All the cash is in DJing Bat Mitzahs, just ask Paul Ant-Man Rudd. PLUS: Magna Carta, WWII

Here’s what we’re reading. Why are Bar/Bat Mitzvah DJs so much more expensive than regular DJs? What does the Magna Carta have to do with the Jews? And what did Americans think of accepting Jewish refugees before World War II?

The latest in Jewish research is this astonishingly lengthy and detailed report on the high cost of Bar/Bat Mitzvah DJs — not the cost of Bar/Bat Mitzvahs in general, not the cost of the whole party, just the cost of the DJ.

The study is based on internal data from Thumbtack, a web service that matches people with vendors that provide specific services (DJs, for example).

“It turns out that when booking a DJ, the event that will cost you the most is a bar mitzvah. Bar mitzvah DJs are 32 percent more expensive than wedding DJs and 93 percent more than the average birthday party. Perhaps it’s time to update the joke. Never tell the DJ that the event is a bar mitzvah!”

And on that note, before “Ant-Man,” Paul Rudd was a Bat Mitzvah DJ. This video has the evidence (and the Bat Mitzvah girl is JTA managing editor Gabi Birkner, BTW):

This year marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. Writing in Moment, historian and journalist Derek Taylor shares some fascinating stuff about the impact of the Magna Carta on the Jews of England.

Two clauses of the document made the money-lending trade of English Jewry more difficult. But the reason was not purely anti-Semitic; it was more about “the peculiar relationship that existed between Jews and the Crown,” Taylor writes.

“Jews and all they owned had come to be regarded as the property of the king. This meant that he could tax them at will and could seize the wealth of any Jew on his death—a clever arrangement, as far as the king was concerned, because it enabled him to share legitimately in the immense profits of a practice prohibited by the Christian church. So the clauses in the Magna Carta that restricted the Jews’ income from financial transactions also had the indirect effect of limiting the benefits the king could receive as the ultimate owner of Jews’ property.”

Finally, as Americans take their sweet time mulling over whether they want more Middle Eastern refugees, it’s worth remembering how Americans reacted to Jewish refugees in the lead-up to World War II.

From the Washington Post comes this insightful piece about a Fortune magazine poll on the subject from July, 1938.

“Fewer than 5 percent of Americans surveyed at the time believed that the United States should raise its immigration quotas or encourage political refugees fleeing fascist states in Europe — the vast majority of whom were Jewish — to voyage across the Atlantic. Two-thirds of the respondents agreed with the proposition that ‘we should try to keep them out.’”

David A.M. Wilensky
David A.M. Wilensky

David A.M. Wilensky is interim associate editor of J. He previously served as assistant editor and digital editor. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @davidamwilensky