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Keep Down Jewish Percentage but Do Not Seem to Be Doing So: How Numerus Clausus Works at American Co

Of all problems of racial adjustment, the most acute and widespread is that of the Jew in the Christian community, a "Christian College Professor" writes in the current issue of "Harper’s Magazine", of the problem of the Jews at American colleges.

Every Jew, he declares, and every Christian knows that the chasm between the races is broad and deep. I have seen the ranking scholars in a college graduating class unable to secure good positions because they were Jews, while at the same time intellectually inferior Christians were being placed easily. The cleavage between Jew and Gentile in the social and business world outside the college is clearly reflected in those institutions of learning which exist, if we are to believe the commencement orator, for the sole purpose of supplying America with great leaders.

With the stampede for college education that followed the war years, he proceeds, the authorities of the privately endowed colleges and universities felt it necessary to restrict the number of admissions. At this point the admission committees found themselves reflecting the social and racial prejudices of the communities which the colleges served. Pressure came from the alumni. The result was the decision to "keep down the Jewish percentage but do not seem to be doing so; admit a limited number of white Jews but close your doors to the others".

I regret, he continues, that the colleges then began to use devious rejection schemes and specious arguments instead of having the candour to explain their position

A less stiffnecked race of people, he adds, or one less accustomed to endure discriminations might not have survived this treatment. But the Jews kept applying for admissions to the very colleges that were rejecting them. Jews have a persistent way of getting what they want.

On the basis of pure scholarship, the author goes on, the Jewish applicant for admission to college can more than hold his own against the Christian student; it is this circumstance more than any other that drove the college administrators to the various unacademic changes in the admission requirements. Ovcrzeal at one’s books, he says, is not regarded by the average Christian as a desirable thing.

Further, the Jews, he adds, are primarily an indoor people and are on the whole indifferent to the mass excitement of which the football stands are typical. This is scored against them by their Christian colleagues. At the same time the Jews are more emotional than the Christians "who are frequently disgusted with Jewish effusiveness".

The Jew, the writer then complains, is born protesting. "Like the lady in Hamlet", he says, "the Jewish student doth protest too much".

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