong motivational or work ethic advantage that contributes to their achievements. This theory has been proposed by several scholars including Hsu (1972), Kallen (1976), and (Flynn, 1991). There is some evidence in support of the theory. For instance, Rosen (1959) proposed that the racial and ethnic populations in North America differed in what he called an “achievement syndrome” consisting of achievement motivation, “value orientation” and educational-occupational aspiration. He showed in an empirical study that Greeks, Jews and white Protestants had a strong “achievement syndrome” and argued that this was responsible for their educational and socio-economic achievements, while blacks, Catholic Italians and Catholic French-Canadians had a weaker “achievement syndrome” and this was responsible for their lower educational and socio-economic success. In support of this thesis, Carney and McKeachie (1962) have reported a study finding that Jewish college students had higher achievement motivation than those of any other denomination. The strong Jewish achievement motivation/work ethic theory received some further confirmation from a study carried out in the United States by Lenski (1963) from which he concluded that Jews have done well because they have a strong form of Protestant work ethic. He concluded that Jews are like white Protestants in possessing “individualistic, competitive patterns of thought and action linked with the middle class and historically associated with the Protestant ethic or its secular counterpart, the spirit of capitalism”. Catholics and blacks, he argued, have “the collectivist, security oriented working class patterns of action, historically opposed to the Protestant ethic”.

Some further supporting evidence for strong Jewish motivation for achievement for achievement was found by Kosa (1969) in a study of 2,630 American medical students. They were divided into Jews, Protestants, Catholics and Agnostics and were asked how much importance they attached to having a high income and high prestige. The results are given in Table 20.5 and show a higher percentage of Jews attached importance to having a high income and high prestige than in the other three groups.

Table 20.5 Jewish-gentile differences in importance they attached to having a high income and high prestige (percentages)
JewsProtestantsCatholicsAgnostics
High income30192026
High prestige44352823

A study carried out by Fejgin (1995) suggests the same difference. The data of the American NELS national sample of eighth graders, aged approximately 14, and tested in 1988. These were tested in math and reading, on both of which they scored higher than white gentiles (see Table 18.2). They also reported having higher educational aspirations (0.71 d), doing more homework (0.20 d), and watching less television (0.47 d) than white gentiles. The results are shown in Table 20.6. All three differences suggest Jews have stronger motivation for achievement.

Table 20.6 Jewish-gentile differences in measures of motivation (sds in brackets)
MeasureJewsWhites
Number43110,625
Educational aspirations5.53 (2.28)3.88 (2.37)
Homework (hours per week)5.29 (2.72)4.75 (2.66)
TV watching ((hours per day)2.01 (1.49)2,71 (1.53)

Yet another study showing higher motivation for achievement in Jews compared samples in Israel, the United States and Germany and found that Israelis had higher achievement motivation than both Americans (d=0.41) and Germans (d=0.51) (Byrne, Mueller-Hanson, Cardador, Thornton, Schuler, Frintrup and Fox, 2004).

The results of all these studies suggest that Jews have stronger motivation for achievement than gentiles. The high achievements of the Jews can be understood in terms of the formula IQ x Motivation x Opportunity = Achievement. It is the multiplicative interaction of IQ with motivation and opportunity that explains the huge over-representation of the Ashkenazim on all indices of high achievement. A Jewish advantage of around 0.4d to 0.5d in motivation interacting multiplicatively with a 0.67d (10 IQ points) advantage in IQ is sufficient to explain the huge Jewish advantage in achievement. Notice also that if any of the terms in the equation is zero, there can be no achievement. This was the case with Jews before their emancipation in the nineteenth century. They must have possessed their high IQ and motivation because these will have evolved over centuries, but they generally achieved little because they were denied the opportunity, except in a few places like Britain and the Netherlands. Once the Jews were emancipated, all the three components of the equation for achievement were present and the Jews rapidly outperformed gentiles in all areas. The high Jewish motivation of achievement most likely has a genetic basis brought about through having been selected for by eugenic customs, persecution and discrimination, together with high intelligence.

Three Awkward Conclusions

Many of the studies reporting the high intelligence and achievements of the Ashkenazim that have been reviewed in this book have been around for many decades. The high intelligence of the Ashkenazim was first found in the 1920s in three studies in the United States reporting Jewish IQs of 112, 102 and 106, and in two studies in Britain reporting IQs of 110.5 and 113 (see Tables 10.1 and Table 6.3). Over the next decades these high IQs were confirmed by a further fourteen studies published in the United States, two more studies in Britain, and two studies in Canada published in 1968 and 1973 that reported Jewish IQs of 107.1 and 110.5.

Strangely, however, the high intelligence of the Ashkenazim is hardly ever mentioned by social scientists. Of the several hundred social scientists who have documented the high achievements of the Jews and whose work has been summarized in this book, only Weyl and Possony (1963), Weyl (1989), Storfer (1990), MacDonald (1994), Herrnstein and Murray (1994), and Cochran, Hardy and Harpending (2006) have noted and discussed the high Jewish IQ. All the others have ignored it. For instance, the Harvard sociologist Stanley Lieberson and his colleague Carter who showed the remarkable over-representation of Jews in Who’s Who in America make no mention of the high Jewish IQ as a likely explanation (Lieberson and Carter, 1979). There is no mention of the high IQ of the Jews in discussions of Jewish successes by Harvard historians Thernstrom and Thernstrom (2003), or by the economist Gary Becker (1981), the Nobel prize-winner for economics, or by the University of Chicago economist Barry Chiswick (1985, 1988, 1999, 2005), who has devoted a quarter of a century to considering why Jews have done so well. The British sociologist Asher Tropp (1991), whose book documents the over-representation of Jews in the professions in Britain, curiously fails to make any mention of the studies showing that Jews have high IQs. There is no mention of the high IQ of the Jews in Canada by Canadian sociologists Li (1988) and Herberg (1990a, 1990b) who have documented the economic and professional achievements of Jews in Canada.

Nor is there any mention of the high IQ of the Jews in textbooks of sociology (e.g. Giddens, 1993) or of psychology (too numerous to cite), or even in textbooks on intelligence, such as Brody’s (1992) Intelligence, Mackintosh’s (1998) IQ and Human Intelligence, and Sternberg’s (2000) Handbook of Intelligence. In 1994 the American Psychological Association set up a committee of experts on intelligence to produce a report on all the important facts that are known about intelligence. The report included a discussion of the heritability of intelligence, the high IQ of the Chinese and Japanese, and the low IQ of blacks (Neisser et al., 1996: Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns). Strangely absent in all these works has been any mention of the high IQ of the Jews.

How can this silence about the high IQ of the Jews be explained? While some of the historians, sociologists, and economists who have published studies documenting the Jews’ high educational attainment, high earnings, high socio-economic status and remarkable intellectual achievements are no doubt ignorant of the high Jewish IQ, others must surely be aware that the high Jewish IQ must be a major factor in their successes. The contribution of intelligence to educational and socio-economic status is quite well known in the social sciences as a result of the work of sociologists Jencks (1972) in the United States and Bond and Saunders (1999) in Britain. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that sociologists know this but have chosen to ignore it. It is certainly well known in psychology that intelligence is a major determinant of educational and socio-economic achievement (see, e.g. Brand, 1996; Lynn, 1988; Nettle, 2003). The psychologists who are experts on intelligence must be aware of the studies of the high IQ of the Jews but have likewise opted to ignore these. Why should this be? Possibly the reason for this omission is that the high IQ of the Jews raises three awkward problems. The first of these is that the high IQ of the Jews must have a genetic basis, the second that Jewish eugenic customs have contributed to the high Jewish IQ and hence that eugenic practices are effective in raising the intelligence of a people, and the third that an ethnic group with a high IQ succeeds despite discrimination.

The first awkward conclusion raised by the high Jewish IQ is that it is that their high IQ must have a genetic basis. Five reasons for the inescapability of this conclusion have been given in Chapter 19. How else can we explain the extraordinary achievements of these peoples throughout Europe from the middle decades of the nineteenth century, and in the twentieth century in the United States, Britain, Continental Europe, Canada and elsewhere? These peoples arrived in these foreign countries as penniless refugees, and yet throughout the world their children and grandchildren obtained higher average IQs and than their gentile hosts, out performed them in educational attainment, earnings, socio-economic status, and in intellectual achievements.

It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that a significant factor in these Jewish achievements is their high IQ and that this must have substantial genetic basis. Once this conclusion has been reached, it inevitably invites the question of why other ethnic and racial groups, notably blacks, Native Americans and Hispanics in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America, have failed to achieve equality with whites, and why blacks, North Africans and South Asians have likewise failed to achieve equality with whites in Britain and Continental Europe. If the Jews have done better than white gentiles because they have a higher IQ, we are drawn to the conclusion that blacks, Native Americans, Hispanics, and South Asians have failed to succeed because they have a lower IQ. This was the conclusion drawn by Herrnstein and Murray (2004) in The Bell Curve and was met by a huge barrage of attack. Most social scientists are reluctant to spell out this conclusion, either because they are ideologically committed equalitarians on race differences, or because they fear the criticisms they would be certain to incur. So they prefer to avoid the issue of the high Jewish IQ and its implications.

The second awkward conclusion that has to be drawn from the high IQ of the Jews is that it seems to have been a eugenics success story. We have seen that there is a strong case that the eugenic customs and practices of the Ashkenazim (according high status to intelligent rabbis and other scholars and promoting their marriage to the daughters of wealthy merchants) seem to have been a major factor responsible for the evolution of their high intelligence. But who wants to admit that eugenics works and has contributed to the high intelligence and achievements of this extraordinarily gifted people? Evidently not those who have written textbooks on psychology, sociology and intelligence.

The high IQ and achievements of the Jews leads to a third awkward conclusion. This is that an ethnic group with a high IQ succeeds despite discrimination, and this raises the question of why other ethnic groups have failed to succeed. The standard explanation for why blacks, Hispanics and Native American Indians do poorly in IQ, education, earnings and socio-economic status is that whites discriminate against them. The same explanation is routinely advanced to explain why Native American Indians and Mestizos do poorly throughout Latin America, and why Aborigines do poorly in Australia, and Maoris do poorly in New Zealand. Yet the Jews have suffered a great deal of discrimination over the last 2,000 years and it has apparently not had an adverse effect on their intelligence or their achievements. How can this be explained? Jews have everywhere experienced anti-Semitism and discrimination, yet they have invariably done better in earnings, e socio-economic status and intellectual achievement than Europeans. The only possible inference that can be drawn is that an ethnic group with a high IQ succeeds despite discrimination. This in turn discredits the theory that blacks, Hispanics and Native American Indians have failed to achieve equality with whites because of discrimination. Those such as Scarr (1995) who maintain that racial discrimination is an important cause of the low IQ of blacks have a problem in explaining the high IQ of the Jews. Why Jews succeeded where blacks, Hispanics and Native American Indians have failed poses a problem that many social scientists find it hard to explain and therefore prefer not to address. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that this is another of the reasons why a discreet veil of silence has been drawn over the high Jewish IQ.

The Future of the Jewish People

The Jews are unique in having survived as a people for around two thousand years without a homeland and despite numerous persecutions. Normally, immigrant peoples become assimilated with their host populations within a century or two. The Normans who conquered England in 1066 preserved their French language and names for about two hundred years but after this became assimilated with the native English, intermarried with them, adopted the English language, and disappeared as an ethnic group. The French established and ruled a colony around Istanbul in 1204 following the Fourth Crusade, but within two centuries they became assimilated. Yet the Jews have preserved their identity for two thousand years. There are indications, however, that their continued survival as minority groups in many western countries and in Israel is in jeopardy.

The three major bonds through which the Jews have preserved their identity throughout the centuries have been their religion, their language and the prohibition on marrying gentiles. The strength of all three of these began to weaken in the nineteenth century and accelerated in the twentieth century. The first to go was the language. Until the nineteenth century, virtually all the Ashkenazim lived in Russia, Poland, Germany and the Austro-Hungarian empire, where they spoke Yiddish. In the nineteenth century Jews in Germany and the Austro-Hungarian empire gave up Yiddish and adopted the German or Hungarian languages. This facilitated their assimilation and successful Jews began to mix socially with gentiles and intermarry with them. The proportion of Jews marrying gentiles gradually increased until by the 1930s it reached about half in Germany, Austria and Hungary.

The future numbers of the Jewish people throughout the world, assuming the continuation of medium fertility, have been estimated by Della Pergola, Rebhun and Tolts (2000) for the years 2030 and 2080. Their estimates together with their figures for the year 2000 are given in Table 20.5. We see that they project declines in the numbers of Jews throughout the world, except in Israel, where the numbers of Jews is expected to increase and more than double from 2000 to 2080.

Table 20.5 Population projections for the Jewish people (thousands)
Region200020302080
Total world13,10914,12515,574
Israel4,8746,87610,558
North America6,0655,7634,094
Latin America420335199
Europe1,125962609
Former Soviet Union413220
Asia, Africa, Oceania212168114

The projected decline in the numbers of Jews throughout the world except in Israel is attributed to four factors: continued migration to Israel, inter-marriage with gentiles, loss of faith, and below-replacement fertility. They assume continued anti-Semitism will likely be responsible for significant numbers of Jews migrating to Israel. Inter-marriage with gentiles reduces the numbers of Jews because most couples in these mixed marriages bring up their children as gentiles and became assimilated into their host communities. In the twentieth century increasing numbers of Jews married gentiles, but the extent of inter-marriage varied in different countries. In Canada only 12.9 per cent of Jews had married gentiles in 1991, but in the United States the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey showed that 52 percent of Jews had married non-Jews, and only 25 per cent of children reared in Jewish-gentile mixed marriages were being raised as Jews (Kosmin and Lachman, (1993). In the Netherlands, 54 per cent of Jews who married gentiles between 1946 and 1999 (Kalmijn, Liefbroer, van Poppel and van Solinge, (2006)., almost exactly the same as the 52 per cent in the United States.

As significant numbers of Jews have lost their faith, they have ceased to accept the injunction against marrying gentiles and become assimilated with gentiles. This has been a major factor responsible for Jewish assimilation into gentile communities that began throughout Europe in the middle decades of the nineteenth century and spread to the United States in the twentieth century. For instance, a survey of students at UCLA carried out in 1991 found that 17 per cent of Jewish students had abandoned their parents’ religion and this percentage was expected to increase as they grew older (Kosmin and Lachman, (1993). It seems likely that this trend will continue. Many Jews have perceived this trend and are concerned about it, but it is doubtful whether there is anything they could do to reverse it.

In addition to increasing assimilation with gentiles, Jews have been having relatively few children. We have seen this in Canada, where in 1981 Jewish women aged 44 and over had an average of 2.24 children, barely two thirds of the 3.30 for the whole population. In the United States as early as 1957, Jewish women aged 44 and over had an average of 2.22 children, significantly fewer than the 2.80 for the whole population. At the end of the twentieth century the fertility of Jewish women in the United States had fallen to 1.86, well below the 2.1 figure needed for replacement (Wertheimer, 2005). This is an expression of the general tendency for fertility to be below replacement present throughout economically developed countries, particulary among the better educated and the more intelligent.

For all these reasons – migration to Israel, the lessening of religious commitment to Judaism, increasing rates of intermarriage with gentiles, and below replacement fertility – the numbers of Jews has been declining in most western countries. For instance, in Britain the number of Jews declined from 360,000 in 1970 to 267,000 in 2001. The absolute number of Jews in a country is a critical factor determining whether they retain their identity. Where there are relatively few Jews, as in Britain, Continental Europe, and most of the rest of the world, it is difficult for Jews to find suitable Jewish marriage partners, so many of them marry gentiles and lose their Jewish identity. This has been happening on an increasing scale even in the United States where it is estimated that about half the Jewish population are marrying gentiles and almost three quarters of the children of these marriages lose their Jewish identity and bring up their children as gentiles (Wertheimer, 2005). It seems probable, even inevitable, that these trends will continue and that Jews as an ethnic group will to decline in numbers throughout western countries up to the end of the twenty-first century. To estimate the extent of this decline in the United States, we can take Jewish fertility at 1.86 per woman, of whom half are born to gentile partners of whom three quarters lose their Jewish identity. The effect of this is a replacement of 1.l6 Jewish children per Jewish woman. This will result in an approximate halving of the Jewish population in each generation. It has been estimated that the American Jewish population can be expected to decline from around 6 million in 2000 to around 4 million in 2080. Despite this reduction in numbers, Jews are likely to remain an influential force in the United States by virtue of their high IQs, power and wealth, and it is likely there will be a sufficient number for them to retain their identity and remain a significant element in the population at least until the end of the twenty-first century.

It is only in Israel that the number of Jews is projected to increase. But the Jews in Israel face two problems. The first is the implacable hostility of their Arab neighbors. In the second half of the twentieth century the Jews in Israel did not have much difficulty in containing this by virtue of their higher intelligence, but whether they will be able to continue to do this if and when their Arab neighbors secure nuclear weapons is questionable. A second problem lies in the differences in the fertility of the European Jews, the Mizrahim and the Arabs. As we saw in Chapter 11, the European Jews are the elite with the highest IQs and educational achievement, and they form the majority of the professional and middle class. Yet their numbers of children have been below those of the Mizrahim and the Arabs. The fertility differential between the European Jews and the Mizrahim had narrowed by the year 2000, especially for those born in Israel among whom fertility had become almost the same at 2.58 and 2.62, respectively. However, the fertility of the Arabs has been much greater than that of the Jews. In 1960, the average number of children of the Arabs was 9.31 compared with 3.94 for Jews born in Israel. This fertility difference has narrowed until by the year 2000 it reached 2.78 for Jews born in Israel and 4.74 for Arabs. It may be that the fertility of the Arabs will continue to decline until it becomes the same as that of the Jews. It seems more likely that the Arabs will continue to have more children than the Jews, with the result that they become an increasing proportion of the population. Arabs could even become the majority towards the end of the twenty-first century, raising the possibility that Jews could be displaced in their own country.

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