This month I was lucky to get invited to a gathering of the most successful entrepreneurs of the United States . Amongst participants there were people from many different origins and nationalities: African Americans, Asians, Europeans, people from the
And yet, we are highly represented amongst successful people, be they Nobel Prizes, scientists, top University Professors, philosophers, writers, cinema directors, artists, politicians or web entrepreneurs. I’d like to find an answer, an explanation to these figures. Not only because this would go a long way towards ending intolerance towards Jews but also because I think that this type of prejudice poisons people’s personalities. To believe that someone is successful only because he belongs to a certain ethnic or social group or religion restricts liberty, creativity, individual personality and in the final analysis, oneself. And this can only lead to resentment and mediocrity. But unfortunately I don´t have an explanation as to why Jews are overachievers.
So while at a table of 12 at this conference that included Jews and non Jews (majority non Jews) I posed the question. Why are Jews over-represented in places when the most successful entrepreneurs meet up? The answers: some said tremendous emphasis on education, others said that there´s more solidarity among Jews than other groups, another answer related to a survival of the fittest theory that argued that after being massacred for thousands of years Jewish people are descendants of the few smart survivors, another person said that in any case this question will be obsolete and that 100 years from now Jews will have mostly disappear because now that antisemitism has declined most Jews marry non Jews and while it´s easy to become a non believer, a Muslim or a Christian, it is very hard to “immigrate” into the Jewish religion. Personally I don´t have the right answer to give to antisemites. I wish I did cause a simple explanation would go a a long way.
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars