From the studies of Majer for Galicia, Weissenberg for South Russia, Sack for Moscow, and Yashchinsky for Poland, which give uniform results, it is found that Jewish children grow very rapidly up to the age of six, whereas usually development slackens at four; from six to eleven growth is slower; from eleven to sixteen the body again increases rapidly, when growth again becomes slower, but still continues up to the age of thirty. At this age the maximum height is attained, whereas with Germans this height is reached at the age of twenty-three (Gould). At forty the body begins to decline and grow shorter. This is seen from the figures in the table, and in the diagram representing graphically the process of growth of Jewish children in South Russia and in Moscow, given by Weissenberg ("Die Südrussischen Juden," p. 17).

Growth of the Body.
Age.Jews of South Russia (Weissenberg).Jews of Central Russia (Sack).Jews of Poland (Elkind).
Stature (in mm.).Annual Increment.Stature (in mm.).Annual Increment.Stature (in mm.).Annual Increment.
51 and over1,636-61,606-11

Sack compared the stature of Jewish school-children in Moscow with that of non-Jewish children attending the same schools. He found that the Jewish children were shorter. But Yashchinsky, who took measurements of Jewish and non-Jewish school-children in Warsaw, Poland, found the contrary. According to his investigations the Jews are taller than the Poles between the ages of twelve and seventeen notwithstanding the known fact that adult Poles are taller than adult Jews.

In so far as Bavaria is concerned Ranke ("Körpergrösse in Bayern: Beiträge zur Anthropologie Bayerns," iv.) has shown that the stature is lowest in those parts of the kingdom in which the infantile mortality is highest.

From measurements taken by Fishberg from Jewish school-children in New York city, it appears that those born in the United States grow faster, and at maturity attain a greater stature, than those born in Europe. There are two reasons for this phenomenon. First, the Jewish child in America is brought up amid better sanitary and hygienic surroundings; it is better nurtured, and the unhealthy ḥeder is replaced by modern hygienic public schools. The second and more important reason is that there is a process of selection at work. The stature of the Jewish immigrant to America is greater than the average of those left at home. This is a fact observed also among the immigrants of other races. It is the strongest physically who venture to change their place of abode. These taller Jews transmit their superior stature to their descendants.

The body grows not only in height but also in Girth, which is best measured by the chest. From the investigations of Sack and Weissenberg it has been found that the growth of the body in stature does not go hand in hand among Jews with its increase in breadth, but that they progress alternately. Up to maturity the height increases at the expense of the girth of the chest. After this period the body begins to broaden. The maximum girth of the chest is attained only between forty and fifty years of age. After this there is a recession.

The growth of the limbs has been shown to progress rapidly up to sixteen years of age. It then proceeds slowly up to the age of thirty, when the maximum is attained. After this time there is a recession.

  • J. Majer, Roczny Przyrost Ciala u Zydow Galicyjskich, Zbior Wiadomosci do Antropol. Krajowej, tom iv., dzial ii., Cracow, 1880;
  • N. B. Sack, Fizicheskoye Razvitye Dyetei, Moscow, 1892;
  • S. Yashchinsky, Antroponietritcheskia Materialy k Izycheniu Razvitiya Rosia Vyesa, etc., s Polyakov i Yevreyev, Warsaw, 1889;
  • S. Weissenberg, Die Südrussischen Juden, in Archiv für Anthropologie, xxxiii. 3, 4;
  • A. D. Elkind, Yevrei, Trudy Antropologicheskao Otdyeld, xxi., Moscow, 1903.
J. M. Fi.
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