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Capitalism, as ideology, exists subconsciously within individuals and influences an individual’s perspective on the world. Although capitalism thrives on exploitation—its fundamental logic, as Marxist analysis shows—it is noticeable that there is no dominant revolution against it, even by those whose core religious beliefs—they believe—motivate their lives. To investigate the paradox of how individuals connected to their religion rationalize their existence among potentially conflicting personal core religious truths and core truths of systemic capitalism, this presentation examines Jewish students at Binghamton University. For the research method, interviews of Jewish students at Binghamton University who affiliate themselves with the Hillel organization on campus and are familiar to the author of this research were performed. Within each interview lay 3 steps. First, expose the subject to the core truths of capitalism, as expressed by Marx and Marxist thinkers. Second, have the subject explain their core truths of Judaism. Third, discuss with the subject how they manage the disparities (if they find any) between the two sets of ideas. Through the interviews from the 5 participants, one can see that these Jewish students recognize the contradictions between the core truths of Judaism and capitalism. It can also be surmised that for Jewish students at Binghamton University, their religion proves to counterbalance capitalism’s abuses in society, and most participants demonstrated that their core Jewish values, especially pertaining to ideas such as tzedakah, or the giving of charity, incentivize them to work to lessen—not eliminate—the injustices they see.



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How Jewish Students at Binghamton University Mediate Discrepancies between Judaism and Capitalism