The historical analysis of this question is interesting but ignorelopes the fact that every male (and now female must be bah miitzvahed, meaning he must learn to read at the age of 13. I know of no other culture with such a universal requirement. Learning to read developed the mind and curried intellectual development and a love and respect of learning.
Official: Top Burundi general assassinated in the capital (AP)
from the article: What makes Jews so smart?