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,Â 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.
The following message comes to us from Charles Ickowicz, author of Word Power: Vocabulary for Success. We sincerely thank Mr. Ickowicz for his kind words and encourage you to read on to see his unique list of Jewish Achievers.
I very much enjoyed reading your very interesting and well researched book about the contribution of the Jewish people to our culture and society. The many stories of the individuals that you profiled were both fascinating and fun reading. Whether it was about Jews in science, politics, sports, business, the military, or the bad guys, I learned quite a lot both about the individuals and their contribution to our society. Gathering so much information and writing about it must have been a tremendous amount of work.
Additionally, it was very touching to read about your warm feelings toward the Jewish people and your reasons for writing your book.
“The Golden Age of Jewish Achievement” and our subsequent blog look to engage, entertain and inform on the dynamics and indeed the dynamic people behind the remarkable performance of the Jewish people.
From time to time we receive wonderful feedback from our readers, which we have included on our blog in a series we call ‘Comments About the Golden Age‘.
Our first came in the form of a letter from Mr. Les Adler. Les Adler has been a faculty member in the Hutchins School since 1970, serving also as Provost from 1977-1979 and from 1987-1997. Additionally, he spent a half-year teaching in England in 1983 for the American Institute for Foreign Study, and a year in Southeast Asia as Fulbright Professor of American history and foreign policy as the National University of Singapore in 1991-1992. He earned his BA degree in Russian and European history from the University of New Mexico in 1963 and his MA (1965) and Ph.D. (1970) degrees in American history from the University of California at Berkeley.
Les writes – “This is a much belated response to your excellent book on Jewish achievement. I greatly apologize for having taken so long to reply, but this spring break has actually been the first chance I’ve had to give it a thorough read and the type of thought it so clearly merits.“