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The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2017

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Malcolm Hoenlein

CEO, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

For three decades, Malcolm Hoenlein has served as the public face of Jewish organizational life in the United States as CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The supremely influential Hoenlein serves as what has been called “Mr. American Jewry.”

Today, Hoenlein is particularly concerned with the rise of Islamic extremism and antisemitism both at home and abroad.

Regarding Islamic radicalism, Hoenlein notes, “When I started speaking in the late 1980s about the danger of Islamic fundamentalism, people thought I belonged in the loony bin. After 9/11, I literally got hundreds and hundreds of letters from people saying, We apologize. We just didn’t see it. We didn’t get it.”

Regarding antisemitism, Hoenlein asserts, “It must be treated like all other forms of racism and bigotry. I want people in America to act before it becomes like Europe.”

Hoenlein believes the best way to do so is by bringing world leaders together in a “global summit” to combat the phenomenon. (Photo credit: YouTube screenshot.)

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