Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Jews-Psychology, Poor, Internalization, Antisemitism-Psychological aspects, Oppression (Psychology), Jewish poverty in the United States, Jewish poverty in America, Jewish poverty, Unaddresses Jewish poverty, Internalized anti-semitism, Internalized Jewish oppression, Psychological effects of anti-semitism, Internalized oppression, Internalized superiority, Jewish exceptionalism, Self-hate, Jewish self-hatred, Self-hate (Psychology)


This theoretical study looks at unexamined Jewish poverty in contemporary America through the two lenses of internalized anti-Semitism/internalized oppression/self-hate, and internalized superiority/Jewish exceptionalism/ethnocentrism with the intention of determining whether or not the constructs represented by these composite lenses have any bearing on the continued existence of Jewish poverty in the United States. Study results indicate that while the relationship between Jewish poverty and internalized Jewish oppression is not causal, unexamined internalized anti-Semitism may be a factor which prevents Jews from acknowledging and addressing this ill within their midst and as such, which perpetuates Jewish poverty. Study results also indicate that internalized Jewish oppression and internalized superiority are both aspects of internalized anti-Semitism rather than two distinct constructs. Additionally, it was found that internalized anti-Semitism is an insidious and undermining phenomenon, that it exists in degrees, inhabits most, if not all Jews, and that Jews share the task of "unlearning" and healing Jewish oppression within themselves.




iii, 87 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 77-87)