Newspapers and magazines are synonymous with the practice of list making, and which reader doesn’t appreciate a good comprehensive, authoritative list? In a way they seem to make the world so simple; people or facts are presented in order, ready packaged, evaluated, boxed and categorized. In truth however in attempting to compile a list of our own at The Algemeiner, I have recently discovered that no compilation of names, however well considered, can possibly hold all the answers, or reveal all that there is to be told.
The value in a good list, I would venture, is in the opportunities it presents both to the reader and the publisher. Firstly, a list is an invitation to discover. It might be read as an introduction to a new world, a snap-shot of the playing field and unveiling of a tier or a genre, inviting the reader to delve further and develop their own understanding of the subject matter. Secondly the list provides a platform to introduce and to present new, yet undiscovered or unrecognized talent or ideas that are worthy of notice or recognition.
As far as Jewish lists go, perhaps the 10 commandments is the most famous. Etched in stone, it is hard to imagine a more authoritative presentation. With almost as much fanfare, modern day Jewish publications have presented Judgments on Jewish wealth, influence, charities, parenting, youthful leadership, rabbinic prowess and more in list form.
In honor of our forthcoming 40thAnniversary Gala, The Algemeiner set out to establish an annual list of our own, one that we hope will not only capture the essence of its subjects, but that will convey our purpose as a publication as well. And to this end I would like to invite your participation.
The list, entitled the JEWISH 100, is of the top 100 people positively influencing Jewish life.
Throughout millennia of tumultuous Jewish history, our people have been inspired and led by a select few. Icons revered by the Jewish community have included powerful military leaders, prophets, visionaries, scholars, innovators, pioneers, kings, saints, politicians and righteous gentiles. What they all share in common, is their appreciation of the unique contributions of the Jewish people in serving as a voice of moral conscience for mankind and their willingness to make sacrifices for its continuity.
Our list aims to capture a glimpse of the top 100 people alive today that embody this spirit. For some it may come through their role in a position of influence or power. For others, it is through serving as a role model embodying Jewish values or qualities. Others will be listed for serving as a source of Jewish pride, or for bringing new and innovative ideas to Jewish expression; others yet may have stuck out their necks to advocate for Jews and Israel at great personal sacrifice. Some who will be listed, though rarely heard from in public, nonetheless have a significant influence on the important Jewish or Israel related events of our time.
As we are now reaching the crescendo of the nominations process, we turn to you our dedicated readers for your input and insight. Please join us on this journey by submitting your selections below in the comments section or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let your voice be heard!