The Shmooze

The Happiest Man in America Is a Jew

By Nathan Burstein

  • Print
  • Share Share

Not only is being Jewish good for your health, it makes you happier, too. At the request of the New York Times, the Gallup research organization has put together a profile of “the happiest person in America,” a demographic composite based on surveys the company has conducted daily among 1,000 U.S. adults for the last three years.

For better or worse, the “happiest person” is not widely found in nature. He is, according to Gallup, “a tall, Asian-American, observant Jew who is at least 65 and married, has children, lives in Hawaii, runs his own business and has a household income of more than $120,000 a year.”

Despite the rarity of the breed, such a person does exist (although maybe only one). “Meet Alvin Wong,” the Times wrote. “He is a 5-foot-10, 69-year-old, Chinese-American, Kosher-observing Jew, who’s married with children and lives in Honolulu. He runs his own health care management business and earns more than $120,000 a year.”

Having performed the impressive task of finding such a person, the Times didn’t explain how Wong discovered Judaism, though the online version of the article included a picture of Wong with his wife, one Trudy Schandler-Wong.

Tracked down through his synagogue, America’s happiest man didn’t know what to make of the survey findings, or the call from the newspaper. After explaining his life philosophy to reporter Catherine Rampelll, he asked, “This is a practical joke, right?”


Would you like to receive updates about new stories?






















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.