I always say that Jews are privileged. Well, the Pew Forum’s study of the American religious landscape shows that my people are richer, older, and more educated than other Americans by a significant factor.
Consider income. According to Pew, 46 percent of Jews say their family income is over $100,000 a year. Nationally the number is 19 percent. If you turn to mainline Protestant families–the gentiles I usually compare Jews to as privileged–the percentage is just 21 percent, less than half the Jewish percentage. No one else is even close. Except for Hindus, with 43 percent of their
families making over $100,000; and I have to think that number is
skewed by Asian professional immigration–and by the fact that Hindus
are a splinter group, less than half of a percent of the population.
Jews are 1.7 percent of the population.
And if you break down Pew’s Jewish numbers, you find that 55 percent of Reform Jews make over $100,000 a year–three times the national figure of 19 percent.
Other revelations are that 51 percent of Jews are 50 and older. The national average is 41 percent. Though mainline Protestants are also older in the same proportion: 51 percent. I wonder whether this is a sign of better health care and longevity. Though it could be a sign of the erosion in Jewish numbers from intermarriage.
Now education. The national average for college or postgraduate education is 27 percent. Among Jews it is 59 percent. Among Hindus, that number is a whopping 74 percent. And as for mainline Protestants, 34 percent.
What’s the bottom line? My people are an American elite. We are principals in American society. Celebrate it, and accept the social responsibility that status entails.