Why do Jews succeed?

I found this article a very interesting read.


3 secular rules for success:

*]Devotion to family life.
*]Devotion to education for both self and family.
*]Dedication to the free enterprise system.

I have many Jews for neighbors and all of the qualities on your list is evident in their lives.

Contrary to common thought, following the Old Testament rules religiously is actually a great way to run one’s life. It leads to a strong family base from which people are able to reach their full potential. My family is not Jewish, but my parents were dedicated to living as the Bible commands (Taking the New Testament into consideration of course), and we’ve all been quite successful so far. Also, Jews tend to work really hard. Hard work equals success in this society.

I suppose on what you call success . The family is number one in my eyes then the street to the community . My Dad used to say that if you a not academically clever that’s not a problem, use your hands for work. Soap and water along with punctuality and good manners you will succeed . It’s only when people fall for the myself idea that they fall short. This thrown together with knowing right and wrongs and forgiving the world is your oyster as they say. What comes next is down to those things, it doesn’t come on the first attempt either. Keep going forward not backwards.


Secular? I guess when I think of that word I think of current secular humanist types who have no underpinning of morals or ethics, it’s all relative. Further the secular humanists are against free enterprise, consider “family” an outdated motive, although I believe they tend to approve of education.

Not trying to argue your points which make perfect sense to me but I see them as RELIGIOUSLY based, particularly from the Judeo Christian orientation. You do not see this same three in other faith traditions and not from the secular world either.

BTW the three above could be applied very strongly to LDS which is known for having stable and prosperous communities, stable and prosperous families and successful businesses. I don’t follow their religious beliefs but their way of life is, like that of practicing Jews, to be greatly admired


I find the question in the thread tag “why do Jews succeed?” just a tad presumptuous, if not patronizing or offensive.

It seems to make a sweeping generalization about a large group.

It seems to assume all Jews are wealthy business tycoons, not taking into account the many Jewish families who are living in poverty.

I’m sure it wasn’t meant that way , but it seemed as insensitive of asking “why are Asians so good at math but so bad at driving,” or “why do blacks like fried chicken”?

These, and the one on success of Jews, are inappropriate generalities we would (and should) cringe over.

They win because of who they know, not what they know. The Jews established the modern banking system, so it’s been a self-perpetuating cycle for their families and friends at the synagogue to stay in high places in finance. Now that finance is the aristocracy of the modern world, their success and power projects outward from their success in that industry. It has nothing to do with fidelity to God’s commandments–do you see any of the strict Hasidic Jews owning huge financial and law firms?


Basically this:

Which is a trait of all mankind of course…

With regard to the education of family among more Orthodox Jews, the stereotype does not always fit. While some traditionally Orthodox Jews place a high priority on education, others (some streams of Hasidism, for example) do not, particularly for their daughters. There is the idea among these groups that women should not have too much education and should fulfill their roles as stay-at-home mothers who raise the children. OTOH, in some Orthodox families, women must work to support their husbands, who devote much of their time to studying the Torah.

I would also like to take exception to the notion that most Jews are successful. While this sounds complimentary, it is also a stereotype. In New York City, there is a sub-class called the Jewish poor. They are not discussed much because most of them keep to themselves and do not go on welfare, but they do exist. Further, many Jews–similar to those people of other ethnicities–work long hours in low-paying jobs and are hardly financially successful. Some just manage to stay afloat economically. Yes, Jews are noted for being entrepreneurs, physicians, lawyers, professors, accountants, involved in the arts, and so on; however, an equal or larger number are no doubt struggling, especially those with larger families.

Meltzerboy I appreciate your weighing in since you obviously know much more about the subject both by being Jewish and by living in NYC where there is a large Jewish population.

I don’t think anyone suggested that most Jews are successful (financially) Nor is there a history of uniformly wealthy Jews. I think the word “ghetto” came from Jewish enclaves in Europe and certainly the Jews who were rounded up and killed by Hitler were from weak or poor areas, else he would have been far less successful in destroying these communities. Envy of Jewish success, however small in numbers, has been used to demonize the people and sadly a number of folks believe the stereotype.

But in all fairness you have to look to the Jewish people with admiration and awe. Given the amount of attacks on them from the first days (as you must know from reading the Torah) through the modern times, it’s amazing they have even survived, much less had the level of success that you can point to in what is a tiny minority population.

So to what do you attribute their success in overcoming so many attempts to destroy them?


PS I heard from a pundit that Anthony Weiner’s initial popularity despite his history and his lack of accomplishments and given his apparently obnoxious personality was because he is/was the only Jew in the NYC mayoral race. Is that true?

The Jews Hitler rounded up and killed came from all sort of backgrounds, many of richer or more foresighted Jews had fled Germany by the beginning of WW2. Unfortunately quite a lot of them went to other European countries and got killed when Hitler invaded.

Of course, good point. I just wanted to point out that not all Jews were the wealthy bankers and businessmen of the usual anti-Semitic rants. Certainly the original Hebrew people were anything but wealthy and successful.

As to more modern day experiences, we are very fortunate that many Jews fled and others were hidden by caring citizens before Hitler captured them.


The Jewish people that I know have morals and values that they follow that help them succeed: There’s no conspiracy, or special gene, or extra nepotism.

My experience would say those morals and values are: Honesty, thrift, dedication, education and a willingness to discuss these things.

I understand your argument, Lisa, and largely agree with you, with the exception of Jharek’s good point about wealthy Jews’ having also been rounded up by the Nazis. Against all odds, the Jewish people have survived, and I attribute this to both divine providence and human determination.

Anthony Weiner is a moral disgrace and should not even be running for Mayor of New York, and neither should Eliot Spitzer be running for Comptroller. I think he has some support not so much because he is Jewish but because he–like Spitzer–is a fighter with good, progressive ideas, which many New Yorkers appreciate. He fails the decency test (even for New York), however. The leading democratic candidate, as we speak, is Christine Quinn, an Irish Catholic woman who is openly gay. Yes, indeed, this is New York!


True the Jews are / were the chosen people and God will not forget to draft them back into the fold.

However, are the Jews truly, truly successful in the eyes of God? No not at all, the Jews lost for the time being Jesus Christ as their Savior.

What profit a man if he gains the whole world, but then looses his soul… by not obeying / following Jesus Christ and His Church.

A poor man / woman having Jesus Christ in his / her heart and hears the Church Jesus Christ established are truly the ones succeeding in God’s eyes.

Ufam Tobie

This is not relevant to the question that started the threads and edges dangerously close to prosyletising.

I thought it was the Knights Templar.

In my opinion the success of Jews is primarily cultural. At least that’s the way it seems in South Florida. Here there seems to be a strong expectation that a Jewish child will become a successful business owner or some kind of professional, i.e. M.D., lawyer, accountant, dentist, etc. I can strongly relate to this aspect of the Jewish culture because it is also found in the Cuban culture (mine). Growing up, most of my non-Jewish and non-Cuban friends did not seem to have those cultural expectations placed on them. Their families just wanted them to be employed or have some technical trade. *(This is a generalization of course.)
*The fact is that if you go see a Medical Doctor or a lawyer in South Florida they will most likely be a Jew or a Cuban.

Another example of why I think it’s cultural can be found in the New York Mob history. In the early days of Meyer Lansky’s “career” he had his own Jewish troops/enforcers. However, there came a time where he could no longer find any Jewish thugs to recruit. Many Jews were making their kids become Doctors, lawyers, businessman, etc. He was forced to make an alliance with the Italian mobsters.

On the other hand, is that really success. There are many unhappy lawyers and doctors that did not really have a vocation for those professions. That includes me. In my heart I am a guitarist. I guess I became a lawyer because there are so few and the country was in dire need of more lawyers.:smiley:

What I find most disturbing about Jews is the fact they are so disproportionally successful
in stand-up comedy. This is an embarrassment! More gentile families need to encourage their children to become stand-up comedians. We can all use more laughter.:smiley:

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