After reading JTA’s column by a Bear Stearns “refugee” that includes a story about a mincha minyan at Bear Stearns moving over to J.P. Morgan when Bear collapsed, the editorialists at The New York Sun note the irony of the once-anti-Semitic “House of Morgan” hosting a daily Jewish prayer service.
Andrew Neff’s piece in JTA, the Sun’s editorialists write,
…sent us scurrying to our bookshelf to retrieve a copy of Ron Chernow’s book, “The House of Morgan,” which speaks of a “strain of anti-Semitism running through the Morgan story” and quotes an early biographer of J. Pierpont Morgan as writing that “He had a deep-seated anti-Semitic prejudice and on more than one occasion needlessly antagonized great Jewish banking firms.” The Chernow book goes on to report that as late as the 1970s, Arab oil potentates prized Morgan Guaranty’s “resolutely Christian past (the bank had no high-ranking Jewish officer until the 1980s).”
Count this latest turn as one of the many ways that capitalism is conducive to overcoming prejudice. And an example of how New York derives its energy and success from the way it has functioned as a place where minority groups can participate in great institutions without surrendering their identities or their faith.