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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 10, 2007 / 28 Tishrei 5768

Feel the power

By Joseph Aaron


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I just can't help it.

This kind of thing gives me a big thrill. And a big chill.

It's not that often that you find the entire state of Jewish life today encapsulated in one place. So when you do, it's worth taking note of and learning from.

The place of which I speak is the October issue of Vanity Fair magazine. Vanity Fair is one of the most fascinating magazines around, one that every issue features an amazingly eclectic collection of articles, from the very serious to the completely frivolous.

Indeed, while the October issue features such stories as "How $9 billion in cash vanished in Iraq;" "Inside Bush's bunker;" "How the Media Gored Al Gore in 2000;" and more, the cover features Nicole Kidman wearing a sailor cap and opening her shirt to reveal her nautical necklace and her brassiere.

Vanity Fair is nothing if not on the cutting edge of where society is and is going. Vanity Fair is definitely not a Jewish publication.

And yet, in this one issue, it tells us more about the Jewish world as it is today than any lecture or book or class out there.

It does that in two ways.

The first is its annual list of what it calls The New Establishment, the 100 most powerful, most influential people in American society.

What is absolutely amazing, stunning about the list is how many Jews there are on it. Jews make up about 2.5 percent of the U.S. population so there should be two or three Jews on the list.

Guess again, bubeleh.

The list of the Vanity Fair 100 includes, get ready, 51, yes 51 Jews.

Minimum.

I say 51 because that's how many I'm sure are Jewish. There may be others on the list who are Jewish but who I don't know are Jewish and whose names are not obviously Jewish.

But let's say I got them all. That means that more than half the names on the list of the 100 people who are the most vital to this society are Jewish. And this is a list that includes Apple's Steve Jobs and Oprah and Bill Clinton and Warren Buffett, to name a few of the few non-Jews on the list.

That is absolutely nothing short of astounding.

Talk about us being accepted into this society, talk about us having power in this society, talk about anti-Semitism being a thing of the past, talk about Jews no longer needing to be afraid to be visible and influential.

And it doesn't stop there.

The magazine also has a separate list of what it calls The Next Establishment, younger people it believes destined to make the big list some year soon.

Of the 26 names on that list, 15 are Jews. That I'm sure of. 15 of 26. More than half.

And it doesn't stop there.

The magazine also has a separate list of what it calls The Pit-Stop Club, those who have made The New Establishment list in the past but who didn't make it this year but are fairly certain to make a comeback in a future year.

Of the nine names on this list, eight are Jews. Eight out of nine. Don Imus is the only non-Jew on the list.

I mean, it's just unbelievable.

This is a big country with lots and lots of very talented, highly educated, tremendously motivated people. And no one has its finger on the pulse of the people who make this country what it is more than Vanity Fair.

And when it came time to pick the 100 who most move and shake things in America, more than half-more than half-are Jews. And on the list of those who will one day be on that list, more than half-more than half-are Jews. Not to mention that almost 100 percent of those who were on the list and are poised to make a comeback are Jews.

Tells you so much about the place of Jews in this country, about the amazing people Jews are.

That's something we should never take for granted, something we should always be blown away by, feel very, very good about.

Instead, however, the Jewish world is so much about kvetching and worrying.

When will we learn to fight fights that matter. When will we learn not everything needs to be made a big deal of. Not everything we don't like is a threat, indeed some of the things we don't like only become a nuisance because we make a big deal out of it.

We are powerful, very powerful. We play a major, pivotal role in the life of this country. And yet we are always acting like scared little mice on the verge of annihilation.

And if you think how we are doesn't have consequences, please look at something else in this Vanity Fair issue, something that also tells us much about Jewish life today.

There is an article in the magazine called "Talk of the Town." It tells the story of the intense rivalry between two of the most powerful men on Wall Street, Henry Kravis and Stephen Schwarzman.

Both, as you may have guessed, are Jews. Both are at the very top of the private equity world, which is where the financial action is these days. Both control tens of billions of dollars worth of assets.

The first thing that struck me about the story is what jerks both are, each trying to top the other, destroy the other, outdo the other. Not to mention the abominable way that each treats their employees. Each acts in ways that are not very much in keeping with the teachings and values of Judaism.

That's sad, but that's not what got to me. What got to me is how much these two do, how much these two give, to all kinds of good causes-libraries and museums and hospitals and universities and on and on, all mentioned by name in the article. You read and see how much energy each puts into his charitable work, how much money each donates to charitable causes. Doing so, it is very clear, for the social status and clout it brings.

What is also clear is that it seems neither is involved in or gives to Jewish causes, at least not in any significant way.

That too tells you a lot about Jewish life today.

For they are not alone. The fact is that, as survey after survey has shown, most very wealthy Jews in this country do not give to Jewish causes. Certainly not the tens of million dollars they so eagerly give to a university or a museum.

The question is why they feel so little allegiance to their own community, their own people, why they so much look elsewhere to devote their resources and their energies.

I think it's because we have made Judaism such an unpleasant place.

Judaism has so many powerful people among us, as the Vanity Fair 100 list shows. We are such a part of this society, have such impact on this society and yet we're always unhappy, always feel victimized, always kvetch about this and that. It's always another Holocaust around the corner, there's always the next Hitler on the scene, Israel is always embattled, we're always worried, always scared, always sure the end is near.

Well, who the hell wants to join that little party?

Because we so squander all the good that has come our way, too many of us are simply opting to go their own way, to be part of things that don't involve guilt and neuroticism.

More than half those on the Vanity Fair 100 are Jews. And yet we don't feel powerful, indeed, the very fact of the list makes us even more nervous than we were before. Instead of being pleased and taking pride, we fret that it's not so good to be so visible, bad that the gentiles see how much influence we have. And so we take even an occasion for joys and make it one for oys.

Is it any wonder then that if we always make out that Jewish life, despite all evidence to the contrary, is a scary and dreary place, that those who have made it, want nothing to do with it?

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Joseph Aaron is Editor of The Chicago Jewish News. Comment by clicking here.


© 2006, Joseph Aaron