Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Algemeiner Jewish 100: The Full List

April 25, 2013 7:13 am 63 comments

The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life 2013


Ruth Wisse
Robert Wistrich
Hagit Messer Yaron


Alex Clare
Leonard Cohen
Noam Gershony
Matisyahu Miller
Steven Spielberg


Eli Beer
Elisa Spungen Bildner
Judy Feld Carr
Joseph Ekstein
Jay Feinberg
Daniel Gold
Joseph Gitler
Alice Herz-Sommer
Clive Lawton
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner
Sholom Lipskar
Levi & Bassie Shemtov


Ido Aharoni
José María Aznar
Cory Booker
Michael Gove
Stephen Harper
Ed Koch
Joseph Lieberman
Petr Nečas
Benjamin Netanyahu
Barack Obama
Tamir Pardo
Ron Prosor
Moshe Ya’lon


Mitchell Bard
Mem Bernstein
Carolyn Hessel
Nosson Sherman & Mayer Zlotowitz


Warren Buffett
Yossi Vardi


Julius Berman
William Daroff
Patrick Desbois
Yechiel Eckstein
Abraham Foxman
John Hagee
David Harris
Marvin Hier
Malcolm Hoenlein
Yury Kanner
Howard Kohr
Moshe Kotlarsky
Yehuda Krinsky
Ruth Messinger
Richard Prasquier
Arthur Schneier
Avner Shalev
David Stav
Efi Stenzler
Janice Weinman


Sheldon Adelson
Mark Charendoff
Eduardo Elzstain
Harold Grinspoon
Joseph Hyman
Seth Klarman
Ihor Kolomoyski
Ronald Lauder
Jay Schottenstein
Lynn Schusterman
Michael Steinhardt


Shlomo Amar
Warren Goldstein
Yisrael Meir Lau
Berel Lazar
Yona Metzger
Jonathan Sacks


Shani Boianjiu
Izzy Ezagui
Ronnie Flammer & Ophir Fischer
Alan Mendoza
Stav Shaffir
Ronen Shoval
Chloe Valdary


Khaled Abu Toameh
David Brooks
Alan Dershowitz
Elder of Ziyon
Howard Jacobson
Phillipe Karsenty
William Kristol
Andrea Levin
Bernard Henri Lévy
Itamar Marcus
Avi Mayer
Rupert Murdoch
Adin Steinsaltz
Joseph Telushkin
Elie Wiesel
David Wolpe
Herman Wouk


  • victoria brandeis



  • Robert Geller

    You should be ashamed to have included Obama on this list. I am surprised that you did not include Hillary CLinton or Gelb of the Met Opera or even Abbas (who has also effected Jewish life). When are all of these Jewish organizations and media going to realize that the only word which connects Obama and anything Jewish is contempt!

    • charlie johnson

      Oh,I see why you included the Royal Golfer.He plays Kosher golf. His golfing activities prevents the working class American from bringing the bacon home.

  • Not Obama. He has demoralized so many Jews, especially those who were former supporters. His ignored chances to speak up for Israel show where his heart is, and it is not with the Jewish people. I am so surprised to find him included on this list. It makes the whole rest of the list irrelevant.

    • Obama?? The president who doesn’t care about Israel and wants to bend it to the USA’s will, whether or not it will help Israel’s survival? He’s on this list?

  • BARACK OBAMA? Really? Really……????

  • Marie-France Smith

    Ridiculous to have left off this list CAROLINE GLICK and included the Sunni Muslim Wahabist pos obama, who poses as a president in the U.S. Sad choice! Again, what about GLICK?

  • The list shows that whoever it is that put it together is weak and has a low security complex, He thought about himself and wants all of us to accept them…

  • difficult choices but I would have included
    Gold, Prosser and Glick for fighting a heroic rearguard action for Israel without any meaningful support from our government

  • Elaine Black

    Author and academic Dr Denis MacEoin (Newcastle UK), an un sung hero – is one of a tiny handful of non-Jews who speak out continuously and publicly against false claims made about Israel and its’ history, and against BDS, particularly boycotting in Academia. Denis was the past editor of Middle East Quarterly and a former lecturer in Islamic studies, specialising in Shi’ism, Shaykhism, Bábism, and the Bahá’í Faith, on all of which he has written extensively. Wikipedia

  • michael jankelowitz

    streams other than orthodox are omitted in the “religion” category! why no natan sharansky among the 100?he’s a modern day jewish this because of his recommendation as chairman of the jewish agency for israel to allow all streams access to pray at the western wall?the ultra orthodox haredi “algemeiner” is guilty of black balling those who do not fit its narrow world view!let`s hope that the upcoming 100 most influential jews in a special supplement of the israeli daily “maariv”will be more balanced.shavua tov and lag ba`omer sameach!

    • Thanks for pointing out the unbalanced list of “100” and especially noting the omission of Natan Sharansky. Very disappointing.

    • victoria brandeis






  • Bernard-Henri Levy? Really? He is a supporter of JCALL modelled after JSTREET. I fail to understand what he has done to fight antisemtism in France.

  • The list tells us why some younger Jews marry out of the faith, convert to other religions, join cults,and support the Arab side of our struggle with terrorism.

  • I feel bad for the men and women who are on the same list with President Obama. What this list really shows is what low esteem the men who made the list may have. They wanted to include all powerful people, so that in case they need them one day. What a false world we live in.

  • Where is Nat Lewin, great legal defender of Jewish practice in America?

  • It’s shameful to put Obama close to this list unless good or bad influence make no difference

  • Carla Isselmann

    It is a list,like any other list made by human hands: there are mistakes and omissions. I would certainly not have included Obama, as he has no place on that list , and I would have included the dutch Professor Bob Smalhout, who, in his eighties, after a long splendid career as anaesthesiologist , is writing for more than 16 years an outstanding weekly column in the national dutch nrwspaper.

  • The decision to leave Geller off the list means we as a community still have a long way to go before we grow anything resembling a backbone. That was a decision based entirely upon fear. With all our epic achievement and historic leaders, can’t we scrounge up even a little pride?

  • Clearly a list drawn up by liberals and leftists.

    What, did Algemeiner outsource the compiling of this list to Haaretz and the NY Slimes?

  • Barack Obama does NOT belong on this list Algemeiner. I am very disappointed in your naming him to this list.

    • President Obama is certainly the brightest, most well-informed person of the century. Obama haters, get lost.

      • Michael Venables @ 7:10 , April 25

        Perhaps you forgot to take your meds?
        Kol Tuv

      • Elliot J. Stamler

        Michael, the kind of hateful Jews who spew their Tea Party loathing of Pres. Obama are a small minority in American Jewry–the vast majority of us proudly voted for the president and continue to support him. This doesn’t mean we will agree with every policy of his but unlike these Republican/Orthodox extremists we understand that the president is in fact a genuine friend of Jewry and of Israel and has formed the strongest military-security relationship ever been us and Israel.

        • leonard feingold

          I don’t think Obama belonged on the list; however, ISraeli govt official talk behind closed doors to Saudi Arabia because it serves a common interest. So can argue on putting Obama on the list for the same reasons as Israeli officials talk to Saudi Arabia; however, it does not require you and others to be blind; you easily forget Obama’s romance with anti-semitic preacher in chicago for 20 years and his relationship with Bill Ayers and of course his praise of Rashid Kalhidi which is locked in the LA Times vault. Naturally, Obama can’t be dictator and express his inner thoughts in this country; he has to dissemble; and just as he lied about health care; he is no Geo Bush when it comes to Israel and neither is John Kerry.

          The Russian jews also thought lenin would be their savior. Obama given we are in the US cannot express his true thoughts so we dont have to fear the worst; but he can still do damage but much more subtle.

          I am not hero worshipper no matter who; you are!


  • A good list but Caroline Glick definitely missing.

  • J.J. Goldberg

    Thanks for a thoughtful and important list. One doesn’t have to agree with every entry to find this a useful, informed window on Jewish life. It’s especially refreshing to see the inclusion of David Stav and Stav Shaffir. Yishar kochachem.

  • Gail Abramson

    Richard Sherman spot on. Pam Geller should be #1 on this list. Agree Foxman has to go.

  • Barack Obama ? Are you kidding me ? Inclusion of The President has taken our community’s obsession with political correctness to an absurd “new low.” This is disgusting and embarrassing.

  • Stephen Antler

    Barak Obama. Is that the same guy who whispered sotto voce to Sarkozy that Netanyahu is not to be trusted. Maybe he’s the one who humiliated the PM of Israel during his visit to the White House. Or is he the one who suggested to Israeli students that they should put themselves in the shoes of Arab young people under occupation. Perhaps he’s the one who demands nothing of the Palestinian Authority while demanding concessions from Israel. He has certainly had an effect on Jewish life, but a positive one???


  • I don’t understand why Barack Obama is on a list with people like Koch and Netanyahu?
    What has he done to positively influence Jewish life?

    • Md. Zahidul Islam (Milton)

      Should clarify in positive sense to remove the question amongst the common people, although Mr Obama no doubt an important person in the world personality class.

  • Carl Pearlston

    Just what has Barack Obama done that is a positive influence on Jewish life? Perhaps you mean that opposition to his policies are motivating Jews to act together, and that is positive? Or that because the major Jewish organizations do not protest his actions enough, that means that he is a positive influence? Barack Obama is a negative influence.

    Agree that Pamela Geller should be on the list, as should David Horowitz.

  • Joe Lieberman?! Sheldon Adelson?! Mr. Hagee?! Have you lost your minds?! Lieberman and Obama both have led the charge to rescind our Bill of Rights! Adelson wants to privatize everything. Hagee is a raving bigot pretending to be a friend. I am shocked that someone of Elie Wiesel’s stature would be affiliated with an organization who honors such vile people and anti-democracy forces as Lieberman, Obama, Adelson, and Hagee. I want NOTHING to do with this organization!
    Jeanine Molloff
    PS: I AM a Jew–a Jew who believes in democracy. I do NOT want some insane theocracy.

    • Whoa! Comparing Sheldon Adelson (who has given $$MILLIONS for Jewish & Israeli causes) with Obummer, our questionable POTUS?!? The latter arguably pretty much hates Israel and only likes secular/Liberal-religious Jews!

      But Algemeiner seems always to have had some sort of identity crisis – and this “comprehensive” list only reinforces that confused mindset.

  • I was intrigued with your choice of Rabbi Nosson Sherman and Rabbi Mayer Zolotwitz of Artscroll Publishing renown. I think it is a well deserved distinction and I’m pleased to see that the Algemeiner 100 is truly inclusive and broadminded and has left the “provincial mindset” adopted by so many other (Jewish) publications.

    Congratulations on your 40th anniversary and blessings for thew next 40 and beyond,

    Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht
    Norwalk, CT

    Chairman Presidium Rabbinical Alliance of America

  • I suggest a new alternative list. 100 personalities most damaging Jewish life. My nomination for the Oscar, is Manis Friedman. for his star role in further victimizing victims and SPECIFICALLY his quote of the year “what, are you so holy that no one can touch you”??? The remainder of his full audio/video/transcript pales in comparison to that one statement.

    Manis also gets kudos for empowering Ester Shkop into emailing an abuse victim, who “came out” as having been abused on a social media site “you have besmirched your name,, and, by association, the names of your peers”. Top award for stupidity. She panicked to protect her institution, unfortunate unfortunate remark, but Manis had no excuse, outside of stupidity? hubris? Lo Chashuv. The Oscar goes to Manis. Hopefully, he will be out of Jewish life by the time we get to next years Oscars.

    • Excellent comment. An alternative list of those that most damaged Jewish life would be of as much or more importance than the one featured in this article.

      • For that dubious award, I’ll nominate Noam Chomsky – he’s pretty much in the mullahs’ camp anyway…

  • richard sherman

    Pamela Geller is the Queen Esther of this generation of Jews. To leave her off thel ist is a joke. Abe Foxman has become a dhimmi. To have him on the list is a disgrace.

    • Richard, I am in complete agreement with you.

    • Bravo!! Well, Pamela Geller may be a stretch due to her unorthodox platform, though I mostly agree with her. But how about Caroline Glick for this list?

      • Hear! Hear!! Caroline Glick is head & shoulders above so many others in her profession!

      • Jerusha,
        I am assuming that you are using the word “orthodox” in the usual secular sense. Those Jews in pre-Shoah Europe who thought that there was imminent danger and fled, in time, held “unorthodox” views. Those who had rose colored glasses or listened to their Rabbi’s and stayed, well, that was the orthodox stance. Hashem would never let anything bad happen to his chosen people.

    • Richard, I agree What about Jeff Wiesenfeld? He has devoted countless hours of work and heartache! I love Algemeiner, but it is shameful to omit Jeff.

    • elliot j. stamler

      I can’t express politely my abiding anger at these ultra right-wing bigoted conservative Republican Jews constantly defaming the President of the United States and every other person whom they politically disagree with. I am proud of being one of the 70% (!!!) of American Jewish voters who voted for Pres. Obama and am proud too of being a Democrat doing all I can to defeat and destroy the right-wing neo-fascists who unfortunately included Richard Sherman and some of these other commenters. Like the rest of the Tea Party extremists they find it impossible to disagree with someone without defaming, vilifying, insulting and lying about him or her. I politically abhor, for example, Eric Cantor (unsurprisingly) but I’d be the first to acknowledge he is a fine Zionist. Just remember, 7 out of 10 of us are behind Pres. O bama and aren’t going to turn our country over to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Donald Trump, Rick Santorum and the rest of that appalling bunch.

      • I am sure you defer to all those who revere the sociopath Muhammad who PERSONALLY. Decapitated Nine hundred unarmed Jews at Quarayza….Obviously you prefer to be a dhimmi…some of us do not.

      • Allow me to begin with Eric Cantor. (Thank you for the mention, Eliot.) I cannot believe that the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in U.S. History is not included in the Government Section, yet Cory Booker – terrific a friend of the Jews as he may be as Mayor of Newark – is “in”. What about Rep. Ileana Ros Lehtinen, former Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who on a near-daily basis would issue topically-relevant press releases addressing something important having to do with Israel while she was the Chairwoman. How about Michael Oren? How did that slip through the cracks? Or Sen. Ted Cruz, who so gallantly and singularly battled the establishment to expose Chuck Hagel’s anti-Israel sometimes even anti-American past?

      • And as for you, Mr. Stamler, although “ultra right-wing bigoted conservative Republican Jews” may be a dirty phrase, start getting used to it, because other than the so-called or pseudo pro-Israel types of JStreet, you’re going to increasingly find that the ONLY pro-Israel voices you will encounter will be on your dreaded “right”. The left has abandoned…no, vilified…Israel as the oppressor of the poor little Arab neighbors…That’s right, 6 million Jews are oppressing hundreds of millions of Muslims who seek its destruction. Sounds logical, if you are a non-Jewish (or perhaps even Jewish) liberal. Since Obama’s coronation and the subsequent escalation of an unprecedented euphoria, one is hard-pressed to be both Democrat and legitimately be “pro-Israel”. Yes, for most of us, being ruled by a subversive, Muslim-sympathizing, demagoguing, card-carrying redistributionist and racist is more of an American nightmare than the proverbial American Dream, from which sadly so many of us emanated. Continue to be “proud of being one of the 70% of American Jewish voters who voted for Pres. Obama and…a Democrat doing all [you] can to defeat and destroy the right-wing neo-fascists”. Since “7 out of 10 of [you] are behind Pres. Obama”, perhaps that will you guys priority seating…I mean standing room…ahead of me when we are again herded into the cattle car, closer to the 12×6″ vent in the corner. I, on the other hand, will continue to fight for America’s and Israel’s survival, and not sheepishly promote leaders or policies that will hasten either’s demise. (And yes, don’t hesitate to vilify me for my lack of PC in invoking the Holocaust for it appears to many that without its mention, it is seemingly forgotten.)

        • Eytan,
          I missed your comment, first time around, having previously commented above multiple times (and also invoking the Shoah, in one).
          I want to congratulate you on a superb post, one of the very finest I’ve read on these messaging sites. I agree with you 100%.
          To my great regret l’daavoni harav, you are one of the very few who understand the awful reality, and you say it so well.
          Kol Hakavod.

      • and as for you Mr. Stamler, you are a card carrying braindead, knee-jerk “intellectual liberal pro-Arab Jew”. And dumb enough to be proud of it.
        As Eytan expressed so perfectly below, you will be “lucky” to be amongst the 60-70% to stay as Ovomit exhorts you, that nothing bad will happen to the Jews. or alternately get first row seating in the cattle cars. Your non-compatriots the so maligned conservative Jews, will have a clearer view., and will have made appropriate plans. But perhaps by then the 70% will have become honorary muslims anyway, under shariah law.. But Hitler proved that to be a futile tactic. Protest the Islamaphobes, but in the final analysis, your brit milah will be your undoing.

      • leonard feingold

        I vote for Romney. I am not proud of that. What should be one be proud of who one votes for. One might be proud of an accomplishment; so there is something wrong you being proud of him; it is similar to teeny boppers screaming at a Beatles concert.

        What you are saying is that you are proud that you are so far seeing and intelligent way above those who did not vote for obama that you saw the light and that Obama is the messiah who will bring justice etc to all of us.

        Sounds like hero worship and a blind one for that matter.

        Obama lies and lies; check out Benghazi; you can keep your doctor etc; you will rationalize it.

        Do you what hillary clinton told the father of one those killed in Benghazi: I paraphrase: We locked up the character who put on the video.

        The father was too polite to respond. But we have you worhshipping that ilk and cursing those who dont vote the way you do as idiots. And that makes you proud.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Features World Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Tour operators are calling attention to Jamaica’s little-known Jewish heritage by arranging visits to historic Jewish sites on the Caribbean island, including a cemetery where Jewish pirates are buried. A report in Travel and Leisure magazine describes the Hunts Bay Cemetery in Kingston, where there are seven tombstones engraved with Hebrew benedictions and skull and crossbones insignia. According to the report, centuries ago, Jewish pirates sailed the waters of Jamaica and settled in Port Royal. The town, once known as “the wickedest city in the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO) – Telling Israel’s story. It’s the specific title of a short film that Eyal Resh created last year. It’s also the theme behind the 27-year-old Israeli filmmaker’s broader body of work. The widely viewed “Telling Israel’s Story” film—directed by Resh for a gala event hosted by the Times of Israel online news outlet—seemingly begins as a promotional tourism video, but quickly evolves to offer a multilayered perspective. “I want to tell you a story about a special place for me,” a young woman whispers […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’ – The entrance to Jerusalem’s Sacher Park was transformed from April 25-27 by a fire-breathing robotic dragon, which flailed its arms and attempted to take flight. The robot, a signature feature at Jerusalem’s first-ever “Geek Picnic,” was one of more than 150 scientific amusements available for the public to experience. This particular dragon was designed by students from Moscow’s Art Industrial Institute in conjunction with the Flacon design factory, said Anatasia Shaminer, a student who helped facilitate the display. Children […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love. CreateSpace, 2015. The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love, is a very interesting novel. Equally a political and romantic thriller, at times a real page-turner, it gets you intimately involved in the dire situation in today’s Syria, as well as in the romantic entanglements of its mostly New York-based characters — whose entanglements just might determine the fate of that dire situation in Syria. Along the way it introduces a really important idea that somehow […]

    Read more →
  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →