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  • Personal Brand Stereotypes #9: Jews Have Big Noses and Bald Spots

    There will be one more post in this series, marking #10. Today, I wanted to bring out religion, so that maybe we could have a great discussion around the perception of Jews. Feel free to examine the information in this post, as well as my analysis and comment on it. This series has been much better than I ever thought it would be and I think the result of your participation has motivated me to get this series up to 10. I hope you enjoy and stay tuned for the final one tomorrow.

    The Series:

    • #1 – Tall people are basketball players
    • #2 – Glasses make you look smart
    • #3 – Men who wear pink are homosexual
    • #4 – The hippie phenomenon
    • #5 – Only punks wear mohawks
    • #6 – Ageism puts Gen-Y in danger
    • #7 – A nice car means you’re successful
    • #8 – Choose your major wisely

    What is a Jew?

    Jewish people originated from the Israelites of the ancient Middle East. Judaism is the base religion and like any religion, we have our own events and traditions, such as Passover and “The High Holiday’s.” Historically Jews were persecuted and in 2007 there were about 13.2 million Jews worldwide. The common language for Jews is Hebrew. There are 3 different levels of Judaism, including Orthodox, Conservative and Reformed. I’m a Reformed Jew, which means I don’t have to keep Kosher (no milk and meet, bacon, etc) and I just don’t celebrate that much. As you move up the chain to Orthadox, the differences are obvious. You will see many Orthadox Jews wear Yamika’s 24/7 (covering their head) and their services are three times as long as Reformed.

    AnalysisPersonal Branding of Jews

    We tend to think of Jews as successful and intellectual doctors, teachers, lawyers and accountants. Also, Jews are called greedy and are said to only care about money. In this way, they are categorized as “cheap” individuals who count ever penny. They are said to have big noses and a bald spot in the middle of their heads (the men). Another attribute Jews are said to have is bushy hair and facial hair. As a Jew, many of the Jew’s I’ve met have shared these attributes, but some haven’t, therefore my conclusion is that it is false stereotype. I don’t really get offended by this at all and recognize that many Jews, such as Hollywood producer Steven Spielberg are successful. Another item I wanted to point out was last names. Typical Jewish last names are “stein,” “Levy,” “Levine” or anything ending in “Berg.” If you are Jewish, have you had these experiences and if you have different religious beliefs, do you stereotype Jews in this manner?

    Some Humor At My Expense

    Son: A Jewish boy comes home from school and tells his mother he’s been given a part in the school play.
    Mother: “Wonderful. What part is it?”
    Son: The boy says,”I play the part of the Jewish husband.”
    Mother: The mother scowls and says, “Go back and tell the teacher you want a speaking part.”


    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

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