May 18 2011

The Tel Aviv Cluster

The following opinion editorial was brought to us from the New York Times’ David Brooks

Jews are a famously accomplished group. They make up 0.2 percent of the world population, but 54 percent of the world chess champions, 27 percent of the Nobel physics laureates and 31 percent of the medicine laureates.

Jews make up 2 percent of the U.S. population, but 21 percent of the Ivy League student bodies, 26 percent of the Kennedy Center honorees, 37 percent of the Academy Award-winning directors, 38 percent of those on a recent Business Week list of leading philanthropists, 51 percent of the Pulitzer Prize winners for nonfiction.

In his book, The Golden Age of Jewish Achievement, Steven L. Pease lists some of the explanations people have given for this record of achievement. The Jewish faith encourages a belief in progress and personal accountability. It is learning-based, not rite-based.

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May 17 2011

Correlating Religion, Education, and Family Income

Occasionally, a very simple graphic makes a profound point.

That happened last Sunday when the New York Times Sunday Magazine published the following graphic and story correlating religion, education, and income. The chart illustrates the fundamental importance Reform and Conservative Jews place on education (58 to 65 percent of them have college degrees – versus 27 percent of the American population). That disparity has a dramatic impact on family income. Sixty-seven percent of Reform Jews have family incomes of more than $75,000 per year versus only 31 percent of American families. Cultures that treasure education will produce kids with significantly greater job skills – and that will qualify them for substantially higher paying jobs. As ever more of our mid-level jobs are lost to productivity gains, college and post graduate degrees are becoming ever more critical to the future of our kids.

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Jun 8 2010

Susan Turnbull Interview Part II

Jewish Achievement reporter Kandie Stroud interviews Susan Turnbull, a life-long community activist who has worked in numerous campaigns and Democratic Party leadership positions. She is the Chair of Jewish Women International, Chair of the Democratic Party in Maryland and former Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee. In this video, Ms. Turnbull discusses her family history during World War II and how it helped shape her worldview.

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Jun 3 2010

Welcome to Obama’s Jewish America

The following article on the Jewish American Heritage Month celebration held on May 27th has been brought to us from the Jewish Chronicles Ron Kampeas:

The athletes, the astronauts, the alternative music, the black rabbi, the white dress uniforms and, above all, the left-handed baseball immortal: Welcome to Barack Obama’s Jewish America.

The inaugural Jewish America Heritage Month celebration at the White House underscored the Obama administration’s determination not to be locked into Washington’s conventional notions of Jewish leadership.

President Obama did not exactly snub the usual suspects who have peopled similar events for decades. Lee Rosenberg, the president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and Alan Solow, the chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, were on hand. Both also happen to have been major fund-raisers for Obama’s campaign, as were several others among the 250 or so in attendance.
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Jun 1 2010

Susie Turnbull Speaks to Jewish Achievement Blog.com!

Jewish Achievement reporter Kandie Stroud recently interviewed Susie Turnbull, former Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee and a life-long community activist who has worked in numerous campaigns and Democratic Party leadership positions. Ms. Turnbull is also chair of Jewish Women International. In this video, Ms. Turnbull discusses Jewish American Heritage Month, the inaugural event in its honor held at the White House, of which she was an esteemed attendee and indeed the current geopolitical situation emanating from the Middle East, certainly an unavoidable topic of discussion in contemporary society. Part one of our interview also showcases Ms. Turnbull discussing the great Sandy Koufax and the importance of President Obama moving forward with JAHM.

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Jun 1 2010

My Son, The Doctor

A few years ago, Sherwin B. Nuland  published an insightful and intriguing article in the The New Republic entitled “My Son, The Doctor”, discussing the topic of Jews and medicine from a unique historical perspective. We feel Mr. Nuland makes a compelling case for culture as a driver of Jewish involvement in medicine, including referring to the biblical link between physical and moral purity while emphasizing that maintenance of health is maintenance of life. We wish to share this distinct perspective with you today.

‘though the medieval Muslims called both Jews and Christians the people of the book, Jews are in effect the people of the body as well.’ – Sherwin B. Nuland

Why is it, in fact, that so many Jews have become doctors? Here follows a twice-told tale that bears telling once again.

Imprisoned in a tower in Madrid, disabled by syphilis and further weakened by an abscess in his scalp, the French king Francis I asked of his captor, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, that he send his finest Jewish physician to attempt a cure. At some point after the doctor arrived, Francis, in an attempt at light conversation, asked him if he was not yet tired of waiting for the messiah to come. To his chagrin, he was told that his healer was not actually Jewish, but a converso who had long been a baptized Christian. Francis dismissed him, and arranged to be treated by a genuine Jew, brought all the way from Constantinople.

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May 27 2010

Jewish American Heritage Month Celebrates the Famous and Not-So-Famous

The following article further documenting the reception honoring Jewish American Heritage Month at the White House is brought to us by Fox News’ White House Blog. Here, “The Golden Age of Jewish Achievement” author Steven L. Pease discusses the possible political undertone behind the event but further, that with Mr. Obama hosting and for this administration, “there is no downside”.

It’s not quite a State Dinner, but an event in Washington on Thursday brings its own star power. The Obama administration is set to host the first ever reception to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month (which happens to be May) and rumors are swirling that some big names could be arriving at the White House.

There’s no confirmed guest list (yet), but there are reports that the attendees range from sports legends to writers to members of the Jewish community who contribute every day within Jewish organizations. The White House says the event won’t be like the Hanukkah reception with religious leaders as guests. Instead the administration chose to focus on Americans who contribute to the culture of the country and also happen to be Jewish.

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May 27 2010

The Disproportionate Success of Jews in America

Steven L. Pease, a venture capitalist and community activist, is the author of The Golden Age of Jewish Achievement: The Compendium of a Culture, a People, and Their Stunning Performance. He is also, not Jewish. Below, as excerpted from his most recent opinion editorial on JTA.org, is an insightful perspective on the disproportionate historical achievements of the Jewish people in light of Jewish American Heritage Month.

When I was a kid, the prospect of catching polio was terrifying. We could not dive into a public swimming pool for fear we would spend the rest of our lives in an iron lung. Two Jewish doctors vanquished that disease and removed such fears forever.

Dr. Jonas Salk and Dr. Albert Sabin are but two of the Jews we honor in celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month.

America has been blessed with many waves of immigrants from all over the world who have made our nation the most successful in history. This success has drawn these immigrants with its promise of living free and making one’s own way, and perhaps achieving and contributing great things.

During Jewish American Heritage Month in May, we honor our Jewish countrymen. Their numbers are small, roughly 5 million or 6 million in a country of more than 300 million.
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May 26 2010

CAPITAL CULTURE: White House Party To Fete Jewish Culture

In politics, as elsewhere, it’s a sport that’s almost as popular as people-watching: Guest-list watching.

And this week, it’s the Jewish community in Washington and beyond that’s buzzing over who’ll be on the list when Barack and Michelle Obama host the first-ever White House reception marking Jewish Heritage Month.

The White House won’t divulge the guest list for Thursday afternoon’s event in the East Room. But it’s clearly an eclectic and interesting one and markedly different from past Jewish-themed events like the president’s annual Hanukkah party.

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May 25 2010

Hadassah Lieberman Interview Part Two

Jewish Achievement reporter Kandie Stroud interviews Hadassah Lieberman, wife of Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn) and Global Ambassador of the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure campaign on her Jewish heritage, the importance of Jewish American Heritage Month and her pride in American citizens from all walks of life coming together in support of the Jewish people for a bevy of reasons.

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