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March 30, 2016 1:50 am

The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2015

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The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2015


Daniel Sperber
Jeffrey Herf
Jon Levenson
Jonathan Sarna
Mark Yudof
Niall Ferguson
Rivka Carmi
Steven Pinker


Adam Sandler
Robert Kraft
Evgeny Kissin
Garry Kasparov
Géza Röhrig
Helen Mirren
Howard Stern
Mayim Bialik
Nili Block
Roseanne Barr
Sara Briman


Eviatar Matania
Gavriel Iddan
Gabriel Nadaf
Gal Lusky
Gilad Ach
Yonatan Weintraub
Laurie Cardoza-Moore
George Weidenfeld
Marta Weinstock-Rosin
Meyer Seewald
Menachem Binyamin Zivotofsky
Yosi Druker
Zvi Waldman


Abdul Fatah el-Sisi
Alexis Tsipras
Benjamin Netanyahu
Charles “Chuck” Schumer
Gadi Eizenkot
Manuel Valls
Mauricio Macri
Michael Gove
Miloš Zeman
Moshe Ya’alon
Nir Barkat
Tommy Remengesau
Uhuru Kenyatta
Vladimir Putin
Yossi Cohen


David Yarus
Israel “Izzy” Tapoohi
Li Ka-Shing
Rupert Murdoch


Adam Milstein
Howard Kohr
Malcolm Hoenlein
Marvin Hier
Moshe Kotlarsky
Natan Sharansky
Rinal Seif
Roz Rothstein
Yechiel Eckstein
Yehuda Krinsky


Ronald Lauder
Sandor “Sandy” Frankel
Sara Berman
Sheldon Adelson


Berel Lazar
Ephraim Mirvis
Haim Korsia
John Hagee
Jonathan Sacks
Warren Goldstein


Alex Chalmers
Benjamin Anthony
Chloé Valdary
Ilan Sinelnikov
Jonny Daniels
Sarah Litman


Alan Dershowitz
Anwar Eshki
Ari Shavit
Ayelet Tsabari
Bernard-Henri Lévy
Bernard Lewis
Dara Horn
David Brooks
Elie Wiesel
Howard Jacobson
Ivanka Trump
Jackson Diehl
Lucy Aharish
Marty Peretz
Matthew Lee
Matthew Taylor
Matti Friedman
Molly Antopol
Rush Limbaugh
Seth “Yossi” Siegel
Simon Sebag Montefiore
Tuvia Tenenbom
Zvika Klein

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  • Joe Blow

    The list is sorted by first names, which is somewhat disconcerting.

  • Joe Blow

    Sara Berman, whose father engineered an end run around public religious education, made the list. So did that great champion of democracy and Jewish values, Vladimir Putin.

  • Julius Alex

    Howard Jacobson deserves mention too…

    • Sherlock Holmes

      Howard is listed under ‘Voices’

  • Ambrosine shitrit

    Wow where are all The British and Israeli grassroots activists here ?
    I’ve been involved in advocacy within 2 organisations over 15 years and know so many people who literally work on the ground without financial backing or without a large org behind them and do more in a week than some of these you have mentioned do in a year not only influencing “Jewish life ” but getting jobs done . Exposing and bringing to justice Antisemites as I do daily influencing large numbers of people through social media and bloggers who go to events both friendly and hostile where their work unfortunately is usually plagiarised .
    And yes they’re Jewish – which I might add seems to be “off trend” !
    I see the most outspoken controversial pro Israel right wing voices are not listed also .
    So apart from myself here are a few to add

    David collier
    Brian of London
    Edgar Davidson
    Richard Millett
    Jonathan Hoffman
    Anthony Posner
    Benny Berger
    Sharon Klaff
    David Lange

  • Hal

    I try to stay in touch with things Jewish. But I have never heard of most of the people on this list. On the other hand, I have definitely heard of Howard Stern and I originally thought it was ridiculous to put him on such a list. But, after reading why, I concur.

  • Adir Bar Yohanan

    Waaw! You did not put on your list

    Caroline Glick
    Jack Engelhard
    Yehuda Glick
    Naftali Bennet
    Zippi Hotovely
    Miri Regev
    Hilel Neuer
    Yitzhak Yosef the Sephardi Rabbi
    Angela Merkel
    David Cameron

    • Ron Kean

      Also missing Rabbi Arush and Reb Brody

  • Susan H. Sachs

    I’m pleased to see Prof. Marta Weinstock-Rosin on the list – she’s a top notch scientist who developed a drug that is widely used for the treatment of symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease (Exelon) – and is working on an even better drug, among other accomplishments for which she received the Israel Prize in 2014. She’s a mother and grandmother, an Orthodox woman working in what is largely a man’s world of pharmacological research, who has always been supportive of her husband’s work as well. Marta Weinstock-Rosin is married to Prof. Arnold Rosin, a geriatrician who together with Leah Abramowitz, MSW, founded an organization that runs innovative day care centers for Alzheimer’s care (Melabev). There may be other names both on and off this list who have made great contributions to Jews and the world at large. This name was the right choice for this list.

  • Rick Geiger

    with lists there are always differences of opinion Jews we are commanded to look for the positive.
    Rabbi Goldstein with Rabbi Wein wrote a book called The Legacy…if every Jew read that book the whole world would improve… Also, Rabbi Riskin does great work, Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman is a treasure… I could go on…we have a lot to be grateful for

  • Dale

    One thing is sure, this kind of ranking is not helping jewish positively ….
    Its obviously unhealthy and dangerous to rank people about a religion..
    I never heard an equivalent for Islam and Christians

    You are definitely the worst jews, the ones who does not care about “hilloul hachem” and just want to make businness with antisemitism.

    Please stay us (good jews) and talk about something else !

    • Eli Freedman

      What the hell are YOU babbling about!! Stick to something you may have knowledge about, like cleaning toilets!!

  • A Simon

    What about Bernie Sanders?

    • Vlady

      What about him?

      • Frosty7530

        I realize that Algemeiner can’t include everybody deserving in just one year. I think your list is very good. I like the fact that the list includes non-Jews as well. I especially applaud your inclusion of John Hagee. I’ve had the honor of seeing him in person at his CUFI Conference, as well as communicating with him directly through E-mail. Never, in the history of Jewish Americans, have we known such a generous Christian clergyman. He has given so much to Israel and world Jewry and made huge strides in helping evangelical Christians understand Israel and the Jews in a very positive way.

        One of Pastor Hagee’s colleagues, Gary Bauer, is another person who should be considered for a future top 100 list. Gary walks alongside Pastor Hagee in advocating for Jewish-Israeli causes He is head of CUFI’s Israel Emergency Committee. Mr. Bauer served as under-secretary of state under Ronald Reagan, he also served as Reagan’s Chief Advisor for Domestic/govt affairs.

        My other choice will surprise you. In this climate of AntiSemitism, too many in the entertainment field are joining the BDS movement. We have a “super-star rock band, Pink Floyd, putting the word Israel inside their neon pig, which is proudly displayed in their light show. If that isn’t the ugliest form of Jew-Hating, I don’t know of worse. In 2014, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones defied Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, (they were told they should not go to Israel). Mick Jagger defied his peers in the world of Rock N Roll, the best Rock’N’Roll band in the world went to play in Israel, and added a 2nd concert to show their disdain for hateful musicians. This concert was held outdoors, the security must have been a nightmare! It is not melodramatic to say they risked their lives as well as the safety of their Israeli fans. The band played on, and I feel they should be honored for their bravery! If this group decides to accept their reward in person, Algemeiner better be prepared to rent Madison Square Garden!

  • There is a Torah prohibition against counting Jews directly. I think that this kind of enumeration of the “top 100” violates the spirit of that law.

    Very negative tendencies in our midst include the necessity to feel superior to others, to overcome or outdo others, to be one of the chosen, to be the top, the leading, the foremost, the most prestigious, the most nationally and internationally renowned (internationally alone is not enough), the richest, the most influential, the most world-class, the most award-winning, the bestest, the mostest, and on and on with the deceptive, aggrandizing, superlative adjectives. It is a kind of idolatry.

    There is only one number one, and if you recite the Shema daily you know who that One is.

    • Vlady

      There is also a Torah prohibition against stupidity

  • Inna Kreer

    Very, very strange list. So many people who really influenced Jewish life are missing here, and at the same time so many people are present who in fact are not friends of Israel at all, but enemies (Putin for example!!!). It’s just shameful!

  • Howard Jaeckel

    Vladimir Putin?

  • Wm. J. Levy

    There isn’t one tough, strong Jew among this list. That’s why anti-Jew activities flourish. They do nothing to fight it and as Prof. Wisse’s article in the WSJ just proved, “After decades of enduring attacks and assaults some Jews have decided to do something about it.”

    That tells me everything. They do nothing but talk, but no action and that’s why Jews suffer.

  • Jim Ball

    Rush Limbaugh? Ivanka Trump? Roseann Barr? Your kidding right? An early April Fool joke?

    • Vlady

      The world is not black or white.

    • Rick Geiger

      Actually those are 3 of the best choices.

  • Reform School

    Oh, to be a fly on a wall obs Irving These de liberations!

  • Paul Blumstein

    I am very disappointed to not see Morton Klein listed. He is the head of ZOA and manages to get a lot of Op-Eds in the media in favor of Israel.

    • Vlady

      I agree. But he’s too right and that makes him too wrong for the list

  • Shmeli Schmekleberg

    What a stupid list.

  • Yerachmiel Mordechai

    Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz isn’t on the list? Then the list must be wrong!