đHgeocities.com/candlemaker_kaprov/chapter05.htmlgeocities.com/candlemaker_kaprov/chapter05.htmldelayedx*zŐJ˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙Č ę˘/JOKtext/html@ÜŚŃç/J˙˙˙˙b‰.HSun, 24 Aug 2008 15:58:29 GMTµMozilla/4.5 (compatible; HTTrack 3.0x; Windows 98)en, **zŐJ/J The B'nai Khaim in America
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 
    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 
    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 
     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 
    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 

(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

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