My impression of Judaism & Jews is they are constantly reinventing themselves; to the point that it is difficult to specify what exactly is 'Jewish thought'. Whereas Buddhism has remained unchanged for 2,600 years (apart from some degeneration). In Buddhism, we are stilling falling back on the old ancient scriptures as our reference point.
If Buddhist thought was compared to Jewish thought at 600BC, there would be little in common, apart from some basic morals, which were even held by very primitive religions. The very fact that Judaism rejected Christianity at the time of Christ and was still stoning sinners to death & crucifying blasphemers shows little in common with Buddhism in ancient times.
Yet with the growth of Buddhism, Christianity & Islam, particularly with the Jewish religion becoming centred in places such as Alexandria & Persia (eg. Babylonian Talmud), obviously Judaism kept reinventing itself to keep up with the world religions.
A uniqueness of being "Jewish" is you don't necessarily have to be religious. For example, the founders & leaders of Zionism were generally atheists, yet still call themselves "Jewish".
Thus, this Jewish tendency towards reinvention has seen many Jews invent many new revolutionary philosophies, such as Communism, which, while being staunchy atheist, has a remarkable resemblance to Old Testament monotheism & classless society.
I get the impression Jews are brought up to study, learn, lead, talk, display their knowledge & even market. Thus the Jewish-Buddhist phenomena in the US-vipassana lay community. However, I am personally not aware of many Jewish monks, apart from Bhikkhu Bodhi, who is a scholar.