Jewish Visitors to China

A friend sent me a link to a New York Times Freakonomics Opinion Page where Stephen J. Dubner lifted a paragraph from Newsweek of Jewish visitors to China hearing that they are “very smart, very clever and very good at business” from Chinese they meet.

Is this an example of a stereotype, the truth or a mix of both?

As I often do, I found the comments more interesting than the post.  However, this time, I found the comments (with a few exceptions) of a higher quality than most.

Here are a few examples of comments following the Freakonomics post: Eric M. Jones says, “Basically a smart Jewish kid is supported, appreciate and encouraged to persevere.”

Brief History of Kaifeng Jews

Note—Many Chinese also support and encourage their children to work hard and not give up. Both Jews and Chinese tend to respect earning an education more so than the other racial groups.

Drill Baby says, “The Jews are a Diaspora, and though they have not grown their own empire, (they) have had secondary and behind the scenes roles in just about every modern world movement. If China ascends to a world power it would be exceptional in that it has NO Jewish roots, advisers, or talent.”

Note—I suspect Drill Baby would be surprised to learn that Jews have been in China more than a thousand years. During the Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD), Jews arrived in China and the emperor offered them a home in Kaifeng, the capital of the time. The Tang emperor encouraged the Jews to build a synagogue there, which they did.

Diego.CMS says, “Chinese also like the concept that Jewish people are also hard workers and have money. The Chinese are trying to get better and why not copy the good things from other cultures, specially the Jews?”

D says, “Is there any group with an avg IQ above 100 that isn’t clever, smart, and good at business? It ain’t the Talmud. It’s IQ.”

Note—You may be surprised to learn from Living With Evolution or Dying Without It by K. D. Koratsky that “D” may be correct.

Koratsky’s Racial Group IQ Comparisons (page 575) show European Jews with the highest average IQ at about 110 with Asians close behind at 105.  Caucasians, Hispanics (Latinos) and African-Americans have lower average IQs.

Learn of Jews in Modern China


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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