Survey Shows Jewish College Students Know Little of Jewish History of Great Jewish Names

There seems to be no evidence of the so-called inferiority complex among Jewish college students, according to a conclusion reached by Dr. Julius B. Maller, research associate in Teachers’ College of Columbia University, who presents the results of a test which he gave to 200 Jewish students in secular schools who had little or no formal Jewish education, in an article appearing in the April-June issue of “Jewish Education.” The tests comprised questions covering the background, the Jewish knowledge, Jewish attitudes and personal adjustments of the students.

Other conclusions reached by Dr. Maller as a result of this test are:

1. The forms of recreation which are favorites among jewish students are largely cultural in nature.

2. Jewish students, coming largely from Orthodox homes, tend to be in greater sympathy with Conservative and Reform Judaism.

3. Jewish students show little familiarity with the names of great Jews, and are badly misinformed in that connection.

4. Jewish students show a fair knowledge of Jewish customs and ceremonies, but extremely little knowledge of Jewish history.

5. There is little correlation between the extent of Jewish knowledge and the degree of observing Jewish practices among Jewish students.

6. The reasons given by Jewish students for observing Jewish practices are religious conviction, social pressure and national solidarity.

7. Jewish students rate themselves much more frequently to be of positive than of negative or neutral attitude toward their Jewishness. There is a marked correlation between the students’ self-rating and their actual scores on a test of Jewish attitudes.

8. On tests of emotionality and temperament, the Jewish students display a reaction-pattern slightly different from that of non-Jewish college students. They show a slightly higher degree of emotionality. Their reaction to words, however, reveals more frequent positive responses of pleasing and agreeable than negative responses of displeasing and annoying.

9. Jewish students display a marked degree of introversion and self-eriticism.

NEXT STORY