Correlated norms of racial qualities. Individuals who present an interrelation between the color of the hair and that of the eyes are considered typical representatives of their race. In the blond races fair hair is generally accompanied by blue eyes; in brunette races brown or black hair is generally accompaniedby dark eyes. The former are considered anthropologically blond types; the latter, brunette types. Individuals who do not exhibit such an interrelation of the color of the hair and eyes, having dark hair with blue eyes and vice versa, are called mixed types. Owing to the preponderance of dark hair and eyes among the Jews (see Eye; Hair), anthropologists have counted them among the races of a brunette type.

From extensive investigations of the color of the hair and eyes of the school-children in Germany, Virchow has shown that the Jews have not maintained their type in as pure a state as has been generally supposed. Of 75,377 Jewish children examined, only 46.83 per cent were brunettes having both dark hair and dark eyes; 11.17 per cent were blonds having light hair and light-colored eyes; and 42 per cent were of the mixed type having either dark hair with fair eyes, or vice versa. In Austria, according to Schimmer, 32 to 47 per cent (according to the province) of the Jewish children are pure brunettes, and 8 to 14 per cent are pure blonds. In Bulgaria, Wateff has found that only 49.57 per cent of Jewish children are brunettes, while 8.71 are blonds and 41.72 are of mixed type; and even in North Africa, where the dark type predominates among the Jews, 76.40 per cent are brunettes, 4.62 per cent are blonds, and 18.98 per cent are of mixed type.

Types of Pigmentation in Jews of Various Countries.
Nativity.Type (per cent).Number Observed.Observer.
Galician Jews:
Men in New York43.9313.1242.95305Fishberg.
Women in New York.50.8216.3932.79122Fishberg.
Men in New York53.659.5236.83315Fishberg.
Women in New York50.005.3644.6456Fishberg.
Men in Poland57.920.5541.53183Elkind.
Women in Poland58.508.5033.00118Elkind.
Lithuanian and White-Russian:
Men in New York53.098.7338.18275Fishberg.
Women in New York53.0012.0035.00100Fishberg.
Men in Lithuania63.0610.1926.75314Yakowenko, Talko-Hryncewicz
Women in Lithuania74.006.0020.00100Yakowenko.
Men in New York49.317.3143.38219Fishberg
Women in New York55.418.1136.4974Fishberg.
Men in Little Russia51.3016.2034.00869Talko - Hryncewicz.
Women in Little Russia.68.606.9024.30799Talko - Hryncewicz.
Men in New York46.6710.6642.67150Fishberg.
Women in New York50.0013.6436.3644Fishberg.
Men in New York45.7112.1442.15140Fishberg.
Women in New York61.545.1333.3339Fishberg.
United States:
Men in New York50.818.8740.32124Fishberg.

Among Jewish adults anthropological investigation has shown that the brunette type is not in the majority. From the accompanying table it will be observed that the percentage of brunettes is only 43 among the Galician Jews, while it reaches as high as 74 per cent among Lithuanian Jewesses. Blonds are very rare among the Jews of Russian Poland; but among other classes they are encountered quite often. Among the Little-Russian Jews the proportion reaches 16 per cent. The mixed types are everywhere found in the proportion of from 30 to 40 per cent of all the individuals examined.

Origin of Blond and Mixed Types.

The origin of the blond and mixed types among the Jews has been a favorite topic of discussion for many anthropologists. Some have maintained that they are the product of intermixture with the indigenous peoples of the European countries in which the Jews have lived; others show that even among Jews who do not live among blond races, as, for instance, those of Syria, Tunis, Morocco, and Algiers, many blonds are met with. It is also shown that if intermixture with northern European races were the origin of the blond Jews, the countries whose non-Jewish populations present the largest percentage of blonds, as Prussia, Lithuania, etc., should have the largest proportion of Jewish blonds also. On the other hand, in the south and the east of Europe, where the Gentiles are darker, more Jewish brunettes and fewer blonds should be found. That this is not the case is shown by the following figures, taken from Virchow's census of the color of the hair and eyes of school-children in Germany:

Province.Per Cent of Blonds.Per Cent of Brunettes.

These figures show in a striking manner that in the provinces of Germany where the percentage of brunettes is smallest among the Christian population—in Prussia, for instance, only 14.05 per cent—the Jews have 42.34 per cent of brunettes; while in Alsace-Lorraine and Bavaria, where the Christians show 25.21 and 21.1 per cent of brunettes respectively, the Jews have only 34.59 and 39.45 per cent respectively of such. This is further confirmed by the following figures (from the works of Virchow and Schimmer) showing the distribution of Jewish pure blond and brunette types in Germany and Austria:

Province.Germany (Virchow).Province.Austria (Schimmer).
Pure Blonds.Pure Brunettes.Pure BlondsPure Brunettes.
Pomerania8.8550.58Lower Austria8.6946.16
East and West Prussia11.6143.04Bukowina13.5535.21
Distribution of Blonds.

It is evident from these figures that the farther one goes south and east in Europe, the smaller is thepercentage of brunettes encountered among the Jews and the larger the percentage of blonds. With the non-Jewish-population the reverse is the fact. Most of the blonds are found in Prussia, Pomerania, Sleswick-Holstein, Hanover, Westphalia, etc., while farther east, reaching to Posen, Silesia, Bohemia, Moravia, Upper and Lower Austria, Bukowina, and Galicia, the percentage of pure blonds decreases and that of brunettes increases. It is also noteworthy, as has been pointed out by Virchow, that in localities where, owing to religious and social prejudices, the Jews have lived for centuries in strict isolation from other races, and presumably have not intermarried with their Gentile neighbors, the proportion of blond types is larger than in the Prussian provinces, where they have not been socially isolated, but, on the contrary, have entered into general social intercourse with the non-Jewish inhabitants. Here the largest proportion of brunettes is found among the German and Austrian Jews. But it must be mentioned that in Algiers, Tunis, and Morocco, where the indigenous population is of a dark type, the Jews also are darker.

It has been suggested that the blond type among the Jews is due to intermixture with the so-called Aryan, or north-European, races, in proof of which the following argument has been advanced: The Aryan type is known to consist in the combination of blond hair, blue eyes, tall stature, and dolichocephalism or long-headedness. Among the Galician Jews, Majer and Kopernicki found that while among the brunette Jews 6.2 per cent are dolichocephalic, 20 per cent of the blond Jews of the same section are so. This has been repeatedly cited as evidencing a relation between blondness and long-headedness among the Jews in Galicia, and is thought to be due to Teutonic intermixture. In Odessa, Pantukhof ("Proc. Russian Anthropological Society," pp. 26-30, St. Petersburg, 1889) has found that the Jews who have dark hair and eyes are of short stature, while those who have fair eyes and hair are taller. In Caucasia the same author has observed that the Jews with fair eyes measure on the average 1.644 meters, and those with dark eyes 1.617 meters only. But all these conclusions are based on a small number of cases, and other investigations tend to disprove them. In Baden, Otto Ammon found no relation between blond hair, blue eyes, and dolichocephalism, while in Poland, Elkind noticed that Jews with dark hair and eyes were taller than those with fair hair and light eyes, which phenomena are the reverse of those in the so-called Aryan type. Similar results were obtained by Fishberg in his observations of the immigrant Jews in New York. The darker Jews had practically the same head-form (cephalic index 81.97) as the blond-haired (82.35). The same was the case with tall Jews as compared with those of short stature: the craniometrical lines were about the same. Indeed, Jews with fair hair and eyes were taller than those with dark hair and eyes.

Fishberg concludes from all the statistics gathered by him that the ideal Aryan type is not to be observed among the Jews. On the contrary, the rule appears to be that tall persons have darker hair and eyes, and that a smaller percentage of them are dolichocephalic; while Jews of short stature are of fairer complexion and include a larger percentage of dolichocephalic persons. This tends to exclude the hypothesis that Aryan influence is the cause of the Jewish blond type; but it tends to confirm the theory of admixture from the Slavonian type.

Composite Portraits of Ten Boys of the Jews' Free School, London.A is the composite portrait of five boys, B of another five, and C a composite of A and B.(From the "Journal of the Anthropological Institute.")
  • M. Fishberg, Materials for the Physical Anthropology of the Eastern European Jews, in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1905;
  • S. Wateff, Anthropologische Beobachtungen der Farbe der Augen, der Haare und der Haut bei den Schulkindern von den Türken, Pomaken, Tataren, Armenier, Griechen und Juden in Bulgarien, in Correspondenzblatt der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, 1903, xxxiv., Nos. 7, 8.
  • See also Eye and Hair.
J. M. Fi.

What is popularly known as "the Jewish type" is not a correlation of definite anthropological measures or characteristics, but consists principally in a peculiar expression of face, which is immediately and unmistakably recognized as "Jewish" in a large numberof cases of persons of the Jewish race. It has been observed that children in New York, Gentile as well as Jewish, can unerringly distinguish between Jew and Gentile, whether juvenile or adult. The negroes of the Gold Coast are said to differentiate the two types of Europeans with equal exactitude, saying "here come two whites and a Jew," instead of "here come three whites" (Andree, "Zur Volkskunde der Juden," p. 38). Yet when taken together in large numbers, a considerable proportion of Jews fail to betray their racial provenience. In collective photographs of Jewish school-children and inmates of institutions it has been found that while about 53 per cent of the subjects can be more or less certainly identified as Jews by their facial expression, the remaining 47 per cent fail to show any distinctive feature which would definitely mark them as Semites, though if compared with Gentiles of the same class they could probably be differentiated. It has also been remarked that persons who do not have the Jewish expression in their youth acquire it more and more as they grow from middle to old age. Although Jewesses appear to be more variable in appearance than Jews, they seem to show the type in its greatest purity when they actually are Jewish in features.


The precise nature of this Jewishness is very difficult to determine with any degree of certainty or accuracy. Evidently it is not in any one feature, for whenever any single trait, such as the shape of the nose or the brilliancy of the eyes, is assumed to be characteristic, the very next example is liable to disprove the validity of the test. The sole attempt to obtain any scientific discrimination of the Jewish expression was made by F. Galton and Joseph Jacobs in 1885, by means of composite portraiture. In their experiments Jewish boys of the Jewish Free School, London, were selected as being typically Jewish in appearance, and full-face and profile photographs were first taken on a uniform scale, and then superimposed on a single plate, so that the eyes and mouth in each case fell upon the same spots on the plate. By this means all the varying traits and features blurred out, while the common characteristics were emphasized and became stronger. The results were given in "The Photographic News," April, 1885, and in "The Journal of the Anthropological Institute," 1885.

Composite Portraits.

The full-face composite here given is made up of (a) that of five Jewish lads, (b) that of another five, and (c) one of (a) and (b), thus giving the summary of the characteristic features of ten typically Jewish boys. The result is remarkably Jewish in appearance, and it will be found that this character is given by the eyebrows, eyes, nose, and lips, while the position and contour of the cheek-bone also serve to determine it. The eyebrows are generally well-defined, somewhat bushy toward the nose, and tapering off toward the extremities. The eyes themselves are generally brilliant, both lids are heavy and bulging, and it seems to be the main characteristic of the Jewish eye that the upper lid covers a larger proportion of the pupil than among other persons. This may serve to give a sort of nervous, furtive look to the eyes, which, when the pupils are small and set close together with semistrabismus, gives keenness to some Jewish eyes. The lymph-sac beneath the eye is generally fuller and more prominent than among non-Jews. The high cheek-bone gives as a rule the hollow cheek that adds to the Jewish expression, while the nose in full face can be discerned only by the flexibility of the nostrils, the chief Jewish characteristic of this organ (see Nose). The upper lip is generally short, and the lower projects, giving a somewhat sensual appearance to the face. The chin almost invariably recedes from the lip, leaving an indentation beneath it in the great majority of instances. The ears of many Jewish persons project, and in boys increase the impression of Jewishness.


With growth, as already noted, the Jewish expression becomes even more marked. In males this may be due to the appearance of the mustache and beard, and it is frequently found that the mustache is somewhat sparse, a rather bare portion intervening between the tuft under the nostril and the mustache proper. The beard is in some cases comparatively thick and in others luxuriant, curling, and parting naturally. It is to be observed that some Jewish faces have almost all of these stigmata. The miniature of Spinoza (Jew. Encyc. xi. 512) shows the brilliant and sensitive eye, the conspicuous nostril, and the thick underlip. That of Benfey (ib. iii. 16) has the projecting ears, the thick underlip, and the conspicuous alæ of the nose, while the lymph-sac is well developed and the pupil of the eye is nearly half hidden by the upper lid. The same characteristic will be seen in the portrait of Moses Berlin (ib. iii. 80), which has, in addition, the marked eyebrows and the curved nostril.

Besides all these details, there is something in the whole formation of the face which is generally found in the Jewish type. As a rule, the face is oval in shape, especially in the best type of Jewesses, and if regarded in profile, it is distinctly convex, the nose being, as it were, an appendix to the ellipsoid. It is rare indeed that a Jew is found with a prognathous jaw.

From photographs by B. Hellnuch, New York.THE JEWISH TYPE.Composite Portrait of ten Jewish Lads, New York.(A=composite of a1 a2 a3 a4 a5. B=composite of b1 b2 b3 b4 b5. C=co-composite of A and B.)

Notwithstanding the similarity of expression found in large measure among all Jews, there are a number of distinctions which enable a close observer to distinguish between various subtypes of the Jew. Close attention to Talmudic study, combined with the peculiar work of the sweat-shop, produced in eastern Europe what is known as "the ghetto bend." The need for wearing phylacteries on the forehead while the head is covered has led in many instances to the hat being worn upon the back of the head. These two characteristics often enable observers to identify Jews from eastern Europe, even before their faces are seen. Among them, too, it has been claimed, various subdivisions can be discerned, consisting mainly in differences in the projection of the cheek-bones, the formation of the eyelids, and the thickness of the lips. It has even been held by those who believe in a strong admixture from surrounding nations that there is a Slavonic, Mongoloid, and Armenioid type of the Jew, due to admixture of Slavic, Tatar, or Armenian blood. Luschan indeed professes to regard the last-named as the original source of the Jewish race.

Numbers of Jews are found, on the other hand, who possess none of the characteristics here noted, and yet are recognizable as Jews. This is especially true of the Little-Russians, who apparently resemble their Gentile neighbors in every facial characteristic, but are differentiated from them by some subtile nuance which distinguishes them as Semites. It is seemingly some social quality which stamps their features as distinctly Jewish. This is confirmed by the interesting fact that Jews who mix much with the outer world seem to lose their Jewish quality. This was the case with Karl Marx, Halévy the musician (Meyerbeer was remarkably Jewish), Sir Julian Goldsmid, Sir John Simon (in whom there was a mixture of Gentile blood), Sir David Salomons, and Rubinstein. Two illustrious living Italians, Lombroso and Luzzatti, would scarcely be taken for Jews; and even the late Theodor Herzl was not distinctively Jewish, all observers drawing attention to his resemblance to the Assyrian rather than to the Jewish type.

  • Jacobs, Jewish Statistics, pp. xxxii.-xxxiv.