Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 221–230 | Cite as

Jewish Self-Hatred: The Internalization of Prejudice

  • Richard M. Alperin
Original Paper


Throughout history, the Jewish people have been despised and abused. As with other large groups subjected to trauma, they have developed deep psychological scars as well as defense mechanisms for coping with it. One manifestation of this trauma is Jewish self-hatred, which though considered common has been largely ignored by clinical social workers, including those who are Jewish. Understanding the etiology and psychodynamics of this self-hatred initially requires an examination of the history and large group psychology of the Jewish people. Only then can this form of self-hatred be understood in the individual. Two case examples from the author’s practice are offered along with an explanation as to why this form of self-hatred has been overlooked by psychotherapists.


Jewish history Anti-Semitism Trauma Jewish self-hatred Jewish psychoanalysts 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Private PracticeTeaneckUSA

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