đH geocities.com /candlemaker_kaprov/chapter05.html geocities.com/candlemaker_kaprov/chapter05.html delayed x *zŐJ ˙˙˙˙ ˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙Č ę˘ /J OK text/html @ÜŚŃç /J ˙˙˙˙ b‰.H Sun, 24 Aug 2008 15:58:29 GMT µ Mozilla/4.5 (compatible; HTTrack 3.0x; Windows 98) en, * *zŐJ /J
Chapter 5 - Education and Occupations of Native-born B'nai Khaim The high prestige which learning held among the B'nai Khaim in Yustingrad they carried over into the United States. Here they found the educational opportunities and likely possibilities for professional advancement denied them in Tsarist Russia. Most of them, however, came here too late in life to benefit directly. Theirs was the necessity to earn a living and establish family roots. By the time wives and children came to join husbands and fathers after the First World War, the junk peddler had become a scrap-yard dealer; the market stall had expanded into a grocery store; and the cloak presser had opened an independent hand laundry. By the time their children reached high-school age, these families had moved out of the immigrant slum areas and into open-air neighborhoods now being abandoned by the affluent descendants of immigrants of an earlier vintage. The B'nai Khaim who came here after the war experienced less of the trying beginnings of their forerunners. Established relatives and landsmen helped them to a quicker and less grueling start. Before long, both the pre- and post-war immigrants established a more or less secure livelihood for themselves, began to "take on American ways" and sent their children to college. The age-old esteem for learning, only a frustrating dream in the old country, took on reality in the new, if not for themselves, then for their American-born children. In the winter of 1963-64 we "took a census" by means of a questionnaire of the education and occupations of these American-born B'nai Khaim, 16 years of age and over, male and female, of their spouses wherever born and of the 12 who came here before age eight. Returns came from 227-approximately 90 per cent of the potential respondents. Following is the distribution of these 227, by sex and marital status: Married males 38 Their wives 34 Married females 44 Their husbands 43 Unmarrieds, age 16+ 46 Males, 25 Females, 21 B'nai Khaim who came here before age 8 9 Native-born spouses of foreign born B'nai Khaim 13 ---- Total 227 Sub totals: B'nai Khaim 137 Spouses 90 ---- Total 227 The native-born married B'nai Khaim constitute our second generation Americans. In 1963-64 they fell within the age range 25-45. From the responses to our questionnaire we learn that all but two of the 38 married B'nai Khaim males had graduated from high school, and that 25, or 66 per cent, were college graduates. In addition, seven had attended college one to two years. Furthermore, five of the six married B'nai Khaim males who had come here before the age of eight and whom in this regard we treat as native-born, also had graduated from college. This makes for a total of 68 per cent college graduates for the B'nai Khaim males. These are exceedingly high percentages, in view of the much smaller figures obtained in various sampling studies of Jewish communities throughout the country. The B'nai Khaim percentages are six times as high as for the urban native-born whites of native parentage in the country as a whole. (See note #1) Most intriguing is the fact that the husbands of B'nai Khaim females scored about the same levels of education as the male B'nai Khaim. All but one of the 43 husbands are high-school graduates; 27, or 63 per cent, had completed four years of college. In addition, six had attended college for one to two years, paralleling the record of the B'nai Khaim males. Only one other group of Jews is known to have reached similar levels of education. This finding comes from a study which two young sociologists conducted in the second half of the 1950's in the Jewish community of "North City" -a town in the Midwest. (See note #2) Two samples were used in that study, one each of 84 males of the second and third generations. For the second generation the sample yielded 14.5 per cent college graduates; for the third generation, 63 per cent. The much lower figure for these second-generation Jews than for the third and for our own second generation may be explained by the inclusion in the "North City" sample of 16 per cent foreign-born who came here up to age 18. We know from our previous chapter that immigrants who come here much after age eight do not - in fact, cannot -- share in the educational opportunities available to native-born children as do those who come here before age eight. It should be noted, furthermore, that these two samples are not strictly comparable with ours. The "North City" samples were drawn from groups with a built-in upward bias with reference to educational attainments. Both the second - and the third-generation samples were drawn from club memberships, and the third-generation sample, in addition, was drawn from "organizations and synagogues known to recruit younger members of the community." These, therefore, were selected from a predetermined favorable environment. Ours was a random sample, except that the B'nai Khaim portion came from a common immigrant stock. They were all free of the possible influence of a single community environment; the "North City" samples were not. The B'nai Khaim and their spouses were born in a dozen different cities and were raised in a score or more. Clearly, however, the B'nai Khaim are not the only Jews to have attained high levels of education! The American Jewish Year Book of 1964 reports that in 1963 more than 75 per cent of college-age Jews were enrolled in colleges. High educational attainments mean high professional preferment. In the case of the Jews this has taken the form of concentration in white-collar occupations and in the professions. Community studies have shown that about 70 per cent of American Jews are engaged in white-collar employment, including the professions. (See note #3) In the general white population in 1964, white-collar workers constituted 47 per cent of the total, and professional and technical personnel, 13 per cent. (See note #4) In our case we find that 38 of the 44 second-generation B'nai Khaim, or 66 per cent, engaged in white-collar work and 24, or 54 per cent, in the professions: doctors, lawyers, dentists, engineers, mathematicians. (See note #5) One B'nai Khaim is a Professor of Civil Engineering in Illinois; one is a Professor of Regional Planning and another is a Professor in Computer Control in Michigan. A fourth is Professor and head of a Department of Mathematics in New York State. Two of the M.D.'s, one in California and one in the District of Columbia, are psychoanalysts. Another is an anesthesiologist in Texas. Only four of the 44 engaged in manual work, and three in industrial production. Of the three, one, a graduate in engineering from M.I.T., has taken over his father's jewelry manufacturing business; one, with an M.S. in chemistry, manufactures a vitamin for poultry (which he has isolated); the third is production manager in a men's clothing factory. These three are the first of the B'nai Khaim to depart from stereotype service occupations and professions. Among the other white-collar workers there is a stockbroker, a credit manager, a "business executive" and a jewelry auctioneer in a Florida resort town. The B'nai Khaim have not yet produced a Jonas Salk or a David Sarnoff. One of them, however, is in Who's Who in America as "mathematician, educator." (See note #6) Of the 27 college-graduate husbands of native-born B'nai Khaim women, 19, or nearly 70 per cent, went on to earn post-graduate and professional degrees. Five of them became college professors: one in agricultural engineering, one in political science, one in geography, one in education, and one in bio-medical engineering. The husband of the Israeli-born B'nai Khaim who came here at the age of nine is a Professor of Physics. We do not expect the same high ratio of college graduates for our B'nai Khaim women as we do for B'nai Khaim males. Women in America do not get the same ratio of higher education men do: about 30 per cent fewer are college graduates. The same, in general, is true of the B'nai Khaim. While all of the native-born married B'nai Khaim women have graduated from high school, only 20 of the 44, or 45 per cent graduated from a four-year college-in contrast with 66 per cent for the males. However, eight of these women who had not graduated from college had attended college from one to three years, and one was still attending at the time of our inquiry. At least ten of the 20 women college graduates went on to do graduate work, mostly preparing to teach or do social work. One studied architecture and is practicing that craft. One is a registered nurse; one teaches art in a junior high school, and one teaches mathematics in a senior high school. One studied interior design. A B'nai Khaim mother, with three small children, and another, with three children in high school, are doing post-graduate work. Four others, with growing children, teach. Of the 34 wives of our native-born B'nai Khaim, 94 per cent graduated from high school and 35 per cent from college. Six others attended college one to two years. Nearly all of them are "housewives" and mothers and, as one of them wrote, "typical suburban." Several are school teachers; one teaches ballet, and one is a portrait painter. The 13 native-born spouses of foreign-born B'nai Khaim consisted of four males and nine females. Of the four males one is the Professor of Physics cited previously, and one is a lawyer. Of the other two, one runs a furniture store and one a scrap iron yard. The furniture dealer has had two years of high school; the scrap-iron dealer, none. Of the nine females, eight completed high school and one attended for two years, but only two of the nine graduated from college. One of these holds an M.A. degree and is a clinical psychologist; the other is a schoolteacher. Three others had had one to two years of college. The remaining four had no college training at all. It should be observed that six of the foreign-born B'nai Khaim who married native-born spouses were in our select group of nine who came here before age 8. We count as our third generation the unmarried B'nai Khaim who in 1963-64 were 16 years of age and over. Forty-six of these, 25 boys and 21 girls, answered the questionnaire on education and occupation. As would be expected, all of the 46 were attending or had already completed high school; 28 were attending or had already completed college, and four were planning to go there. This makes for a college potential of 70 per cent. The other 30 per cent were still undecided about their future, except for one who planned to enter the family business. Seven of the girls and 16 of the boys planned professional careers: as a physician, dentist, teacher, librarian, or rabbi. Four of the boys who have since graduated from college are now doing post-graduate work: one is a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics; one, an M.D., is in residency in pathology; another has a fellowship in architectural engineering, and the fourth has a fellowship in playwriting. Also, several have since joined the married group. Our findings for this chapter are presented here in the form of a percentage summary. (See table below) In addition to the facts on secular education we solicited information also on the religious education and training the native-born B'nai Khaim and their spouses received in their childhood. We know the religious education and training their immigrant fathers and grandfathers came with-Jewish orthodox which they imbibed with their mothers' milk. From the answers we learned that of the 38 American-born married B'nai Khaim males, only 20, or a little more than one-half, had received training in Judaism, apparently in preparation for Bar Mitzvah, although only three of them said so specifically. The amount of training ranges from "some" in a Sunday School to eight years in a Hebrew School and to a formal education in a "Hebrew College." The remaining 18 said "none" or put a dash (-) for an answer. An even smaller percentage of their spouses claimed such training. As many as 20 of the 34 wives, or 59 per cent, reported not having had any Jewish education at all. Percentage of B'nai Khaim High School and College Graduates ------------------------------------------------------------ Per Cent -------------------- Group Number High School College ------------------------------------- ------ ----------- ------- Native-born married B'nai Khaim males 44* 95 68 Their wives 34 94 35 Native-born wives of foriegn-born B'nai Khaim 9 90 22 Native-born married B'nai Khaim Females 44 100 45 Their husband 43 97 63 Native-born husbands of foreign-born B'nai Khaim 4 50 50 ------------------------------ Total married 178 94 52 Married males 91 93 65 Married females 87 95 40 ------------------------------ Unmarried group 46 100 70** * Includes six foreign-born who came here before age 8 ** Potential The B'nai Khaim females and their husbands reported slightly higher percentages. Over 50 per cent of the females and nearly 60 per cent of their husbands claimed to have had religious instruction, four of the females as much as eight to ten years. Fourteen of the husbands reported having been Bar Mitzvah after considerable training - kheder in one case, ten years of Sunday School in another, and eight grades in a Yeshiva in still another. One female, who put a dash (-) for an answer, added: "I strongly identify with traditional Judaism, but remain an atheist." Later, in our discussion of the younger generation we note that all but eight of the 22 males over age 16, or 64 per cent, had attended a Jewish Sunday School or a Jewish secular school. This relatively high percentage may reflect the post Hitlerian upsurge of Jewish consciousness and identification among American Jews. Seven of the 22 had been Bar Mitzvah - a much larger ratio than for their fathers. The returns for the 17 third-generation females were almost the same as for the second-generation females. Eleven, or 52 per cent, had had from one to two years of SUnday School or Hebrew School. The rest had no religious training at all or answered "very little." In sum, not much more than half of the second- and third generation B'nai Khaim, and B'nai Khaim spouses, had been introduced to the teachings of Judaism. In the succeeding chapters we investigate their practices. Notes to Chapter 5 (1) To a great extent the differences are due to differences in demographic compositions of the samples. Many differ from one another in their college- age components; in average family size; in occupational distribution and in the size of the community. The large cities, for example, offer greater educational opportunities than the small towns. The B'nai Khaim "sample" comes from the big cities, was of the most favorable college age, raised in a more or less economically and culturally homogeneous family environment which by tradition is conducive to the pursuit of higher learning. (2) Children of the Gilded Ghetto, by Judith Kramer and Seymour Leventman. Yale University Press, 1961. (3) Dr. Joseph Fauman in The Jews: Social Patterns of an American Group, a collection of community studies edited by Dr. Marshall Sklare of the American Jewish Committee. The Free Press, Glencoe, Ill., Second Printing, 1960, p. 119. (4) Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1965 ed., p. 227, Table No. 312. Watch out, however, for the comparability of the samples! (See foot- note 1 above.) (5) In the spring of 1966, 55 per cent of college seniors in a nationwide sample said they would prefer professional careers if they were free to choose. Newsweek, May 2, 1966, p. 86. (6) On B'nai Khaim male who has never filled out our questionnaires is known to have been in and out of jail several times for burglary and larceny.