Over the last few decades, our news and entertainment industries have elevated Jewish suffering during World War II into the most horrific and monumental tragedy of the modern era, and it not impossible that a substantial fraction of the unfair Jewish advantage in elite admissions may derive from something as simple as the ability of the children of elite Jewish families to wrap themselves in the ultimate victimhood of Holocaust survivor status.
Indeed, it seems quite possible that this large sudden influx of very high performing immigrant Jews from the late 1980s onward served to partially mask the rapid concurrent decline of high academic achievement among native American Jews, which otherwise would have become much more clearly evident a decade or so earlier.
Finally, in the case of Jews, these assimilation- or environment-related declines in relative academic performance may have been reinforced by powerful demographic trends. For the last generation or two, typical Jewish women from successful or even ordinary families have married very late and averaged little more than a single child, while the small fraction of Jewish women who are ultra-Orthodox often marry in their teens and then produce seven or eight children. As a consequence, this extremely religious subpopulation has been doubling in size every twenty years, and now easily exceeds 10 percent of the total, including a far higher percentage of younger Jews. But ultra-Orthodox Jews have generally been academically mediocre, often with enormously high rates of poverty and government dependency. Therefore, the combination of these two radically different trends of Jewish reproduction has acted to stabilize the total number of Jewish youngsters, while probably producing a sharp drop in their average academic achievement.