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VP’s daughter ties knot with a Jewish guy

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Ashley Biden does the Horah
Ashley Biden does the Horah

One of the great bans on reporting, alas because of Jewish insecurity, is the extent to which Jewishness is now cool, sought-after. This is from JTA‘s Ron Kampeas:

Ashley Biden, the vice president’s daughter, married Howard Krein in Wilmington in an interfaith ceremony.

There was a rabbi and a priest, but it takes a White House-released photo to give us a hint of the culture of interfaith: Joe Biden dancing with Ashley in a hora.

We’re peers. Chelsea Clinton married a Jewish guy. John King converted to Judaism to marry reporter Dana Bash. Campbell Brown is said to have converted to marry Dan Senor. I believe people want to marry Jews because we’re successful (and we are overall the wealthiest group in the U.S. by religion). People want to get ahead, people want to get in with the in crowd. Of the moderators of the Republican debates this year, most were Jewish media guys.

But there’s a lot of denial of this, because of the fear that pointing out the obvious about our social position would bring about pogroms. I don’t buy it. It’s news. This is all about the new philo-semitism. When I was a kid my dad used to say Hank Greenberg married Gimbel’s daughter! (the slugger and the retail princess). The vice president’s daughter is a step up from that…

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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87 Responses

  1. Ellen on June 11, 2012, 11:37 am

    I believe people want to marry Jews because we’re successful (and we are overall the wealthiest group in the U.S. by religion).

    Maybe they just like each other? It really can be that simple.

    • Krauss on June 11, 2012, 2:58 pm

      My thoughts exactly. I think Phil’s overanalyzing this. People aren’t as motivated by social status and cash and he seems to think. Besides, the VP’s daughter could probably have her pick among a lot of very wealthy guys. The bridegroom is a plastic surgeon, probably makes a bit of money but there are surely far more wealthier folks out there(and being a plastic surgeon aren’t exactly looked upon as something noble).

      The story here for me is yet more proof of how utterly integrated Jews in America have become, which makes the panic of pogroms and the fearmongering for a need for an Israel ‘because we can’t know what will happen here’ even more ridicolous.

      • Woody Tanaka on June 11, 2012, 5:04 pm

        “The story here for me is yet more proof of how utterly integrated Jews in America have become, which makes the panic of pogroms and the fearmongering for a need for an Israel ‘because we can’t know what will happen here’ even more ridicolous.”

        I think that’s the case. It’s viewed as just one of many religions in the US.

    • ahadhaadam on June 11, 2012, 3:11 pm

      No, it’s not that simple. The question is why do the gentiles who marry Jews more often convert to Judaism and you rarely hear about the other way around? Of course, if you are a Christian, converting to Judaism means denouncing Christ (yes, that’s a dirty little “secret”) as there are no grey areas in Judaism in that aspect, although I am sure they play it down.

      So why do the gentiles choose to convert and not the other way around? Well, I think Phil has the answer.

      • annie on June 11, 2012, 3:56 pm

        So why do the gentiles choose to convert and not the other way around?

        not sure you can really assert that ahadhaadam. there’s a big movement called jews4jesus. lots of christians marry jews and do not convert, phil’s wife for example. perhaps it is the phenomena of children not being considered jews unless the mother is jewish therefore non jewish women who marry jewish men convert for the sake of the children. there’s no requirement like that in christianity although catholics are supposed to marry catholics but any child can become a catholic simply by being raised in the church regardless of a parents conversion.

      • ahadhaadam on June 11, 2012, 4:33 pm

        Jews for Jesus are not considered Jews by the mainstream Jews. You cannot bridge that gap. Either you believe in Christ and then you are Christian or you don’t. There’s no in between as these J4J try to create.

        You still didn’t answer why the mother would convert to Judaism for the sake of the children. And why so many people these days tend to “find their Jewish roots” and you never hear about a Jew “finding his Christian roots”. And here lies the notion of “specialness/choseness” of Judaism, which is also socially beneficial as Phil posits.

      • piotr on June 11, 2012, 5:20 pm

        Catholics have a special provision for a non-Catholic parent if he/she agrees that the children will be raised Catholic.

      • American on June 11, 2012, 4:53 pm

        Why do gentiles choose to convert?

        I don’t think they always do. Among the intermarried couples I know some have and some haven ‘t. In one case a friend married a Jewish woman and they didn’t raise their children as Jewish even though the mother was Jewish. In another case case a catholic female friend married a Jewish guy and they did raise their sons as Jewish. But truth be told none of them are overly religious and seem to be sort of lackadaisical about it all.

      • Woody Tanaka on June 11, 2012, 5:06 pm

        “The question is why do the gentiles who marry Jews more often convert to Judaism and you rarely hear about the other way around?”

        My guess is that those who do convert aren’t really religious people to begin with and the religious label is meaningless to them, while there is a cultural and religious aspect to the Judaism, even those who aren’t religious themselves.

      • Xpat on June 11, 2012, 5:40 pm

        The question is why do the gentiles who marry Jews more often convert to Judaism and you rarely hear about the other way around?
        Ahadhaam – I’d be interested to see some numbers to back up your anecdotal impression. Your name implies that you are more likely to hear of Christians converting to Judaism than the other way round. Churches near me are full of former Jews who married into the Christian faith. If you live in a major metropolitan area – where you are likely to find significant numbers of Jews – check out your local Catholic and or mainline Protestant church.

        My anecdotal experience tells me that there is a lot of non-conversion going on on both sides. I have seen significant numbers of lapsed Christians join synagogues without converting to Judaism. Similarly, there are churches near me that have social groups of lapsed Jews and their Christian spouses. It’s a case of the more religiously committed spouse setting the religious practice of the family.

      • Elisabeth on June 11, 2012, 6:19 pm

        I do not know about the US of course, but in the Netherlands and most of Europe, interfaith marriage usually means: Two people marry whose families are vaguely of a different religious tradition, but they themselves couldn’t care less and are never seen in Church, Mosque or Synagogue.

        In such cases, the marriage is either secular, or the family that is most insistent wins, and the ceremony is conducted according to their religion.

        NOBODY CONVERTS! It is just a marriage ceremony, and soon afterwards, everybody forgets.

      • Xpat on June 12, 2012, 5:48 pm

        Elisabeth – USians are notoriously more religious than Europeans. Over here it becomes an issue with regard to which religious education to give the children.
        In the Netherlands, do most people give their children a religious education?

      • Krauss on June 12, 2012, 1:19 am

        No, it’s not that simple. The question is why do the gentiles who marry Jews more often convert to Judaism and you rarely hear about the other way around?

        Because Jews who do it the other way around don’t convert, they usually just leave Judaism and/or they are just secular to begin with.

        But this conversion thing is just a relic of fear. I saw a stat the other day that 30 or 40 years ago the vast majority of people who married Jews converted. Today, only a minority. So this conversion thing is dying down. Often it’s done just to calm down some crazy old aunt who’s freaking out.

    • Theo on June 12, 2012, 9:00 am

      “I believe people want to marry jews……!

      Now, this is just a bit arrogant, after all, who married whom?
      She married him and he married her and she has a lot to offer.
      We do not know what Howard Krein has and does!!

      Besides, in my opinion this is an arranged marriage, just like Chelsey Clinton, using the old way to cement relationships.

  2. Dan Crowther on June 11, 2012, 11:40 am

    “I believe people want to marry Jews because we’re successful (and we are overall the wealthiest group in the U.S. by religion). People want to get ahead, people want to get in with the in crowd. Of the moderators of the Republican debates this year, most were Jewish media guys.”

    Oy Ve!! Maybe the Biden girl loves the guy, ever thought of that? Its not likes hes a scientologist or something……

  3. rensanceman on June 11, 2012, 11:41 am

    Nothing wrong with Jews marrying shiksas or goyim, but it’s the Zionist part that is troublesome. My daughter married a pretty nice Jewish man who does not endorse the Zionist manifesto and, like many of his generation is not a true believer in its cause.

    • Krauss on June 11, 2012, 2:59 pm

      Shiksa is an ethnic slur.

      • Woody Tanaka on June 11, 2012, 5:40 pm

        Exactly. It is disgusting that this site allows such vile garbage as this. There is no excuse for permitting such a post.

  4. rensanceman on June 11, 2012, 11:54 am

    Uh oh! Just remembered: Biden once said: “I am a Zionist”!

    • lysias on June 11, 2012, 2:23 pm

      I believe Biden said, “I am a Zionist” after he was so dissed when he was in Israel.

  5. MarkF on June 11, 2012, 12:23 pm

    “I believe people want to marry Jews because we’re successful (and we are overall the wealthiest group in the U.S. by religion).”

    Love to be a fly on the wall when your wife reads that line…

    You gotta post her response (if you’re not in a full body cast). Please. I’m on my knees begging….

    Maybe we’re just nice guys with a good sense of humor?

  6. American on June 11, 2012, 12:34 pm

    If I had a magic wand Phil I would cure this Jewish- Gentile social complex thing you have….maybe these kids just fell for each other and it has nothing to do with a gentile wanting to marry a Jew to get ahead or a Jew wanting to marrying a gentile to prove he’s arrived. Do you think your wife married you because you’re Jewish? Does she think you married her because she’s a gentile?
    You will have arrived when you no longer think news of a Jew and gentile marrying is news. I really think you northern Jews who live in areas of high Jewish populations are way behind the times of the real Jewish -Gentile world out here in the non metropolitan Jewish -Gentile mixed communities. Almost every single Jew of my age and in my community circle is intermarried and were the product of parents who intermarried going back for generations.

    Besides you’re an idealist, you’re suppose to have some romance in your soul.

    • philweiss on June 11, 2012, 12:56 pm

      my wife wouldnt have married me in the previous generation
      one thing that drew her was jewish culture and a tradition of learning
      f scott fitzgerald said, start with a type and you end up with nothing. fair enough. but even he had some sociology in there

      • American on June 11, 2012, 1:26 pm

        “one thing that drew her was jewish culture and a tradition of learning”…Phil

        O.K. you are ” cerebral soul mates”‘ and your Jewish attitude toward culture and traditions appealed to her…..but would she have married say a very different Jewish intellectual from you because he was Jewish?…. I still think the ‘individual’ people choose has the most to do with it when people marry outside their faiths…otherwise why go thru the hassle of blending or managing traditions when it’s easier not to have to juggle that.
        So I am not a total cynic. Although I will allow some people choose mates for crass reasons of economics or politics or whatever. ..and some people are drawn to differences because they find it more interesting or exotic than what they are used to.

      • Blake on June 11, 2012, 2:29 pm

        Nothing wrong with marrying a Jew. A Zionist sure, a Jew no.

    • Theo on June 12, 2012, 8:44 am

      I applaud this and all other marriages between different religions, nationalities and races, it is time to shake off all those restrictions forced on us by thousand years old supertition and mistrust of something different!

      Since the beginning of time women always tried to marry money, men go for the looks, and when love gets in the way, it is even better. You don´t see many young men marrying old women, but there are many examples of the other way around. Why do women have two hands? Because you can spend more money that way.
      I know I get a few nasty remarks on this, but I like to provoke.

  7. YoungMassJew on June 11, 2012, 12:35 pm

    “Of the moderators of the Republican debates this year, most were Jewish media guys.” Whoah, that’s no good. (cringes)

  8. Abuadam on June 11, 2012, 1:15 pm

    My opinion on interfaith/interethnic marriages like homesexuality is evolving, but for now, my enlightment has its limits!
    My Muslim Arab American daughter, is going to have the Islamic version of immaculate conception, before I will allow her to marry outside her kind. YES IT IS BIGOTED OF ME but hey!

    • Western Sky on June 11, 2012, 4:09 pm

      ” before I will allow her to marry outside her kind.”

      At least you can admit you’re a bigot and a misogynist. But as long as you’re not a Zionist, right?

      • Krauss on June 12, 2012, 1:20 am

        Well said.

      • Abuadam on June 12, 2012, 12:29 pm

        Oh please don’t tell me this blog has a double standard where bigot like Western Sky can insult and an Arab American can’t reply.
        At least I know my limitations and admit them, Western Sky wants to have his cake and eat it too, and in typical zionist twisted logic misconstrues the point that I am making, but then that would be beyond his mental capacity!

        Fine let me put it this way everyone has their bias/bigotry and its a matter of degrees, Unlike Western Sky mines does not extend to ethnic cleansing.

        Krauss what is exactly so well said by Western Sky or do you also have his mental capacity also.

  9. YoungMassJew on June 11, 2012, 1:35 pm

    Let me guess, one of the “Jewish media guys” was full-of-Krap-hammer…Anyway, on the topic of philo-semitism I have dealt with the assumption that people think I am more sucessful than I really am. I’m not saying that I’m unsucessful, but most people including Jews when making small talk with me as aquaintences, whether at the doctor’s office, getting a haircut, at work, etc just assume that I’m studying medicine, law, or business. Now there is nothing inheriently wrong with these professions, especially medicine, but it just proves that most people believe that all Jews (from middle and upper-middle class backgrounds) must be going into these professions and demonstrates how highly regarded Jews are seen in society, generally speaking…Interesting to note, I remember by grandfather once saying “lawyers are a profession I don’t hold in high regard.”

    • YoungMassJew on June 11, 2012, 4:06 pm

      *usually business and medicine they assume, not so much lawyer these days.

      • MRW on June 11, 2012, 9:44 pm


        I haven’t responded to any of your comments because I am trying to wean myself off my internet addiction by using an iPhone and iPad (so linking to my library/morgue is impossible). Ha. Hahahahahaha. Not working. I pipe up when (as I told Shmuel) my back molars twitch. I use software to prevent me from using the web when I am on my regular computers(S).

        You are an interesting new voice here. You have a nobility that is innate and universal. I am impressed. I have a few decades on your 22 years of age. I relate to what you say. I am impressed with your sobriety–even if you’re drinking, so choose the other meaning of sobriety here–and candor (especially your bit about what could cause anti-semitism in this country, with which I wholeheartedly agree…it’s already happening).

        I just wanted to let you know that your words, which are not being responded to, are hitting a mark. Keep them coming.

        I think you are a voice to watch for, and listen to.

        P.S. I’ve been on this board since The Flood.

      • YoungMassJew on June 12, 2012, 1:30 pm

        Thank you. I appreciate your kind words.

      • Cliff on June 12, 2012, 4:45 am

        Same for me. All throughout my life. Except it was the case, but I know a lot of Indians who weren’t studying medicine, and who weren’t from families who were came from a long line of doctors or engineers, etc.

        My uncle worked for UPS for a long time. He owns a couple of businesses. He’s the odd one in the family of doctors. Everyone else is involved in medicine. I have another uncle who is an accountant and owned a chain of perfume stores (but he was only related to me through marriage).


  10. joemowrey on June 11, 2012, 1:41 pm

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned that this ceremony could not have taken place in Israel unless Ashley had converted to Judaism. Unless something has changed recently, only Rabbis are allowed to perform state-recognized marriages in Israel for Jews and they are prohibited from marrying a Jew to a non-Jew. As of 2010, Civil marriage is allowed on a limited basis, but only for couples with no declared religious affiliation. Joe “I’m a Zionist” Biden would have had to give his daughter away in Cyprus, the wedding location of choice for many “unrecognized” couples in Israel. Either that, or she and her groom would have had to disavow their respective religions. Ouch.

    • Emma on June 12, 2012, 6:14 am

      ” …this ceremony could not have taken place in Israel unless Ashley had converted to Judaism.”

      Joemowrey has made the most important point of all. But would just any sort of conversion to Judaism been sufficient?

      “When it comes to weddings performed in-country, the government recognizes only religious marriages. And for Jews, this means weddings officiated by Orthodox rabbis between individuals the government recognizes as Jews.”

  11. annie on June 11, 2012, 2:06 pm

    i know there are lots of people out there who marry for prestige,money, moving up the social ladder..stuff like that. i understand how that works..but don’t really understand how someone could actually live and sleep like that. i guess i figure sex isn’t important to them or something. i tend to believe most people marry for love.

    likely, it started with attraction. she probably married him because of something that grew out of that, not practicality.

    edit, i take that back because it is practical on the most basic emotional level to marry someone you love and are attracted to.

    • Abuadam on June 11, 2012, 2:20 pm

      Its LUST not love, don’t confuse the two Annie, Love comes much later or never – even if the two get married!

      • Keith on June 11, 2012, 5:07 pm

        ABUADAM- “Its LUST not love, don’t confuse the two Annie, Love comes much later or never – even if the two get married!”

        Reminds me of a scene on the old Tonight Show many years ago where Jack Paar asks Zza Zza Gabor her opinion on the importance of love. She replied: “Dahlink, love is the most important thing in a woman’s life, and she should keep marrying until she finds it.”

    • MRW on June 11, 2012, 2:51 pm

      Or maybe Mr. Krein saw a chance to marry a VP’s daughter. He’s certainly set for life as a result.

      • Taxi on June 11, 2012, 3:58 pm

        The institution of marriage is in bed with the taxman. Think about it. Real love has nothing to do with neither. The paperless practice of companionship is by far more intimate, stable and less delusional than a love-license approved of by a sleazy government or by a self-appointed holy office.

        Marriage for hetros should be banned and gay marriage should be made obligatory. Yes chaos will ensue but it will end with humanity realizing the futility of attachments and the frugal spirit of conditional love.

        Begins then the practice of unconditional love…. honest love… enlightenment… ommmmmmmmm….

        Oh c’mon LOL I’m just messin wid y’all!

    • marc b. on June 11, 2012, 3:08 pm

      oh, annie, but you are a dreamer. and i mean that as a compliment. but i’m not sure the whole idea of romantic love is necessarily an improvement over the cynical calculus of the arrangement. i hear people back stabbing the young girl who marries the stable geezer, or the inverse, but more often than not their vision of romantic love boils down to ‘he makes me laugh’ or ‘she’s got a nice ass’. or worse, they work up some simplistic dichotomy about ‘falling in love’ or not, when for the attention-deficit generation, ‘falling out of love’ signals the end of the relationship. if you’re married long enough, for those who would know, you probably fall in and out of love several times.

      here is a cynical historical view of the institution of ‘love’:

      “In the stockpile of instruments deployed by the West against all forms of community, one in particular has occupied, since around the twelfth century, a privileged and yet unsuspected place. I am speaking of the concept of love. We should acknowledge that the false alternative it has managed to impose on everything—“do you love me, or not?”—has been incredibly effective in masking, repressing, and crushing the whole gamut of highly differentiated affects and all the crisply defined degrees of intensity that can arise when bodies come into contact. In this set of false alternatives, love has functioned as a way to reduce the extreme possibility of an elaborate working out of the play among forms-of-life. Undoubtedly, the ethical poverty of the present, which amounts to a kind of permanent coercion into coupledom, is due largely to this concept of love.

      To give proof, it would be enough to recall how, through the entire process of “civilization,” the criminalization of all sorts of passions accompanied the sanctification of love as the one true passion, as the passion par excellence.

      All this of course goes only for the notion of love, not for all those things it has given rise to, despite itself. I am speaking not only of certain momentous perversions, but also of that little projectile “I love you,” which is always an event.”

      – Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War

  12. MRW on June 11, 2012, 3:09 pm

    I spent 10 hours yesterday watching the entire uncut Godfather series. An American saga of every emotion and action, without fear, is what makes it a classic.

    At the end I was struck there will never be a Jewish equivalent for decades.

    Until that happens, Jews will not have arrived, as you describe it Phil, no matter how much money or who you marry. You have to embrace that you contain the opposite to be fully here. We all do at some point in life.

    • marc b. on June 11, 2012, 4:49 pm

      I spent 10 hours yesterday watching the entire uncut Godfather series.

      i hope that didn’t include sitting through GF III.

      • MRW on June 11, 2012, 8:57 pm

        marc b.,

        I realize that a lot of people didn’t like Part III, but that’s because American society is not ready for anything more than melodramatic fare. We are not mature enough as a society to understand or embrace tragedy.

        Melodrama in the sense I mean it is not a pejorative, but a dramatic style. Melodrama is concerned with us against them, good and evil, the other person is always at fault or causing the main character to act, and there is never any sense from the main character that he had a hand in (designing, creating) his own demise. It’s always someone else’s fault is the simplistic way of saying it.

        Tragedy, which Godfather part III does not lift to fully, is only possible in a mature society or civilization. But Michael Corleone’s confession to the Cardinal meets it as does the last scene on the opera steps when his scream realizes his own part in his daughter’s death (otherwise he would have been directing his nephew to pursue the killer).

        Tragedy is wimpy and too circumspect when it represents present drama. (That’s how it’s perceived in a society that can’t take responsibility for itself as soul.) We endure it from our Greeks and Shakes because we honor old stories. We are incapable of it in our present drama because we are incapable of it in our lives; we lack the spiritual language, insight, and intelligence. We lack the awareness and deep understanding of responsibility. Witness the hasbara comments here that we label as flyballs: all jejune junk uttered by the hypnotized without a scrap of deep thinking or history; it’s as if they never grew beyond what their ancestors wished for them two millennia ago.

      • lysias on June 12, 2012, 10:33 am

        I thought Godfather III was the best of the Godfather movies.

        But then, I love opera.

  13. Western Sky on June 11, 2012, 4:05 pm

    I guess it can’t possibly be love that brings two people together, not when you can blame it on the Ziocaine anyway, right?

  14. on June 11, 2012, 4:28 pm

    Phil: “there’s a lot of denial of this, because of the fear that pointing out the obvious about our social position would bring about pogroms.”

    It certainly wouldn’t be good for business.

    • MRW on June 11, 2012, 9:07 pm

      Phil: “there’s a lot of denial of this, because of the fear that pointing out the obvious about our social position would bring about pogroms.”

      Or sneers…because of the inability to embrace the full truth.

      • on June 11, 2012, 9:55 pm

        You know you’re spoiled when admitting to power feels like a pogrom.

    • American on June 12, 2012, 2:36 am

      Phil: “there’s a lot of denial of this, because of the fear that pointing out the obvious about our social position would bring about pogroms.””

      Tip for Phil …… a very smart man once told me you wouldn’t worry about what people thought of you if you knew how seldom they did. LOL

    • marc b. on June 12, 2012, 9:03 am

      it’s not the potential for ‘pograms’ in america, which is ludicrous, it’s mere criticism that’s just too much to bear. fawning over jewish contributions to the sciences and business is permissible, for example, but the indivisible reverse side of philosemitism, in this case responsibility for the utter corruption, and corruptibility, of the sciences by money, inevitably strays into anti-semitic territory. more crudely, if collective credit is taken for bellows and woody allen, then isn’t it natural that there be collective responsibility for adam sandler and seymour butts? (personally i don’t have a satisfying answer.)

      The recent explosion in the number of retractions in scientific journals is just the tip of the iceberg and a symptom of a greater dysfunction that has been evolving the world of biomedical research say the editors-in-chief of two prominent journals in a presentation before a committee of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) today.

      “Incentives have evolved over the decades to encourage some behaviors that are detrimental to good science,” says Ferric Fang, editor-in-chief of the journal Infection and Immunity, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), who is speaking today at the meeting of the Committee of Science, Technology, and Law of the NAS along with Arturo Casadevall, editor-in-chief of mBio®, the ASM’s online, open-access journal.

      In the past decade the number of retraction notices for scientific journals has increased more than 10-fold while the number of journals articles published has only increased by 44%. While retractions still represent a very small percentage of the total, the increase is still disturbing because it undermines society’s confidence in scientific results and on public policy decisions that are based on those results, says Casadevall. Some of the retractions are due to simple error but many are a result of misconduct including falsification of data and plagiarism.

      More concerning, say the editors, is that this trend may be a symptom of a growing dysfunction in the biomedical sciences, one that needs to be addressed soon. At the heart of the problem is an economic incentive system fueling a hypercompetitive environment that is fostering poor scientific practices, including frank misconduct.

  15. eljay on June 11, 2012, 5:16 pm

    >> I believe people want to marry Jews because we’re successful (and we are overall the wealthiest group in the U.S. by religion). People want to get ahead, people want to get in with the in crowd.

    I agree with Phil. It’s no surprise to see wealthy and/or powerful people marrying within the same circles and, through those marriages, forging bonds that entrench or grow their wealth and or power.

    If Muslims were the predominant “Elite” power group in America, you can bet there’d be a lot more high-profile Muslim weddings and religious conversions.

  16. Kathleen on June 11, 2012, 6:11 pm

    . “I believe people want to marry Jews because we’re successful (and we are overall the wealthiest group in the U.S. by religion). People want to get ahead, people want to get in with the in crowd. ”

    Phil surely you are joking. “the wealthiest group by religion” may be right but the rest is just silly.

    • MRW on June 12, 2012, 12:08 am

      I thought the wealthiest group by religion in the US was Hindu.

      • Kathleen on June 12, 2012, 11:13 am

        There was some Professor at Ohio State University who had done research on this some years ago “the wealthiest group by religion” Think she was slammed or her research was burned or something like that.

      • American on June 12, 2012, 12:31 pm


        I read in the NYT that Hindus are the wealthiest also….even though they are .4% of the population. I think there is probably some correlation between wealth and minority immigrants that come to the US for economic purposes. And it is likely that these immigrants brought some wealth with them from their country of origin, which would make sense as having some wealth makes it easier for them to immigrate get established in the US.
        There are no official or agency income or wealth studies that I know of that break out Jews because officially in the US they aren’t considered an ethnic, they are considered a religion for all classification purposes.
        If I remember correctly the 2010 Census identified Asians ,since they are classified as an ethnic, as the highest income and education ethnic in the US.
        I can’t find any actual research study or data on wealth by religion. I see some “polls”, like Pews, mostly on Jewish sites that claim Jews are the wealthiest but they look more like self promotion to me, there isn’t any actual data.
        The Census Bureau does an income study but not by religion, it’s broken down by regions of the country, ethnics, etc.. Since Jews aren’t surveyed as an ethnic and are grouped in with Caucasians it’s impossible to actually say what their income or wealth is.
        I looked at Nation Master but there also wealth is not surveyed or broken down by religion. There is data on the wealthiest religious
        “institutions” and there the Catholic Church and the Vatican rank as the wealthiest.
        Since Jews are classified as a religious group and not an ethnic for all reporting purposes I don’t think there is any real data on it.

      • marc b. on June 12, 2012, 1:37 pm

        american, another way of looking at the problem is comparing the ‘ivy’ numbers to general population, which apparently are tracked. i had a link to those figures at some point, with ‘jews’, however reported or defined, making up a quarter or so of most ivy league schools. there was some controversy at princeton because jewish enrollment was ‘only’ 13% or so, while harvard, columbia, etc. had 20%-plus. despite the ‘self-made’ rhetoric, the collective ‘elite’ still is drawn from the ivies. (i believe that there are similar proportional figures for ‘asians’, who also comprise about 2-3% of the general population, but make up similar percentages of ivy-league undergraduates. i don’t know how/if those numbers take into consideration foreign students or not.)

      • marc b. on June 12, 2012, 1:40 pm

        Graphs usually help clarify confusing data. There is one graph, though, that raises more questions than answers, and it’s clamped in a three-ring binder in the office of Rabbi Julie Roth, the executive director of the Center for Jewish Life (CJL). For the past five years, Roth has been working to change a puzzling statistic: Thirteen percent of Princeton’s undergraduate student body is Jewish, the lowest percentage of any Ivy League university besides Dartmouth, which comes in at 11 percent.

        Jewish students at Harvard, Brown, Columbia and Penn make up 25 percent of their respective undergraduate populations, and at Yale and Cornell, the number is 22 percent, according to data provided by Hillel, a leading international Jewish campus organization.

        This data corresponds closely with data collected by the CJL, though both organizations depend on students voluntarily identifying their religious preference. The 13 percent figure suggests that Princeton’s population of Jewish students has only increased slightly since an Office of Religious Life survey 10 years ago showed that 10 percent of undergraduates were Jewish.

      • American on June 12, 2012, 4:32 pm


        The problem with using ‘educational’ measurements is they only indicate ‘average income’ of various education levels. Income levels are not the same as actual ‘wealth holdings’. For instance if you wanted to prove Jews were bigger ‘ wealth holders”, richer than any others in actual unindebted cash and hard assets, and not merely affluent by average income standards or they were more so than Asian or gentile Harvard graduates you would literally have to gather all financial data on all those graduates for a comparison. It would be a huge undertaking because you need to look at the data over a decade or longer.
        While I think it is true most Jews in general place more importance on education…..the professions they show up in most like academics or medicine may be high income but not huge, huge wealth builders. I think Phil went to Harvard and was there during the same time frame as my brothers were, he went into journalism, a more intellectual pursuit, my brothers were MBA’s, then investment bankers, then acculmlated a lot of business interest and holdings and so have considerable surplus cash and hard asset wealth seperate from income. There is going to be a difference in wealth of the Ivy leaguers according to what they pursued….the Ivy education in itself doesn’t necessarily produce actual wealth…just more likely higher income from professional careers..depending on what profession they choose.
        People point out extreme wealth Jews like the casino king or Bloomberg but they aren’t indicative of ‘general’ Jewish wealth any more than Buffet or Gates are indicative of general non Jewish wealth or Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world and a Mexican, is indicative of Mexican ethnic wealth.
        I don’t think anything can be proved about Jews except maybe the importance they place on education as can be shown by enrollment relative to their numbers. And possibility that the Jews whose main goal is accumulating money usually do accumulate wealth.
        The problem with real data on Jews, such as a income census, is because they are lumped in with all other Caucasians.
        I think the most accurate thing one could say about Jews ‘as a group’ is they are more affluent ‘as a group’ than they were decades ago in the 1930’s when the bulk of their group were new immigrants ….and education contributed to that…but the same trajectory is seen over time in most minority immigrant groups in the US.
        If anyone can find any real data out there it would be interesting to see…there might be one but I haven’t been able to find any.
        I’ll take another look at the 2010 census to see if I missed any categories but don’t think I did.

      • American on June 12, 2012, 5:15 pm


        The problem with using education as a benchmark is the level of education only relates to “income probability” based on education..i.e…chosen career fields or professions, not actual wealth holdings. To find out if Jewish Harvard grads actually ‘accumulated’ more wealth than gentile or other Harvard grads you would have to collect and do decades of data and comparisons of non Jewish to Jewish outcomes in wealth…not ‘income’.
        As I said, since Jews are lumped in with Caucasians and not regarded as a separate ethnic, only as a religious group, and the census (which does do income reporting by ethnic) does not report on income by religious group members I doubt there is anything reliable out there that has any real data on it.

  17. Kathleen on June 11, 2012, 6:42 pm

    What social or cultural ladder would this young man be providing for Ashley Biden. Her father was a big name Senator, now the VP. I am with Annie…maybe they just love each other…or what social, political and cultural ladder could this young man be wanting to climb?

    Hopefully they will be happy together!

  18. YoungMassJew on June 11, 2012, 8:05 pm

    Phil: “But there’s a lot of denial of this, because of the fear that pointing out the obvious about our social position would bring about pogroms. I don’t buy it. It’s news. This is all about the new philo-semitism.” Now this is where you and I disagree. I’m not going to deny the fact that Jews have high social status in this country (USA) mainly due to our economic success, from mainly the mid 20th century to the present This is fact. However, I do believe that our social position is precarious for one main reason, that being the economic conditions (inequality) in America. I do believe there is the capacity for there to be some type of backlash against Jews in the future(I don’t know if it is going to be pogroms or other restrictions like where Jews can live since I don’t have a crystal ball) due to worsening economic conditions and continued economic inequality.
    Let me give some examples from my life to demonstrate where I am coming from. First let me state, that I, probably like you, are from a well-off background. (think middle-upper middle class) I’m not going to

    • Krauss on June 12, 2012, 1:27 am

      From my point of view, that backlash should’ve come with the Occupy movement. It’s certainly true that perhaps the only place where Jews are more overrepresented than in Hollywood is on Wall St. Yet despite the odd weirdo, the movement have had nothing to do with anti-Semitism and there was a lot gathering of Jews around Zuccoti park too. Same is true when Adelson was finally being written about.
      He was this dark caricature of a Jew. He even openly admitted that he ‘unfortunately’ served in the U.S. army while he praised his son for serving in the IDF.

      Yet you didn’t see any backlash. I think that fear of yours is just bogus. Time and time again events prove it. Now, I won’t say, out of a hypothetical, that “this can NEVER happen”. Anything can happen. But Jews haven’t just arrived economially. We did that 50 years ago already. We’ve arrived culturally. That is some of the rationale behind Phil’s post(although I think he oversimplifies things when he seems to be framing things from a purely status/socioeconomic perspective, when the real angle should be total cultural integration).

      And this arrival is now complete on both sides of the political spectrum. If you look at a lot of media folks in the conservative movement, there are actually more Jews in their grassroots than there are in the progressive grassroots. Drudge report, Beitbart, Mark Levin etc etc.

      This isn’t the 1930s or even the 1960s. The real outsiders today are the muslims who can easily face a situation like the Japanese in WWII if something were to happen.

  19. YoungMassJew on June 11, 2012, 9:52 pm

    crap, I really hope I didn’t loose the rest of my comment that i was typing for an hour and half that I revised through the edit option. It made me manage my subscriptions after I sent it, so I might have.

  20. pnkfloid on June 11, 2012, 10:49 pm

    “I believe people want to marry Jews because we’re successful (and we are overall the wealthiest group in the U.S. by religion). People want to get ahead, people want to get in with the in crowd. ”

    That is so absurd. Not to mention a gross generalization about Jews (“we’re successful”? – gag me with a spoon). Did the groom forget he was supposed to marry a Jew so he could get ahead? Maybe the groom came from a class that gets educated and socializes with children of vice-presidents. Maybe not all Jews run in those circles. Maybe you have some bizarre complex about the success of Jews. I don’t know, but the whole article was weird. Why don’t you stick with I/P.

  21. doug on June 12, 2012, 12:00 am

    Come on Phil, I’ve never known anyone that sought out Jews to marry. I have known people that married Jews that were initially attracted to them because they were educated. But I think they just happened to be Jews. They also fell in love.

    • Kathleen on June 12, 2012, 9:09 am

      “I believe people want to marry Jews because we’re successful (and we are overall the wealthiest group in the U.S. by religion). People want to get ahead, people want to get in with the in crowd. Of the moderators of the Republican debates this year, most were Jewish media guys.”

      Doug I can’t figure out whether Phil actually believes this or it is a joke. If he does believe it reeks of racism “people want to get in with the in crowd.” Pathetic really. Demonstrates a deep elitism which Phil has given indication of before.

      The moderator piece is true but what we know about NPR and other MSM outlets is that these high profile high paying positions are often given to Jews based on a “pervasive cronyism” in our MSM. Not that these individuals are more talented, more capable, just know people in the right places. If you examine closely who Terri Gross has on as guest having to do with politics, history, novels etc a disproportionate amount of her guest are Jewish. I firmly believe this is all about promoting her “tribe” not that these individuals are more knowledgeable etc. Just conscious or unconscious tribe promotion.

      This take of Phil’s that non Jews want to get into the tribe is just a bunch of hooey. How many people has he actually talked to about this non Jews marrying Jews their reasons etc.

      And if you were really thinking someone was going to be climbing a social or cultural ladder it would be Howard Krein (who is this anyway) marrying one of Joe Biden’s kids. Phil is dreaming about this one. But in the dream reeks racism and elitism

  22. YoungMassJew on June 12, 2012, 12:09 am

    Well it looks like I lost everything. It’s probably for the best as I probably would have embarassed myself. I think I’m going to take a break for a while in commenting/contributing to this blog. I understand you don’t want to hear from a guy like me because you assume that I have nothing substantive to offer being a young Jew from an upper-middle class background. Let me just say that I do think I have important information that would be of interest to you in your activism. I have an unique perspective on the Jewish community in that I’m divorced emotionally from many issues, such as Zionism, on account of living somewhat on the margins due to mental illness, which I’ve recently overcome. This has allowed me a window to observe the American Jewish community from a place of honesty as people don’t want anything to do with me, in most cases. I’m a newly converted anti-Zionist Jewish person who just wants to help your case. All the best. Peace

    • on June 12, 2012, 11:05 am

      Keep commenting, I like your comments and perspective. Your generation is our only hope!

      Please keep posting. You can also summarize the gist of your long comment in another comment.

      Thanks for being here.

      • YoungMassJew on June 12, 2012, 1:32 pm

        Thanks I appreciate that. That’s a lot of pressure on me though. Haha

    • American on June 12, 2012, 11:50 am

      @ youngmass

      No, no…Dont’ quit commenting.
      You’re vaulable because you are objective and honest.

  23. Steve Macklevore on June 12, 2012, 7:51 am

    Imagine the reaction if she’d married a Palestinian…

    • Theo on June 12, 2012, 8:49 am

      I bet you three dry coconuts that the crowd at MW would rejoice and celebrate.
      Daddy probably would lose all financial support from the zio crowd.

      • Kathleen on June 12, 2012, 11:11 am

        He would lose his spot as the VP

  24. Kathleen on June 12, 2012, 9:10 am

    “Biden is a social worker. Krein is an ear, nose and throat specialist at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia.”

    I mean really who ever heard of this “ear, nose and throat specialist” before this post?

  25. Kathleen on June 12, 2012, 9:21 am

    “I believe people want to marry Jews because we’re successful (and we are overall the wealthiest group in the U.S. by religion). People want to get ahead, people want to get in with the in crowd.”

    Phil do you actually believe this? Does this happen in your world? When you say “I believe people want to marry Jews because we’re successful” How many people have you asked this question who have been in this situation? Just your wife? And how do you define successful? In the traditional way? Accumulation of money?

    This is such an interesting post.

    • on June 12, 2012, 11:16 am

      Jewish chauvinism drives the Zionist movement, which is why atheists and religious fanatics are joined at the hip.

      It’s not a good look for the anti-Zionist movement.

  26. YoungMassJew on June 12, 2012, 1:30 pm

    Alright I’ll stay.

    • Ellen on June 12, 2012, 4:43 pm

      Great! We all need honest voices — which is a rare quality — to help us all find the way. Thank you YoungMassJew.

  27. Michael W. on June 12, 2012, 2:35 pm

    Obama was literally across the street from my house. I didn’t know they were big donors (and apparently my dad went to school with one of the hosts). SO many policemen! I couldn’t even park at my driveway. I don’t think this neighborhood ever had so much excitement.,0,6896393,full.story

    • on June 12, 2012, 3:08 pm

      Firsters all the way…

      “Last year, the Fidlers gave more than $50,000, including $5,000 each to Rep. John Sarbanes and Obama and $30,800 to the Democratic Party, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

      In 2010, the couple contributed $1,300 to Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, now the House majority leader — the only Republican to benefit directly from their largesse in recent years.”

      • Michael W. on June 12, 2012, 3:24 pm

        Which is why I like them. My dad went to school with one of them, moved to Israel, served in the army and reserves till he was 45, then came back to Baltimore across the street from the Fidlers, to the same house he grew up in.

      • Woody Tanaka on June 12, 2012, 3:53 pm

        You like them because they don’t put the US first?

        And did you ever ask your old man why he didn’t join the US army instead of becoming an apartheid merc for the enemy?

      • Michael W. on June 13, 2012, 2:34 pm

        My dad was a few months away from getting drafted into Vietnam. Luckily for him, they ended the draft shortly before getting drafted. He never wanted to join the army – most Americans don’t, especially for a war such as Vietnam.

        He joined the IDF because that’s what every Israeli Jew (with some exceptions) had to do. BTW, when he was NCO during the reserves, his favorite soldier was the lone Arab in his unit. He swears they put all the Jewish delinquents in his unit.

        As for the Fidlers, they do a lot of great at The Associated (Baltimore Umbrella group for the Jewish community) and Johns Hopkins. I’m pretty sure both of these organizations do a lot of Baltimore and Maryland.

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