arrow6 Comments
  1. Anna
    May 20 - 9:33 am

    As a Jew, but more importantly, as someone who laments seeing the proliferation of bigotry and intolerance regardless of against whom or by whom it is perpetuated, I am offended, puzzled and ultimately infuriated by this article. To suggest that Bernie Madoff’s despicable crimes were somehow a product of materialism in Jewish Culture is one of the most blatantly anti-semitic assertions I have ever heard. If you were not a Jew yourself Mr. Goldberg, the ADL would have your head on a “wanted” poster. And the fact that you are, in my mind, makes it worse rather than better. As a member of a group of people who has suffered the single most tremendous atrocity in human history, made possible in part to the proliferation of exactly these kinds of ideas, you should be uniquely sensitive to the dangers of sending this message.
    In any event, your suggestion is not only dangerous, but it is proposterous. To suggest that “jewish culture” somehow promotes greed, fraud or gain at the expense of others, is an abomination to the spirit of service and Tzedakah that is at the core of what Judaism is really about. And the spirit has inspired tremendous altruisim. And the rich Jews with their lavish bar-mitzvah’s that you deride, with rare exceptions, embody that spirt. Rather than singling out the crimes of Berie Madoff, why don’t you mention the fact that Business Week’s 2006 list of the 50 Most Generous Philanthropists includes at least 15 Jews. And that Jews, who are only about 2% of the American population, are 30% of America’s most generous donors. And that 24.5% of all “mega-donors” (people who donate more than $10 million a year to charity) are Jewish. Looking at these numbers, can you honestly say that there is something about Jewish Culture that perpetuates robbing others for personal gain? To ignore these statistics and isolate the crimes of Bernie Madoff as the symbol of Jewish affluence is a terrific distortion! And articles such as yours can be a dangerous weapon in the hands of those who are dedicated to proliferating anti-semitism. I suggest you exercise more caution going forward.

  2. drdan
    May 21 - 5:36 pm

    I am a bit confused. If the US Government was ponying up the $6B and that money would stop if the Balanced Budget Amendment was passed, The way I heard it, five families in three cities said, I’m a Republican, and you lose my gift, why would those five families say they would stop gifting the GOP “if [they] lobby against the Balanced Budget Amendment”? Shouldn’t it be “for”? And then… “After 1994, the Jewish community stopped offending Republicans. Quite suddenly.” Meaning what? The GOP stopped the amendment so the Jews were happy?
    Please clarify.

  3. David L
    May 25 - 8:18 pm

    Having worked in the Jewish community, on a part time basis for almost three decades, I have to concede there is a great deal of truth here.

  4. DT
    Jun 27 - 7:16 am

    Brilliant! (The truth shall set us free, hopefully.)

  5. Ruth
    Jul 19 - 2:47 am

    This is the best, most candid, most interesting article I have ever read in New Voices. Amazing.

  6. Carlos
    Jul 21 - 8:35 pm

    I do believe that Madoff was used by God himself to show the people that have the closest connection to him what they are doing to the rest of the world, through a banking system that enslaves the majority of humanity. The fact that as many as 20 thousand of his children die of hunger every day because of this system that has been created by the rulers of this world is heartbreaking. I know that my Jewish brothers and sisters have a deep relationship with God and the fact that as a whole group you choose to turn from him instead of embracing him is sad. I am not Jewish and don’t want to blanket all Jewish people in the same light. But I believe in God as you do and I know that I am just as connected as you are. The flaw in all religion is to assume you are correct. None are, we are all his children, yet he has chosen you as a group, I don’t pretend to know why, but history speaks for its self. I’ll sum it up with a short story: A football player comes to the first day of camp with a gold helmet on, he tells the members of his team that the coach sees him as his favorite and that he is better then they are, even though he is one of a whole team and can not win on his own. The team gets mad and asks him where the proof is that he is better…he turns to the coach’s play book and says, “It’s written in here.”, yet no one saw him write it. The player is then beaten and kicked out of the team. He then figures out a way to find another team to join, but he learned not to open his mouth and use the team to his benefit, for he knows how they would feel if he spoke of his relationship with the Coach…… This is what is flawed about religion and Judaism in particular. Perhaps God has chosen you more for an example than for inherent superiority, the ones that will forever deny him yet be completed connected to him, keeping that connection to themselves because they believe it is theirs alone. If a 120 people you come across tell you that the friend you keep is bad, then turn and start questioning your friend. I pray that you post this…. for I have no hate in my heart…. I am child of God. May he bless you and guide you,for as you know, through him anything is possible, even a fundamental change in humanity.