Stereotypes of Jews are generalized representations of Jews , often caricatured and of a prejudiced and antisemitic nature. The Jewish diaspora have been stereotyped for over 2,000 years as scapegoats for a multitude of societal problems [1] such as: Jews always acting with unforgiving hostility toward the Christians, Jews religious rituals thought to have become undermined by the church and state, and habitual Jews Killings of Christians as their most extreme deeds. [2] Antisemitism continued throughout the centuries and reached a climax in the Third Reich during World War II. Modern day Jews are still stereotyped as greedy, nit-picky, stingy misers and are often depicted in cartoons, comics, and propaganda posters. Early films such as Cohen ‘s Advertising Scheme (1904, silent) stereotyped Jews as “scheming merchants”. [2] [3]

Common objects, phrases and traditions used to emphasize or ridiculous Jewishness include bagels, citation needed ] playing violin, klezmer , undergoing circumcision, kvetching , haggling and uttering various Yiddish phrases like mazel tov , shalom , and oy vey . Other Jewish stereotypes are the rabbi, the complaining and guilt- inflicting Jewish mother , and a Jewish boy , and the spoiled and materialistic Jewish-American princess .

Physical features

In caricatures and cartoons , Jews are usually depicted as having large hook-noses , dark beady eyes [4] with drooping eyelids. [5] Exaggerated or grotesque Jewish facial features were a staple theme in Nazi propaganda and, less frequently, in Soviet propaganda . The Star Wars Watto character has been likened to traditional antisemitic caricatures.


The idea of ​​the broad [6] gold aquiline [7] ” Jewish nose ” remains one of the most prevalent and defining features of characterize someone as a Jew. This widespread stereotype can be traced back to the 13th century, according to art historian Sara Lipton. While the depiction of the hooked-nose originated in the 13th century, it had an uprooting in European imagery many centuries later. [8] The earliest record of anti-Jewish caricature is a detailed doodle depiction in the upper margin of the Exchequer Receipt Roll (English Royal tax record) in 1233. It shows three demented looking Jewels inside a castle middle of the castle with a large nose. [9] The fictional characterJew Süss disambiguation needed ] resorted to rhinoplasty in an attempt to conceal His Jewishness , citation needed ] and the literary work The Operated Jew revolves around a similar plot of cosmetic surgery as a “cure” for Jewishness.


In part due to their genetic origins , Jews tend to be portrayed as swarthy and hairy , sometimes associated with a hair texture known as ” Jewfro “. There is a brown, edible woodland fungus, Auricularia cornea , commonly referred to as “Hairy Jew’s ear”. [10] In European culture, prior to the 20th century, red hair Was Commonly APPROBATION have the distinguishing trait negative Jewish and APPROBATION with Judas Iscariot : During the Spanish Inquisition , All Those with red hair APPROBATION Were you Jewish. [11] In Italy, red hair was associated with Italian Jews, and Judas was traditionally depicted as red-haired in Italian and Spanish art. [12] Writers from Shakespeare to Dickens would identify with the characters. [13] In Medieval European lore, ” Red Jews ” were a semi-fictional group of red-haired Jews of obscure origins.


Jews have often been stereotyped as greedy and miserly. This originates in the Middle Ages , when the church forbade Christians to lend money while charging interest (a practice called usury , but the word later took the meaning of charging excessive interest). The Jews were legally restricted to occupations as usurers, usually to Christians, and thus many went into money-lending. This led to, through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance , the association of Jews with greedy practices.

Publications like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and literature Such As William Shakespeare ‘s The Merchant of Venice and Charles Dickens ‘s Oliver Twist reinforced the stereotype of the Jew crooked. Dickens later expressed regret for his portrayal of Fagin in the novel, and his reading of his Jewishness. [14] Furthermore, the character of Mr. Riah In His later novel Our Mutual Friend is a kindly Jewish creditor, and May-have-been created as an apology for Fagin. citation needed ] Lesser references in Arabian Nights ,The Three Musketeers , and even Hans Brinker are examples of the prevalence of this negative perception. Some, such as Paul Volcker , suggest that the stereotype has decreased in prevalence in the United States . A telephone poll of 1747 American adults conducted by the Anti-Defamation League in 2009 found that 18% believed that “Jews have too much power in the business world”, 13% that “they are more likely than others to use shady practices to get what they want “, and 12% that” Jews are not just as honest as other businesspeople “. [15]

Jewish frugality, thriftiness, and greed are among the typical themes in jokes about Jews, even by Jews themselves . [16]


Martin Marger writes “A set of distinct and consistent negative stereotypes, some of which can be traced back to the Middle Ages in Europe, has been applied to Jews.” [17] Antisemitic ducks such as the blood libel appeared in the 12th century and were associated with attacks and massacres against Jews. [18]

Medieval Europe

The portrayal of Jews and Christians of Christendom is the most damaging anti-Jewish stereotype in the literature of the late twentieth century. Jews were often depicted as satanic consorts, [19] or as devils themselves and “incarnation [s] of absolute evil.” [20] Physically, Jews were portrayed as menacing, hirsute, with boils, warts and other deformities, and sometimes with horns, cloven hoofs and tails. [21] Such imagery was used centuries later in Nazi propaganda of the 1930s and 1940s. [22] This propaganda leaned on Jewish stereotypes to explain the claim that the Jewish people belong to an “inferior” race. [23] [24]

Although Jews had not been particularly associated with moneylending in antiquity, a stereotype of them acting in this capacity was developed beginning in the 11th century. Jonathan Frankel notes that this stereotype, though obviously an exaggeration, had a solid basis in reality. While not all Jews were moneylenders, the Catholic Church’s prohibition of usury meant that Jews were the main representatives of the trade. [25]

Prevalence in the United States

David Schneder writes “Three large clusters of traits are part of the Jewish stereotype.” (Wuthnow, 1982) .First, Jews are seen to be powerful and manipulative.The third, they are accused of dividing their loyalties between the United States and Israel. set of traits related to Jewish materialistic values, aggressiveness, clannishness. ” [26]

About one-third of Europe’s Jewish population immigrated in the nineteenth and early decades of twentieth century. About 80 percent of those immigrants thing America. [27] Although there was no doubt that Europe’s depiction of the Jews influenced the United States, there were no huge massacres, pogroms , or legal restrictions on the Jews. [28] Based on the fact that America is made up of immigrants, American Jewry identity is described as “fluid, negotiable, and highly voluntary.” [29] Within the first Jewish communities, the colonies gave the Jews the chance to live openly as Jews. [30]The attitude towards Jews in the eyes of the colonial authorities Most Jews settled in port cities and thrived in trade by relying on family and community for negotiating. [31] Peddling , specifically, improved the image of Jews in the eyes of the Americans, who allowed them to stay in their homes. Peddling gives the chance to shed outward appearance stereotypes. Commentators note they often wore a waistcoat and tie with a hat on their heads. For they understood a customer would be more likely to open their door to a shabby, dirty man, than a man in elegant dress. [32]

From 1914 to 1918, World War I shaped the identity and attitudes of American Jews for the better, yet is overshadowed by the devastation and tragedy of World War II . For the first time, American Jews were seen as major philanthropists, which is now a central part of American Judaism. The stereotype of being greedy and miserly seemed to be challenged. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee . By the end of the war, $ 16.5 million, which is equivalent to about $ 260 million today. [33]

However, attitudes towards the Jews change after World War I; from 1920-1940, America saw the peak years of American antisemitism . [34] Many left-wing Jews showed sympathy toward, or even supported, the Russian Revolution. [33] Jews were impressed by the Soviet’s commitment to giving Jews equal civil, political, and national rights, which fueled the Jewish plots conspiracy theories. This era in American history is called the Red Scare . Movements of Restricting Immigration, such as the Immigration Act of 1924, often had expressing suspicion and hatred on the Jews. In the intellectual context, social scientists were asking questions like, “Will the Jews ever Lose their Racial Identity?” And, “Are the Jews an Inferior Race?” In 1938, 50 percent of Americans had low opinions of Jews. [35] Americans still believed the Jews to be untrustworthy and dishonest. [35] Many hoped that the racial stereotypes would disappear if the Jews worked to mold themselves. Massive amount of effort was put towards Jewish charities, especially for new immigrants, in response to antisemitism in America.

The twenty years Following World War II are regarded the American Jewry “golden age” Because of the triumph of “prosperity and affluence, suburbanization and acceptance, the triumph of political and cultural liberalism, and the expansiveness of unlimited possibilities.” [36] The Jewish participation in typical American culture, public entertainment, advertising, and organized sports, baseball in particular. More recently, benign stereotypes of Jews have been more prevalent than images of an overtly antisemitic nature. [37] The Anti-Defamation League(ADL), released nationwide telephone surveys to analysis American beliefs on the Jews. The league concluded that in 2007, 15% of Americans, nearly 35 million adults, hold “unquestionably anti-Semitic” views about Jews. More than one quarter, 27% of Americans believe Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus. The number of African-Americans with strong anti-Semitic beliefs remains high and stable since 1992, with today at 32%. We have more positive note, many Americans have positive views towards the Jews on ethics and family. About 65% of Americans believe the Jews had a “special commitment to social justice and civil rights.” About 79% of Americans believe the Jews put an “emphasis on the importance of family life.” [38]

Jewish women

Negative stereotypes of Jewish women can appear in popular culture. [39] Stereotypes of Jewish and Jewish-American Princesses are well-known and pervasive stereotypes of Jewish women. [40]

Beautiful Jewess

Main article: The beautiful Jewess

The beautiful Jewess (the beautiful Jewess) was a 19th-century literary stereotype. A figure that is often associated with having and causing sexual lust, temptation and sin. Her personality traits could be portrayed either positively or negatively. The typical appearance of the beautiful Jewels included long, thick, dark hair, large dark eyes, olive skin tone, and a languid expression. An example of this stereotype is Rebecca in Sir Walter Scott ‘s Ivanhoe . Another example is Miriam in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s romance The Marble Faun . [41]

Jewish mother

See also: Narcissistic parent

The Jewish mother or Jewish female stereotype is a common stereotype and stock character used by Jewish and non-Jewish comedians , television and film writers, actors, and authors in the United States. The stereotype Generally Involves a nagging , loud, highly-talkative, overprotective, smothering, and overbearing mother or wife, Who Persists in interfering in her children’s lives long after-They Have Become adults and who is great at making her children feel guilty for shares That may have caused her to suffer. [42]The Jewish mother stereotype can also involve a mother and mother who is highly defensive. Like Italian mother stereotypes. Feeding a loved one is characterized as an extension of the desire to mother those around her. Lisa Aronson Fontes describes the stereotype as one of “endless caretaking and boundless self-sacrifice” by a mother who demonstrates her love by “constant overfeeding and unremitting solicitude about every aspect of her children’s and husband’s welfare”. [43]

A possible origin of this stereotype is anthropologist Margaret Mead ‘s research into the European shtetl , financed by the American Jewish Committee . [44] Although her interviews at Columbia University , with 128 European-born Jews, the results of this study and the many quotations in the popular media resulted in: intensely loving but controlling to the point of smothering and attempting to engender enormous guiltin her children through the endless suffering she professes to have experienced on their behalf. The Jewish mother stereotype, then, has origins in the American Jewish community, with predecessors coming from Eastern Europe. 1 In Israel, with its diversity of cultural backgrounds and where most mothers are Jewish, the same stereotypical mother is known to Polish mother ( Isha Polania ). [45] [46]

Comedian Jackie Mason describes stereotypical Jewish mothers as parents who have become so expert in the art of needling their children that they have honorary degrees in “Jewish Acupuncture”. [47] Rappoport observes that jokes about the stereotype have less anti-Semitism than they have in gender stereotyping. [48] Helmreich agrees, observing the attributes of a Jewish mother-overprotection, pushiness, aggression, and guilt-inducement-as well as of other ethnicities, from Italians through Blacks to Puerto Ricans. [49]

The association of this particular gender stereotype with Jewish mothers in particular, is, according to Helmreich, because of the importance that is traditionally placed by the Judaism on the home and the family, and on the role of the mother within that family. Judaism, as exemplified by the Bible (eg the Woman of Valor ) and elsewhere, ennobles motherhood, and associates mothers with virtue. This article was recently published in the United States (during the period 1881-1924, when one of the largest waves of such immigration occurred), where the requirements of hard work by the parents were passed on. to children via guilt: “We work so hard so that youcan be happy. “Other aspects of the stereotype are rooted in those immigrants Jewish parents’ drive for their children to succeed, resulting in a push for perfection and a continual dissatisfaction with anything less:” So you got a B? That could have been an A there. “Hartman observes that the root of the stereotype is in the self-sacrifice of first-generation immigrants, unable to take full advantage of American education themselves, and the transference of their aspirations, to success social status, from themselves to their children, where it is unable to achieve such status. [49] [50]

One of the Earliest Jewish mother figures in American popular culture was Molly Goldberg, portrayed by Gertrude Berg , in the situation comedy The Goldbergs on radio from 1929 to 1949 and television from 1949 to 1955. [51] But the stereotype as it came to be understood in the 20th century was exemplified by other literary figures. These include Rose Morgenstern from Herman Wouk’s 1955 novel Marjorie Morningstar , Mrs Patimkin from Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth , and Sophie Ginsky from Portnoy’s Portnoy’s Complaint also by Roth. [52] [53] Sylvia Barack Fishman’s characterization of Marjorie Morningstar and Sophie Portnoy is what they are each “a forceful Jewish woman who tries to control her life and the events around her”, who is “intelligent, articulate, and aggressive”, who does not passively accept friends, and families, to match their visions of an ideal world. [54]

The Jewish mother became one of two Jewish female characters in the 20th century, the other being the Jewish-American princess. The focus of the stereotype was different than its precursors, too. Jewish writers had previously employed a stereotype of an overbearing matron, but its focus was the woman, but the ineffectual man, she dominated, out of necessity. The focus of the Jewish mother stereotype that is based on a shift in economic circumstances of American Jews during the 20th century. American Jews were no longer struggling first generation immigrants, living in impoverished neighborhoods. The “soldier woman” work ethos of Jewish women, and the levels of anxiety and dramatization of their lives, were seen as excessive for lifestyles that had (for middle-class Jews) become more secure and suburban by the middle of the century. . Jewish literature came to focus on the differences between Jewish women and the world, the “blonde kitten”, the “sex kitten”, or the sweet docile “apple-pie” blonde who always supported her man. In contrast, Jewish writers viewed the still articulate and intelligent Jewish woman as being, by comparison, pushy, unrefined, and unattractive.[54] [55]

Fishman describes the Jewish mother stereotype used by male Jewish writers as “a grotesque mirror image of the proverbial Woman of Valor”. A Jewish mother who has had a life in her life, who is trying to conquer her son and husband, and who has used food, hygiene, and guilt as her weapons. Like Helmreich, Fishman observes that while he was a universal gender stereotype, exemplified by Erik Erikson’s criticism of “Momism” in 1950 and Philip Wylie’sblast, in his 1942 Generation of Vipers , against “dear old Mom” ​​tying all of America to her apron strings, it quickly became highly associated with Jewish mothers in particular, in part because the idea became a staple of Jewish American fiction.

This stereotype enjoyed a mixed reception in the mid-20th century. In her 1967 essay “In Defense of the Jewish Mother”, Zena Smith Blau defended the stereotype, asserting that the ends, inculcating virtues that resulted in success, justified the means, control through love and guilt. Being tied to mamma kept Jewish boys away from “[ing] friends, those who are poor, immigrant families with rural origins in which parents did not value education”. [53] [55] One example of the stereotype, as it was developed by the 1970s, was the character of Ida Morgenstern , mother of Rhoda Morgenstern , who first appeared in a recurring role on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, and later as a regular on its Rhoda spinoff . [56]

According to Alisa Lebow , in the late 20th century and 21st century the stereotype of the Jewish mother has “gone missing” from movies. She observes that she has no strains on the role of screenwriters or film-makers to rewrite or change the stereotype, in spite of some revisionist agenda, but that it has simply fallen back a generation. [57] Despite this, the concept of the Jewish mother while declining in film can still be seen in popular culture. One of the Jewish mother stereotype-trope can be seen in the popular television program The Big Bang Theory , which premiered in 2007, and was played by Howard Wolowitz’s motherwho is only heard as a voice character. Mrs. Wolowitz is loud, overbearing, and over-protective of her son. In the television show South Park , Sheila Broflovski , mother of main character Kyle Broflovsky , is a Jewish and represents a caricature of the stereotypes associated with her ethnicity and role, such as speaking loudly and with a Long Island accent and being overprotective of her son. quote needed ]

Jewish-American princess

Jewish-American princess ( JAP ) is a pejorative stereotype That portrays Some Jewish women have spoiled brats , [58] [ self-published source ] [59] [60] implying materialism and selfishness , Attributed To a pampered gold wealthy background. This stereotype of American Jewish women has been portrayed frequently in contemporary US media since the mid-20th century. “JAPs” are portrayed as privileged, materialistic , and neurotic . [6] An example of the humorous use of this stereotype appears in the song “Jewish Princess “on the Frank Zappa Sheik Yerbouti album” Female Jewish comedians such as Sarah Silverman have also satirized the stereotype, as did filmmaker Robert Townsend in his comedy B * A * P * S (see also Black American Princess for more information on this related pejorative stereotype ).

According to Machacek and Wilcox, the stereotype of the Jewish-American Princess did not emerge until after World War II and is “peculiar to the US scene”. [61] In 1987, the American Jewish Committee held a conference on “Current Stereotypes of Jewish Women” which argued that such jokes “represent a resurgence of sexist and anti-Semitic invective masking a scrim of misogyny.” [62]

The stereotype was a construct of, and popularized by, some post-war Jewish male writers, [ 62 ] notably Herman Wouk in his 1955 novelMarjorie Morningstar[64] and Philip Roth in his 1959 novel Goodbye, Columbus, featuring protagonists who fit the stereotype.[65]

The term “JAP” and the associated stereotype gained prominence beginning in the 1970s with the publication of several non-fiction articles such as Barbara Meyer’s Cosmopolitan article “Sex and the Jewish Girl” and the 1971 cover article in New York magazine by Julie Baumgold, “The Persistence of the Jewish Princess”. [66] “JAP” jokes became prevalent in the late 1970s and early 1980s. [67] [68] According to Riv-Ellen Prell, the JAP stereotype’s rise to prominence in the 1970s resulted from pressures on the Jewish middle class to maintain a visibly affluent lifestyle as post-war affluence declined. [63] [69] The concept was the goal of jokes and spoofed by many,[70]

The stereotypical subject, as described in these sources, is over-indulged by her parents with attention and money, resulting in a combination of guilt and loss. . [66] The stereotype has been described as “sexually repressive, self-centered, materialistic and lazy female,” [71] who is “spoiled, overly-concerned with appearance, and indifferent to sex”, the last being her most notable line. [67] [68]The stereotype also has a lot to do with it and is willing to spend a lot of money on it. These men tend to be completely content with food, material possessions, and attention.

The stereotype is often, but not always, the basis for jokes both inside and outside the Jewish community. [72] Frank Zappa was accused of anti-Semitism for his song “Jewish Princess”, a charge which he repeatedly denied on the basis that he did not invent the concept and that women did the stereotype existed. [73] In recent years, attempts have been made by some Jewish women to re-appropriate the term “JAP” and to incorporate a cultural identity. [69] [74]It has beens aussi icts Criticized for sexist basis, and for pejoratively branding young adult Jewish-American women have spoiled and materialistic. [75]Concerns about incidents of the JAP stereotype being used pejoratively at colleges and universities have been noted in newspapers, magazines and academic journals. [76] [77] [78] The American television show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend , created by Rachel Bloom, features a parody song that can be seen as both satirizing and embracing this trope. “JAP Battle” is featured in Season 1’s “Josh and I Go to Los Angeles!”. Rachel Bloom, and her character Rebecca Bunch, are both Jewish. [79] [ better source needed ] [80] [81]

Jewish men

Further information: Jewish Diaspora (stereotype) and Jewish intelligence

Jewish lawyer

The concept of the “Jewish lawyer” is a stereotype of Jews, [82] [83] [84] which depicts Jews and Jewish lawyers as clever, greedy, exploitative, dishonest, and as engaging in moral turpitude and excessive legalism . [82] [85] Ted Merwin writes that in the United States the stereotype became popular in the mid-to-late 20th century when Jews started entering the legal profession. [86] Jews entered the US legal profession decades before the middle of the 20th century – by the time of the Great Depression, many Jews had already established themselves as lawyers. [87]

The stock character of the Jewish lawyer appears frequently in popular culture. [82] 89] Jay Michaelson writes in The Jewish Daily The Maurice Levy , in the drama series The Wire , played by Michael Kostroff , is stereotypical, with a “New York accent and the quintessential pale skin” Ashkenazic nose hair of the typical American Jew “. [85]

This stereotyping is parodied in Breaking Bad and Its spinoff series Better Call Saul , Where the character Saul Goodman is an Irish-American lawyer Who claim to be Jewish-American For His clients, believing That It Makes _him_ APPEAR more competent as a lawyer.

Nice Jewish boy

The nice Jewish boy is a stereotype of Jewish masculinity that circulates within the American Jewish community , as well as mainstream American culture. In Israel and the parts of the diaspora which has received heavy exposure to the American media that deploy the representation, the stereotype has gained popular recognition to a lesser extent.

These qualities are derived from the Ashkenazic ideal of איידלקייַט ( eydlkayt , either “nobility” or “delicateness” in Yiddish ). Selon Daniel Boyarin ‘s Unheroic Conduct (University of California Press, 1997), eydlkayt embraces the studiousness, gentleness and sensitivity Said to Distinguish the Talmudic scholar and make attractive _him_ year wedding partner. [90]

The resistance that a Jewish male may launch against this image in his quest to become a “regular guy” has found his place in Jewish American literature . Norman Podhoretz , the editor of Commentary , made the following comment about Norman Mailer’s literary and “extracurricular” activities:

He is one of those people who have been called “nice Jewish boy” from his soul, which is one of the reasons he has done so much outrageous things and gotten into trouble, including with the police. It’s part of trying to overcome that lifelong terror of being sissy . [91]

For Philip Roth’s semi-autobiographical avatar Alex Portnoy, nor the nice Jewish boy nor his more aggressively male counterparts (the churlish Jewboy, the “all-American” ice hockey player) to be acceptable identities to attain. The ceaseless floundering between the two fuels Portnoy’s Complaint .

In literature

Main article: Stereotypes of Jews in literature

Jewish stereotypes in literature have evolved over the centuries. According to Louis Harap , nearly all European writers have a twentieth century view of the Jewish stereotype in their works. Harap cited Gotthold Lessing ‘s Nathan the Wise (1779) as the first Time That Jews Were portrayed in the arts as “Human Beings, with human characteristics and possibilities.” [92]Harap writes that, the persistence of the Jewish stereotype over the centuries suggests that “the treatment of the Jew in the literature is completely unchanged.” He contrasts the opposing views presented in the two most comprehensive studies of the Jew in English literature, one by Montagu Edgar Rosenberg and Frank Modder. Modder asserts that writers invariably “reflect the attitude of contemporary society in their presentation of the Jewish character, and that the portrayal changes with the economic and social changes of each decade.” In opposition to Modder’s “historical rationale”, Rosenberg warns that such a perspective “is apt to slight the massive durability of a stereotype”. [93] Harap suggests that the recurrence of the stereotype in the literature is itself one indicator of the continuing presence of anti-Semitism among the readers of that literature. [94]

English literature

A Jew Broker by Thomas Rowlandson , 1789

Although Jews were expelled from England in 1290, stereotypes were so ingrained and so durable that they persisted in English society as evidenced by presentations in English literature, drama, and the visual arts during the almost four-hundred-year period when there were virtually no Jews present in the British Isles. Some of the most famous stereotypes come from English literature; These include characters such as Shylock , Fagin and Svengali . Negative stereotypes of Jews Were still employed by prominent twentieth-century non-Jewish writers Such As Dorothy Richardson , Virginia Woolf , TS Eliot , Evelyn Waugh andGraham Greene . [95]

American literature

Until the 20th century, the characterization of Jews in French literature. [96] Though Jewish stereotypes first appeared in works by non-Jewish writers, after World War II it was often written by the American Jewish writers. The prevalence of anti-Semitic stereotypes in the works of such authors has been interpreted as an expression of self-hatred; However, Jewish American authors also used these negative stereotypes in order to refute them. [97]

In performance


Vaudeville act

“Jewface” was a vaudeville act that became popular among Eastern European Jews who immigrated to the United States in the 1880s. The name plays off the term ” blackface ,” and the act featured performers enacting Jewish stereotypes, wearing large putty noses, long beards, and tattered clothing, and speaking in a Yiddish dialect. Early portrayals were made by non-Jews, but Jews soon began producing their own “Jewface” acts. By the early 20th century, all the “Jewface” actors, managers, agents, and audience members were Jewish. [98] “Jewface” featured Jewish dialect music, written by Tin Pan Alleysongwriters. These vaudeville acts were controversial at the time. In 1909 prominent Reform rabbi said that this was “the cause of greater prejudice against the Jews than any other causes combined,” and that same year the Central Conference of American Rabbis denounced this type of comedy. [99]


“Jewface: Yiddish Dialect Songs of Tin Pan Alley” was an exhibit at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research from November 2015 to June 2016. The exhibit, curated by Eddy Portnoy, was focused on the sheet music of this comedy and used Jody Rosen’s sheet music collection. [100]

Jews in politics

Further information: Jewish views and involvement in US politics

Research on voting in the United States has shown that stereotypes play a crucial role in voting and decision making on both a conscious and subconscious level. Jewish political candidates are stereotyped as liberal . Petitioners and supporters have taken liberal stances on a number of issues. From there the stereotype grew and is now assumed even though not always accurate. An example of this took place in the 2000 Presidential campaign where Joseph Liebermanwas the Vice Presidential candidate. He was labeled as “pro-business, pro-trade and pro-economic growth.” Although he had taken moderate and conservative positions on numerous issues, the stereotype defined him to many voters. [101]