One of the most recognizable names among America’s financial pundits is Jim Cramer, CNBC’s enthusiastic stockpicker, who uses myriad special effects including buzzers, voiceovers, costumes and zany props to make picking stocks more entertaining. While Jim Cramer has had his share of critics who believe his method of choosing stocks is perhaps impulsive and his approach more than a bit unorthodox, Cramer’s television program receives huge ratings and thousands of loyal viewers, many calling themselves “Cramericans.”
Jim Cramer, who grew up Jewish in Philadelphia where his parents attended a Conservative synagogue, recently visited Eretz Yisroel during Passover. When asked what made this Passover in Israel different from others in the States, he replied, “Where else do you go for Passover?” and added, “I wanted to know myself the mood of the country. The mood here from the White House is making it so that if you read in the papers something has changed…that it is completely untrue, same country it was before.”
He spoke enthusiastically about his Pesach Seder in the Judean Desert, floating in the Dead Sea, going on an excavation and insisting a singer at an Irish pub do a rendition of “Dayeinu” in honor of the holiday. When Eli Hoffman, Editor-in-Chief of the Israel-based financial website, SeekingAlpha contacted Jim Cramer about a meeting during his visit, he responded after he had returned stateside: “Shoot. My bad. I decided to live for a change and didn’t go online. My apologies. Giving up bread and e-mail ain’t bad! I feel liberated.”
While Cramer is known as a comedian of sorts, he is serious about keeping the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust; “I subscribe to …the revisionist thesis that the war was about the destruction of the Jews…It was never about world conquest…people say ‘You just obsess bout this.’ All of my spare time when I am not working on my show is about this.” However, when asked if he is worried about rising Anti-Semitism leading to persecution, Cramer replied he is more worried about Jews in Europe, and added “Vigilance is the key.”
Speaking about his main area of expertise, stocks, Cramer recommends buying shares of Israeli companies Teva Pharmaceuticals and Nice Systems and praised the Israeli economy which has no exposure to subprime mortgages and benefits from a “great central banker (Stanley Fischer).”
“Israel is a democracy, one of the great democracies of all time,” Cramer said.
By Miriam Metzinger, firstname.lastname@example.org