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BRW Rich List – nothing to kvell over.

June 21, 2009 – 10:37 am23 Comments

By Anthony Frosh and Rachel Sacks-Davis

One thing that gets our goat is when people in the Jewish community kvell over the over-representation of Jews in the BRW rich list.   Google BRW and AJN, and you will see that the AJN run a story on this every single year.  Here is the link to the most recent one.

It’s bad enough that they report the number of Jews who are extremely wealthy (which promotes a mildly negative stereotype – that all Jews are rich); but they have to report it in such a kveln manner, that it promotes a more pernicious stereotype – that Jews are obsessed with money!

In all seriousness, we are not just concerned that it looks bad to outsiders (although it does!); but really, is the fact that some people from your ethnic group have achieved extreme wealth something to take naches from? If so, then a serious values check is in order.

Let us be clear, there’s nothing wrong with being wealthy, and the success of many Jews in business is nothing to be ashamed of.  We also recognise that both the Jewish and wider community benefit from the philanthropic endeavours that many of these wealthy individuals undertake.

Stories about philanthropy would be appropriate. However, when the story is headlined “Wealthy Australian Jews score a rich list trifecta” it sounds like barracking sports journalism where Jews are the team, and wealth is the race.

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