The Jewish stereotype that portrays Jewish people as being miserly and shrewd with money comes from as far back as medieval Europe. According to the article “Making Sense of Jewish Stereotypes” Jewish people were given jobs handling and lending money because Christians believed the jobs to be wrong morally. Another factor in this stereotype is that Jewish people throughout time have been persecuted. They have had the threat of having to move at a moments notice and any sign of wealth or any sign of doing good, like jewelry, could be dangerous thus, the miserly Jew was born.
Peter Griffin : Nothing else has worked so far So I'll wish upon a star Wondrous dancing speck of light, I need a Jew.
Lois makes me take the rap Cause our checkbook looks like crap.
Since I can't give her a slap, I need a Jew.
Where to find A Baum or Steen or Stein To teach me how to whine and do my taaaaaxesss...
Though by many they're abhorred Hebrew people I've adored Even though they killed my Lord, I need a Jew.
Max : Hi, my name's Max Weinstein, my car just broke down, can I use you phone?
Peter : Now my troubles are all through I have a Jew!
Max : Hey!
There many stereotypes here but, I think, the context of this song is that he needs a Jewish person to do work on his finances. The thought is that by making fun of this they will bring awareness to it but, are the writers making it worse for the Jewish community? There are also movies and comedy skits written by Jewish performers with jokes similar, so does it all depend on the writer?
Also from “The Family Guy” the picture to the right shows the “Jew Man Group”
This is a long standing stereotype given to the common person by anti-Semite conspiracy theorists who believe that Jewish people are controlling the media and what the average person consumes. This idea may be what shows like the Family Guy on the previous slide are responding to.
The Anti Defamation league has studied this claim and found it to be false stating that, “American Jews have as much right as any other citizen of the United States to work in the motion picture business.”
This idea has led some to believe that the Jewish people in charge of Hollywood and the media are controlling what average people think. The site below is from one such publication. These ideas, of course, make the Jewish culture and society look bad but also portray the Average person as incapable of making their own decisions.
This stereotype has run rampant in America. It portrays Jewish women as self centered and Materialistic. According to Boston Globe, this stereotype has even spread to non Jewish women. Carrie Bradshaw from the show Sex and the City has been seen as a JAP even though she is not Jewish. Another example is the Character of Fran Fine from the sitcom “The Nanny”
Some Jewish women, like Sarah Silverman and the authors of T he Jewish Princess Cookbook pictures above, have taken the idea and reclaimed the title and spoofed it. By doing this they have taken away it’s power over them. According to Wikipedia the title has sparked sexism and violence against Jewish women. You can even find tee shirts with the saying, “Slap-A-JAP”
To be a Jew in the twentieth century Is to be offered a gift. If you refuse, Wishing to be invisible, you choose Death of the spirit, the stone insanity. Accepting, take full life. Full agonies: Your evening deep in labyrinthine blood Of those who resist, fail, and resist: and God Reduced to a hostage among hostages.
The gift is torment. Not alone the still Torture, isolation; or torture of the flesh. That may come also. But the accepting wish, The whole and fertile spirit as guarantee For every human freedom, suffering to be free, Daring to live for the impossible.
This poem was written to help the Jewish community endure their suffering. It deals with the constant struggle of the Jewish person to live in modern society. Poems like this speak out against stereotypes and give the Jewish person reading a sense of pride through the pain.
http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/fuchs.htm -While Jews may not necessarily be physically dirty, this is one aspect of the stereotype that has been perpetuated by poems such as this one -This poem by Elwira Bauer, is from her book, Trau keinem Fuchs auf grüner Heid und keinem Jüd auf seinem Ei.
Examples of the Dirty Jew -Stan Gray talks about being stereotyped as a “dirty Jew” in his piece, “Stan Gray: The Greatest Canadian ... Shit-Disturber.” He says that children would chant “dirty Jew” while they threw rocks and snowballs at him. -He tells his story about how as a child he endured bullying for being a Jew. Stan Gray: The Greatest Canadian ... Shit-Disturber. Canadian Dimension, 00083402, Nov/Dec2004, Vol. 38, Issue 6
-Use of the term “dirty Jew” as an insult is a practice that has existed for generations, occurring in literature, popular culture and everyday conversation.
-People like Hitler spread the idea that the Jewish race was impure and that interracial marriage between a Jew and white made the white race “dirty.”
-When the Nazi’s were in control in Germany, they employed people to ride up and down the streets shouting “Jews are dirty!” in an effort to make the Germans disgusted by Jews.
-Sometimes the view of the Jew as dirty has come from the fact that they are not white or black.
Some people refer to Jews who do not uphold typical Jewish customs, or fit what is socially accepted as a Jew, as “dirty Jews.” This is ironic, though, because by a Jewish person not fitting the stereotypical Jew they are insulted by non-Jews.
- A Literary History of the Dirty Jew by Josh Lambert
-Josh Lambert follows the stereotype of the “dirty Jew” through literature. Lambert even says that the stereotype has been perpetuated so much that it has become cliché.
-Stereotypes, such as the “dirty Jew,” normally come from the desire to separate a group of people.
-Jeffrey Singer of The Future of Freedom Foundation said, “Still, most stereotypes did not arise in a vacuum. They usually developed after a behavior pattern or trait was seen with great frequency and consistency among several members of a racial or ethnic group. The mental process of generalization produced the stereotype. Some stereotypes are positive and some are negative. All are irrational and anti-individualist.”
-The stereotype of the “dirty Jew” has been perpetuated in an effort to distance the Jews from the rest of society. If they are separated, then it is easier to make them a scapegoat or to be detached from situations like the Holocaust. Making a group of people be outside of the norm causes society to feel less connected to them and therefore less guilt for portraying them in the wrong light.
- A Literary History of the Dirty Jew , Josh Lambert
THE POLITICALLY LEFT JEW STEREOTYPE Image: http://web.jjay.cuny.edu/~govern/bios.htm
Another stereotype of Jews is that of being politically liberal. This stereotype comes from the fact that since the late 1800s, American Jews have supported progressive political parties and candidates.
In the early 1900s, this meant supporting Republicans. Jews voted primarily for the Republican party up into the 1920s. When the Democratic Party became socially progressive with the arrival of Roosevelt’s New Deal, Jews switched parties. More than 90 percent voted for Roosevelt.
This image, from a German humor magazine, shows Roosevelt surrounded by Jews. http://www.fff.org/freedom/0400f.asp http://www.radioislam.org/cartoons/german-ww2/satiric.htm
A 1972 survey of Jews in New York called The Ethnic Factor, by Mark Levy and Michael Kramer, found three-quarters to be registered as Democrats. Half described themselves as "liberal," and more than a fourth called themselves "moderate."
Jews are overrepresented among the radical Left. Sociologist Ernest van den Haag, in The Jewish Mystique, reports, "Out of one hundred Jews, five may be radicals. Out of ten radicals, five are likely to be Jewish."
This stereotype has stuck around largely in part because it is based on indisputable political data and polls.
However, this stereotype doesn’t make sense when viewed historically. Jewish people have a history that should cause them to distrust a strong, intrusive government.
One possible reason is that for centuries, Jews have justifiably viewed themselves as underdogs. “This might make them more receptive to political movements purporting to fight for society’s underdogs.”
According to Dr. Singer of the Maimonides Society of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, “Jews should embrace the libertarian spirits of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Mason, and Patrick Henry in their fervent commitment to a limited, minimalist government whose sole mission is protecting individuals' equal rights. The political stereotype assigned to modern Western Jews is understandable when viewing political and electoral statistics.”
In a Jewish detention camp in 1943 in Vittel France, Yitzhak Katzenelson wrote Dos lid funem oysgehargetn yidishn folk (Which translates to "Song of the Murdered Jewish People.”)
Many passages of the epic poem show the strength of the Jewish community as well as many Jewish ideas about politics.
Dos lid funem oysgehargetn yidishn folk (The Song of the Murdered Jewish People)
More from: Dos lid funem oysgehargetn yidishn folk (The Song of the Murdered Jewish People)
“ Seriousness remains, seeps into the world, into life and affects it deeply. Jewish seriousness sobers, awakens and opens blind eyes. It is like a Torah, a prophecy, a holy writ for the world. Don't cry, don't ... Eighty million criminals for one Jewish child's seriousness.”
“ Why? don't ask why! Everybody knows, all gentiles, good and bad, The worst helped the Germans, the best closed one eye, pretending to be asleep- No, no, nobody will demand a reckoning, probe, ask why. Our blood is free, it may be shed. We may be killed and murdered with impunity.”
Like all stereotypes, some Jews will fit this characteristic while others will not. Many Jews, even famous political figures such as Alan Greenspan, can hardly be called left-wing. This stereotype isn’t necessarily a negative one, but definitely could be for a Jewish politician with conservative viewpoints who may be judged by the stereotype of his or her religious group.
However, unlike other stereotypes of Jews, this one has much evidence through polls and voting records. While it may be true most of the time, people must realize that it is not true all of the time.
Throughout history and in our culture, Jews have been stereotyped and described as being smart, and in the article, Making Sense of Jewish Stereotypes , Jeffery A. Singer gives the example of Jews as being “adept money handlers” thus making them rich or having a love for money.
Jews took intellectual jobs, rather than factory work, which were jobs in which you would pick up and move. A stereotype that arose out of this was that they made great lawyers, doctors, and teachers. They did this because of persecution and the chance that they had to flee to another town. It made it much easier for them.
The idea that they were adept money handlers came from this. They are seen as being wealthy and taking advantage of being able to get money. This stereotype of Jew’s labels them as being successful and wealthy, obtaining lots of money.
This idea has spread from Europe across to the United States, where these ideas are prevalent also. Especially in areas where there are higher concentrations of Jewish people, like New York for example.
For the United States, this might be where most of the stereotyping comes from. The image of the rich Jew is projected more from there. However, the stereotype that all Jew’s are rich is not true. A recent study shows how these is just a stereotype and for the most part a misjudgment.
“ A recent report revealed that one-third of Jews in New York- 329,000- live below the poverty line or close to it.”
The statistics are: “225,000 of 1 million Jews in New York live below the poverty line, earning less than $26,000 a year for a family of four. Another 104,000 Jews in New York live on the brink of poverty with an annual income of $38,000 for a family of four.”
There are Jews out there who do in fact fit the stereotype, yet as in any case, there are those who do not.
Yonassan Gershom wrote Jews Without Money as a reaction to the stereotype. He wrote: “One single mother I know was told by neighbors in her apartment building, ‘You may be poor now, but you'll get rich, because Jews have a natural talent for making money.’ Natural talent? Which genes control prosperity? Are they on the same chromosomes that make Jews ‘smarter’?”
As a result of this stereotype, “Many poor Jews are, quite frankly, afraid to admit that they are Jewish, for fear of being harassed or ridiculed.”
Gershom encountered this stereotype personally: “There was the bill collector who simply refused to believe that I was unemployed and had no cash on hand. He had apparently been informed that I was a rabbi, which, to him, meant that I must be drawing a fat salary from some suburban synagogue. At one point, this obnoxious man actually threatened to reveal my debts to my ‘congregation.’”
Gershom’s reaction: “For every Jewish millionaire, there are countless anonymous Jews who struggle to make ends meet like everyone else. We are ordinary human beings, with all kinds of personalities, occupations and lifestyles. Many of us live right here in the inner city, supported by pay checks, welfare checks, unemployment checks, and social security checks. We are your neighbors.”
This stereotype of Jews is not only something observed from outsiders, but during the research process I found out that it happens within the group as well.
A presumably Jewish woman wrote an email/letter to a Jewish organization about experiencing this stereotype that all Jew’s are rich. In her email she spoke about a Jewish friend of hers who was not making a lot of money and her child did not have adequate shoes for the winter. Instead of the Jewish organizations helping her out and giving her some charity, “they were remarkably unsympathetic towards her, insinuating that she just didn't know how to manage money.”
I think that the idea or stereotype that all Jews are rich in a way relates back to some of the ideas in Worry Girl. Social class seemed to be prevalent in that book. The idea that Jews have good jobs that are intellectual was shown in the job that her mother had, a psychologist. Also, it seemed that her place in the school depended upon her status of wealth, which is how this stereotype is portrayed. As a Jew you are seen as wealthy and smart. I personally do not believe all Jews are rich and are members of the higher class of society; it is just not something that I have observed or personally came in contact with. But, that is one stereotype found about Jewish people. What about those, like Gershom mentioned, who have to take low paying jobs, drive cabs, are street vendors, or things like that?
This is another joke about Jews and money that I have heard several times:
Moishe and Solly are passing a Catholic Church and see a sign that reads "Convert to Catholicism, $50 Cash." Moishe turns to his friend Solly and says, "Hey, I'm going to try it." He enters the church and returns a few minutes later "So, did you convert? What was it like?" Solly eagerly asks. "It was nothing", says Moishe, "I walked in, a priest sprinkled holy water on me, and said 'you're a Catholic.'" "Wow," says Solly "and did you get the $50?" "You Jews," replies Moishe "all you think about is money!“
Q: Why don't Jewish mothers drink? *A: Alcohol interferes with their suffering. *Q: Have you seen the newest Jewish-American Princess horror movie ? *A: It's called "Debbie Does Dishes". *Q: Why do Jewish Mothers make great parole officers? *A: They never let anyone finish a sentence. *Q: What's a Jewish American Princess' favorite position? *A: Facing Bloomingdale's *When the doctor called Mrs. Liebenbaum to tell her that her check came back, she replied, "So did my arthritis." *A man calls his mother in Florida. "Mom, how are you?" *"Not too good,"says the mother. "I've been very weak." *The son says, "Why are you so weak?" *She says, "Because I haven't eaten in 38 days." *The man says, "That's terrible. Why haven't you eaten in 38 days? *The mother answers, "Because I didn't want my mouth filled with food if you called." *A Jewish boy comes home from school and tells his mother he's been given a part in the school play. *"Wonderful. What part is it?" *The boy says, “I play the part of the Jewish husband." *The mother scowls and says, "Go back and tell the teacher you want a speaking part." *Q. Where does a Jewish husband hide money from his wife? *A. Under the vacuum cleaner. *Q. How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a light bulb? *A. (Sigh) Don't bother, I'll sit in the dark, I don't want to be a nuisance to anybody.
* Did you hear about the bum who walked up to the Jewish mother on the street and said, 'Lady, I haven't eaten in three days.' *"Force yourself," she replied. * Q: What did the waiter ask the group of dining Jewish mothers? * A: 'Is ANYTHING all right?' * Q: What's the difference between a Rottweiler and a Jewish Mother? * A: Eventually, the Rottweiler lets go. * Sam Levy was driving down the road, gets pulled over by a policeman. Walking up to Sam's car, the policeman says, 'Your wife fell out of the car five miles back.' Sam replies, 'Thank god for that... I'd thought I'd gone deaf!' * Q: If a doctor carries a black bag and a plumber carries a toolbox, what does a mohel carry? * A: A Bris-kit!
Q: What do you call steaks ordered by 10 Jews?
* A: Filet minyan.
* Jewish telegram: 'Begin worrying. Details to follow.‘
It seems that these jokes can be either racist or just responding to the stereotype like some Jewish comedians, like Sarah Silverman, do. With this type of humor it all depends on the audience and the person telling the joke.