Jews: Who Knew?

T. Belman.  In 2007, COMMENTARY MAGAZINE published “Jewish Genius” by Charles Murray, the author of “The Bell Curve”.  Its a classic.

By Debbie Jones Thornton  5/10/2020

The last paper I wrote for Proteus was about words, which is a topic that I actually know something about. My topic today is more risky, since it is about Jews, and I am not Jewish. (Full disclosure: my sister married a Jewish man and became a convert, but I’m pretty sure you can’t be considered Jewish via sibling.) This paper had its genesis at Drew Rosenberg’s bar mitzvah in 2003. When I walked in to Tifereth Israel Synagogue, I was immediately struck by Andy Warhol’s series of silkscreen prints and paintings entitled, “Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century” (1980).

The ten individuals depicted are;

  1. Golda Meir (one of the founders of Israel and its fourth Prime Minister)
  2. Albert Einstein (German theoretical physicist and father of the theory of relativity)
  3. Franz Kafka (Czech-born author best known for his short story, “The Metamorphosis”)\
  4. The Marx brothers (American stars of vaudeville, stage, film and TV),
  5. Martin Buber (German-born religious philosopher),
  6. Gertrude Stein (American writer, poet and playwright),
  7. Sarah Bernhardt (French actress),
  8. Louis Brandeis (American litigator and Supreme Court Justice) and
  9. Sigmund Freud (Austrian neurologist and co-founder of the psychoanalytic branch of psychology).
  10. George Gershwin (American composer)

Seeing these images, I was struck by the immense impact these cultural and intellectual icons – all Jews from diverse fields – have made in the world.

Shortly thereafter, my friend StanleyEngman happened to send me an article about Jewish contributions to society. It described how, considering that Jewish people constitute less than one-half of one percent of the world’s population, their contributions to religion, science, art, literature, music, medicine, finance, philosophy, entertainment, etc. are simply staggering.

Not only was I awe-struck; I was intrigued. Why should this be so? I was determined to see if I could find out! I worried that the Jewish members of Proteus might find it presumptuous of me, a non-Jew, to attempt to tackle this complex subject. I actually stewed about this quite a bit. But finally I decided to forge ahead on the basis of the old Proteus protocol that encourages you to write about anything that interests you. And this topic really interests me. So here goes …

I’ll begin by highlighting just a few of many Jewish contributions to society. You may or may not be familiar with their names, but for sure, your life has been impacted by their work.

Some examples:

  • Isaac Singer – invented the sewing machine
  • Simon and Garfunkel — musicians
  • Levi Strauss – largest manufacturer of denim jeans
  • Kirk Douglas – actor (changed his name from Isadore Demsky)
  • Gabriel Lipmann – discovered colorphotography
  • Joan Rivers – comedian (changed her name from Joan Molinsky)
  • Martin “Marty” Cooper – invented the cell phone
  • Walter Annenberg — philanthropist In the field of medicine alone, Jewish contributions have been phenomenal.

It was a Jew who created the first polio vaccine, who discovered insulin, Novocain, penicillin and the measles vaccine, who found that aspirin dealt with pain, who introduced chlorination of drinking water, who discovered the origin and spread of infectious diseases, who invented the test for diagnosis of syphilis, who identified the first cancer virus, who invented the mammogram and introduced the birth control pill, who founded the Heimlich Maneuver and who added to our knowledge about yellow fever, typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, meningitis and influenza

It is estimated that the lifesaving medical and scientific advances made by Jews throughout history account for an estimated 2.8 billion lives saved.

Consider also that Jews constitute:

  • 51% of Pulitzer Prize winners for non-fiction 50% of Ivy League presidents
  • Nearly 50% of chess grandmasters
  • 37% of Academy Award directors
  • 33% of symphony conductors
  • Three of our nine Supreme Court Justices (Ginsburg, Breyer and Kagan … all the rest are Catholic, by the way)

Clearly, Jews are the world’s most disproportionate high achievers. But to me, the most astonishing statistics deal with the number and percentage of Jewish Nobel Prize winners. More on that later, but first some background on the Nobel Prize itself.

The Nobel Prizes were established in 1895 by Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist and chemist who invented dynamite, among many other inventions. He left his entire immense fortune to fund the prizes. Nobel died in 1896 and five years later – in 1901 – the first Nobel Prizes were awarded.

The Nobel Prizes are administered by the Nobel Foundation and awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Swedish Academy, the Karolinska Institute, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee to individuals and organizations who make outstanding contributions in the fields of chemistry, physics, literature, peace and physiology or medicine. The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was established in 1968 by the Sveriges Rikesbank, the central bank of Sweden, in memory of Alfred Nobel.

Each recipient, or “laureate,” receives a gold medal, a diploma and nine million Kronor, roughly equivalent to one million U.S. dollars. The awards are presented in Stockholm at an annual ceremony on December 10th, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.

Between 1901 and 2017, the Nobel Prizes and the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences were awarded 585 times to 923 people and organizations. With some receiving the Nobel Prize more than once, this makes a total of 892 individuals (including 844 men and 48 women) and 24 organizations. The youngest Nobel laureate is Malala Yousafzai (Peace, 2014), age 17. The oldest is Arthur Askin (Physics, 2018), age 96.

Six laureates have received more than one prize; of the six, the International Committee of the Red Cross has received the Nobel Peace Prize three times, more than any other person or organization. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize twice. Also the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded twice to John Bardeen, and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded twice to Frederick Sanger. Two laureates have been awarded twice but not in the same field: Marie Curie (Physics and Chemistry) and Linus Pauling (Chemistry and Peace).

Now back to my fascination with Jews and the Nobel Prize. The following statistics are noteworthy. As of 2017, Nobel Prizes have been awarded to 902 individuals, of whom 203 or 22.5% were Jewish, even though Jews, as I’ve indicated, comprise less than one-half of one percent of the world’s population. This means the percentage of Jewish Nobel laureates is about 112.5 times or 11,250% above average. Of organizations awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, 21% were founded principally by Jews or by people of half-Jewish descent.

Broken down by Nobel Prize category, Jews represent:

  • In Economics – 40% of the world’s total prize winners
  • In Physics, 26% of the world’s total
  • In Physiology or Medicine, 26% of the world’s total In Chemistry
  • In Literature, 20% of the world’s total
  • In Peace, 13% of the world’s total
  • – 8% of the world’s total

I don’t know about you, but I find this to be absolutely astounding!

Many of the names of the 203 Jewish laureates are obscure, although some will be familiar to you. Among them are:

  • Paul Ehrlich of Germany (Physiology or Medicine, 1908), “in recognition of his work on immunity,” shared with Elie Metchnikoff of Russia.
  • Albert Einstein of Germany (Physics, 1921), “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of photoelectric effect.”
  • Boris Pasternak of Russia (Literature, 1958), “for his important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition.”
  • Henry Kissinger of the United States (Peace, 1973), “for the 1973 Paris agreement intended to bring about a cease-fire in the Vietnam War and a withdrawal of the American forces,” shared with Le Duc Tho of Vietnam.
  • Saul Bellow of the United States (Literature, 1976), “for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work.”
  • Menachem Begin of Israel (Peace, 1978), “for the Camp David Agreement, which brought about a negotiated peace between Egypt and Israel.”
  • Elie Wiesel of the United States (Peace, 1986), Chairman of The President’s Commission on the Holocaust.
  • Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres of Israel (Peace, 1994), “to honor a political act which called for great courage on both sides, and which has opened up opportunities for a new development towards fraternity in the Middle East”
  • Bob Dylan of the United States (Literature, 2016), “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

As an aside, this comment from an internet blog caught my eye and cracked me up. Participants were discussing the question, “Why are there so many Jewish Nobel laureates in comparison to other groups?”

Amy Whinston, a self-described “useless math professor” wrote:

“I’m sure I’ll offend someone, but I’ll say it anyway. I think it is selective breeding.

It is not just the Nobel Prizes. Forty percent of the top lawyers in New York and New Jersey are Jewish. A very high percent of Field’s Medal winners (the Nobel Prize equivalent in mathematics) are as well. Many estimates put the average IQ of Ashkenazi Jews at 115, while the average IQ for anyone of any age is 100.”

She goes on to say, “While other groups have worshipped sports figures, Jews have emphasized scholarship. It wasn’t the football hero who got the girls. It was the class genius. In the ghettos and shtetels of Europe, the smartest boy could have his choice of the girls. He could marry one and they could have a lot of children and pass on smart genes. So now Jews, on average, have high IQs but suck at sports.” HA!

And now to the crux of the matter. Why? Why have a group of people so small in number been able to create such a mighty body of work for the betterment of mankind – especially considering their difficult history?

The history of the Jewish people is complicated, but allow me to make some observations. After being exiled from their homeland by the Roman Empire, the lives of the Jewish people were disrupted and the community was displaced. They migrated from one place to the next, adapting, but not really assimilating themselves in to whatever society they wandered into. What followed was a long, calamitous history of persecution and abuse by their gentile neighbors, whether Christian, Muslim or pagan.

Over the years, millions of Jews have been killed in inquisitions, pogroms, and more recently, the horror of the Holocaust. At certain times in history, Jews were banned from membership in craftsmen’s guilds; they couldn’t own land; they were heavily taxed. Even in more recent times, top universities and colleges maintained strict quotas on Jewish admissions, country clubs and patriotic organizations barred them, gentile employers limited how many Jews they hired, if any, intermarriage was severely discouraged, and Jews experienced significant anti-Semitism in their lives and careers.

And yet – from this lineage, Jews have survived and thrived against all odds. Leo Tolstoy (Russian icon, author and social reformer, 1828-1910) said, “What is a Jew? What kind of unique creature is this whom all the rulers of all the nations of the world have disgraced and crushed and expelled and destroyed; persecuted, burned and drowned, and who, despite their anger and their fury, continues to live and to flourish?”

Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens, American author and humorist, 1835- 1910), said, “The Jews are peculiarly and conspicuously the world’s intellectual aristocracy. Jewish contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine and abstruse learning are way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in the world, in all ages, and has done it with his hands tied behind him.”

So back to the central question – why – against all odds — has Jewish achievement been so significant? Is the reason due to genetics, environment, culture, history, religious tradition, education, or a unique combination of multiple factors? There are a myriad of theories out there, but I found the reasoning of Steven L. Pease to be the most compelling and frankly, the easiest for me to understand.

In his 2015 book, The Debate Over Jewish Achievement: Exploring the Nature and Nurture of Human Accomplishment, Steven L. Pease chronicles the disproportionate level of Jewish achievement in virtually every area of human endeavour, and offers a number of theories to explain this amazing phenomenon.

He says that in the end, the debate over the factors behind Jewish exceptionalism boils down to nature (genetics) and nurture (culture).

His research concludes that, yes, genetic heritage and linkages between most of the world’s Jews (the Mizrahim, Sephardim and Ashkenazim) date back thousands of years. But Judaism is not a “race,” given that anyone can freely convert, and today you will find Chinese Jews, Ethiopian Jews, etc. Rather, Pease believes culture is the most important driving influence behind Jewish achievement.

Among the cultural elements he highlights are:

The huge premium Jews have placed on literacy and education for more than 2,000 years. Every Jewish friend, colleague and family member I talked to stressed this factor. The Torah (the five books of the Jewish Bible) and the Talmud (recordings of rabbinic discussions) are intellectually complex and sophisticated. Serious practitioners of Judaism are required to study and learn the extensive, mentally rigorous laws. As noted earlier, throughout history, Jews have been expelled from many places and their belongings taken from them. Jews invested in knowledge for many reasons, among them because knowledge is portable and the only wealth that can’t be stolen.

Most Jews believe in progress. They are not passive, nor resigned. They think they have a duty to help improve things. They believe in free will and intend to exercise their minds and bodies to advance the ball in the directions they feel important.

Jews have long maintained very strong family values. They divorce less. They are mostly members of two-parent families. Most religious holiday events, even for secular Jews, are major family events, as is Shabbat (Friday night dinner). Loyalty to family and kin is highly valued.

Jewish lifestyle is generally healthy in terms of diet, and the approach to drugs and alcohol is moderate. Kosher conformance has served many purposes, but historically one of them has been to mandate healthy eating habits.

Jews typically demonstrate high levels of self-discipline (deferred gratification). We see it in their commitment to formal education, their careers, and their drive to achieve. Making the very best of your abilities is gospel to many Jews.

They encourage and develop their verbal skills and the inclination to speak up, make an argument, debate, and disagree if they feel strongly. (You’ve heard the old joke: “Two Jews; three opinions.”) Generally, reticence has not been esteemed. The Talmud, which Jews study, is a religious tract, but it is also essentially an ongoing academic debate over the evolution of Jewish law in light of changing circumstances.

Jews stand up for what they believe in. They have “grit.” They champion causes important to them. Wallflowers are rare!

Ethical behavior has been inculcated in Jews by the Torah and Talmud. God demands it.

Rationality is also embodied in the Talmud and in the lives of most Jews. One must deal with the facts on the ground and adapt. The Diaspora (the dispersion of the Jews beyond their original homeland) made anything less than this approach unfeasible. For most of 2,000 years, Jews had to exist as a small minority among other cultures, co-existing with countless other peoples, tribes, and cultures with substantially different beliefs and native languages. Staying alive demanded rationality and adaptability.

Jews almost never adopt the mentality of victims deserving of entitlement. God knows they have more right than most to adopt that view, but they do not. They do not believe they are entitled. Jews traditionally have fought for equal opportunity and they help those who are downtrodden.

In the same vein, Jews have traditionally felt a strong sense of duty to each other and to those less fortunate. Jews are among the most charitable and philanthropic of people. I can attest to this through my own personal experience during my career at United Way.

Yes, these are generalizations, but Pease says there is really nothing unique about any of these cultural attributes. In fact, most of them are consistent with the cultures of other high performing groups of people around the globe.

Yet the combination and intensity make for a uniquely Jewish experience, one that has undeniably produced more “good” far beyond expected norms.

Quite frankly, I simply do not have the expertise to either corroborate or refute any of these theories. I present them for your thoughtful consideration and encourage you to draw your own ultimate conclusions.

Be assured though that I am not alone in being awe-struck by the stunning accomplishments of the Jewish people. John Adams (second President of the United States, 1735-1826) said, “I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this earth. The Romans and their empire were but a bubble in comparison to the Jews.”

Winston Churchill said, “No thoughtful man can deny the fact that the Jews are, beyond any question, the most formidable and most remarkable people who have appeared in the world.”

I even found this quote from a rabbi who said, “I saw a remarkable study of the five most influential people of all time: Moses, Jesus, Marx, Freud and Einstein. All Jewish!”

And the beat goes on. Many of the products and services we enjoy today are provided to us by companies with Jewish founders and executives, including

  • Intel (Grove and Vadasz),
  • Google (Brin and Page),
  • Oracle (Ellison),
  • Microsoft (Balmer),
  • Dell (Dell), Qualcom (Jacobs) and
  • Facebook (Zuckerberg and Sandberg).

In finance, the names are legion: Rothschild, Warburg, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, and many more.

My Jewish brother-in-law cautioned me not to make sweeping generalizations and most certainly not to say that Jews are just smarter than everyone else.

He worried that such a statement could play in to typical antisemitic stereotypes. Now I’m not worried about antisemitism within this group. But I won’t make the claim that Jews are smarter than everyone else for the simple reason that I could not find definitive, empirical evidence to support it.

What I do conclude unequivocally and with complete confidence is this: throughout history and continuing in to modern times, the Jewish people have made unparalleled contributions to the betterment of mankind, far disproportionate to their numeric representation in the world’s population. That fact, in my opinion, is irrefutable!

If I had more time (and you more patience), I would have liked to explore two other areas in which I believe Jews excel disproportionately to their numbers. The first is in philanthropy. Giving back to their communities is proscribed in Judaism. I observed this phenomenon time after time during my 17-year career at United Way. Simply put, the relatively small Jewish population of Des Moines contributes disproportionately to local philanthropic causes. I have some great quotes from and about Maddie Levitt which I’m itching to share, but alas, no time this time.

And second, the incredible contributions of the tiny nation of Israel. Of course not all Israelis are Jews, but most are. So consider this: according to the book, Start-Up Nation, Israel, an embattled sliver of a country only 70 years old, home to eight million people, or 1/1000th of the world’s population, has in proportion to its population, the largest number of startup companies in the world, the highest production of scientific publications per capita in the world, the highest ratio of university degrees, the highest percentage of home computers per capita, the most museums per capita, and I could go on and on.

All of the above while engaged in regular wars with implacable enemies that seek Israel’s destruction, and an economy continuously under strain by having to spend more per capita on its own protection than any other country on earth.

But since I don’t have time to explore these other issues, there may have to be another Proteus paper in the offing: “Jews: Who Knew? Part Two.”

Finally, I want to thank my friends,Shari and Stanley Engman, who encouraged me to pursue this topic; my brother-in-law and sister, Dr. David and Abbie Nash, who listened and offered feedback and helpful insights; and especially my friend and former neighbor, the late Sheldon Rabinowitz, grandson, nephew and brother of rabbis, and a student of history, whose advice and wise counsel were invaluable.

But wait – just when I thought I’d put this paper to bed, I got on the elevator in my building with Sheldon and his daughter, Elyse. She said to me, “I read your paper. If I hadn’t already been raised in the faith, it would have made me want to be Jewish.”

It made my day.

December 29, 2022 | 46 Comments »

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46 Comments / 46 Comments

  1. So, there’s a good Norman Finkelstein as well as the evil Israelophobe we all know? Wild. There were two episodes of Star Trek the original series like that, that had a good Captain Kirk and a bad one.

    “Boston writer Norm Finkelstein, whose YA books championed Jewish heroes, dies at 82

  2. WhatsApp was co-founded by Jan Koum who is Ukrainian-Jewish-American and Brian Acton, both computer programmers, entrepreneurs and philanthropists.

    Wikipedia (learned about them from FB post by Naveed Anjum)

  3. Do you know One of the greatest Jewish scholars from Kurdish lands was a WOMEN ??
    Her name was Asnat Barazani, who led a respected yeshiva in the town of Mosul, in present day Iraq, in the 1600s. Asnat’s father Rabbi Shmuel ben Netanel Ha-Levi of Kurdistan built the school in Mosul to train a new generation of Jewish scholars including his daughter. Perhaps because he had no sons, Rabbi Shmuel lavished care and attention on his daughter’s studies.
    In a letter, Asnat described the intense education of her childhood saying, “I never left the entrance to my house or went outside, I was like a princess of Israel… I grew up on the laps of scholars, anchored to my father of blessed memory.”!
    Asnat married a fellow scholar, Rabbi Jacob Mizrahi, and had an unusual clause in her marriage contract. Asnat was never to be expected to perform any housework so that she could devote herself entirely to learning Torah.
    After her husband died, Aseat continued to run the family yeshiva, which by then was plagued by financial problems. Asnat wrote a famous prayer, Ga’agua L’Zion, or “Longing for Zion”, which allowed many Jews to put their deepest hopes and desires into words of prayer.
    Marina Enferadi Tehilla Ozeri
    (An assumed portrait of Asnat Barazani)

    – Ivy May Israel posted this on Facebook

  4. Did you know that Irvine ‘Irv’ Robbins (1917-2008), co-founder of Baskin-Robbins, opened his first ice cream store using money he saved from his #BarMitzvah! Born in Winnipeg to Eastern European Jewish immigrants, Robbins grew up working in his father’s ice cream parlor in Tacoma, Washington. He always finished the day happy and loved making others happy. After serving as an army sergeant in World War II, Robbins opened the Snowbird Ice Cream parlor in 1945 in Glendale, CA. In 1948, he joined forces with his brother-in-law Bert Baskin and the legendary Baskin-Robbins was born!
    Source: Jill Goltzer Baskin-Robbins
    Naveed Anjum

  5. Fish and Chips’ Surprising Jewish History

    Jamie Oliver confirmed it!

    You may be surprised to learn that fish and chips, though wildly popular in England for what seems like eternity, was actually a specialty of the Portuguese Sephardic Jews who fled the Inquisition in the 16th century and found refuge in the British Isles. Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver referred to this recently in an article in the New York Times, adding that, “Dishes evolve, impacted by trade, war, famine and a hundred other forces.”

    Among those “other forces” are dishes born of religious ritual. For observant Jews, fish is pareve, a neutral food in kosher terms, thus an easy way to avoid treyf (non-kosher food) and possibly include dairy in the same meal. It was especially important for Marranos, the so-called crypto-Jews, who pretended to be Christian during the Inquisition. They ate fish on Fridays, when meat was forbidden by the Church, and also saved some to eat cold the next day at lunch, to avoid cooking on Shabbat.

    Frying was natural for Jewish home cooks — think of latkes and sufganyiot — and as the Jewish community began to flourish in England, it spurred a taste for its beloved fried, battered fish throughout the country. According to Claudia Roden’s The Book of Jewish Food, Thomas Jefferson tried some on a trip to London and noted that he ate “fish in the Jewish fashion” during his visit. Alexis Soyer, a French cook who became a celebrated chef in Victorian England included a recipe for “Fried Fish, Jewish Fashion” in the first edition of his cookbook A Shilling Cookery for the People (1845). Soyer’s recipe notes that the “Jewish manner” includes using oil rather than meat fat (presumably lard), which made the dish taste better, though also made it more expensive.

    There’s some dispute about the where and when of “chips” (what we Americans call French fries and the French call pommes frites). Many historians say that deep-fried, cut-up potatoes were invented in Belgium and, in fact, substituted for the fish during hard times. The first time the word “chips” was used was in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities in 1859: “husky chips of potato, fried with some reluctant drops of oil.”

    The official pairing of fish and chips didn’t happen until a few years later, though. Although there are some who dispute it, most authorities say that it is thanks to a Jewish cook, this time a young Ashkenazi immigrant named Joseph Malin, who opened the first British chippy, AKA fish and chip shop, in London in 1863. The shop was so successful it remained in business until the 1970s.

    Who could foresee that fearful Jewish immigrants hiding their true religion and practicing in secret would be responsible for creating one of the most iconic dishes in the U.K.? The down-home dish that Winston Churchill claimed help the British defeat the Nazis, the comfort food that George Orwell said helped keep the masses happy and “averted revolution.” The dish, by the way, that was among the only foods never rationed during wartime because the British government believed that preserving access to it was a way of keeping up morale. A dish that continues to be a mainstay of the British diet.

    Think about that the next time you find yourself feasting on this centuries-old — Jewish? British? — recipe.

    These days, some restaurants are putting a new spin on fish and chips. Almond crusted. Baked instead of fried. Quinoa coated. Sweet potato fries instead of regular. And those are all fine; as Oliver says, “Dishes evolve.” But plain old fish and chips endures and probably always will. Good recipes usually do.

    H/T : @scartale-an-undertale-au

    Naveed Anjum

    posted on Facebook

  6. “100 year old World War II veterans in the Jewish brigade

    What an honour to have interviewed them – in Yiddish”.

    posted by ardent gentile Sri Lankan Zionist and Judeophile , Naveed Anjum on Faceook

  7. The Jewish History of Bazooka Bubble Gum
    From a penny candy business to a global cult sensation.

    Chew on this: One of America’s most iconic gum brands was originally a Jewish-owned tobacco business.

    In 1891, Morris Chigorinsky emigrated from Russia to the United States, where in the early 1900s he assumed control of the American Leaf Tobacco Company. But by 1938, Chigorinsky’s (who by then had changed his surname to Shorin) business was flailing. His four sons, Abram, Ira, Joseph and Philip decided to save the family from certain penury by starting a new penny candy business, Topps Chewing Gum, Inc., whose name was borrowed from an eponymous Chattanooga candy company they purchased.

    Following the end of the Second World War, the Shorin brothers aggressively set about supplanting their then-dominant competitor Dubble Bubble, manufactured by Fleer, through the launch of Bazooka Bubble Gum. The gum cleverly capitalized on the nation’s post-war patriotic pride in the wake of their recent victory, not only via its name (derived from the rocket-propelled weapon invented and deployed by American troops) but also through its red, white and blue packaging.

    The product sold well, but in 1953, Topps made an alteration to the design that proved to be a game changer: the inclusion of small comic strips starring Bazooka Joe, a swashbuckling kid who donned a black eye patch and got into various scrapes and adventures with his crew of streetwise companions. The wrappers (of which there were ultimately over 1,500 manufactured) also featured fortunes and immediately became a collector’s items among consumers and candy enthusiasts, who still vigorously buy and sell vintage strips on online auction websites. While the original flavor continues to be the bestseller, Topps has also introduced variations, such as Grape Rage, Cherry Berry and Watermelon Whirl.

    In 2012, Bazooka discontinued the inclusion of comics in favor of “brainteaser” wrappers and subsequently found themselves in a sticky situation. Loyalists were displeased and chewed out corporate honchos for the most unwelcome change. In 2019, Topps responded to the call to adhere to the original look by issuing a Throwback Pack intended to be “inspired by the brand’s iconic original packaging” with “nostalgic 1980s graphics and Original flavor Bazooka Bubble Gum wrapped in classic comics.”

    Testaments to Bazooka’s enduring popularity have bubbled up over the years in sitcoms such as “How I Met Your Mother,” “Seinfeld” and “King of Queens.” The candy made a particularly sweet cameo in an episode of “30 Rock,” in which NBC exec Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) erroneously and hilariously claimed Bazooka’s founder inherited a quarry of pink rocks, then baked them to transform them into gum.

    – Naveed Anjum (an ardent Muslim Zionist and Judeophile poster on Facebook)

  8. “Hava Nagila’s long strange trip”

    “If there is one Jewish song known by Jews and non-Jews alike, it is undoubtedly Hava Nagila (??? ?????), which is Hebrew for “let us rejoice.” From its obscure origins in early 20th-century Palestine, the song has gone on to become a perennial favorite at weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs and Jewish — and non-Jewish — cultural events around the world. With its short lyrics and simple yet distinctive melody, Hava Nagila has been recorded hundreds of times by musicians ranging from Neil Diamond, the Barry Sisters, and Harry Belafonte to the contemporary pop singer Ben Folds and the Serbian Gypsy brass band legend Boban Marcovic. Yet for all of its widespread popularity, few know the history of this global Jewish hit.”

  9. @Ed Feeling is mutual but we’ve always clashed about this. Belief is irrelevant. They murder us for our ancestry. We are a People/nation/race. Escape is mostly impossible. Jewish Power is our only defence. The religion just serves as a kind of sincerity/loyalty litmus test for outsiders to join.

    Like this but for Israel

    Is a Jew by birth the child of a Jewish mother or not?

    First the papa wasn’t good enough now t’s the mama.

    They should put you on the board that decides the Law of Return. Let nobody in. Just start kicking people out. I like it.

    But seriously folks, ya wannafight antisemitism? Tell them about all the people and things they value that would disappear if we had never been born. Sort of like Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” which was my father’s favorite film.

  10. SEb-

    Da Vinci was as much Jewish as the rear end of my great grandmother’s donkey .I just looked it up. His mother was born a Circassian Jew, sold into sex slavery as a child and got her release in Italy at age 15.
    2 Gun Cohen was a Jew also, as was 4 Gun Wild Bill Hickupovski….
    You find these little odd bits here and there and post them a if they meant something. I’m disappointed in you lately.

    Almost certainly she had forgotten or didn’t know she was a Jew.

  11. “US Jews — and allies — turn out to support Israel at the World Baseball Classic”
    “While brought to the Miami tournament by love of the game, supporters of the Jewish state agree – their love for the Israeli team is about more than just baseball”

    16 Mar 2023, 2:19 am

    MIAMI (JTA) — When Michael Ignagni found out that Israel would be competing in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier, he immediately thought of how Western pop culture undermined communism.

    “The first thing I thought of was the impact that everybody says the Beatles had on breaking down the Berlin Wall and ending communism in the Soviet Union,” Ignagni recalled. “And I thought, what if they started playing baseball in the Middle East, and think of the impact baseball can have.”

    He had a vision of baseball as a vehicle for unity among Israel and its neighbors — a road he said had to begin with Israel.

    “So I thought, you know what, if this is going to happen, I’m going to be all in for Israel, and I’ve been supporting them ever since,” said Ignagni, 53, a hotel auditor who lives in Los Gatos, California.

    Ten years later, Ignagni has been at each of Israel’s WBC games this week in Miami. He’s befriended the team’s general manager Peter Kurz and former Olympic team manager Eric Holtz, and he proudly wears Israel merchandise with the Israeli flag and a Star of David — he says he’s bought about $500 worth.

    Ignagi is like a lot of fans who have turned out to root for Israel in the tournament, with one notable difference: He isn’t Jewish.

    “It means something to stand for something,” Ignagni said. “I wear [the Israel hat] with pride so people can see I’m not afraid to wear this, whether I’m Jewish or not.”

    Throughout the tournament, Ignagni was far from alone in his commitment to Team Israel — even if the cheering squad couldn’t match the tens of thousands of fans who came out to root for the Latin teams.

    Claudia Wolff has been to all five WBCs dating back to the inaugural edition in 2006, including Israel’s qualifying games in New York, where she lives.

    Speaking before Tuesday’s game against the Dominican Republic, Wolff highlighted the representation Team Israel provides for Jewish fans.

    “The fact that Israel can go toe-to-toe on the world stage is so meaningful,” she said.

    Another draw for Wolff is the fact that Israel’s success in the 2017 WBC and other international competitions has helped raise baseball’s profile in the country.

    “I think it’s really going to encourage baseball in Israel, which is terrific,” she added.

    Sitting near the dugout — a ripe spot for autographs — Lloyd Kaplan had the chance to meet Israel player and Chicago Cubs prospect Matt Mervis.

    Kaplan traveled from Long Island to see Israel play after watching the team in 2017. He called it a “once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

    Stu Moss, an entertainment agent who lives in nearby Coral Springs, said his love of Team Israel is about more than baseball.

    “If I had the opportunity to go to the USA game or go to the Israel game, I have to go to the Israel game because it’s my heritage,” Moss said.

    A Brooklyn native — he called Dodger great Sandy Koufax “the left arm of God” — Moss has followed the team since 2017. He runs a senior softball club in Boca Raton called the Hebrew Hammers.

    “It’s part of our heritage,” Moss said. “We’re not a religion, we’re a people.”

    Moss also said he appreciates the demographic of the team, which is mostly composed of American Jewish ballplayers who qualify for the team by dint of their heritage.

    “You wanna be on the Israeli team? You seen ‘Fiddler on the Roof?’ You’re in,’” Moss joked.

    One of those players is San Francisco Giants All-Star Joc Pederson. And while speaking to Team Israel fans before a game at LoanDepot Park this week, this reporter spotted a familiar face sitting in the section behind Israel’s dugout: Shelly Pederson, Joc’s mother.

    I’m proud that he’s excited to play with Team Israel,” Pederson told JTA. She added that the team is “a great group of people,” and that she loves the support from fellow fans.”

  12. ketzel , Ted

    “…violation of the Nuremberg Code, which forbids medical experiments on humans since the COVID injections were not properly tested before being introduced to the market.”
    She’s a famous Ukranian Jewish composer residing in Germany. Can’t find out more about her like when she left the Soviet Union or Russia, when she came to Germany, why she has a legal guadian. This should be big news.

    Click to Edit – 3 minutes and 6 seconds

    JANUARY 15, 2023 AT 8:36 AM
    German court orders Holocaust survivor to be sent to psychiatric institution for forced COVID shots

    Jewish composer Inna Zhvanetskaya has been taken to a safe place by friends to prevent her arrest.

  13. I meant also to mention that many Jewish Women have been mult–times world table tennis champions, like Angelica Rozeanu, who was world singles champion through the 1950s, and into the 60s She was singles champion 8 times, (6 in a row) which will never be beaten. She also won many doubles and mixed titles.

    She emigrated to Israel, and died around 2005.

    Leah Thall won the US singles title about 10 times, and amassed about another 20 US titles. She was nicknamed “Miss Ping”.. She also won 40 Canadian titles .and accompanied that groundbreaking Canadian team which made that reciprocal visit to China. Her sister Thelma, also a world champ, is still alive in the US. She must be nearly 100 years old.

    I’ve written before about the inaugural Chinese team visit to Canada and that their first appearance was at my club.

    There are dozens more Jewish world and national champions.. Anna Sipos won 6 ladies world double titles in a row, as well as about 20 other world titles.. (she was before my time).

    And the famous Dora Beregi, who was also an intentional comic whilst playing..

    They all played in the British Championships in London, and nearly all came to Dublin for the Irish Open too, where I saw them play. . They were supremely talented.

  14. The amount of progress attributed to Jews is indeed phenomenal.
    The unfortunate point I see, is that the vast majority of names mentioned were either atheists or non practicing Jews.
    There were some with only one Jewish parent., In fact, the only ones mentioned that I KNOW were religious are Menachem begin and Elie Weisel.

    Sebastien, I recall Dick Savitt very well and often saw him playing in tournaments…on TV of course. But in my opinion he was not one of the “greats” and in no way “legendary”. But he was one of the first Jewish Tennis players to make waves. He died on my birthday……….

    I feel Agnes Keleti was a far more prominent sporting figure. AND I’m surprised that not one of the famous Jewish table-tennis players is mentioned. They ruled the sport right up to WW2 and even for a period beyond. As I’ve previously mentioned I knew and played against some of them. They were fantastic. And THEY were truly “legendary’..

    And not a single one of the large number of Jewish World boxing champions, even ranking in the Top Ten of all time in their weight class.
    Many were so good that they had major fights against one another that thrilled the Boxing World of their times.

    As I’ve posted on this site not long ago, there were about 5 times as many Jewish boxers in New York City in the 1920s-30s than there are of all races world wide today.

    THEY were legendary” if you wish. …positively…!!

  15. “”Happy 102nd Birthday to Ágnes Keleti, Holocaust survivor and world champion gymnast! Born in Budapest on January 9, 1921, Keleti (née Klein) was the Hungarian National Champion in gymnastics by age 16. But in 1941, she was expelled from her gymnastics club due to her religion and was forced to go into hiding. Keleti survived the war by using a false identity, while her mother and sister were saved by Raoul Wallenberg. However, her father and uncles were murdered in Auschwitz. After the war, Keleti went on to win 10 Olympic medals, including 5 gold! She moved to Israel in 1957, competed in the Maccabiah Games, and coached the Israeli national gymnastics team. Today, Keleti lives in Budapest and is recognized as the most decorated female Jewish Olympian of all time. #MazalTov
    Contributor: Jill Goltzer”

    Somebody posted this on Facebook and it popped up on my newsfeed. From 15 hours ago.

  16. “Rolling Stone: Israeli singer Ofra Haza named as one of 200 greatest singers of all time”

    “…Inspired by her Yemeni-Jewish ancestry, Haza combined traditional vocal conventions with modern technique to create something that felt at once ancient and ahead of its time. On albums like 1984’s Shirei Teiman, 1988’s Shaday, and 1992’s Kirya, her unprecedented splash in the U.S. pop market cemented her status as ‘The Madonna of the Middle East,’” the magazine added.

    Haza, who was born in Tel Aviv in 1957, was the youngest of nine children. She joined a local theater group at the age of 12 and became Israel’s foremost pop star at the age of 19.

    In addition to her career in Israel, Haza became known internationally as well, when she represented Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest 1983, with the song “Chai”, which came in seconds….”

  17. “All the Jewish NFL players to watch this season

    “The NFL Is Full of Jewish Players This Season”

    “Jews have played major role in Pro Football Hall of Fame”

    “:10 greatest Jewish football players list released (photos)”

    “The Greatest Jewish Players in NFL History”

  18. “How Israel became a global judo powerhouse and Olympic favorite”

    “…:In Russia, the popularity of judo is evinced by none other than President Vladimir Putin, a black belt who competed when he was younger. His mentor and judo coach, Anatoly Rakhlin, was Jewish, and Putin attended Rakhlin’s funeral in 2013.

    “…Judo talent that arrived in Israel from the former Soviet Union included trainers like Pavel Musin, who trained Alice Schlesinger, an Israeli winner of six gold medals in European championships since 2013, and Alex Ashkenazi, who coached Zeevi and headed the Israeli national team for many years until 2000…”

    “…In 2004, Arik Zeevi won the bronze at the Athens Olympics — the pinnacle of a five-year spree in which he won three golds and a silver at the European Judo Championships. The following year, Israel took the team gold in that tournament. And in 2012, Zeevi recaptured the gold at age 35….”

    “…Four years later, at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Israel won two bronzes in judo, bringing the country’s total of Olympic medals to nine — four in judo. In 2018, the European Championships were held in Tel Aviv….”

    “…The 2018 European Championships in Tel Aviv had 4,000 spectators, a prodigious number that championship tournaments in Japan sometimes don’t reach…”

  19. Marina Kravchenko was born on May 19, 1975, in the Ukraine.

    She has been playing table tennis since age seven under the tutelage of her father, who coached the Ukrainian national team. In 1987, Marina represented the Ukraine in the European Championships and won the silver in the singles, bronze in the doubles, and the Ukraine won a team silver. She twice finished second in the USSR Youth Championships and came in first in the TOP 12 tournament. In 1991, Kravchenko was a member of the Soviet table tennis team, helping it win the European Championships gold medal.

    In 1994, she moved to Israel after falling in love with an Israeli coach (her future husband) during the Maccabiah competition. After moving to Israel ten years ago, she was signed by the Nazareth Elite table tennis club. Beitar Rishon Le’Tzion tempted her away after it became clear that she was the best player in the country. Her team has won eight straight national titles since she joined the fray. In 2002, Marina won the St. Petersburg open and, in 2003, she came in second in a Finnish open event. Kravchenko entered the pre-Olympic event in Luxembourg, needing an 11th place finish to achieve the Israeli Olympic criteria. Against the best players in the world, the Israeli finished 8th and guaranteed a spot in the squad. Marina finished seventh in the Gold Cup event in the Ukraine in 2004 as well.

    Kravchenko looked to be on fine form as the 2004 Athens Olympics kicked off. In the first round of the singles table tennis event held on August 14, she breezed past her Greek opponent Archontoula Volakaki. The victory was never in doubt as the Israeli won 11-6, 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 and advanced to the second round. The following day, Marina pulled off a sensation in the second round. Her opponent was Otilia Badescu of Romania, European Champion and ranked sixth in the world. She won the first two sets 11-6, 11-9 before the Romanian came back with a 4-11 game in the third. Kravchenko would not give in and won the last game 11-6 thus causing a major upset. Marina says she had extra motivation to win since “Badescu told a Russian friend of mine that she could beat me easily.” The Israeli was beaten in the third round by Croatian Tamara Boros (ranked fifth in the competition). Kravchenko was eliminated in four straight sets 11-8, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7.

    Jews In Sports

  20. For your information people, Table Tennis, a major world wide sport, for the first 10-20 years of it’s recognition was known as “The Jewish Sport”, and about 90% of the World champions were Jews. I think for the first 15 years or so they were ALL Jews. Then (but not now) it was a beautifully smooth, graceful, brilliant game full of stratagems and tactics, combined with brilliant stroke play.

    I knew and played against several of them personally. Hungary’s team as wellas the US, were all (Hungary).
    The most famous player in history Viktor Barna, whom I knew, was a Jew named Braun. Even then he had to change his name to appear non Jewish. All his team mates were Jews. Another Jew got to 3 world successive finals, survived the “”camps
    Look them up. There are still some old videos on Youtube.ews.

    There were also many more Jeiwh boxing champions than I can recall. In New York alone in the 1920s there were more Jewish fighers than today in the whole world of all races.t

  21. The correct quote, which I saw written on a washroom wall in 100 Mile View, Vermont in 1983, is “If Jesus was a Jew, how come he had a Mexican name?”

    A new hire Mexican came into the office one day wearing his new uniform, after he left a customer asked if his name as on his shirt was really correct? The reply, No! the person taking his name for his uniforms did not understand the use of J / H in different languages and wrote down the J as an H. It cost too much to correct so Jose, is now HOSE.

  22. “Why did Jesus have a Mexican name?”

    “Wow! I’m impressed! Not many people realise that Jesus’ real name was Nauhapoc-Ixitotl and that he was a Mexican exchange student in Judaea!

    So, you know the secret histories too, huh? Good for you!

    Yes, Jesus was, in fact, a Mexican- in fact from the Meshica people who gave their name to the country. Not a lot of people realise that, in the ancient world, there was a school for demigods with branches all over the world. Just like Harry Potter-only for demigods not wizards (wizards! Tish pshaw! Everyone knows wizards are a silly idea).

    Most of the Ancient deities were actually just exchange students and interns from elsewhere. Thor was actually a bloke from Grimsby called Nigel, and Krishna was really a Japanese Yokai named Yoshi. The original Gautama Buddha was actually a gentleman from Edinburgh named “fat Dave”. Of course, it wasn’t called Edinburgh back then but same general area.

    Anyway, I’m absolutely delighted to meet someone else who knows The Truth™ and isn’t misled about all that fake history everyone else believes in.

    Wake up sheeple! Haven’t you even read Percy Jackson? Well, neither have I but my 12 year old daughter summarised it for me and it sounds plausible”!

    From Quora. Somebody named Shayn M. (sounds Irish so as Edgar and Felix will tell you, he must know his stuff) who says he studied to be a rabbi, quit, but knows his way around the Tanakh. I think it’s a joke. Percy Jackson is a webtoon character, apparently.

    But, then, you never know, do you? 😀

  23. Successful Jews and a successful Jewish state both serve to undermine the Replacement/Successionist Theory core to Christian and Islamic theology.

  24. @Tzvi-Gad

    “Who is a Jew?

    The Aish Rabbi Replies
    “Being Jewish” is a technical status that requires citizenship in the Jewish nation, like being a U.S. citizen. Citizenship acquired in one of two ways:

    (1) Born Jew: Jewishness is passed on via the mother. If the mother is Jewish, the child is 100% Jewish. If only the father is Jewish (but not the mother), then the child is 100% not Jewish. Jewish identity passed on through the mother has been universally accepted by Jews for 3,300 years, and was decided by God, as recorded in the Five Books of Moses in Deut. 7:3-4. The Talmud (Kiddushin 68b) explains how this law is evident from those passages.

    According to Jewish law, this will remain the person’s status forever. There is no way one can lose his status as a Jew even if he does not formally practice Judaism, and even if he has gone so far as to convert to another religion.

    (2) Conversion: If a non-Jew wants to become a Jew he can do so by converting. Because of this, Judaism is clearly not a “blood-race.” There are Chinese Jews, African Jews, Eskimo Jews, etc.

    Once a non-Jew converts, he becomes a Jew in every regard, and his relationship with God is on the same level as any Jew.

    According to the Code of Jewish Law, there are three requirements for conversion to Judaism:

    1) He must believe in God and the divinity of the Torah as well as accept upon himself to keep the commandments in the Torah.

    2) If male, he must undergo circumcision by a qualified “Mohel.” If he was already circumcised by a doctor, then he undergoes a ritual called “hatafas dam”.

    3) He must immerse in the Mikveh – a ritual bath linked to a reservoir of rain water.

    All of the above have to be done before a court of three Jewish men who keep the commandments, and believe in God and the divinity of the Torah.

    These are the rules that Jews have followed since time immemorial. Historically, any attempt to introduce new rules has created a tragic schism in our people. We hope and pray that Jewish groups today who are pursuing this path will realize the serious damage this can cause to the ideal of Jewish unity which we all sincerely seek.

  25. The only problem with this article is that the vast majority of people named are not Jewish. They are or were *potentially* Jewish.
    This is because having a Jewish mother is not a definition of who is Jewish. One is Jewish because of what they do, not the involuntary participation in birth.

  26. At age 13 i met a blue eyed girl and subconciously fell in love !

    Couldn’t get a date ( goy )….BUT…56 years later we met and married !

    I converted and we married on the Bimah !

    We entered the best years of our lives !



  27. I’m not looking to be the skunk at the garden party but I know too many Jews who are dumb as posts but live in the reflected glory of the litany of greatly accomplished Jews referenced above. “They are so smart that I must be smart.” Some of us have also made significant intellectual contributions toward perverse left wing nostrums and even anti-Semitism and continue to. Nobody’s perfect.