The current Population Survey data show that 15 percent of Americans, roughly 46.5 million people, live at or below the government-defined poverty line which, as most who work with the hungry, the homeless, the uninsured, and the underpaid or unemployed know, is itself an inadequate measure of poverty. By more reasonable measures, poverty in our country is even more pervasive.

Antisemites are quick to spread the idea that Jews are incredibly wealthy people who have a great deal of social capital and wield a lot of control, and it’s darkly humorous to me at this point.

Being Jewish, for quite a lot of Jewish history, meant that you would live in poverty and oppression. You might get lucky and take a job that paid well but the gentiles wouldn’t take, circumstance might just be on your side, but for the most part, your opportunities would be severely limited.

Even today, Jewish poverty is a very real problem. In New York City alone, over 500,000 Jews live near or below the poverty line. Many of these Jews are Shoah/Holocaust survivors, and quite a few are fairly recent immigrants, frequently from Russia or the former Soviet Union. Poverty is also common within the Hasidic community. [x]

“Jewish” and “living in poverty” are not and have never been oxymorons. The truth is that Jews are not endowed with some sort of psychic force that draws material wealth to them, and in many cases, Jews are more likely to be poor than the general populace.