Monday, January 30th | 8 Shevat 5783

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The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2022

In honor of The Algemeiner’s 50th anniversary gala, we are delighted to unveil our ninth ‘J100’ list of the top one hundred individuals who have positively influenced Jewish life this past year. Before you work your way through this exciting list, we wanted to first share some of the thoughts that we discussed as we developed it. If we could group these ideas together, the first would be about creating lists, in general; then, what’s unique about lists and Judaism; some finer points differentiating our honorees from the organizations they lead; and important reflections on all those every day and anonymous-to-us heroes we also want to celebrate without ever knowing their names. And, of course, to thank everyone who helped create the list and worked hard to put together our ‘J100’ gala.

It’s no secret that many Jewish communities have seen significant and rising challenges over the past year, specifically the Jewish community in war-torn Ukraine. Our unique role as a newspaper, to highlight the most vulnerable in our community and advocate on their behalf, has never been clearer. This year has affirmed for us our shared long-held belief that journalism saves lives. As such, in the compilation of this year’s ‘J100’ list we’ve placed particular emphasis on those standing at the forefront of assisting Ukraine’s Jewish community. We hope you find your review of the list to be as valuable as we did.

On Lists

There are lists, and there are lists. From the Forbes 400 to the Time 100, we are witness today to a proliferation of many lists in various magazines and newspapers. The New Yorker even made a list of The Hundred Best Lists of All Time! It seems that in the feeding frenzy of our information overloaded society, categorizations and listings get our attention by presumably helping us make sense of the data flooding our psyches. Lists also carry an element of sensationalism – who made the list, who didn’t – feeding the hunger for competition – yet another staple of our superficial times. No wonder we don’t find such popularity contests waged in earlier centuries; living as desert nomads or inside of a shtetl, where everyone knew virtually no one else but their neighbors by name (for good or for bad), did not exactly lend itself to creating a top ten list of favorites. This is an exclusive product of the communications revolution and the global village it created.

Jewish Lists

Jewish sages, in particular, did not create such lists. Indeed, some actually dismissed the categorization of lists (even of the 13 Principles of Faith of Maimonides, let alone of a list of the “best” one thing or another). It begs the uneasy question of how one can even attempt to measure the value of a person? Isn’t everyone a hero in some way? On what grounds can we presume to judge who is more valuable than the next? With the ‘J100’ list we tried to create something more meaningful, a list aligned with our core mission: the 100 people who have the most positive impact on Jewish life and Israel – men and women, Jew or non-Jew, who have lifted the quality of Jewish life in the past year. Think of it this way: Without these ‘J100’ – either the individuals or the organizations they represent – Jewish life would not be at the caliber it is today. Despite the artificial, superficial, and sensational nature of any list, we sought to transform the information deluge of our times by using the list to shine a spotlight on those gems in our midst, those people who are making a real difference in others’ lives.

We also seek to inspire and motivate our young and the next generation, our future emerging leaders, in rising to the occasion and perpetuating the highest standards of our proud tradition and legacy – in serving and championing the cause of Jews and Israel. Because, as we know, when the quality of Jewish life is raised, the quality of all lives is raised. However, the most exciting part of our work in choosing the ‘J100,’ frankly, was sifting through hundreds of candidates and nominees to discover some surprising finalists. It was a joy to see the breadth of all those who merited a mention, to understand some of the great work being performed around the world on behalf of the Jewish people, and to celebrate their victories by bringing this great work to renewed public attention via this endeavor.

Individual vs. Organization

Inevitably, any list recognizing those that have positively influenced Jewish life will include the “usual suspects,” well-known leaders and officials of governments, organizations, and institutions. Like it or not, bureaucracy is part of the fabric of our society, feeding and supporting Jewish life around the globe, and it is that fabric that provides strength and cohesion to our disparate Jewish population.

Not all the names on the ‘J100’ were included for the same reason. Some are being honored for their personal contributions, others for their work at the organizations or nations they head. Some on the ‘J100’ are long established stars, others newcomers.

Like in any dynamic entity, we included both stalwart leaders with deep roots holding the foundation, while also introducing new branches that will lead us into the future.

This type of list – “The top 100 people positively influencing Jewish life” – has its inherent challenges. First, what defines “positive”? What some consider positive, others consider destructive. Jews notoriously disagree on what positive impact means. Fully cognizant of the controversy such a list could stir, we approached the creation of this list with a particular strategy, infused with a sense of humility and respect, to be as all-inclusive as possible while maintaining our integrity. This list should not be seen as an endorsement of anyone or any entity and way of thinking; rather, the people on this list are a reflection of the rich and broad spectrum of Jewish life – those who have positively contributed and helped shape the Jewish future.

We want this list to not be a definitive one, but a type of snapshot and perspective of the Jewish world today. The ‘J100’ is far from perfect – but which list of this type would not be? Rather, we want it to serve as a provocateur, challenging us all to think about what we value and consider precious; what we honor as being a positive influence on Jewish life and on Israel.

Anonymous Heroes

Jewish life, now and throughout history, is fraught with innumerable heroes – mostly unsung. A mother unceremoniously bringing up a beautiful family. A quiet nurse attending to the ill. An anonymous philanthropist sending food packages to the needy. The unobtrusive kindergarten teacher lovingly attending to and shaping young lives. Positive influences abound, yet few are called out.

Moreover, the Jewish community is decentralized. A leader in one city or town who has a major impact on their community may be completely irrelevant in another city. No list – not of 100, not of 1,000 – could capture and do justice to the countless daily acts of heroism and nobility impacting Jews and Israel.

There are innumerable rabbis, lay leaders, educators, and administrators who are beloved and are transforming their Jewish communities. As important as these individuals may be – and they certainly deserve their own list – the ‘J100’ does not include these heroes. Instead it focuses on individuals that have global and international impact, and that come from diverse groups – such as writers, teachers, government officials, and NGOs. In some ways, the ‘J100’ should be looked at not as a bunch of disjointed individuals, but as a mosaic – a confluence of many different colors and hues that create a diverse painting.

Thank You

In the spirit of The Algemeiner, we want this list to lift the quality of our discourse and standards in seeking out the best within and among us. We hope you enjoy reviewing and studying this list, and we welcome all your feedback, critiques, and suggestions to be included next year, in what has become a tradition at our annual gala event.

We extend our deep gratitude to our ‘J100’ honorees and special guests, to those who support this great institution, and ultimately to our readers, the Jewish people, and friends of the Jewish people whom we serve.

Disclosure: Algemeiner staff and their immediate families were disqualified for inclusion on the list. Some of the ‘J100’ finalists are friends and associates of The Algemeiner. As a media entity with many relationships, The Algemeiner inevitably has many friends and supporters; yet we didn’t feel it fair to disqualify highly qualified candidates simply due to their connection with us. Instead, fully cognizant of that reality, we placed special emphasis on impartiality and objectivity to choose only those who fit the criteria.

— The Algemeiner editors

1 .

ACADEMIA

Abdullah Antepli is a globally-acknowledged scholar and leader of cross-religious and cross-cultural dialogue in American higher education and in the non-profit world. He has built multiple organizations and initiatives to facilitate religious and spiritual life across America’s college campuses, sowing seeds of understanding between religions while upholding their cultural integrity and dignity. He is currently a Fellow on Jewish-Muslim Relations at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Israel and a co-director of the Muslim Leadership Initiative. In an April 2022 lecture, he called on Jews and Muslims to bring the “cosmic gift” of mutual understanding to “make God smile” in the 21st Century. Antepli also recalled his youth in Turkey, when he was exposed to antisemitic ideas. “Thankfully the God of Mercy did not allow me to live at that level of toxicity and poison,” he added. (Photo: Duke Divinity)

ACADEMIA

2 .

ACADEMIA

Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori

Museum Founder

The Emirati founder of the Crossroads of Civilization Museum, in 2022 Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori became the first prominent Muslim Arab personality to participate at an event of the World Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland. During celebrations marking the 125th anniversary of the First Zionist Congress, Al Mansoori revealed a handwritten letter signed by Theodor Herzl, the father of the Zionist movement. “I have great respect for the State of Israel, for our Jewish friends, brothers, sisters and cousins. We are brothers before being cousins actually,” he said in an interview. “We need to stop antisemitism, anti-Zionism and the delegitimization of Israel.” (Photo: Youtube screenshot)

ACADEMIA

3 .

ACADEMIA

David Julius

Physiologist

A professor of physiology at the University of California in San Francisco, David Julius was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine in 2021 for his pioneering research on the molecular mechanisms of pain sensation and heat. The product of a Russian Jewish family, Julius grew up in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, a neighborhood he described in a recent interview as a “landing pad for Eastern European immigrants like my grandparents, who fled Czarist Russia and antisemitism in pursuit of a better life.” Julius has been responsible for several scientific breakthroughs during his career, including the identification of capsaicin, the chemical that puts the heat in chili peppers. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ACADEMIA

4 .

ACADEMIA

Esther Perel

Psychotherapist

A noted psychotherapist and relationship guru who hails from a Polish-Jewish family, Esther Perel has pioneered the study of how wider changes in social norms impact personal relationships. “Never before have our expectations of marriage taken on such epic proportions,” she has written. “We still want everything the traditional family was meant to provide—security, children, property, and respectability—but now we also want our partner to love us, to desire us, to be interested in us. We should be best friends, trusted confidants, and passionate lovers to boot.” The host of two podcasts – “Where Should We Begin?” and “How’s Work?” – Perel’s academic training includes a BA in educational psychology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (Photo: EstherPerel.com )

ACADEMIA

5 .

ACADEMIA

The James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College, the prolific scholar Walter Russell Mead continues to be a vital voice in the academic world in defense of Israel and Zionism. In 2022, Mead published his latest book, “The Arc of a Covenant: The United States, Israel, and the Fate of the Jewish People.” In an extensive interview with The Algemeiner, Mead framed his new work as a comprehensive analysis on the origins of US support for the Jewish State. “Israel policy is a piece of something much bigger,” Mead said. “You actually do have to understand America and American history: Why do Americans think the way they do about Israel? How did America develop a culture that was able to accommodate large numbers of Jews without degenerating into some of the worst antisemitism that we see?” Meanwhile, those who hold on to the canard that Jews wield undue influence in America “fundamentally misunderstand the forces that move and shape American policy,” he added. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ACADEMIA

6 .

ACTIVISM

Masih Alinejad

Journalist

“The current protests in Iran sound the death knell of the Islamic Republic,” wrote the Iranian dissident, Masih Alinejad, in the October 2022 edition of Foreign Affairs. First arrested by the Iranian regime as a young activist in 1994, Alinejad has spent the last decade in the US and Europe, writing and speaking on behalf of democracy and human rights. A busy year saw Alinejad in the headlines after New York City police arrested an armed man outside her Brooklyn home who intended, FBI agents told her, “to kill you.” Unbowed, Alinejad has continued to press the case that the historic protests rocking her homeland mark a revolution, rather than a call for mere reforms. At a Nov. 2022 meeting in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron, she impressed upon him that “what is happening in Iran is a revolution. France can be the first country to officially recognize this revolution.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ACTIVISM

7 .

ACTIVISM

In the days that followed Russia’s brutal February 24 invasion of Ukraine, Natella Andriushchenko was among thousands of Ukrainians who risked their lives to help their fellow citizens take shelter in the face of the onslaught. The principal of the Jewish school in the city of Bila Tservkva, 50 miles south of the capital Kyiv, Andriushchenko converted the building into a welcome center for refugees fleeing the fighting. “When it comes to saving people, we don’t differentiate,” she told The Algemeiner in an extensive interview in March, explaining that she offers assistance to Jews and non-Jews without question. “Every hour, we hear the sirens,” Andriushchenko said. “Some of the elderly people and the children start crying as they walk down the stairs to the shelter. It’s very hard to watch.” (Photo: LinkedIn)

ACTIVISM

8 .

ACTIVISM

The death on September 16, 2022 in a Tehran hospital of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini – given the Kurdish name “Jina” at birth – shocked the world and galvanized ordinary Iranians into a protest movement that threatens the very foundations of the Islamic Republic. Amini was detained by the regime’s feared “Morality Police” for allegedly not wearing her hijab, the headscarf all women in Iran are compelled to wear, in the required fashion. While in police custody, she was viciously beaten and later died in hospital of a cerebral hemorrhage. As news of her death spread, furious protests broke out in the Kurdish region where Amini was born and across the country. Attempts by the Iranian authorities to portray Amini’s death as the result of brain surgery she had as a child were roundly rejected, as international leaders expressed disgust at the manner of her death and Iranians adopted her as a symbol of their “Women, Life, Freedom” revolution. (Photo: Majid Asgaripour / WANA via Reuters)

ACTIVISM

9 .

ACTIVISM

Mark Mellman

CEO of The Mellman Group

Mark Mellman, one of America’s leading public opinion researchers and communication strategists, is President of the American Association of Political Consultants and CEO of The Mellman Group, a polling and consulting firm. Mellman, who has helped guide the campaigns of twenty-nine US senators, ten governors, over two dozen members of Congress, and numerous state and local officials, serves as the president of Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI), which works to maintain and strengthen support for Israel among elected leaders including presidential and congressional candidates as well as with the grassroots of progressive movements. Under Mellman’s leadership, DMFI is also tackling anti-Zionist activism on US campuses, backing protests against a ban by student societies at the University of California, Berkeley on pro-Israel and Zionist speakers. (Photo: Youtube screenshot / The Jersualem Center)

ACTIVISM

10 .

ACTIVISM

Matthew Brooks

Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Jewish Policy Center

Matthew Brooks serves as Executive Director of both the Republican Jewish Coalition, an organization dedicated to enhancing ties between the Jewish community and the Republican Party, and the Jewish Policy Center, a think-tank that examines public policy from a Jewish perspective. During a polarizing time for American politics, Brooks has attempted to focus American Jews on questions of policy. Commenting on former President Trump’s controversial statement that US Jews should “get their act together” regarding Israel, Brooks said that Trump’s detractors were “appalled, outraged” while his supporters heard it as a “clarion call.” “There’s existential threats out there, not just due to antisemitism, but also Israel’s existence with Iran,” Brooks continued. (Photo: Republican Jewish Coalition)

ACTIVISM

11 .

ACTIVISM

Yoel Har-Even

Doctor and Director of International Division and Resource Development at Sheba Medical Center

Israeli humanitarian organizations rushed to aid Ukrainians following the February 24, 2022 Russian invasion, sending medical supplies and medical professionals to assist with the human toll of the war. Among them was Dr. Yoel Har-Even, who opened a field hospital in the western Ukrainian town of Mostyska named “Kochav Meir” (Shining Star) in honor of former Prime Minister Golda Meir, who was born in Ukraine. In an extensive interview with The Algemeiner, Har-Even observed that the presence of his team “effectively connects our past Jewish life here that goes back 1,000 years and the modern Jewish state.” Surveying the suffering around him, Har-Even declared: “There are too many stories, reminders that we have a clear moral obligation not to look away, as human beings, as medical professionals, and as Jews.” (Photo: Sheba Medical Center)

ACTIVISM

12 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

Alex Edelman

Comedian

Celebrated young comedian Alex Edelman was born into an Orthodox Jewish home in Boston and began performing stand-up at the age of 15. In 2014, he won the Comedy Award at the Edinburgh Festival, propelling him to a successful career on-stage and as a comedy writer. Edelman has never strayed from his Jewish roots, launching his show “Just for Us” in 2022 which told the story of his encounter with a group of white supremacists in Queens. “There are very few happy racists, I would imagine,” he remarked in an interview with PBS. “At least I haven't been exposed to it online. Like, you know, ‘The sun is shining. It's a perfect day. I hate Mexicans.’ That’s not going to be a social media post you see.” (Photo: Youtube screenshot / Comedy Central)

ARTS AND CULTURE

13 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

Alfred Uhry

Playwright and Screenwriter

Atlanta-born Alfred Uhry is one of the most storied playwrights and screenwriters in the US today, having won an Academy Award, two Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize. The author of the “Atlanta” trilogy of plays, which includes 1987’s “Driving Miss Daisy,” Uhry’s latest stage offering, a revival of his 1998 musical “Parade,” tells the story of Leo Frank, an American Jew falsely convicted of rape by a court in Georgia in 1913 who was then brutally lynched two years later. Frank’s story is “set to what was then an astonishing score by a 20-something newcomer and which, 25 years later, comes across as not only astonishing but pretty much perfectly wrought,” the New York Stage Review wrote of the musical’s current outing. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ARTS AND CULTURE

14 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

Barry Manilow

Musician

The composer of “Mandy,” “Can’t Smile Without You,” and “Copacabana” is still going strong at the age of 78 and is currently enjoying a successful residency in Las Vegas that has just been extended for another year. A singer who has always worn his Jewish identity with pride, 2022 was an important year for Manilow, whose musical “Harmony,” jointly written with his partner Bruce Sussman, was staged in New York by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. “Harmony” tells the story of the Comedian Harmonists, a performing troupe of Jews and Gentiles who combined close harmonies and stage antics in Germany during the 1920s and ‘30s as Nazi legislation banned Jewish performers from the country’s stages. “They were very inventive, so inventive that they were the first people to do the kind of harmonies we hear now,” Manilow explained in an interview. “And then all their records, all their music, all their movies, it was destroyed.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ARTS AND CULTURE

15 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

Born into a Jewish home in Boston, actor Ben Foster has played leading roles in hit movies like “Alpha Dog,” “X-Men” and “The Punisher.” In 2022, he starred in the HBO movie “The Survivor,” which tells the story of Harry Haft – a Polish Jewish boxer who survived incarceration in the Auschwitz concentration camp by engaging in competitive bouts with fellow prisoners. The harrowing scenes in the film set during the Holocaust are shot in black and white, while Foster lost 60 pounds of weight as preparation for his role as Haft. “Working with the Shoah Foundation, I listened to hundreds of hours of testimonies and was lent the opportunity to sit and saturate in the voices of the survivors,” Foster told the Hollywood Reporter. In another interview with Variety, Foster opened up about the impact of the role on his own psyche. “It’s strange having dreams of a concentration camp I was never in,” he said. “I was having Harry’s nightmares, I don’t know how else to say it.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ARTS AND CULTURE

16 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

The head coach of the Auburn Tigers college basketball team, Boston native Bruce Pearl carries the Hebrew name “Mordechai,” in honor of the uncle of Queen Esther from the story of Purim. In March 2022, nearly a month into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Pearl invoked the survival of the Jewish people in Persia that is celebrated on Purim to back a fellow coach’s call for donations to Ukraine each time a team scores a three-pointer. “We say ‘never again,’” Pearl told an interviewer. “I was born in 1960, fifteen years after they opened up the gates, and they saw six million Jews were murdered and three million more people… So I’m all in. Help the Ukrainian people survive that.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ARTS AND CULTURE

17 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

Bruce Sussman

Musician

American librettist and lyricist Bruce Sussman has collaborated with numerous composers, the best-known being singer Barry Manilow. The Jackson Heights, Queens native collaborated with Manilow on the musical “Harmony”, staged in New York by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. “Harmony” tells the story of the Comedian Harmonists, a performing troupe of Jews and Gentiles who combined close harmonies and stage antics in Germany during the 1920s and ‘30s as Nazi legislation banned Jewish performers from the country’s stages. “This show is about ‘Harmony’ in the broadest sense of the word,” Sussman observed in an interview. “And one of the ways these guys found harmony was by finding the ability to successfully collaborate with each other. That’s something that Barry and I can relate to very strongly.” (Photo: Twitter user photo)

ARTS AND CULTURE

18 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

Charles Barkley

Athlete and Broadcaster

The first black baby to be born at a segregated, all-white hospital in Leeds, Alabama, Charles Barkley went on to enjoy a glowing career as a professional basketball player in the NBA. Now working as one of the more familiar basketball pundits on television, Barkley weighed in on the 2022 controversy involving Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, who promoted an antisemitic documentary about Black-Jewish relations on social media. “You gonna insult me, you have the right, but I have the right to say, ‘You can’t take my $40 million and insult my religion,’” Barkley declared, as he criticized the league for not suspending Irving. “I think the NBA, they made a mistake. We’ve suspended people and fined people who have made homophobic slurs. And that was the right thing to do.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ARTS AND CULTURE

19 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

Alexa Alfia

TV Personality

Alexa grew up in Plano, Texas and studied at the University of Tel Aviv in Israel. She moved back to North Texas to be close to her family and ran an insurance agency with her stepmom's father. In 2022, she appeared on the hit Netflix series “Love is Blind”, getting married to fellow contestant Brennon Lemieux in a ceremony that saw the groom breaking a glass beneath his feet in accordance with Jewish tradition. (Photo: Netflix / Ser Baffo)

ARTS AND CULTURE

20 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

Social media influencer Lizzy Savetsky describes herself on her Instagram feed as a “Mom of 3 in NYC and a “proud Jew and Zionist.” She often posts about her Jewish faith, sharing a Yiddish word of the week and explaining Jewish traditions. She also showcases her daughter’s “Torah Corner.” “My spiritual connection has grown exponentially,” she said in an interview. “I didn’t see God in such a loving way when I was so dark. God’s love is so profound. I reframed my whole relationship to God.” In 2022, Savetsky became the first woman to be cast in the reboot of the “Real Housewives of New York City”. (She left the program in November after extensive antisemitic harassment.) Savetsky also helms a matchmaking series on Instagram titled “Bashert by Lizzy,” where she organizes speed dates for Jewish singles. (Photo: Instagram)

ARTS AND CULTURE

21 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

NBA icon Kanter was born in Switzerland to Turkish parents. He moved to the US as a teenager and was picked up by the Utah Jazz in the 2011 draft. Off the court, Kanter has established himself as a noted human rights activist, highlighting abuses in Turkey, China, and other authoritarian states. In November 2021, Kanter became a US citizen, adding the word “Freedom” to his name to celebrate his new status. Earlier this year, he launched a basketball camp for Muslim, Jewish and Christian children in Jerusalem, a project he said he had “long dreamed of.” “In every place we went, the people were so warm and friendly to me,” he recalled. Pledging to continue his activist and philanthropic work, which includes educating Muslims about the Holocaust, Kanter believes in the promise of America. “Here, people should feel blessed. You’ve got freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of press,” he has said. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ARTS AND CULTURE

22 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

One of Britain’s best-known dramatic performers whose titles include “A Room With A View,” “The King’s Speech” and the “Harry Potter” movie series, Helena Bonham Carter turned her talents in 2022 to the story of British Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton. In the forthcoming film “One Life,” which depicts Winton’s efforts in rescuing 600 Jewish children from the clutches of the Nazis, Bonham Carter plays Winton’s German-Jewish mother, Babi Winton. For Bonham Carter, the story carries echoes of her own life, as her maternal grandfather helped thousands of French Jews escape the Holocaust, while her British paternal grandmother campaigned against antisemitism as a volunteer air-raid warden and helped Jews from across Europe seek refuge in Britain. The title of the film borrows from the Talmud’s dictum that “Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ARTS AND CULTURE

23 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

In April 2022, Colombian singer Maluma, whose real name is Juan Luis Londoño, dedicated his concert in Tel Aviv to the victims of “violence” and “war” following a spate of terrorist attacks in Israel during the previous three weeks. “I don’t like to talk about politics. I don’t like to talk about aggression. Never. That’s not my thing. But, what I am sure of, is that love is the answer,” he told the crowd from the stage at the packed Menorah Mivtahim Arena. The occasion marked Malum’s third concert in Israel. “Of course, it always gives me great joy to come to Israel because first, women are beautiful. The women in Israel are the most beautiful that my eyes have seen,” he told an interviewer. “Second, because of the energy. I love the energy in Israel.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ARTS AND CULTURE

24 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has made no secret of his respect for the Jewish faith and his determination to oppose all expressions of antisemitism. As the High Holidays descended in 2021, Abdul-Jabbar posted a video on social media wishing his Jewish friends “g’mar chatimah tovah” in honor of Yom Kippur – which he described as “the holiest of Jewish holidays, because it asks believers to atone for their sins and seek repentance.” More recently, Abdul-Jabbar was among several basketball greats who condemned Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving for his promotion of an antisemitic documentary. “The problem of antisemitism is much bigger than Irving or Ye (Kanye West),” Abdul-Jabbar wrote. “They are merely the unwitting spokespersons for the right-wing political movement that is blatantly taking over the Republican Party.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ARTS AND CULTURE

25 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

Ken Burns

Filmmaker

Arguably the best-known documentary filmmaker in the US whose series on the Civil War won a host of awards, in 2022 Ken Burns turned to the thorny subject of the American response to the Nazi Holocaust. The result is the three-episode series “The US and the Holocaust,” which examines the US decision to restrict Jewish immigration as Hitler consolidated power in Germany as well as the reaction of ordinary Americans to revelations about concentration camps. According to Burns, by “examining events leading up to and during the Holocaust with fresh eyes, this film dispels the competing myths that Americans either were ignorant of what was happening to Jews in Europe, or that they merely looked on with callous indifference.” The reality was “much more nuanced and complicated, and the challenges that the American people confronted raise questions that remain essential to our society today,” Burns argued. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ARTS AND CULTURE

26 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

Kim Kardashian

Influencer

The former wife of hip hop star Kanye “Ye” West, celebrity icon Kim Kardashian found herself dragged into a controversy over antisemitism in 2022 with her estranged ex-husband’s antisemitic outbursts. After West revived a range of antisemitic tropes about Jewish money and power and threatened to go “death con 3 on Jewish people”, Kardashian joined other celebrity influencers in rejecting his words. “Hate speech is never OK or excusable,” Kardashian tweeted. “I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ARTS AND CULTURE

27 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

Natan Levy

Athlete

Natan Levy, the world’s only Israeli fighter competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), has spent 2022 speaking out against antisemitism and urging Jews to learn martial arts to effectively defend themselves from antisemitic attacks. In an extensive podcast interview in August, Levy also talked about his work assisting Holocaust survivors, calling on the world’s governments to provide more funds, especially for those survivors living beneath the poverty line. He explained that thinking about what Holocaust survivors had to endure during World War II put his own career into perspective, so that before stepping into the cage, he told himself, “fight as if you had an opportunity to fight for them.” Additionally, he encouraged Jewish listeners to be “proud of who you are. Never be ashamed of who and what you are. It’s a dangerous world out there, please learn self-defense and don’t let anybody tell you what you can and cannot do.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ARTS AND CULTURE

28 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

Noa Kirel

Musician

Noa Kirel is an Israeli singer, actress, and television host. She won the MTV Europe Music Awards for the best Israeli act between 2017 and 2021. As a result, in 2022 she was selected to represent Israel at next year’s Eurovision song contest. “With a decision from my heart, I'm putting everything to the side and going into this with complete faith,” she said of the honor. “I have always felt proud to represent this country.” Kirel’s first name was Noya at birth, but after being diagnosed with a serious kidney illness when she was three months old, a rabbi suggested to her parents to alter her name to Noa, so she would be able to move ('Noa' also means movement in Hebrew) as she grew. The rabbi also predicted that she would become a dancer. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ARTS AND CULTURE

29 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

Pat Boone

Musician

The 88-year-old rock ‘n’ roller, who back in the 1950s was second only to Elvis Presley in terms of status, is still performing venerable hits like “Ain’t That A Shame” and “Long Tall Sally.” These days, Boone is also a political activist, and the cause of Israel is one that is close to his heart. In a widely-shared video in 2022, Boone explained how his “Zionist convictions” had affected his life. He told the story of how he had written the words to the theme song of the classic movie “Exodus” and recounted his experience of performing a show for Israeli soldiers at the height of the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Requesting that Boone perform his hit “Speedy Gonzalez,” Boone demurred, singing the “Exodus” song instead. “I told their commander of my conviction that God was restoring the land of Israel to his people,” he said. A year later, he continued, he recounted the story to then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who told Boone, “you sang a prophecy.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ARTS AND CULTURE

30 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

Ryan Turell

Athlete

Yeshiva University’s star basketball player Ryan Turell made history in 2022 when he gave up his final year of college after being selected for the NBA draft. “My full intention is to play professional basketball next year,” Turell, who hopes to be the NBA’s first Orthodox Jewish basketball player, told an ESPN interviewer. “I want to get into as many NBA gyms as possible and show them what I can do. I’ve got to knock down shots and be a great defender and teammate.” The Los Angeles native and 6-foot-7 guard is the leading scorer in college basketball across all divisions, averaging 27.1 points, according to ESPN. He wears a kippah on the court with his YU team, the Maccabees, and plans to continue doing so if he becomes a professional athlete. “Being the first Orthodox Jew in the NBA would mean the world to me, and a dream come true, God willing,” he added. “But, just as importantly, it would mean the world to others that never saw this as a possibility.” (Photo: YouTube screenshot / Overtime)

ARTS AND CULTURE

31 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

Tom Stoppard

Playwright

One of Britain’s most celebrated playwrights, Sir Tom Stoppard’s work returned to the London stage in 2021 with the opening of “Leopoldstadt” – the 84-year-old’s “reckoning with his Jewish roots,” according to The New York Times. The play tells the story of a Jewish family experiencing prosperity in Vienna during the first half of the twentieth century after fleeing from pogroms in Eastern Europe. According to Stoppard the play "took a year to write, but the gestation was much longer. Quite a lot of it is personal to me, but I made it about a Viennese family so that it wouldn’t seem to be about me." In 2022, “Leopoldstadt” came to the New York stage, and was hailed by the New York Times as a “heart-rending epic.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

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32 .

ARTS AND CULTURE

Tyler Perry

Filmmaker

American comedian, actor, and writer Tyler Perry has starred in and won awards for numerous films and TV shows. In 2022, Perry was among the celebrities who responded with disgust to hip-hop star Kanye “Ye” West’s antisemitic outbursts. In an Instagram post, he opened up about his mother's work within the Jewish community and the longstanding ties between Jews and Blacks in the fight for civil rights. "My mother made sure that I knew the commonality of what black people and Jewish people have endured - she not only taught me about slavery but she also taught me about the Holocaust,” he wrote. “But in teaching me about all our common pains she also taught me about the allies that Jewish people have been for Black people.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

ARTS AND CULTURE

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BUSINESS

Avi Zinger

Businessman

Avi Zinger, the Israeli manufacturer and distributor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, won a major legal victory against the so-called “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) movement targeting Israel in 2022. As a result of an agreement reached in June between Zinger and Unilever, the ice cream brand’s parent company, Ben & Jerry’s will continue to be sold in Israel and the West Bank following a year of legal battling over a settlement boycott. A philanthropist who has funded initiatives to bring Jews and Arabs closer together, Zinger rejected the Ben & Jerry’s boycott because “I refuse to discriminate, and I strongly believe that boycotts are not the path to peace in the Middle East.” Once the deal was in place, Zinger spoke of a “wonderful feeling.” He said he had gathered his workers together to tell them the news and the delight on their faces “made it all worthwhile.” (Photo: Facebook video screenshot)

BUSINESS

34 .

BUSINESS

Boaz Levy

President and CEO of Israel Aircraft Industries

Boaz Levy is the president and CEO of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), a position he has held since November 2020. Levy has over thirty years of proven experience in the field of air defense missile systems and missiles, fifteen of which were spent managing major system projects. In 2022, Levy engaged in historic outreach when he showcased IAI’s achievements at the Bahrain International Airshow. “There are several opportunities to work together, share our knowledge, and develop new defense and civilian solutions with our partners in the Gulf region, and together, to create a brighter and safer future for our region,” Levy remarked. He noted that IAI had developed the first system capable of neutralizing an incoming ballistic missile, one of several systems designed to counter a new range of security threats. (Photo: Israel Aircraft Industries)

BUSINESS

35 .

BUSINESS

Ilan Greenfield

CEO of Gefen Publishing House

Ilan Greenfield was born in Israel, studied in Tel Aviv, and joined the IDF for three years as a medic in the paratroopers. Following his military service, he studied in Fullerton College and became a Zionist activist on campus in California. He joined TELEM as treasurer 1980-1982. Returning to Israel in 1982, Ilan joined his family publishing company, Gefen Publishing House, consequently rising to the position of CEO. In April 2022, Greenfield visited Washington, DC, where he presented the Ambassador of Croatia, Pjer Šimunović, with a copy of “And Every Single One Was Someone” – a 1,250-page volume that contains the word “Jew” six million times in memory of the victims of the Nazi Holocaust. (Photo: Gefen Publishing / Facebook)

BUSINESS

36 .

BUSINESS

Lachlan Murdoch

Executive Chairman and CEO of Fox Corporation

In the dynastic battle that is the Murdoch media empire, Lachlan Murdoch – eldest son of the News Corp company’s founder, Rupert – is predicted by informed pundits to be his father’s likely heir, as a result of the elder Murdoch’s desire to reunite News Corp with the Fox Corporation, parent company of Fox News. Such a merger would likely see a significant expansion of Lachlan’s responsibilities. Politically, he is likely to maintain a continuity with his father’s conservative views, recently defending Fox News against claims that its programming is too divisive. "I think the world is more divided and on edge than it has been, you know, for a very long time," Murdoch said in recent interview. "I think on the noise around it, so much of it is politicized, and so you've got to be tough about it." (Photo: courtesy)

BUSINESS

37 .

BUSINESS

Peter Limbourg

Broadcasting Director of Deutsche Welle

When a scandal involving antisemitic social media posts by several of its Arabic-language journalists struck German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) in late 2021, its director, Peter Limbourg, moved to act decisively. Two months later, the journalists were terminated following an internal investigation. “The mere suspicion that there is antisemitism in a German taxpayer-financed institution must be unbearable for Jews in this country and worldwide,” Limbourg said afterwards. “We have to make our position much clearer in the future. Freedom of expression is never a justification for antisemitism, hatred of Israel and denial of the Holocaust.” In a separate blow to antisemitic agitation in the Arabic media, Limbourg also severed ties between DW and Roya TV, a broadcaster in Jordan, over the latter’s inclusion of virulently antisemitic images and slogans in its social media feeds. In Sept. 2022, Limbourg oversaw the introduction of a new code of conduct for DW journalists which requires them to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

BUSINESS

38 .

COMMUNITY

Alyza Lewin

President of the Louis D. Brandeis Center

Alyza Lewin is the President of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law (“LDB”), a non-profit organization established to advance the civil and human rights of the Jewish people and promote justice for all. The Brandeis Center conducts research, education and legal advocacy to combat the resurgence of antisemitism on college and university campuses. In 2022, she led the litigation team that represented Avi Zinger, the Israeli licensee of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, in the lawsuit that Mr. Zinger filed against Unilever to prevent Ben & Jerry’s boycott of Israel. Lewin negotiated a successful resolution to that matter, enabling Zinger to retain the right in perpetuity to sell Ben & Jerry’s ice cream everywhere in Israel and the territories using Hebrew and Arabic logos. She began her law career in Israel where she clerked on the Supreme Court for Deputy President Justice Menachem Elon. In 2020, Lewin was awarded with the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (AAJLJ) distinguished Pursuit of Justice Award. (Photo: Israel Hayom)

COMMUNITY

39 .

COMMUNITY

Arsen Ostrovsky

CEO of The International Legal Forum

Arsen Ostrovsky is a leading human rights attorney and CEO of The International Legal Forum (ILF), an Israel-based NGO with a global network of over 4,000 lawyers and activists, standing up for Israel and leading the fight against Antisemitism, BDS and terror in the international legal arena.

ILF has been at the forefront of some of the most significant legal battles for Israel this past year, including successfully taking on Ben & Jerry's, Amnesty and the hypocrisy and lies of the United Nations. In a landmark case, ILF has just filed the first civil rights legal claim against UC Berkeley, following their unprecedented attempt to exclude Jewish and Zionist students from campus activities.

As one of the most prominent voices in the pro-Israel community and experts on international law, Arsen regularly addresses the UN Human Rights Council, and speaks before parliaments across Europe and audiences in North America. He also has a digital media reach in the millions of users on Twitter alone. In 2018, Arsen was awarded the Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion prize for his ‘Israel Advocacy’. (Photo: courtesy)

COMMUNITY

40 .

COMMUNITY

Dani Dayan

Chairman of Yad Vashem

A former Israeli Consul-General in New York, Dani Dayan is the chairperson of Yad Vashem, Israel’s national memorial to the Holocaust. In an interview with The Algemeiner shortly after taking up the post, Dayan identified “two different problems, trivialization and distortion of the Holocaust” that were impacting the Jewish community today. “The nature of today’s distortion is to recognize that the Holocaust occurred, but to say as well, ‘my fellow countrymen were okay,’” Dayan observed. “We hear this from the Poles, from the Ukrainians, the French, the Dutch — but they were not okay. This is the kind of distortion that we are determined to combat.” Born in Argentina, Dayan hails from a Ukrainian Jewish family that emigrated during the 1920s. (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky / Yad Vashem)

COMMUNITY

41 .

COMMUNITY

Claudio Luiz Lottenberg

President of the Brazilian Israelite Confederation

Claudio Lottenberg, an ophthalmologist by training, is the president of the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, the main organization representing the Jewish community in Brazil. Lottenberg has also served as a vice president of the World Jewish Congress and as a special advisor to that organization’s president. During a politically turbulent 2022 in Brazil, which saw former far left President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva defeat the present far right incumbent, Jair Bolsonaro, Lottenberg counseled caution. “President Lula, we wish you great success in your four-year term,” he said after the result was announced. “At the same time, we reiterate our permanent availability for constructive and democratic dialogue." (Photo: Brazil Journal)

COMMUNITY

42 .

COMMUNITY

Eric Cohen

Executive Director of the Tikvah Fund

Eric Cohen is the Executive Director of the Tikvah Fund, a non-profit ideas institution committed to supporting the intellectual, religious, and political leaders of the Jewish people and the Jewish State. He was the founder and remains editor-at-large of the New Atlantis, and he serves as the publisher of the Jewish Review of Books and Mosaic. He was previously managing editor of the Public Interest and served as a senior consultant to the President’s Council on Bioethics. Cohen currently serves on the board of directors of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the Witherspoon Institute, National Affairs, and on the Editorial Advisory Board of First Things. (Photo: Tikvah Fund)

COMMUNITY

43 .

COMMUNITY

Gil Hoffman

Executive Director of Honest Reporting

The former chief political correspondent of The Jerusalem Post, Gil Hoffman was appointed as Executive Director of Honest Reporting – an Israel-based NGO combating media disinformation about Israel and Zionism – in May 2022. Hoffman was born and educated in the US, graduating magna cum laude from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. He brings to Honest Reporting nearly 25 years of experience as the leading English language political journalist in Israel. “Strong democracies rely upon a sound press, and I believe my experience will help Honest Reporting assist journalists, as well as help people to better understand how to critically read the news as it relates to Israel,” Hoffman said upon taking up the post. (Photo: Marc Israel Sellem)

COMMUNITY

44 .

COMMUNITY

Howard Kohr and Betsy Korn

CEO and President of AIPAC

The CEO and President, respectively, of the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) – the main lobbying group for Israel in Washington, DC – Howard Kohr and Betsy Korn have been busy shoring up support for Israel in an increasingly fragmented American political scene. “This is no moment for the pro-Israel movement to become selective about its friends,” they wrote in a letter to supporters in March 2022. “The one thing that guarantees Israel’s ability to defend itself is the enduring support of the United States. When we launched our political action committee last year, we decided that we would base decisions about political contributions on only one thing: whether a political candidate supports the US-Israel relationship.” (Photo: courtesy AIPAC and Reuters)

COMMUNITY

45 .

COMMUNITY

Ted Deutch

Lawyer and Former Congressman

Ted Deutch, a lifelong Jewish and pro-Israel activist, assumed the role of CEO of American Jewish Committee (AJC) on October 1, 2022. He joined AJC following more than 12 years as a Democrat in the US Congress representing Broward and Palm Beach Counties in Florida. In Congress, Deutch served as chair of the House Ethics Committee, a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, and a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, on which he served as chair of the Middle East, North Africa, and Global Counterterrorism Subcommittee. He collaborated closely with members on both sides of the aisle to advance the security interests of the United States, Israel, and their allies, authoring legislation advancing US-Israel cooperation in energy, agriculture, technology and trade, and fighting back against efforts to delegitimize Israel at the United Nations. One of his goals at AJC is to enable “high school kids all across the country to be able to participate in advocacy training which will make them stronger advocates... That’s now an ongoing focus of AJC.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

COMMUNITY

46 .

COMMUNITY

Moshe Hauer

Rabbi and Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union

Rabbi Moshe Hauer joined the Orthodox Union (OU) as its Executive Vice President on May 1, 2020. In this role he serves as the organization’s rabbinic leader, heading its communal-oriented efforts and serving as its professional religious/policy leader and primary spokesman. Prior to joining the OU, Rabbi Hauer served as the senior Rabbi of the Bnai Jacob Shaarei Zion Congregation in Baltimore, MD for 26 years, where he was active in local communal leadership. Rabbi Hauer is an active teacher of Torah who led a leadership training program for rabbis and communal leader and was a founding editor of the online journal Klal Perspectives. Rabbi Hauer received his rabbinic ordination and doctor of Talmudic law from Ner Israel. He received his Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University. (Photo: Baltimore Jewish Times)

COMMUNITY

47 .

COMMUNITY

"My heart was just really, really just struggling to watch this situation unfold: Another Jewish institution and specifically a synagogue that's being attacked," said Rabbi Daniel Septimus, the CEO of Shalom Austin, after an Islamist assailant took a rabbi and three worshipers hostage at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas on January 15, 2022. Police killed the armed hostage-taker at the scene with no other casualties, but the incident left a traumatic legacy for the community. "It just resurfaces that antisemitism is only on the rise in the United States and around the globe," Septimus told NBC. "I think for us, it's how we constantly respond to it proactively and reactively and how we as a community come together with other communities outside the Jewish community to stand in solidarity, to fight against it." (Photo: Shalom Austin)

COMMUNITY

48 .

COMMUNITY

Israel Tapoohi

President and CEO of Birthright Israel Foundation

Israel “Izzy” Tapoohi is the president and CEO of Birthright Israel Foundation, the non-profit housing the organization that sends young Jews on free trips to Israel. An Australian who emigrated to Israel with his family in 1979, Tapoohi has spent the last six years working for Birthright. He has held a number of key advisory positions, including two stints working for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In a recent podcast, Tapoohi reflected that his duty at Birthright is to “help and assist the Jewish community outside of Israel to better understand, better love Israel.” (Photo: Youtube screenshot / Mosaico na TV)

COMMUNITY

49 .

COMMUNITY

Jillian Segal

President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry

Jillian Segal is the president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ). A professional company director with a legal and regulatory background and private and public sector experience, she has held numerous public positions in Australia, including as chair of the General Sir John Monash Foundation, Australia’s national postgraduate educational scholarship organization, and chair of the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce. In 2022, Segal mobilized against the Australian government’s decision to backtrack on its commitment to moving its Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Arguing that the decision had been driven by media pressure, Segal emphasized that “the status of Jerusalem is an important foreign policy issue, and it is demeaning for Australia to have its international position changed in such a shoddy manner.”
(Photo: World Jewish Congress)

COMMUNITY

50 .

COMMUNITY

Julie Platt

Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America

In June 2022, Julie Platt was unanimously confirmed as the incoming Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America, becoming only the second woman to hold the position. Among the many areas she will focus on are Jewish communal security, investing in the lay and professional talent pipelines across the Federation system, including the role of women in leadership, and continuing to strengthen Jewish Federations as an innovative platform focused on building flourishing Jewish life in North America and around the world. “As community leaders, parents of five children and now grandparents of six, there is nothing more important to my husband and me than the responsibility to build a Jewish home that is vibrant, safe, warm and welcoming and that serves as a model for the next generation,” said Platt, a veteran supporter of several Jewish communal organizations, upon her appointment. (Photo: Jewish Federation of Greater Portland)

COMMUNITY

51 .

COMMUNITY

Sammy Ghozlan

President of National Vigilance Bureau for Countering Antisemitism

At the age of 77, former Paris police officer Sammy Ghozlan remains at the helm of the National Vigilance Bureau for Countering Antisemitism (BNVCA), a non-profit organization assisting French Jewish victims of antisemitism. Ghozlan has been a trenchant critic of what he regards as the reluctance of the French authorities to take action against antisemitic crime, despite a yearly increase in France. Always attentive to the disproportionate involvement of French Muslims in antisemitic outrages, in January 2022 Ghozlan called on the French government to abandon plans to grant political asylum to two Moroccan social media activists who trafficked in antisemitism. “It is inconceivable and unacceptable that influencers who advocate hatred and join the antisemitic movement benefit from the right of asylum in France,” he declared. (Photo: Youtube screenshot)

COMMUNITY

52 .

GOVERNMENT

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

President of Egypt

Lauded by some observers as a pragmatic moderate and by others as a dictator with a poor human rights record, Egypt’s strongman ruler Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has made clear his intention to strengthen relations with neighboring Israel. In particular, el-Sisi wants to strengthen the commercial and economic ties that enjoyed a boost in 2022 when, in a bid to stave off an energy crisis stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Israel and Egypt reached an agreement with the EU for the provision of natural gas to the bloc. In November, el-Sisi met with US President Joe Biden on the fringes of the COP 27 Summit in Sharm-el-Sheikh, with Biden stressing the long-standing “common understanding” between the two countries. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

GOVERNMENT

53 .

GOVERNMENT

Abdullah bin Zayed

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates. In Sept. 2022, bin Zayed marked the second anniversary of the historic “Abraham Accords” with Israel with a visit to the Jewish state. Highlighting the positive impact of the accords on global issues including climate change, science and technology, health care and food and water security, bin Zayed said they were already “changing the narrative and developing new frameworks for co-operation and dialogue.” The foreign minister also visited Yad Vashem, Israel’s national memorial to the Holocaust in Jerusalem, warning against "extremism, hate speech and violence." (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

GOVERNMENT

54 .

GOVERNMENT

Alejandro Giammattei

President of Guatemala

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei became the first Latin American leader to visit Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February 2022 when he landed in Kyiv. During his stay in Ukraine, he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and traveled to the town of Bucha, the site of a horrific massacre of nearly 500 Ukrainian civilians by Russian forces in March, where he called on the international community not to “observe passively.” The trip to Ukraine was in keeping with Giammattei’s foreign policy activism; two years ago, the Guatemalan leader confirmed that his country’s Embassy in Israel would remain in Jerusalem, while he has also outlawed Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed, Lebanon-based Shi’a terrorist organization that has bolstered its activities in Latin America in recent decades. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

GOVERNMENT

55 .

GOVERNMENT

Asaf Zamir

Ambassador and Consul General in New York

Ambassador Asaf Zamir is the Consul General of Israel in New York, representing the State of Israel to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Delaware, a post he took up in October 2021. His prior posts include a term as Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv and Israel’s Minister of Tourism. Born in 1980, Zamir spent his formative years living with his family in Florida, before returning to Israel to finish his schooling. After graduating from high school, he completed his national service in the Israel Defense Forces, as part of the central control unit in the Israeli Air Force. Upon completion of his national service, Zamir began his higher education at Tel Aviv University, where he received a law degree. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

GOVERNMENT

56 .

GOVERNMENT

Aviv Kochavi

Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces

Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi is the Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, a position he has held since 2019. In 2022, Kochavi was among the seven recipients of the prestigious Ben Gurion Award of Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva. In a recent speech, Kochavi quoted the observation of Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, that “A Jewish state was established, and its fate is in the hands of the security forces.” Declared Kochavi: “Without any exaggeration, ‘its fate is in the hands of the security forces.’ You are the security forces, you are its fate.” He added that the IDF operates on “the basic principle of ‘We defend the citizens of Israel, and we determine its fate along the borders, [it] doesn’t matter whether it is a campaign in the north or in Gaza.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

GOVERNMENT

57 .

GOVERNMENT

Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister-Elect of Israel

Following his success in the Israeli elections of November 2022, Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu once again assumed the role of the country’s prime minister, cementing his status as the longest-serving politician in that position. “I intend to be the prime minister of all,” he said after being informed of his mandate to form a government. “Of those who elected me, and of those who did not elect me. We are brothers and we are meant to live side by side.” As he returns to the business of governing, Netanyahu faces a febrile international situation that includes the threats to Israel posed by Iran and its allies in the Middle East and around the world, as well as a potentially difficult relationship with the US Administration, which has made its objections known to the prospect of far-right Israeli politicians entering his coalition. (Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun)

GOVERNMENT

58 .

GOVERNMENT

Benny Gantz

Defense Minister

Benny Gantz is Israel's outgoing Defense Minister and the head of the Blue and White Party. In a distinguished military career, Gantz – who was brought up on a moshav in the south of Israel – has served as the IDF’s chief of staff, as well as commander of Israel’s reserve divisions in the north and as military attaché to the US. In 1989, Gantz oversaw the Operation Solomon airlift of nearly 15,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel. As he and former prime minister Yair Lapid prepared to leave government following Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory in the November 2022 elections, Gantz issued a curt warning to Iran that Israel’s plans to strike the Tehran regime’s nuclear facilities were more advanced now than at any other time since 2012, during his four-year stint as the IDF’s leading officer. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

GOVERNMENT

59 .

GOVERNMENT

David Barnea

Director of the Mossad

Since becoming the Director of Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service, in June 2021, David Barnea has repeatedly emphasized the threat that Iran poses to Israel’s existence. In August 2022, Barnea was reported to have told colleagues that a revival of the 2015 international nuclear deal with the Iranian regime would amount to a “strategic disaster” for Israel. “The agreement is a bad deal that gives Iran a license to manufacture a bomb,” he reportedly commented. Barnea also pledged that Israel would respond accordingly. “The Mossad is committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,” he said. “The agreement does not apply to Israel, nor does the freedom of action to continue operating.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

GOVERNMENT

60 .

GOVERNMENT

Gilad Erdan

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations

2022 has been a busy year for Gilad Erdan, the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, with both pressing international issues, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and regional concerns, particularly around Iran’s destabilization efforts in the Middle East. Like other Israeli envoys before him, Erdan has also had to push back against attempts to delegitimize Israel within the UN, most recently an international commission of enquiry dismissed by the Jewish state as a “kangaroo court” that defames Israel as an “apartheid” state. In a riposte to a group of Harvard University lawyers who applied the designation to Israel, Erdan said the authors “don’t care about the oppression of women, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community in the areas run by the Palestinian Authority. They decided to delegitimize the Jewish state because of their antisemitic views.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

GOVERNMENT

61 .

GOVERNMENT

Joe Biden

President of the United States

As the much-anticipated “red wave” of Republican Party support in the November 2022 US midterm elections failed to materialize, the future started to look brighter for US President Joe Biden, who has been struggling with poor personal ratings. Biden has not confirmed that he will run again in 2024, but the Democratic Party’s midterms showing, in which it retained control of the Senate, is thought to make that prospect more likely. A long-established and firm friend of the US Jewish community, Biden spoke out against rising antisemitism on several occasions during 2022, telling visiting Israeli President Isaac Herzog in October that he condemned the “persistent scourge of antisemitism, including anti-Israel bias in international fora” such as the UN. (Photo: Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)

GOVERNMENT

62 .

GOVERNMENT

Kevin McCarthy

Congressman

The representative in the US Congress of California’s 23rd District and the Republican Leader in the US House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy is seeking confirmation as Speaker in the wake of the GOP’s electoral takeover of the House in the November 2022 US midterms. A stalwart ally of Israel, McCarthy received the 2022 Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Defender of Israel Award from the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). McCarthy has also been a vocal opponent of US and international efforts to revive the 2015 international nuclear deal with the Iranian regime, arguing that the US needs to boost energy production to lessen its dependence on authoritarian regimes. “Why would you take the billions of dollars you provide to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and just give it to another dictator that funds terrorism around the world with Iran and Venezuela?” he asked pointedly in a March 2022 interview with CNBC. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

GOVERNMENT

63 .

GOVERNMENT

Lorenzo Rodríguez

Mayor of the village Castrillo Matajudios

The mayor of the village of Castrillo Mota de Judíos — which translates as “Jews Hill Camp” — in the northern Spanish province of Burgos, Lorenzo Rodríguez has been in the spotlight since 2014, when the village changed its name from Matajudíos, which means “Kill Jews,” to the more benign “Mota de Judíos,” reputed to have been the town’s original name when it was founded by a group of Sephardic Jews in the 11th century. During the last year, antisemitic vandals have targeted the village on two occasions, but Rodríguez has remained unbowed. “The perpetrators will not succeed in getting us to abandon our objective, which is restoring Castrillo’s Jewish memory,” Rodriguez said following an incident in August. “Truth and courage always beat hatred and cowardice. We will never kneel." (Photo: Youtube screenshot / AP)

GOVERNMENT

64 .

GOVERNMENT

Narendra Modi

Prime Minister of India

Seven years into his tenure as Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi continues to promote his country’s partnership with Israel as a central plank of his foreign policy. In the process, Modi has developed warm personal relationships with Israel’s political leaders. Following Israel’s general election in November 2020, Modi paid tribute to outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid with a tweet in Hebrew. "I hope to continue our fruitful exchange of ideas for the mutual benefit of our peoples,” he wrote, before congratulating Benjamin Netanyahu on his victory. “I look forward to continuing our joint efforts to deepen the India-Israel strategic partnership,” he wrote. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

GOVERNMENT

65 .

GOVERNMENT

Rishi Sunak

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

The fifth Conservative Party Prime Minister in the UK in the space of six years, and the third to have obtained the post without an election, Rishi Sunak faces a formidable task. The first person of color to lead a European state, Sunak is a US-educated former banker who previously served as Britain’s finance minister. Sunak is a strong supporter of Israel who has argued that Jerusalem is “indisputably the historic capital” of the Jewish state. His attitude to the Jewish community is equally positive. "Although they have always been a small percentage of the population, British Jews have shone in almost every field,” he has said. “They have become our doctors, philosophers, inventors, musicians, writers, leaders, role models, parliamentarians and even” – referring to Benjamin Disraeli – “one of our prime ministers.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

GOVERNMENT

66 .

GOVERNMENT

Ron DeSantis

Governor of Florida

After his crushing electoral victory in the November 2022 US midterm elections, all eyes are now on Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and his future intentions. At the former naval commander’s election party, which celebrated his triumph among Latino, Jewish and other traditionally Democratic voters, supporters chanted “two more years!”, encouraging DeSantis to run for the US Presidency in 2024. A fervent advocate of closer ties between the US and Israel, DeSantis has promised to be “the most pro-Israel governor in America,” pushing trade and commercial opportunities and vigorously opposing efforts to subject Israel to an economic boycott. He is also seeking Jewish support for his crusade against “woke” ideology and critical race theory, telling the June 2022 Tikvah Fund Jewish Leadership Conference that “we are not going to teach kids to hate our country.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

GOVERNMENT

67 .

GOVERNMENT

Sebastian Kurz

Former Chancellor of Austria

Sebastian Kurz is the co-chair of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, a non-governmental body that promotes understanding between peoples of various ethnic origin, educates on techniques of reconciliation, monitors bigotry and proposes pro-tolerance initiatives and legal solutions. Previously, Kurz served two terms as the Chancellor of Austria, in 2017-19 and again from 2020-21. As the youngest Chancellor in Austrian history, Kurz sought to present a new face for the country, speaking out strongly against antisemitism and affirming that the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in 1938 was a traumatic event that “guides my work today.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

GOVERNMENT

68 .

GOVERNMENT

Simcha Eichenstein

New York Assemblyman

Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein has represented New York’s 48th Assembly District, which includes the neighborhoods of Borough Park and Midwood in Brooklyn, since 2018. Before his election, Simcha served on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s legislative affairs team in Albany, and as part of the mayor’s senior intergovernmental staff at City Hall. At a time when antisemitic hate crimes have risen precipitously in New York, Eichenstein has continually called out the hatred while promoting reconciliation. Eichenstein’s legislative successes include the passage of a bill instructing New York State to publish a list of banks that waive fees on Holocaust reparation payments. (Photo: New York Assembly)

GOVERNMENT

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GOVERNMENT

Steny Hoyer

Congressman

Veteran Democratic Party congressman Steny Hoyer has represented Maryland’s 5th congressional district since 1981. A progressive on domestic issues ranging from gun control to reproductive rights, Hoyer has been an unabashed supporter of Israel throughout his career, breaking ranks with many in his party in 2018 when he backed the US decision to move its embassy in the Jewish state from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In Feb. 2022, Hoyer led a delegation of Democratic congressional representatives to Israel in his capacity as House Majority Leader. In March, Hoyer’s efforts led the House to pass the Israel Relations Normalization Act, which commits the US to supporting diplomatic initiatives that build on the Abraham Accords through peace agreements between Israel and its neighbors. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

GOVERNMENT

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GOVERNMENT

Volodymr Zelensky

President of Ukraine

The president of Ukraine has arguably become the best-known Jewish politician in the world, emerging as a symbol of his country’s resistance to the Russian invasion last February. Defamed as the leader of a “neo-Nazi” government by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, Zelensky has spoken proudly of his Jewish origins and of the role played by Ukraine’s Jewish community in Ukraine’s humanitarian and military efforts. One point of tension, however, has been Israel, which has disappointed Zelensky by electing not to provide the government in Kyiv with military aid. “Listen to what is sounding now in Moscow. Hear how these words are said again: ‘Final solution,’” he told a special session of the Knesset in March. “Everyone in Israel knows that your missile defense is the best,” he continued. “And you can definitely help us protect our lives, the lives of Ukrainians, the lives of Ukrainian Jews.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

GOVERNMENT

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INNOVATION

Yoram Palti

Professor and Biophysicist

A professor at Israel’s prestigious Technion in Haifa, Yoram Palti was awarded the 2022 Israel Prize in the Field of Entrepreneurship and Technological Innovation for his work in developing a groundbreaking treatment that fights various types of cancers using electric pulses. “This breakthrough required thinking outside the box and required Prof. Palti to face and change existing beliefs and perceptions in the field,” the panel which gave the award observed. Congratulating Palti on Twitter, Israel’s Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Bitton observed that his “achievements are a source of great pride for the State of Israel and inspiration for the younger generations.” (Photo: Novocure)

INNOVATION

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INNOVATION

Ronit Satchi-Fainaro

Director of the Cancer Biology Research Center

Ronit Satchi-Fainaro is one of Israel’s most renowned scientists, thanks to her achievements in cancer research. She has been working at Tel Aviv University for 15 years, as a professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology of the Faculty of Medicine, and as Director of the Cancer Biology Research Center. Her recent achievements include the development of a 3D model based on a patient’s cancer cells, enabling drugs to be safely tested before being prescribed. This breakthrough closely followed her identification of the protein responsible for the mechanism behind the formation of brain cancer. Widely recognized abroad as well as in Israel, Satchi-Fainaro won the 2021 American Foundation for Cancer Research Prize, while in 2022 she was listed as number 24 out of 50 on Forbes business magazine's list of Israel's most influential women. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

INNOVATION

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PHILANTHROPY

Jan Koum

Businessman

With an estimated net worth of $7.5 billion, Ukrainian-American businessman Jan Koum has poured his fortune into philanthropic efforts, with many Jewish and Israeli causes reaping the benefits. Prior to November’s midterms, Koum donated $2 million to AIPAC's efforts to get pro-Israel Democrats elected. Over the last two years, Koum has donated some $140 million to approximately 70 different Jewish groups. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Koum has donated tens of millions of dollars to Jewish organizations in eastern Europe. He is also a donor to US Friends of the IDF; Campus Coalition – an umbrella group of Jewish organizations fighting anti-Israel propaganda on college campuses; and the Maccabee Task Force, which is also taking on anti-Israel propaganda at US universities and colleges. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

PHILANTHROPY

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PHILANTHROPY

Justine Zwerling

Head of Primary Markets for the London Stock Exchange

Justine Zwerling is the head of primary markets for the London Stock Exchange and the founder of the Jewish Women’s Business Network. In her job for the stock exchange, she supports Israeli companies listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Italian Stock Exchange. She also hosts the Israeli Sovereign Bonds in London. Zwerling is also a founding member of the UAE-Israel Business Council and the Gulf-Israel UK Women's Business Forum. After completing her academic studies in the UK, she traveled to Israel to study for a master's degree in Middle Eastern history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1995. Zwerling made Aliyah the following year. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

PHILANTHROPY

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PHILANTHROPY

Chella Safra

Treasurer of the World Jewish Congress

Chella Safra was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1951 and lives in São Paulo, Brazil. Chella and her late husband Moise have supported support numerous Jewish organizations in Brazil, the United States, Israel, and around the world, as well as being benefactors of many educational, medical, research, artistic and religious causes globally. She is a member of the Executive Board and the Consulting Board of Karen Hayesod of São Paulo, a founding member of Americas Amicas, an NGO dedicated to increasing breast cancer awareness and early detection among disadvantaged women in Brazil, and a member of Friends of the Israel Museum among other activities. She currently serves as treasurer of the World Jewish Congress (WJC). (Photo: World Jewish Congress / Doron Ritter)

PHILANTHROPY

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PHILANTHROPY

Ronald Lauder

President of the World Jewish Congress

Ronald Lauder is an American businessman, billionaire, philanthropist and art collector, and the president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), a position he has held since 2007. Before November’s US Midterm elections, the New York Times observed that Lauder had become the “most prolific state political donor in memory,” pouring funds into Republican Party campaigns, including an $11 million donation to Lee Zeldin’s ultimately unsuccessful run for governor. Lauder continues to devote much of his fortune to Jewish causes, with the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation supporting Jewish kindergartens, schools and youth centers in Europe as an investment in the future of Jewish life on the continent. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

PHILANTHROPY

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RELIGION

Avi Schick

Lawyer

Avi Schick is a partner at New York law firm Troutman Pepper. He spent a decade as a senior New York State government official, serving as deputy attorney general and then as president of the state’s economic development agency. He has litigated important religious liberty cases, including the challenges to New York’s restrictions on houses of worship and its regulation of religious and independent schools. He has written about religion and the law for the New York TimesWall Street Journal, the New Republic, and Slate.(Photo: Troutman Pepper)

RELIGION

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RELIGION

The imam of the municipal mosque in the Paris suburb of Drancy, Hassen Chalghoumi has established a reputation as a stalwart opponent of antisemitism, often at the risk to his own safety. In October 2022, Chalghoumi was forced to hide in an anteroom at the mosque as police officers swooped in to arrest an armed assailant who was allegedly planning to attack the imam. “I’ve been living under police protection for years, I’m getting used to these situations but I’m still shocked,” he said afterwards. “But they won’t scare me, I won’t stop my fight.” In May, Chalghoumi expressed support for a French court decision that found an imam in the city of Toulouse guilty of antisemitic incitement. “We don’t need to bring this Israeli-Palestinian conflict back here, to Toulouse,” Chalghoumi remarked, as he condemned propaganda dressed as religious belief that “brings back hatred and division.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

RELIGION

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RELIGION

Miriam Anzovin

Writer and Artist

Miriam Anzovin is a writer, visual artist, and TikTok creator, exploring the juxtaposition of pop culture, nerd culture, and Jewish culture. Her work as a Jewish learning influencer and content creator encourages her audience to engage with Jewish literature, history, and tradition in creative and dynamic ways authentic to each individual, no matter their level of knowledge, belief, or observance. She is the first artist in residence at Moishe House, a global organization bringing Judaism to life for young adults throughout the world. Previously, Miriam was the host of “The Vibe of the Tribe” podcast, where she interviewed authors, rabbis, artists, activists, comedians, educators, athletes, chefs and political commentators. (Photo: MiriamAnzovin.com)

RELIGION

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RELIGION

Moshe Azman

Rabbi of Brodsky Synagogue in Kyiv

Throughout 2022, Moshe Reuven Azman, Chief Rabbi of Ukraine, has urged Jews in Ukraine and abroad to throw their support behind the democratic government in Kyiv as it confronts invading Russian forces. The 55-year-old Azman, who was born in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, has also warned that the Russian government might actively prevent Jews from departing, as was the case during the Soviet era. “I was in the Soviet Union and tried for many years to go to Israel,” he said. “Therefore, when everything closes, it will be difficult to leave. The rhetoric in Russia is very dangerous, worse than the Soviet Union.” In October, Azman joined with the commander in chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhny, to blow the shofar in honor of Rosh Hashana. Zaluzhny told Azman that Ukraine was “deeply grateful for the treatment of our wounded soldiers in Israel and the humanitarian aid provided.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

RELIGION

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RELIGION

Moshe Kotlarsky

Vice Chairman of Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch

Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky is the director of the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries and vice chairman of Merkos L’lnyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Rabbi Kotlarsky travels the globe establishing Jewish centers for the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, becoming known as “Judaism’s Globe Trotter” in the process. In many countries he is the public face of Chabad, visiting heads of state and opening new Chabad centers worldwide. (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

RELIGION

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RELIGION

In May 2022, after three months of exile from his home, Rabbi Moshe Moskovitz returned to the city of Kharkiv in Ukraine. “My husband has been hugged about a million times today,” his wife Miriam, who remained in Israel, disclosed in an interview the day Moskowitz arrived back in the city following the withdrawal of Russian troops. In an interview with CBS, the rabbi recalled the arrival of Russian troops. "In the morning, they started bombing next to the house and just went on, the bombs and the noise, and the building was shaking,” said Moskovitz, who has served the Jewish community in Kharkiv since 1990 alongside 200 other Chabad emissaries across Ukraine. (Photo: Youtube screenshot / JewishKharkov)

RELIGION

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RELIGION

Pinchas Goldschmidt

Chief Rabbi of Moscow

After nearly 30 years as the chief rabbi of Moscow, Pinchas Goldschmidt resigned from his post in July 2022 as a protest against the Russian regime’s invasion of Ukraine. In a statement announcing his decision, Goldschmidt remarked that as “the terrible war against Ukraine unfolded over the last few months, I could not remain silent, viewing so much human suffering, I went to assist the refugees in Eastern Europe and spoke out against the war.” In an interview with German broadcaster DW in early June, Goldschmidt noted that a “significant part” of the Jewish community had left Russia as a result of the invasion, adding that “the other significant part thinks about it.” (Photo: Wikimedia / Creative Commons License)

RELIGION

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RELIGION

An American Haredi rabbi best known as the general editor of ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications, Nosson Scherman was born in 1935 and raised in Newark, New Jersey, where his parents ran a small grocery store. Since its foundation in the mid-1970s, the company has produced more than 700 books, including novels, history books, children's books, and secular textbooks. It is now one of the largest publishers of Jewish books in the United States. In May 2022, Scherman expressed fear that members of the Orthodox community in New York could face imprisonment under new regulations whereby local school districts will determine whether non-public schools are meeting the standards of “substantial equivalence” to public schools. “Parents will be subjected to prison,” Scherman claimed in an interview. “They’ll be considered keeping their children for a truant, unless they switch them out of the schools that the state disapproves of.” (Photo: Youtube screenshot)

RELIGION

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RELIGION

The chairman of the educational arm of the Chabad movement, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky began his career as an emissary of the legendary Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson. “Today, in my estimation, Chabad-Lubavitch is the largest Jewish organization in the world,” Krinsky said in a recent interview. “You have over 3,500 Batei Chabad [Chabad Houses] all over the world, and along with spreading Torah and mitzvot, our people save people in natural disasters. They save non-Jews, too.” (Photo: Chabad)

RELIGION

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TOMORROW

Alex Bernat

Student

Harvard University sophomore Alex Bernat has become one of the elite Ivy League institution’s most visible and vocal advocates on behalf of Israel and Zionism. Writing for the Harvard Crimson in May 2022, a few days after the Harvard newspaper endorsed the so-called “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) movement targeting Israel, Bernat stated that to “single out Israel for economic, academic, technological and cultural boycott is to single out the Jewish people.” More recently, Bernat voiced concern over the invitation to Mohammed el-Kurd, a controversial Palestinian activist who has been accused of “blatant” antisemitism by campus Jewish groups, to speak at the Harvard campus. “I think it’s high time that the Harvard administration take a more vocal stance against antisemitic acts on campus,” Bernat told The Algemeiner. (Photo: Github)

TOMORROW

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TOMORROW

Keren Hajioff

Spokeswoman to Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid

UK-born Keren Hajioff has undergone a meteoric rise in her public profile since moving to Israel at the age of 19. Formerly the head of social media for the IDF’s international spokesperson’s unit, overseeing content in English, French and Spanish, Hajioff has since become an adviser to two Israeli prime ministers – Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid. In a 2022 interview, Hajioff spoke of her “great pride in coming from such a strong and vibrant Jewish community in the UK and am grateful to it for having shaped me into the person I am today.” She added that “serving the State of Israel will forever be a privilege.” The “proud granddaughter of Iranian Jewish refugees,” as she describes herself, she was raised in the Finchley area of London, where she attended the local United Synagogue with her family, went to Hasmonean High School, and participated in the Bnei Akiva youth group. (Photo: Twitter)

TOMORROW

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TOMORROW

Natalie Kahn

Student

The president of Harvard Hillel and associate news editor for the Harvard Crimson, Natalie Kahn was in no doubt as to what she should do when the newspaper published an editorial in April 2022 endorsing the so-called “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) movement targeting Israel. “I am first and foremost a Jew; and in light of the role Israel plays in my people’s history as our homeland and haven from persecution, I am a Zionist, and I stand with Israel,” she wrote in an op-ed for the paper. Responding to queries as to whether she would quit her role at the paper, Kahn answered: “I have no intention of quitting.” While Israel “is not perfect, nor is any other country,” she wrote, the Crimson’s decision to support BDS neglected “our half of the story — and by extension our right to self-determination — while claiming to ‘oppose antisemitism.’” (Photo: Twitter)

TOMORROW

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VOICES

Adam Bellow

Executive Editor

Adam Bellow is the executive editor of Bombardier Books. The son of celebrated novelist Saul Bellow, Adam is a 1980 graduate of Princeton University. Frequently profiled and interviewed on trends in conservative publishing, his essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Atlantic Monthly, New York Magazine, National Review, Talk, LA Times, World Affairs and many other publications. His books include “In Praise of Nepotism: A History of Family Enterprise from King David to George W. Bush (Doubleday 2003) and “New Threats to Freedom” (ed.)(Templeton 2010). Most recently, he is the founder of “Wicked Son,” a publishing imprint focused on books that grapple with big questions, advance unconventional views, and promote greater Jewish engagement with history, culture and ideas. (Photo: Center for Integral Wisdom)

VOICES

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VOICES

Bari Weiss

Writer and Podcaster

The editor of “Common Sense” and the host of the “Honestly” podcast, Bari Weiss is practically a household name, admired in the US and around the world for her interventions on rising antisemitism and the growing polarization of our political culture more broadly. From 2017 until 2020, she was a staff writer and editor for the Opinion section of The New York Times, which she joined after a stint at the Wall Street Journal as an opinion editor. She has also served as a senior editor at Tablet, an online magazine of Jewish news, politics, and culture, where she edited political and news coverage. She regularly appears on shows like The View, Morning Joe and Real Time with Bill Maher. Her first book, "How to Fight Antisemitism," was a Natan Notable Book and the winner of a 2019 National Jewish Book Award. Weiss is also a founding trustee of the University of Austin, a new private liberal arts institution “committed to freedom of inquiry.” (Photo: BariWeiss.com)

VOICES

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VOICES

Eden Rachel Cohen

Senior Advisor, Office of the Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism and the Delegitimization of Israel

Pittsburgh native Eden Rachel Cohen has risen to the forefront of the international battle against antisemitism during the course of 2022. The former entertainment lawyer has been working alongside the Israeli government’s special envoy for countering antisemitism, Noa Tishby, after the pair met through Cohen’s digital newsletter, “A Wider Frame,” which provides news and insight on Jewish communities and Israel. “We’re advancing Israel’s foreign policy as it relates to antisemitism,” she said in an interview earlier this year. She went on to point out that antisemitism manifests principally on social media and can take various forms, from far-right to progressive left. Cohen’s future plans include the launch of a media project in 2023 aimed at educating young teens to understand today’s manifestations of antisemitism in the worlds of culture and entertainment. (Photo: courtesy)

VOICES

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VOICES

Emily Schrader

Journalist, Broadcaster, and Influencer

A social media expert and founder of Social Lite Creative, a political marketing consulting firm, Emily Schrader has also established herself as one of the leading voices defending Israel and Zionism online. She writes regularly for Israeli and American outlets and is the host of “Headlines with the Haddads,” a TV show she anchors jointly with Yoseph Haddad. A graduate of Tel Aviv University who still lives in the city, Schrader frequently lectures around the world on topics ranging from Middle Eastern politics to the rise in antisemitism. Her Instagram feed reaches thousands of followers and features campaigning initiatives, such as a recent appeal to Twitter to permanently close down the feed of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s “Supreme Leader.” (Photo: EmilySchrader.net)

VOICES

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VOICES

Jake Wallis Simons

Journalist, Editor, and Novelist

An award-winning British journalist and novelist, Jake Wallis Simons was appointed as editor of the London-based Jewish Chronicle newspaper in December 2021. He is also a writer for the Spectator magazine, a commentator for Sky News and a broadcaster for BBC Radio 4 and the World Service. Prior to joining the Jewish Chronicle, he worked at the Daily Mail and the Sunday Telegraph. He has worked for the Times, the Guardian, CNN, the BBC and other outlets, reporting from all over Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. He has broken several exclusives, among them the revelation of former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s links with conspiracy theorists and extremists. (Photo: Twitter)

VOICES

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VOICES

Lily Ebert

Holocaust Survivor and Influencer

A 98-year-old grandmother and survivor of the Nazi Holocaust, Lily Ebert became a TikTok star during 2020 when she began making videos to educate the public about the Holocaust. Her account, which her 18-year-old great-grandson Dov Forman helps to run, currently has 1.9 million followers. Ebert’s memoir of her incarceration in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, “Lily’s Promise: Holding on to Hope Through Auschwitz and Beyond―A Story for All Generations”, recounts in riveting detail her childhood in Hungary, the death of her mother and two youngest siblings on their arrival at Auschwitz, and her determination to keep her two other sisters safe. She describes at length the inhumanity of the camp and the small acts of defiance that gave her strength. A resident of London, Ebert was praised by British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis for having “dedicated her life to sharing her astonishing story so that the world would never again descend into such depths.” (Photo: Holocaust Memorial Day Trust)

VOICES

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VOICES

Liora Rez

Executive Director of StopAntisemitism.Org

A child refugee from the Soviet Union, Liora Rez launched the activist organization “StopAntisemitism” in October 2018, just three weeks before a white supremacist gunman carried out a horrifying massacre at Pittsburgh’s “Tree of Life” synagogue. Rez remains at the helm of the group, which works to hold antisemites accountable and creates consequences for their bigoted actions by exposing the threat that they present to all Americans. “StopAntisemitism” has become a go-to organization for reporting antisemitic acts because of the real-world results that it garners by activating the millions who follow their social media accounts and receive their weekly mailer which includes the popular "Antisemite of the Week" designation. (Photo: CNN)

VOICES

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VOICES

Maria Maaloof

Journalist and Broadcaster

Lebanese Christian journalist Maria Maaloof has lived in political exile in the US since 2021, after she faced charges of treason in her home country for the act of giving an interview to an Israeli broadcaster. A stalwart opponent of the Iranian regime and its Lebanese Shi’a surrogate Hezbollah, Maaloof responded to the treason charges by countering that the damage visited on Lebanon by Israel did not compare to Iran’s record in that regard. Maaloof’s work in journalism has frequently aimed to humanize Israel and Judaism in the eyes of Arab audiences. Among her pieces in 2022 was a feature about Joseph Samuels – an Iraqi Jew born in Baghdad in 1930 – that exposed her viewers to the harrowing story of the expulsion of the Iraqi Jewish community. (Photo: Youtube User Photo)

VOICES

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VOICES

Montana Tucker

Musician and Influencer

Montana Tucker is an American singer, songwriter, actress and dancer. Despite being told for many years that she didn’t “look Jewish” or have a Jewish-sounding name, Tucker is dedicated to her Jewish heritage, which she showcases through her influential TikTok channel. In 2022, she took a film crew to Poland to capture the story of her mother’s parents during the Holocaust. Edited into a 10-part docuseries, “How To: Never Forget” has chalked up millions of views on the social media platform. “This has been my responsibility to do this, for me and my grandparents and everyone else,” Tucker said of the series. “People are used to seeing my very light-hearted, fun dance videos and me collaborating with a lot of different people,” the 29-year-old added in an interview with Israeli media. “It’s rare for me and my content, and rare for the platform in general, to have a docuseries on the Holocaust.” (Photo: Youtube User Photo)

VOICES

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VOICES

Sharon McMahon

Podcaster

Sharon McMahon is a former high school government and law teacher who earned a reputation as “America’s Government Teacher” amidst the historic 2020 election proceedings for her viral efforts on Instagram to educate the general public on political misinformation. For her followers, McMahon represents “sanity, reason, truthiness, facts, in just a sea of yelling and screaming and anger,” as one of them told The Atlantic magazine in 2022. Among the urgent issues McMahon has tackled on her popular podcast is antisemitism. In November, she hosted seminal documentary filmmaker Ken Burns to discuss his latest project on the US and the Nazi Holocaust, noting that “as Americans, we are often at our best when we commit to considering and acting on behalf of our fellow human neighbors.” (Photo: Facebook)

VOICES

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VOICES

Ari Mittleman works at the nexus of politics, policymaking and the press in Washington, DC. Proficient in both modern and biblical Hebrew, he has formally studied the language and traditional Jewish texts since kindergarten and travels regularly to Israel. He is the creator of “Profiled Paths,” an online series that spotlights non-Jewish activists and influencers who have taken up the cause of defending Israel. 2022 saw the publication of Mittleman’s book “Paths of the Righteous,” on the same theme, taking as its point of departure King Solomon’s maxim in Proverbs that the “path of the righteous is like the light of dawn; it shines ever brighter until the day is perfect.”
(Photo: AriMittleman.com)

VOICES

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VOICES

Eitan Bernath

Chef, Author, and Influencer

Eitan Bernath is a 20-year-old chef, entertainer, author, TV personality, entrepreneur, and activist, best known on social media for his cooking expertise and captivating personality. With three billion annual views from 350 million consumers in 150 countries, he has amassed over seven million followers with hundreds of millions more consumers enveloped in Eitan’s world spanning his slate of television, literary, audio, philanthropy, and partnership endeavors. A native of Teaneck, New Jersey, he was educated at Yavneh Academy and Yeshivat Frisch. He has visited Israel many times, actively promoting its unique cuisine. “I have definitely taken so many of the values that have helped me get here and stay level-headed,” he reflected in an interview. “I definitely can see how young people who get some level of fame can go crazy and become super arrogant.” (Photo: EitanBernath.com)

VOICES

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VOICES

Rebecca Soffer

Writer and Co-Founder of Modern Loss

Rebecca Soffer is a co-founder of Modern Loss, a website and global movement offering creative, meaningful and encouraging content and community addressing the long arc of grief. She is also author of “The Modern Loss Handbook: An Interactive Guide to Moving Through Grief and Building Your Resilience,” and co-author of the book “Modern Loss: Candid Conversation About Grief.” When she was 30, her mother Shelby was killed in a car accident, one hour after dropping Rebecca off from a family camping trip to the Adirondacks. Four years later, her father died of a heart attack while on a cruise to the Bahamas. Such tragic losses focused her on helping herself and others to heal from the death of a loved one. Soffer’s other projects include Reboot, an arts and culture non-profit that reimagines and reinforces Jewish thought and traditions through events, exhibitions, recordings, books, films, DIY activity toolkits and apps. (Photo: Amazon.com)

VOICES

Algemeiner.com

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