Race Prejudice and Discrimination: Readings in Intergroup Relations in the United States

By Arnold M. Rose | Go to book overview

The strongest similarity, as was mentioned above, is to be found between a student's own observance and his attitudes. Among the strict observers the remarkable score of 89 was attained, while among those whose observance could be classified as "considerable" the average was also excellent--49. "Occasional" observers rated a score of 23, which is fair, while the students who observed rarely or not at all were last with minus 10.

There can be no question that a student who has no knowledge of Jewish practice either from home environment or from education will not merely have a neutral attitude toward Judaism but in the great majority of cases will definitely tend toward negative attitudes, toward the disparagement of Jewish values and dissociation from Jewish life. On the other hand, those who have Jewish knowledge, and especially those who come from observant homes and are themselves observant Jews, are far more likely to believe in the worthwhileness of Jewish survival and of continued adherence to Jewish principles. The future of organized Jewish life will have to depend primarily upon the strengthening of observance, especially in the home, and secondly upon the improvement of the vehicles of Jewish education.


31.Self-Hatred Among Jews *

Kurt Lewin

[ Group identification can best be understood in terms of its opposite, group self-hatred. The classic statement on group self-hatred is that by the late Professor Kurt Lewin, who was one of the outstanding psychologists of both Europe and America. The significant insights of this report have implications for all minority groups. ]

That self-hatred is present among Jews is a fact that the non-Jew would hardly believe, but which is well known among the Jews themselves. It is a phenomenon which has been observed ever since the emancipation of the Jews. Professor Lessing treated this topic in Germany ( 1930) in a book, Der Jüdische Selbsthass ("Jewish Self-Hate"). Novels like that of Ludwig Lewisohn ( Is -

____________________
*
From Contemporary Jewish Record, 4 ( June, 1941), 219-82. Copyright 1941 by Contemporary Jewish Record. The piece was reprinted in the posthumous collection of the author's essays, under the title, Resolving Social Conflicts ( New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948), 186-200. Copyright 1948 by Harper & Brothers. Reprinted by permission of Commentary magazine, successor to Contemporary Jewish Record, and of Harper & Brothers.

-321-

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