From The Tablet:
The erasure of Jews from American life
BY JACOB SAVAGE
FEBRUARY 28, 2023
…In academia, Hollywood, Washington, even in New York City—anywhere American Jews once made their mark—our influence is in steep decline.
For many Jews, the first instinct is to look inward: We blame intermarriage, assimilation, the loss of the immigrant work ethic. This is, of course, a cope. Because the most significant cause of the decline isn’t Jews themselves, but that American liberalism, our civic religion, has turned on us. Where Jewish success was once upheld as a sign of America’s strength and progress over its prejudices, Jewish “overrepresentation” is again something to be solved, not celebrated.
Well, I typed “Jewish overrepresentation” into Google, and the first hit is a 2004 article in the Jewish Quarterly Review. The New York Times has never mentioned the phrase. (“Jews are overrepresented” has appeared seven times in the history of the NYT.) The general topic of Jewish success disproportionate to their numbers is common in publications for Jewish audiences like The Tablet, but not sites aimed at a general audience like the New York Times.
By the way, the original article comes with lots of URL links to document its claims.
…Another Jewish professor applies to work in the UC system. In his mandatory diversity statement, which he describes as “the most shameful piece of writing I’ve ever done,” his sole aim is to convey the impression that he hopes to be the last Jewish man they ever hire. He still doesn’t get the job.
And why would he? Using YouGov data, Eric Kaufmann finds that just 4% of elite American academics under 30 are Jewish (compared to 21% of boomers). The steep decline of Jewish editors at the Harvard Law Review (down roughly 50% in less than 10 years) could be the subject of its own law review article.
The same pattern holds across America’s elite institutions: a slow-moving downward trend from the 1990s to the mid-2010s—likely due to all sorts of normal sociological factors—and then a purge so sweeping and dramatic you almost wonder who sent out the secret memo.
Black Lives Matter?
Museum boards now diversify by getting Jews to resign. A well-respected Jewish curator at the Guggenheim is purged after she puts on a Basquiat show. At the Art Institute of Chicago, even the nice Jewish lady volunteers are terminated for having the wrong ethnic background. ...
Comb through the dozens of Jewish names for the 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship (I count 30-40). You’ll have a much harder time finding them 10 years later (14-16). There were 3-4 Jewish Marshall Scholars in 2014. I don’t see any in 2022.
From 2010 through 2019 there were at least three Jews in every MacArthur Fellowship class, sometimes as many as five or six. The Forward would write effusive columns celebrating the year’s Jewish geniuses. Since 2020, just 0-1 Jews a year have been awarded grants. The Forward hasn’t bothered to take note....
A FIRE/Yougov survey found that self-identified Jews now number just 7% of Ivy League students, compared to 10% during the height of the antisemitic quotas.
In his gripping podcast Gatecrashers, about the history of Jews in the Ivy League, Mark Oppenheimer describes the troubled state of Jewish campus life. Harvard has gone from being 25% Jewish in the 1990s and 2000s to under 10% today. “In theory it could be the case that Jews are the same percentage of whites at Harvard as they always were,” he explains. “But Harvard has not shrunk the number of athletes it admits […] and they’ve kept their geographical diversity. So if you’re a Jewish kid who’s not an athlete and not a legacy and not from Wyoming … then there’s not much room left for you.”
According to the Hillel College Guide, Penn’s Jewish population declined from 26% in 2015 to 17% in 2021; NYU’s dropped from 24% to 13%. Princeton, Columbia, and Cornell have seen smaller but significant declines (Brown and Dartmouth, with different institutional priorities, are by all accounts happy exceptions).
Data from the Yale Chaplain’s Office—which appears to be the only Ivy League university that still tracks religious affiliation—shows a similar trend: The Jewish population went from 19.9% in the 2000s to 16.4% in the 2010s. A couple of years ago, the school’s chaplain told Meir Chaim Posner, the Chabad rabbi at Yale, that around 11% of Yale undergraduates were Jewish. “It’s dropped slightly since then,” Rabbi Posner told me in November.
“The university has decided that DEI is the overarching principle of admissions,” one Hillel director told me. “There’s a general consensus that it’s more difficult for Jewish students to get into top tier schools.” Nor is this difficulty confined to secular Jews—the modern Orthodox population has also crashed. A college counselor at a top Jewish day school reports that as universities have revamped enrollment and gone test-optional, the number of Orthodox students has decreased….
The 1999 Hillel College Guide now reads like a map to a lost civilization. Harvard and Yale have 1,500 Jewish undergrads apiece. There are 5,000 Jewish students and grad students at Columbia, 6,000 at Penn, 14,000 at NYU. It’s hard to imagine that as recently as 2008, articles were being written about the “race” to attract Jewish students.
What was normal less than two decades ago sounds like a siren call from a distant golden age. To even suggest that a 15%-20% Jewish undergraduate student body might be acceptable in a country in which Jews make up 2.4% of the total population is anathema in today’s liberal society.
To be precise, Jewish representation is not much talked about.
Instead, what’s talked about, over and over, is how there are too many whites.
And guess what? For purposes of diversity, Jews count as white.
…Younger Jews are being excluded from the liberal organizations their parents and grandparents helped create. Identitarian meltdowns roil the progressive world. The Women’s March, the ACLU, and the SPLC all get rid of Jewish leadership. There will be no more “Mighty Iras” in our lifetime. Not even the Jewish president of the Audubon Society is safe.
There are still powerful Jews in Washington—neo-Nazis on Twitter like to post photos of Biden’s cabinet—but the influence is waning. Is it a coincidence that in the U.S. Senate (a handsy group of old men if ever there was one) the only senator forced to resign during the #MeToo panic happened to be Jewish? Or that activists pushed for Dianne Feinstein’s resignation for the explicit reason that she be replaced by someone who isn’t Jewish?
Of the 114 federal judges appointed by Joe Biden (as of this writing), just 8-9 appear to be Jewish—in a field that’s historically been at least 20% Jewish. Liberals worship Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a magical Jewish Teletubby, but they wouldn’t dare nominate another “white woman” to the highest court anytime soon. We are back to the single Jewish seat on the court.
Apparently Jews have so much power and influence that the highest-ranking Jewish senator in history finds it too politically difficult to hire a 22-year-old version of himself. There were at least 15 Jews on Chuck Schumer’s staff of 64 in 2014. After facing pressure for not being diverse enough, and despite an enlarged staff of 89, he can no longer make a minyan...
Speaking of LA, a decade ago there were 22 Jews on The Hollywood Reporter’s annual list of the Top 50 Showrunners. In 2022, that’s down to 13. Other than the half-Jewish (and already famous) Maggie Gyllenhaal, you’d have to go back six years to find a single Jew on Variety’s annual list of 10 Directors to Watch.. …
There will certainly never be another Larry King or Andy Borowitz, Jews of such astounding mediocrity you wonder what was in the water. …
The new DEI regime treats any disparity between groups as evidence of unfair advantage—and yet we’re supposed to think it’s a coincidence that Jewish representation plummets at the exact moment America frantically pushes to racially rebalance all high-status industries.
Because what is framed as a backlash against America’s “white” centers of power is in many cases a clever sleight of hand. Jews are being disproportionately purged from liberal institutions because Jews disproportionately exist within those institutions.
When activists and journalists and executives talk about how Broadway or NPR or publishing is “too white,” what they really mean is “too Jewish.” When The New York Times says it wants to make its internal demographics look more like New York City’s (excepting the Hasidim, of course), what this means is “fewer Jews.” Twenty years ago, if Pat Robertson spoke along these lines—making the same complaints about the same people and industries and institutions—there would have been a rush to condemn it as antisemitic. Today it passes for social justice. …
From civil rights to Vietnam to the spectacular bounty of their cultural and political achievements, liberal Jewish boomers always managed to be on the right side of history. It is a supreme irony that they’ve helped empower a movement that now places their children and grandchildren on the wrong side.
This may have something to do with why the Biden Administration is back to pushing to create a new Middle Eastern & North African racial category that would be distinct from whites on official headcounts. Presumably, Israeli and Mizrahi Jews would be eligible. And since race is largely (but not wholly) a matter of self-identification in American practice, some Ashkenazis might too, which would enable them to point out that firing them wouldn’t improve DIE numbers.
Alternatively, influential Jews could wake up and say, “Hey, wait a minute, we’re white too! Why are we helping blow up a place where we thrived?”