Jewish quota

Jewish quota

Jewish quota was a percentage that limited the number of Jews in various establishments. In particular, in 19th and 20th centuries some countries had Jewish quotas for higher education, a special case of Numerus clausus. These were an attempt to limit the influence of ethnic and/or religious Jews.

Jewish quotas for education could be state-wide law or adopted only in certain institutions, often unofficially.

The limitation took the form of total prohibition of Jewish students, or of limiting the number of Jewish students so that their share in the students' population would not be larger than their share in the general population. In some establishments, the Jewish quota placed a limit on growth rather than set a fixed level of participation to be achieved. Countries with a history of anti-semitism, such as Germany and Hungary, had particularly strict quotas.

Jews who wanted an education used various ways to overcome this discrimination: bribing the authorities, changing their religion, or traveling to countries without such limitations. In Hungary, for example, 5,000 Jewish youngsters (including Edward Teller) left the country after the introduction of "Numerus Clausus". One American who fell victim to the Jewish quota was late physicist and Nobel laureate Richard P. Feynman, who was turned away from Columbia College in the 1930s and went to MIT instead.

Countries legislating limitations on the admission of Jewish students

*Imperial Russia: "Numerus Clausus" was enacted in 1887, stating that the share of Jewish students should be no more than 10% in cities where Jews were allowed to live, 5% in other cities, and only 3% in Moscow and St. Petersburg. These limitations were removed after the revolution of 1917.
*Hungary: a "Numerus Clausus" Act was introduced in 1920, as part of the rise of Anti-Semitism under the government of Pál Teleki. It was said that Jewish students would be no more than 6% of the student population (this was the share of Jews in the general population), compared to 30% before the war. Limitations were relaxed in 1928.See: Peter Tibor NAGY: The "numerus clausus" policy of anti-semitism or policy of higher education
*Latvia: In 1934, under Kārlis Ulmanis authoritarian regimeFact|date=October 2008.
*Poland: see Numerus clausus in Poland and Ghetto benches.
*Romania "Numerus Clausus" was introduced in 1926.
*United States: see Numerus clausus in the United States.
*Germany: the Jewish quota, introduced on April 25, 1933, permitted 1.5% of high-school and university enrollment (5% in a single school).
*Canada: in 1920-1940s, some universities, such as McGill University, had Jewish quotas.
*United Kingdom: many Direct Grant Grammar Schools and Public Schools had 'unofficial' Jewish quotas until the 1960s when they were replaced with Asian quotas which lasted into the 1970s.
*United States: Certain universities, most notably Harvard, introduced policies which effectively placed a quota on the number of Jews admitted to the university. This reached its height in the 1920s and has now died out to the point that 1/6th of the Ivy League student population is Jewish.

Further reading

* J. Karabel. "The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton". Mariner Books, 2006. ISBN 061877355X.

External links

* [ Getting In: the social logic of Ivy League admissions] by Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker, 10 October 2005

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