Wednesday, December 19th | 11 Tevet 5779

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The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2018

In honor of The Algemeiner’s fifth annual gala, we are delighted to unveil our fifth Algemeiner ‘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.

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! Lists have begun spreading in the Jewish media as well. 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 then 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 and living organism, 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 who have positively influenced 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 organizations. 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 .

Abraham Socher

Editor, Jewish Review of Books

Abraham Socher is the editor of the Jewish Review of Books, a quarterly publication he founded in 2010 with the support of the Tikvah Fund. The JRB focuses on the newest books and ideas about religion, literature, culture, and politics, as well as fiction, poetry, and the arts. Socher was educated at UCLA, Harvard University and UC Berkeley, where he received a PhD in History. He is the author of The Radical Enlightenment of Solomon Maimon: Judaism, Philosophy, Heresy (Stanford University Press, 2006), and has published essays and reviews on topics in Jewish intellectual history, literary criticism and baseball. He is a professor at Oberlin College in the Department of Religion and directs the program in Jewish Studies. (Photo: Screenshot.)

ACADEMIA

2 .

David Biale

Professor, University of California, Davis

David Biale is the Emanuel Ringelblum distinguished professor of Jewish history and the director of the Jewish Studies program at the University of California, Davis. He has written on the historian Gershom Scholem, as well as on themes of power, sexuality, blood and secularization in Jewish history. In December 2017, Biale published an 800-page volume on the history of Hasidism, written with a team of academic colleagues, with Princeton University Press. “Our underlying argument is that Hasidism is part of modern Jewish history, not just an anti-modern phenomenon," Biale reflected on the book's publication. "It’s an important component of that history, and a shaper of it.” Biale's many books include Not in the Heavens: The Tradition of Jewish Secular Thought (2010) and Power and Powerlessness in Jewish History (1986). Biale is also the co-author of the volume on Judaism published by the Norton Anthology of World Religions. (Photo: Screenshot.)

ACADEMIA

3 .

Gil Troy

Professor, McGill University

Leading Jewish scholar Gil Troy is professor of history at McGill University in Montreal and a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. Professor Troy's writings have appeared in The New York TimesThe New Republic, and other major media outlets. His books include biographies of former President Ronald Reagan and former New York Senator Hillary Clinton. His latest book, The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland – Then, Now, Tomorrow, sheds light on the surprisingly diverse and shared visions for realizing Israel as a democratic Jewish state. Building on Arthur Hertzberg’s classic, The Zionist Idea, Troy explores the backstories, dreams, and legacies of more than 170 passionate Jewish visionaries from the 1800s to today. (Photo: McGill University.)

ACADEMIA

4 .

Joseph Koerner

Professor, Harvard University

A professor of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University, Koerner is currently working on the film The Burning Child, which traces the rise of creativity and the forces countering it in early 20th-century Vienna. Koerner's documentary highlights the antisemitism that plagued Viennese intellectual circles, casting Jews and non-Jews in "deadly opposition." Partly inspired by the experience of his father – a Jew who fled Vienna following Austria's incorporation by Nazi Germany in 1938 – Koerner notes that the individuals in his film all believed they would be safe inside their own homes. "All the people I document, including my grandparents, thought the same thing,” Koerner said in a January 2018 interview. (Wikimedia Commons.)

ACADEMIA

5 .

Keith Eldredge

Assistant vice president and dean of students, Fordham University

The dean of students at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus in New York, NY, Keith Eldredge has won plaudits from Jewish and non-Jewish students for taking robust action against the anti-Zionist campus group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). In 2016, Eldredge denied SJP club status on the campus, explaining: "I cannot support an organization whose sole purpose is advocating political goals of a specific group, and against a specific country, when these goals clearly conflict with and run contrary to the mission and values of the University." He continued: "Specifically, the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel presents a barrier to open dialogue and mutual learning and understanding.” As a result of his stance, Eldredge continues to be targeted by pro-Palestinian activists, despite his compromise offer of a pro-Palestinian club with a name that does not raise the same “animosity and safety concerns" that SJP does. (Photo: LinkedIn.)

ACADEMIA

6 .

Lawrence S. Bacow

President, Harvard University

Previously the president of Tufts University and the chancellor of MIT, Lawrence "Larry" Bacow's standing as a leader in American higher education was again recognized when he became president of Harvard University in August 2018. The son of a mother who survived Auschwitz and a father who escaped violent pogroms in Europe for a new life in America, the Pontiac, MI native capped off his own distinguished academic career with a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. An observer of kashrut who keeps a mezuzah on his office door, Bacow remains proud of his Jewish immigrant roots. As he told a press conference announcing his new position at Harvard earlier this year, "I would not be standing here today, literally, if this country had turned its back on my parents." (Photo: PR Newswire.)

ACADEMIA

7 .

Lesley Klaff

Senior lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University

A senior lecturer in law at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK and an affiliate professor of law at Haifa University, British-Jewish academic Lesley Klaff is increasingly recognized as one of the world's leading scholars of contemporary antisemitism, frequently speaking at academic conferences in Israel, the US and Europe. In July 2018, Klaff was appointed editor-in-chief the prestigious Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism, which provides a forum for current academic research and analysis of anti-Zionism and antisemitism. Klaff is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of the Social Research Foundation and also serves on the academic advisory board of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law. (Photo: Screenshot.)

ACADEMIA

8 .

Martin Goodman

Professor, Oxford University

Martin Goodman is professor of Jewish Studies at Oxford University and president of the Oxford Centre for Jewish and Hebrew Studies. He is a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford and the British Academy. His Rome and Jerusalem, published in 2008, was acknowledged as a landmark in the study of the Jewish people in the Roman Empire and has been translated into six languages. In 2018, Penguin Books published Goodman's A History of Judaism, a truly global interpretation that spans not only the Middle East, Europe and North Africa, but also China, India and America, and one that untangles the threads of doctrinal and philosophical debate running through Jewish history. (Photo: Oxford University.)

ACADEMIA

9 .

Miriam Elman

Professor, Syracuse University

An associate professor of political science and security studies at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, Miriam Elman is a regular contributor to the influential blog Legal Insurrection on topics concerning Israel and the BDS movement. Her books include Jerusalem: Conflict and Cooperation in a Contested City (2014) and her op-eds have been published by Haaretz, The Post-Standard and other outlets. Elman is also an editorial board member of the journals International Security, Foreign Policy Analysis and Political Research Quarterly. She serves as a member of the Council of Scholars of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), a leading pro-Israel organization among higher education professionals. (Photo: Twitter.)

ACADEMIA

10 .

Neri Oxman

Professor, MIT Media Lab

Pioneering American-Israel artist, designer and architect Neri Oxman has been revolutionizing the visual arts from her perch as professor at the Media Lab at MIT. Born and raised in Haifa, Oxman moved to the US in 2005 for her PhD. She has exhibited at some of the world's most famous public spaces, including the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City – whose curator, Paola Antonelli, has hailed Oxman as "a person ahead of her time, not of her time." Oxman's numerous awards include the 2014 Vilcek Prize in Design and the Cultural Leader award from the World Economic Forum in 2016, and the MIT Collier Medal in 2016. Intellectually, Oxman is known for her concept of "material ecology," in which products and building are considered in the context of their environments. (Photo: Noah Kalina.)

ACADEMIA

11 .

Rafał Pankowski

Professor, Collegium Civitas University

Polish sociologist and anti-racism advocate Rafał Pankowski attracted the ire of his country's far right in 2018, with his trenchant criticism of legislation that would have criminalized the discussion of Polish collusion with the Nazi occupying authorities during World War II – when nearly 3 million Polish Jews were exterminated. Pankowski's article for the July 2018 edition of the Israel Journal of World Affairs, "The Resurgence of Antisemitic Discourse in Poland," probed the relationship between historical revisionism and antisemitism in today's Poland. An associate professor in sociology at Warsaw’s Collegium Civitas University and a co-founder of the Nigdy Więcej [Never Again] Association, which monitors and combats antisemitism and xenophobi, Pankowski's books include The Populist Radical Right in Poland (2010) and the forthcoming Poland: Inventing the Nation. Pankowski is frequently interviewed by The Algemeiner on Polish-Jewish affairs. (Photo: Screenshot.)

ACADEMIA

12 .

Ruth Arnon

Biochemist

Israeli scientist Ruth Arnon earned both her MSc and her Ph.D. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem prior to joining the world-renowned Weizmann Institute in 1960. She is the incumbent of the Paul Ehrlich Chair in Immunochemistry and has held a number of senior posts at the Institute. Arnon has made significant contributions to the fields of vaccine development and cancer research, and to the study of parasitic diseases. She co-developed Copaxone, a multiple sclerosis (MS) drug currently marketed worldwide. Arnon is currently performing research on a universal, recombinant influenza vaccination. Her honors include the French Légion d'Honneur and the Israel Prize. In 2010, Arnon became the first woman to be elected as president of the Israel Academy of Science and Humanities. (Photo: Weizmann Institute of Science.)

ACADEMIA

13 .

Simon Schama

Professor, Columbia University

British-born academic Simon Schama is professor of Art History and History at Columbia University in New York. He taught history at Cambridge (Christ's College), Oxford (Brasenose College) and art history and history at Harvard before coming to Columbia. His many books have won the Wolfson Award for History, the W.H. Smith Prize for Literature, the National Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature and many other honors. Among Schama's acclaimed recent works are his two-volume The Story of the Jews, along with an accompanying BBC/PBS television series hailed by The Guardian as a "towering achievement that demonstrates Schama's finest qualities to exhilarating effect." Two previous television series presented by Schama on British and American history won Broadcast Guild Awards. (Photo: Wikimedia.)

ACADEMIA

14 .

Thane Rosenbaum

Distinguished fellow, New York University School of Law

Thane Rosenbaum is an essayist, law professor, and author of several novels. His articles, reviews and essays appear frequently in the New York TimesWall Street JournalWashington PostLos Angeles TimesCNNHaaretzHuffington Post and Daily Beast, among other national publications. He serves as the legal analyst for CBS News Radio. He also moderates an annual series of discussions on culture, world events and politics at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Rosenbaum is a distinguished fellow at New York University School of Law, where he directs the Forum on Law, Culture & Society. In its review of Rosenbaum's 2005 book The Myth of Moral Justice, the New York Times declared that "Rosenbaum has accomplished what multitudes of professors long for and so rarely achieve: He has set the terms for public debate." (Photo: Maxine Dovere.)

ACADEMIA

15 .

Alicia Svigals

Founder, The Klezmatics

Violinist and composer Alicia Svigals is the world's foremost klezmer musician and founder of the Grammy award-winning group The Klezmatics. Having developed a love of klezmer during her travels in Europe and Israel, Svigals has taught this beloved Jewish musical style to hundreds of students, among them the renowned Israeli violinist Yitzhak Perlman. Other top artists and celebrities to have worked with Svigals over the years include famed writer Allen Ginsberg, Israeli singer Chava Alberstein and playwright Tony Kushner. Svigals more recent projects include the composition of a brand new musical score for a 1923 German-Jewish silent film about a rabbi’s son in an Eastern European shtetl who dreams of becoming an actor. (Photo: Runs With Scissors.)

ARTS AND CULTURE

16 .

Amar'e Stoudemire

Athlete

Former NBA legend Amar'e Stoudemire has been getting more in touch with his Jewish roots since he moved to Israel in 2016, under a two-year deal that saw the former New York Knicks star playing for Hapoel Jerusalem. On a visit in August 2018 to New York, Stoudemire told interviewers during a visit to the Jewish Museum that when he's not training, "I study Torah. Study, train, study, train, study, train, study. That’s life.” He added, “I study with elders, with rabbis, with everyone. I don’t limit myself.” Stoudemire calls his growing, private collection of art the Melech Collection, which makes use of the Hebrew word for “king,” and his latest acquisition is a 45-foot mural depicting the siege of Jerusalem’s Second Temple. Stoudemire also has a wine label, Stoudemire Cellars, that released a line of three kosher-for-Passover wines this year. (Photo: Instagram.)

ARTS AND CULTURE

17 .

Ben Kingsley

Actor

British actor Sir Ben Kingsley has been a household name ever since his unforgettable, Oscar-winning performance in the title-role of Gandhi (1982). In a dinstinguished screen career spanning five decades, Kingsley has often taken on Jewish roles – most memorably as Itzhak Stern in Schindler's List (1993). Other Jewish heroes he has played include Simon Wiesenthal in a 1989 HBO biopic – a role his close friend Wiesenthal urged him to take on – and Otto Frank in a 2002 television adaptation of Anne Frank's diary. But in his latest film Operation Finale (2018), Kingsley depicts the infamous SS officer, Adolf Eichmann, one of the principle architects of the Nazi Holocaust. "The torturer doesn’t have the last word," Kingsley said of playing Eichmann in a recent interview. "To quote Elie Wiesel, the last word belongs to the victim." (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

ARTS AND CULTURE

18 .

David Grossman

Author

Israeli literary giant David Grossman was born in Jerusalem. He is the author of numerous works of fiction, nonfiction, and children's literature, including his most recent novel, A Horse Walks into a Bar, which was awarded the 2017 Man Booker International Prize. Grossman's work has has been translated into thirty languages around the world. He is the recipient of many additional prizes, including the French Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Buxtehuder Bulle in Germany, Rome's Premio per la Pace e l'Azione Umitaria, the Premio Ischia -- International Award for Journalism, Israel's Emet Prize, and the Albatross Prize given by the Günter Grass Foundation. (Photo: REUTERS / Gonzalo Fuentes / File Photo.)

ARTS AND CULTURE

19 .

Dean Kremer

Athlete

In 2015, Dean Kremer became the first Israeli to be drafted by a Major League Baseball (MLB) team. Then just 19, the starting pitcher began his professional career with the San Diego Padres organization. In July 2018, Kremer was traded to the Baltimore Orioles organization. Kremer has also represented Israel at the national level, most famously as starting pitcher in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Despite being ranked by ESPN as the tournament's biggest underdog, Israel finished in third place – and Kremer remains determined to boost the sport's popularity in the Jewish state. "What I'd love to get out of the game is be a role model for kids in Israel along with kids in the Jewish community here," Kremer says. (Photo: Robbie Bullough / Ogden Raptors.)

ARTS AND CULTURE

20 .

Joan Nathan

Author

One of the best-loved exponents of Jewish cuisine, food writer Joan Nathan is the author of eleven cookbooks. Her latest work, King Solomon’s Table: a Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World, was released by Alfred P. Knopf in April 2017. Her previous cookbook, Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France (Knopf), was named one of the 10 best cookbooks of 2010 by NPR, Food and Wine, and Bon Appétit magazines. She is a regular contributor to The New York Times. Her PBS television series, Jewish Cooking in America with Joan Nathan, was nominated in 2000 for the James Beard Award for Best National Television Food Show. Nathan has appeared as a guest on numerous radio and television programs including "The Today Show," "Good Morning America," "The Martha Stewart Show" and National Public Radio. (Photo: Twitter.)

ARTS AND CULTURE

21 .

Linoy Ashram

Athlete

19 year-old Israeli athlete Linoy Ashram is one of the world's top rhythmic gymnasts. Since 2014, she has won bronze and silver medals at major international competitions and twice been crowned Israeli Junior national champion. In 2018 alone, her achievements have sky-rocketed, with gold medal victories at an international competition in Spain as well as in the World Cup series that took Ashram to Sofia, Pesaro and Tashkent. She even has a move – the "Ashram" – named after her, in which the gymnast executes a back-bend turn on the floor. Meanwhile, the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 are beckoning. Israel's Olympic Committee is clearly excited, duly noting in August that Ashram was the first athlete to win two gold medals in a single season in the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup. (Photo: Ayelet Zussman / Wikimedia Commons.)

ARTS AND CULTURE

22 .

Lior Raz

Screenwriter and actor

Israeli screenwriter and actor Lior Raz has almost become a household name in the US with this portrait of Doron Kavillio in the political thriller television series Fauda. 2018 has seen Raz return to directing, with the release of his eagerly-awaited movie Operation Finale, starring Ben Kingsley as the fugitive Nazi Adolf Eichmann, who was captured by the Mossad in Argentina in 1960. Interviewed about the film, Raz – who also plays a starring role as then Mossad chief Isser Harel – spoke candidly about the challenges of depicting Eichmann, one of the principal architects of the Holocaust. “We’re not dealing with a villain like a superhero movie,” Raz explained. “The bad guy is just a bad guy, a flat-out bad guy. You don’t care about him. But in real life, very kind people can do awful things.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

ARTS AND CULTURE

23 .

Michael Solomonov

Chef and restaurateur

Israeli-born, US-raised chef Solomonov is one of the leading ambassadors' for the modern Israeli cuisine that has set foodie palates alight in recent years. A proud advocate of the delights of Jewish and Israeli kitchens, Solomonov's Philadelphia restaurant, Zahav, has become a place of pilgrimage for lovers of inventive Israeli cooking. Solomonov's 2015 bestselling cookbook Zahav: A World of Israeli Cuisine was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Book Award. Israeli street food like hummus, falafel and shwarma, Solomonov told NPR in 2017, "is absolutely an inspiration" for him when he's in the kitchen. "I think it's almost what I crave the most when I go back there." (Photo: Michael Persico.)

ARTS AND CULTURE

24 .

Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Executive director, Jewish Book Council

Naomi Firestone-Teeter is the executive director of the Jewish Book Council (JBC) – an organization whose origins stretch back to the first ever "Jewish Book Week" mounted by librarian Fanny Goldstein in 1925. Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Naomi joined the JBC staff in 2006. She graduated from Emory University with degrees in English and Art History and, in addition, studied at University College London. Naomi has served as the founding editor of the JBC website and blog and managing editor of Jewish Book World. She has also overseen JBC's digital initiatives, and developed the JBC's "Visiting Scribe" series and "Unpacking the Book: Jewish Writers in Conversation." (Photo: Jewish Book Council.)

ARTS AND CULTURE

25 .

Netta Barzilai

Singer

Netta Barzilai is an Israeli singer and looping artist who won the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal with her solo single, "Toy," a hymn to female empowerment. Hailed her as a "worthy winner" by celebrated British author J.K. Rowling, Prime Minister Netanyahu named Netta Israel's greatest ambassador. Her win marked the fourth victory by Israel in Eurovision after 1978, 1979, and 1998. In 2018, Netta won season five of "HaKokhav HaBa," Israel's national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, with her performance of a mashup of "Gangnam Style" by Psy and "Tik Tok" by Kesha. Born in 1993 in Hod HaSharon, Israel, she and her two brothers were raised in the Tel Aviv area. (Photo: Reuters / Pedro Nunes.)

ARTS AND CULTURE

26 .

Noemie Elicha

Blogger

Noemie Elicha is a kosher food and fashion blogger from France. She is known for her cool-girl, punk-chic aesthetic that she effortlessly integrates with her Jewish faith in her pictorial presentations. Noemie is married to Alexandre Elicha, one in a trio of brothers who founded The Kooples brand, and she often features their designs in her Instagram and blog posts. Noemie and Alexandre and their children are proudly and fashionably Jewish. Her growing Instagram audience, numbering in the tens of thousands, regularly portrays a love of Israel, Judaism, kosher food and fashion through black, punk-chic colored lenses. (Photo: Instagram.)

ARTS AND CULTURE

27 .

Ohad Naharin

Choreographer

Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin has been one of the most influential figures in the world of dance since the late 1970s, when he made his choreographic debut at the Kazuko Hirabayashi Studio in New York. Appointed as artistic director of Tel Aviv's renowned Batsheva Dance Company in 1990, Naharin in the same year launched the company’s junior division. In the intervening period, he has created and directed more than 30 productions for both companies. Naharin also developed GAGA, an innovative movement language based on research into heightening sensation and imagination. Still unapologetically radical in his ideas and approach, Naharin's World Dance Day message of 2018 urged his fellow choreographers to "let go of old ideas for new, better ones." And, he added, "We must always remember to dance a little every day." (Photo: Screenshot.)

ARTS AND CULTURE

28 .

Saïd Ben Saïd

Producer

Few cultural figures in the Arab world have been as courageous in opposing the boycott of Israel as Saïd Ben Saïd. In 2017, the distinguished Franco-Tunisian film producer was disinvited from the Carthage International Film Festival in Tunisia because of his work with Israeli director Nadav Lapid. In recognition of his commitment to cultural cooperation, dialogue and understanding between Jews and Muslims, Ben Saïd received the 2018 Pomegranate Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Sephardi Federation. In an interview with The Algemeiner earlier this year, Ben Saïd remarked that the Arab boycott of Israel "has had terrible consequences on the region." Describing Zionism as "a humanist movement, not a colonial one," Ben Saïd recognized that his viewpoint is a minority one, but insisted nonetheless, “I’m talking as an Arab and as a Muslim, and that’s what I am." (Photo: SBS Productions.)

ARTS AND CULTURE

29 .

Sharon Stone

Actress

One of the legends of the American screen, Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actress Sharon Stone has captivated audiences across the world with her leading roles in movie classics that include Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Casino and Catwoman. Her more recent roles in film and television have received critical acclaim. Variety magazine praised Stone's appearance in Steven Soderbergh's 2017 drama Mosaic for its "terrific range and depth" and her "effortless charisma," while the Daily Beast deemed that "Stone's turn is something close to masterful." Among the many social justice causes Stone has championed are improved treatment for AIDS/HIV sufferers and peace in the Middle East. Stone has often declared her love for Israel, and has described Israel's late president, Shimon Peres, as her "mentor." (Photo: Algemeiner.)

ARTS AND CULTURE

30 .

Siggy Flicker

TV personality

Siggy Flicker has never been one to follow the crowd. The Jewish relationship expert, motivational speaker, TV personality, author and Israel advocate inspires others simply by having created a life doing what she loves to do, surrounded by the people that she loves to be around. Her professional opinion has been sought out by a variety of TV programs including "The Today Show," "Dr. Phil," "The Wendy Williams Show," "The Steve Harvey Show," "Access Hollywood," "Fox & Friends," and many more. Flicker also had her own reality show on VH1 called “Why Am I Still Single” and in 2016 joined "The Real Housewives of New Jersey for 2 seasons." In 2016, she released her first book, Write Your Own Fairytale: The New Rules for Dating and Relationships, and Finding Love on Your Terms (Penguin Random House). (Photo: Algemeiner.)

ARTS AND CULTURE

31 .

Zubin Mehta

Conductor

Legendary Indian conductor Zubin Mehta first learned about music from his father, Mehli, a noted concert violinist and the founder of the Bombay Symphony Orchestra. The Mumbai-born Mehta, a member of India's Parsee community, has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Israeli musicians, having performed regularly in the Jewish state since the early 1960s, and then becoming the music director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 1977. Mehta has often spoken of his "deep kinship" with Israel's musicians as well as the "spirit and tradition of the Jewish people." In 2005, he co-founded the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University. Some 200 concerts, lectures and master classes are held annually at the school, which has become the leading music institution in Israel. (Photo: Flickr.)

ARTS AND CULTURE

32 .

Arye Kohavi

CEO, Watergen

Israeli entrepreneur Arye Kohavi's vision of turning air into drinking water has become a reality through Watergen – the company he founded and where he now serves as CEO. Watergen's revolutionary technology uses an air filter to capture humidity, which is then cooled down to produce up to 20 gallons of drinking water per day. Already, Watergen's technology has provided clean drinking water to victims of famine and natural disaster across the developing world. Kohavi – a Hebrew University graduate and former IDF commander – says the company' secret lies in providing drought-ridden countries around the world with "an immediate solution" to a centuries-old problem. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

BUSINESS

33 .

Asher Levy

CEO, Orbotech

Asher Levy is the CEO of Orbotech, an Israeli company at the cutting edge of the Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) technology that scans devices like cellphones and laptop computers to ensure they are safe for use. Founded in 1981 by a team that worked on optical inspection technology for the IDF, the company went public in 1984. Under Levy's stewardship, Orbotech now enjoys a global profile. Its venture capital arm has enabled the company to invest in what Levy, who holds an MBA from Tel Aviv University, calls the "mega trends" in the world of electronics manufacturing. (Photo: Screenshot.)

BUSINESS

34 .

Daniel Birnbaum

CEO, SodaStream

Visionary Israeli entrepreneur Birnbaum became the CEO of SodaStream in 2007, going on to turn the popular home seltzer machine into a global brand name within a few years. In August 2018, Birnbaum's business reputation was further enhanced when he announced a $3.2 billion deal with American soda giant PepsiCo. Under the terms of the deal, SodaStream remains an independent brand, and the company will be expanding its operations in Israel as a result. "We will have access to new markets, new countries, capital to expand our factory, so everything that it takes to grow a business will now be greater,” Birnbaum said of the deal. A graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the holder of a Harvard Business School MBA, Birnbaum currently employs 2,500 workers, both Israeli and Palestinian, and has pledged to create even more jobs. (Photo: SodaStream.)

BUSINESS

35 .

Daphna Nissenbaum

CEO, Tipa

Israeli businesswoman Daphna Nissenbaum is the CEO of Tipa, a company she founded with her colleague Tal Neuman. Tipa offers a viable alternative to flexible packaging for food: its packaging is 100 percent compostable and has the same mechanical properties as ordinary plastic. "I see TIPA as a solution provider to change the history of plastic. We are not going to be a niche market player, we’re going to be a mass market player," Nissenbaum predicted in a March 2018 interview with a British news outlet. Prior to founding TIPA in 2010, Nissenbaum served as the CEO of the Caesarea Center for Capital Markets and Risk Management at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya. Nissenbaum holds an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from IDC Herzliya and a BA in Economics and Software Engineering from Bar Ilan University. (Photo: Tipa.)

BUSINESS

36 .

Jack Ma

CEO, Alibaba Group

Jack Ma is the CEO of Alibaba Group, the Chinese multinational that has emerged as the world's largest retailer, with operations in over 200 countries. But there is one country in particular that has won his admiration. “There were thousands of times I said to myself and to colleagues at Alibaba: Never give up,” Ma told students attending a special lecture he gave at Tel Aviv University in May 2018. "And people in Israel, they never give up." Ma is putting words into action as well, investing Alibaba's venture capital funds in exciting Israeli tech start-ups like SQream Technologies and cybersecurity pioneer ThetaRay. Ma is proud of his record in China, telling the students in Tel Aviv that Alibaba had "created 33 million jobs in China, and we can create 100 million.” While on his visit to Israel with 35 leading Chinese business executives, Ma even took a side trip to the Dead Sea and was spotted in some of Israel's most fashionable eateries. (Photo: World Economic Forum / Jolanda Flubacher.)

BUSINESS

37 .

Roman Abramovich

Businessman

For a man worth $11.5 billion, the term "difficult" is a relative one – even so, 2018 must count as one of the more challenging years for Roman Abramovich, the Russian-Jewish businessman, philanthropist and confidante of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Known as the flamboyant owner of leading English soccer team Chelsea FC, Abramovich became an Israeli citizen this year in the hope of circumventing British restrictions on his work visa, imposed following the Russian attempt in March 2018 to assassinate a former KGB officer on British soil using a chemical nerve agent. Controversies aside, no other living Russian has given as much to charitable causes as has Abramovich – who has spent $2.5 billion on development in the remote Russian region of Chukotka, and $500 million on Jewish causes in Russia and Israel. Abramovich received a special award from the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia in April 2018 in recognition of his generosity to the Jewish community. (Photo: Reuters / Toby Melville / File.)

BUSINESS

38 .

Warren Buffett

Businessman

Known as the "Oracle of Omaha," Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time, with a fortune estimated at $87.1 billion. Throughout his career in business and finance, Buffett – the son of a US congressman who started investing at the age of 11– has praised Israel for its start-up culture. In February 2018, Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway bought 18.9 million shares in the Israeli pharmaceutical giant worth $358 million. "It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price," Buffett said after the purchase. “I’m a big believer in Israel’s economy.” And indeed, Buffett's investment in Israel stretches back to 2006, when he purchased an 80 percent stake in industrial manufacturing company Iscar for $4 billion. (Photo: Stacie Kinney.)

BUSINESS

39 .

Gilles-William Goldnadel

Founder and chairman, Lawyers Without Borders

Noted French-Israeli lawyer and author Gilles-William Goldnadel is currently representing two of the most high-profile victims of the violent antisemitism that has plagued France for over a decade. Both the families of Sarah Halimi – the 65 year-old pensioner tortured and murdered in April 2017 by an intruder who showered her with antisemitic abuse – and Mireille Knoll – the 85 year-old Holocaust survivor stabbed to death in March 2018 by intruders targeting her as a "wealthy Jew" – are being represented by Goldnadel. Proudly identifying as a "combat Jew," Goldnadel is also the founder of Lawyers Without Borders, which fights discrimination and advocates for human rights, and the head of the Association France-Israel. (Photo: Screenshot.)

COMMUNITY

40 .

Malcolm Hoenlein

Executive vice chairman, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

The executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Malcolm Hoenlein has been one of American Jewry's most high-profile representatives for over three decades, meeting with monarchs, presidents and prime ministers across the globe. A regular interview subject in The Algemeiner, Hoenlein spoke extensively to the paper in May 2018 about his hopes and fears for Israel in a turbulent Middle East. “What I see happening today is similar to what happened in the 1920s with Sykes-Picot, except it’s with Iran and Turkey, with Russia,” Hoenlein observed. "We’re seeing a redrawing of the map of the Middle East and people do not pay enough attention to the overall, hegemonic, designs that these countries have." Hoenlein, whose time in office has coincided with six US presidents, is hopeful that the Trump administration "will try to reshape the Middle East in a way that brings stability, democracy and freedom." (Photo: Screenshot.)

COMMUNITY

41 .

Marie van der Zyl

President, Board of Deputies of British Jews

Marie van der Zyl is the second woman to be elected as president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, a post she assumed in June 2018. The granddaughter of Rabbi Werner van der Zyl of the West London Synagogue, she graduated in law from Liverpool John Moores University. She became a deputy is 2012 and was elected vice president of the Board in 2015. In the past three years, van der Zyl has played a crucial part in the fight against antisemitism in the UK Labour Party, as well as against the so-called “cab-rank” policy, by which the Inner North London Coroner delayed the release of bodies to Jewish families – a policy ruled to be discriminatory by the British High Court. (Photo: Screenshot.)

COMMUNITY

42 .

Moshe Kotlarsky

Vice chairman, Chabad’s 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 many countries he is the public face of Chabad, visiting heads of state and opening new Chabad centers worldwide. In February 2018, Rabbi Kotlarsky helped three survivors of the high school shooting in Parkland, FL, to join 2,500 other Jewish teens for an annual Chabad youth summit in Brooklyn – prompting everyone there to make mitzvah pledges in memory of those killed in the massacre. (Photo: Screenshot.)

COMMUNITY

43 .

Noemi Di Segni

President, Union of Italian Jewish Communities

The second woman to be elected as president of UCEI, Italian Jewry's communal representative body, Noemi di Segni marked her second anniversary in that post in 2018. In January, di Segni spoke out courageously against the honoring of the pro-fascist monarch, King Victor Emmanuel III – who signed the 1938 "racial laws" in Italy that targeted the Jewish community. “We expressed this position not just as Jewish people, but as Italians," di Segni told The Algemeiner in an interview. “If you forget what happened eighty years ago, you’ll forget what happened yesterday.” Day to day, Di Segni is occupied with the demands of her role, from ensuring continued high-quality Jewish education to assisting Jewish families experiencing hardship. She is particularly proud of Italy's National Jewish Museum, which opened last December in the city of Ferrara, describing it as "the story of how Jews in Italy have lived and are still living." (Photo: Screenshot.)

COMMUNITY

44 .

Paul Bernstein

CEO, Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools

Paul Bernstein is the CEO of Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools – a position to which he brings his lifelong connection with Jewish day school education, and wide-ranging management experience in the fields of education, philanthropy, social impact, government and new media. Beginning with his modern Orthodox/Zionist day school primary education and his years as an activist with the Union of Jewish Students and the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Paul’s life has reflected a passionate commitment to Jewish culture and the Jewish day school world. Before joining Prizmah, Bernstein served as CEO of The Pershing Square Foundation. The foundation committed over $360 million around the world, spanning economic development, education, life sciences and healthcare, justice, the arts and urban renewal. (Photo: Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools)

COMMUNITY

45 .

Serge Berdugo

Secretary general, Council of Moroccan Jewish Communities

The veteran secretary general of Morocco's remaining Jewish community of 5,000, Serge Berdugo continues to serve as bridge between the worlds of Judaism and Islam, as well as the State of Israel and the Arab world. A long-established advocate of Arab-Jewish dialogue, Berdugo became the first Jew to receive a knighthood from the King of Morocco in 1995. He continues to believe that "Jewish life in Morocco is a window into what peace between us can look like.” He is proud that the community today can boast 15 synagogues, as well as social and athletic clubs for young Moroccan Jews. "More than 50,000 Jews of Moroccan origin visit Morocco every year," Berdugo noted in an interview in early 2018. "It is up to us to ensure that our fellow believers can come to their country of origin...while enjoying conditions of welcome necessary for a Jewish life." (Photo: Screenshot.)

COMMUNITY

46 .

Simcha Scholar

Executive vice president, Chai Lifeline

Rabbi Simcha Scholar is the head of Chai Lifeline, a charity founded in 1987 to aid children suffering from critical illnesses. A widely acclaimed project is its pilot program Camp Simcha, a summer camp for children battling cancer and other hematological illnesses. Camp Simcha has also opened a second branch, Camp Simcha Special, for children with debilitating chronic conditions. Among Camp Simcha's many achievements is the official Guinness World Records entry for the longest awareness ribbon – a 1,340-foot gold-colored ribbon to generate pediatric cancer awareness. "Chai Lifeline's mission is to alleviate the emotional, social, and financial challenges facing families living with pediatric illness and to help patients, parents, and siblings to live full lives as they fight the devastating impact of pediatric illness," Scholar says. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

COMMUNITY

47 .

Yehuda Meshi-Zahav

Founder and chairman, ZAKA Search and Rescue

Yehuda Meshi-Zahav is the founder and chairman of ZAKA Search and Rescue, a UN-recognized international humanitarian volunteer organization with nearly 4,000 volunteers in Israel and around the world. Members of ZAKA, most of whom are Orthodox Jews, assist ambulance crews, aid in the identification of the victims of  terrorism, road accidents and other disasters, and where necessary gather body parts and spilled blood for proper burial. ZAKA has also participated in international rescue and recovery operations, for example in Mumbai, India following the multiple terrorist attacks, including a Chabad Jewish center, in November 2008, and in Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010. While leading ZAKA training in South Africa in 2017, Meshi-Zahav was attacked by a lioness, but managed to escape unharmed. He later joked that he had been singing a Hebrew song about lions at the time that was not appreciated by the lioness. (Photo: Ben Kelmer / Nimrod Saunders.)

COMMUNITY

48 .

Zvi Gluck

Founder, Amudim

Rabbi Zvi Gluck is the founder of Amudim, a Jewish non-profit agency dedicated to serving community members in times of crisis. Amudim ensures access to meaningful assistance and enduring support for those in need, fostering change and growth by raising awareness and implementing educational programs within the Jewish community. Gluck has been involved in community health and wellbeing issues since the age of 15, when he launched the National Cancer Bereavement Foundation to care for the grieving relatives of cancer victims. Gluck takes his inspiration from the Pirkei Avot ("Ethics of the Fathers") which teaches “B’makom sh’ein bo anashim, hishtadel lehiyos ish – in a place where there are no leaders, you be the leader." (Photo: Facebook.)

COMMUNITY

49 .

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

President of Egypt

A former field marshal in his country's army, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been a critical factor in Middle Eastern stability since he overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Mohamed Morsi in 2013. A pragmatic leader aligned with the West, el-Sisi has cooperated strongly with Israel in maintaining the blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. El-Sisi is also a firm ally of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and the other Gulf Arab states in their confrontation with Iran. In November 2017, el-Sisi warned Tehran to scale back its regional interference, saying, "the region has enough instability and challenges as it is: We don't need any new complications involving Iran or Hezbollah." Domestically, however, el-Sisi's poor human rights record has been widely condemned by rights groups and Western democratic governments, including the US. (Photo: Russian Presidential Press and Information Office.)

GOVERNMENT

50 .

Avi Dichter/Elazar Stern

Israeli Knesset members

Israeli Knesset members Dichter, from the Likud party, and Stern, from Yesh Atid, pushed through vital legislation on July 3 which mandates the freezing of the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority (PA) equal to the amount of money the PA provides to imprisoned terrorists and the families of others who were killed while carrying out attacks. Based on similar legislation passed by the US Congress – the Taylor Force Act – the 120-member Knesset voted 87-15 in favor of the measure, which allows Israel to hold back part of the $130 million in taxes it collects for the PA on a monthly basis. “I certainly believe that the law will weaken the PA mechanism that encourages terrorism and incentivizes it economically,” MK Stern told The Algemeiner after the law passed. “I also believe and very much hope that it will be a step forward towards reconciliation and peace." (Photo: Courtesy.)

GOVERNMENT

51 .

Avi Gabbay

Leader of Israel's Labor Party

Avraham "Avi" Gabbay is the leader of Israel's opposition Labor Party. Previously the CEO of Israeli telecommunications giant Bezeq and a former Minister of Environmental Protection, Gabbay – the Jerusalem-born son of Moroccan immigrants – won Labor's leadership contest in 2017, vowing to move the party closer to the center. "I want to run the country in favor of the people and restore the trust of young people in the country," Gabbay told The Algemeiner during a wide-ranging interview last December. He also urged American Jews to ensure that US support for Israel remains a bipartisan concern. "At the end, we should always be bipartisan," Gabbay remarked. "This is one of the goals of our relations with America." (Photo: Yonatan Sindel / Flash90.)

GOVERNMENT

52 .

Avigdor Lieberman

Defense minister of Israel

Although the post of Israel's prime minister has so far eluded him, Russian-born Avigdor Lieberman has served in several senior ministerial posts since he entered the Knesset in 1999. Currently Israel's minister of defense, Lieberman has also served as transport minister, minister of national infrastructure and foreign minister, among other posts. Politically well to the right of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Lieberman is the founder of Yisrael Beiteinu, a political party rooted in immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Throughout 2018, Lieberman has consistently delivered the message to Iran that Israel will not tolerate its encroachment on its borders indefinitely. "We will contend with any Iranian threat, and it doesn't matter from where it comes from," Lieberman said in August. "Israel's freedom is total. We retain this freedom of action." (Photo: Israeli government.)

GOVERNMENT

53 .

Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime minister of Israel

2018 has been a torrid year for Israel's prime minister, whose international stature has grown as Israel pursues unprecedented diplomatic outreach across the globe, but whose reputation at home has suffered from a slew of corruption scandals. Even so, successive polls show that Benjamin Netanyahu retains the support of a majority of Israeli voters. Some of the political highlights of Netanyahu's year have included his official visit to India in January, the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem in May, and the passage in August of a controversial Nation-State Bill that underlines Israel's status as a Jewish, democratic state. In keeping with recent years, Netanyahu's main security challenge remains the Iranian regime, which has been pouring troops and building weapons factories in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, as well as backing Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. Yet his overall vision remains rosy. "We’re coloring the world blue," Netanyahu enthused at the AIPAC annual conference in March 2018. "Pretty soon the countries that don't have relations with us, they’re going to be isolated." (Photo: Menahem Kahana / Pool via Reuters.)

GOVERNMENT

54 .

Donald Trump

President of the United States

Whether you love him, loathe him or think he's still a work in progress, it's hard to argue with the contention that the US-Israel relationship has scaled new heights with Donald Trump in the White House. Unlike his three predecessors, who signed a waiver on moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem every six months, Trump broke with the past, opening a new Embassy building in Israel's capital in May 2018 – seventy years after the US first recognized Israel's independence. Trump has also sparked the anger of the Palestinian leadership, who charge that his "Deal of the Century" will require them to make unforseen compromises, such as abandoning the much-vaunted "right of return" – code for the destruction of Israel. In regional terms, Trump's decision to walk away from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran has set the stage for a tough new US policy towards the regime in Tehran that is grounded on robust sanctions. (Photo: Department of Labor / Shawn T. Moore.)

GOVERNMENT

55 .

Felix Klein

German federal commissioner to combat antisemitism

Veteran German diplomat Felix Klein was thrust into the limelight in April 2018 when he became his country's first federal commissioner to combat antisemitism. Hailed by Jewish leaders for having already played a "pivotal role in Germany’s efforts to combat antisemitism," Klein's appointment followed a spate of violent antisemitic incidents in Germany in the wake of the US decision to move its Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As well as tackling the threat posed by Germany's far-right, Klein is also addressing antisemitism among Muslim immigrants, whom, he says, "have been given a picture of Jews and Israel in their original homelands which has led to antisemitic attitudes." Klein has also pledged to combat the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, denouncing it "as antisemitic in its actions and goals." (Photo: Screenshot.)

GOVERNMENT

56 .

Gadi Eizenkot

Chief of staff, Israel Defense Forces

The chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) since 2015, Gadi Eizenkot has revolutionized Israel's military doctrine. Surveying the range of threats facing Israel 70 years after its independence, Eizenkot's "IDF Strategy" rests upon securing long periods of peace and deterrence after military force is used. The son of Moroccan immigrants to the Israeli city of Tiberias, Eizenkot is a former commander in the Golani Brigade. He also served as Israel's minister of defense under former Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Among Eizenkot's honors is the US Legion of Merit, awarded to him by Gen. Joseph Dunford as recognition that his "contribution to the strategic cooperation between the United States and Israel will have a lasting effect on both countries." (Photo: Reuters / Baz Ratner / File.)

GOVERNMENT

57 .

Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu

King of the Zulu Nation

Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu is the reigning monarch of the Zulu Nation in South Africa, recognized as a "traditional leader" under the country's post-apartheid constitution. The formal custodian of Zulu customs and traditions, King Goodwill has combined the revival of traditional Zulu culture with modern programs in health and education, in a bid to combat to spread of the deadly AIDS virus. Among those actions was a decree mandating circumcision for boys, an operation the World Health Organization says reduces the risk of AIDS by 60 percent. King Goodwill has praised South African Jews for building two state-of-the-art AIDS clinics in his kingdom. A fervent advocate of cooperation with Israel, King Goodwill this year stated his belief that Israel's revolutionary water technology can "make our dams our source of life." (Photo: JN / JDP / Reuters.)

GOVERNMENT

58 .

Horacio Cartes

Former president of Paraguay

The president of Paraguay until the election of April 2018, one of Horacio Cartes' final acts in office was to announce that his country's embassy in Israel would move from Tel Aviv to the capital, Jerusalem. At the embassy opening in May, Cartes spoke movingly of his affection for the Jewish state. "From the depth of my heart, I appreciate this country that courageously defends its right to live in peace and it is building a praiseworthy economically prosperous state that ensures its future and that of its children," he said. Cartes will continue to be a significant figure in Paraguayan politics, and an important ally of Israel in Latin America. (Photo: Avi Ohayon / GPO.)

GOVERNMENT

59 .

Jimmy Morales

President of Guatemala

2018 has been a challenging year for Jimmy Morales, the former comic actor who was elected president of Guatemala in a landslide victory three years ago. The eruption of the Fuego volcano in June impacted almost 2 million people, displacing thousands from their homes and claiming the lives of more than 100. Among the aid teams rushing to help survivors were several from Israel, who arrived with first-aid kits, water purification tablets and other vital necessities. The closeness of Israel's relationship with Guatemala was symbolized by Morales' decision in May to move his country's embassy to Jerusalem. That courageous act, Morales said at the embassy's inauguration on May 16, was delivered as a message to Israel of "peace, love and fraternity." (Photo: Reuters / Luis Echeverria.)

GOVERNMENT

60 .

John Bolton

National security advisor of the United States

John Bolton's return to the heart of government as US President Donald Trump's national security adviser in April 2018 was greeted by many observers as a sign of American resolve against major adversaries like Iran and its terrorist proxies – Hezbollah, Hamas and others – across the Middle East. Bolton became a nationally-renowned figure during his 2005-06 tenure as US ambassador to the UN during the George W. Bush administration. He has been a stalwart supporter of Israel since the outset of his diplomatic career, when he drove the successful US effort at the United Nations in 1991 to rescind the General Assembly's infamous resolution equating Zionism with racism. A noted scholar, author and contributor to major media networks, Bolton is a past chairman of the Gatestone Institute and a former resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. (Photo: Reuters / Joshua Roberts.)

GOVERNMENT

61 .

Kenneth Meshoe

President, African Christian Democratic Party

In July 2018, South African politician Rev. Kenneth Meshoe led an ebullient, 5,000-strong demonstration in Pretoria expressing solidarity with Israel. Addressing the rally afterwards, Meshoe warned the ruling African National Congress (ANC) that its bid to downgrade diplomatic relations with Israel could cost the party the votes of millions of pro-Israel Christians. "If you don’t listen to these thousands who are here to represent millions of Christians in South Africa, who are saying do not downgrade the Israeli embassy, then next year Hamas, which influences you, won’t be there to vote for you," Meshoe declared. The president of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), Meshoe has been hailed by South Africa's Jewish community for his energetic campaign to counter the slander that Israel is an "apartheid state" akin to the former white minority regime in that country. (Photo: Screenshot.)

GOVERNMENT

62 .

Margaret Hodge

Member of parliament of the United Kingdom

The daughter of a Jewish family who came to Britain to escape Nazi persecution, Dame Margaret Hodge is a veteran Labour Party politician and MP for the Barking constituency in east London. Known for her candid style and energetic campaigning, Hodge thrashed a neo-fascist candidate to win her parliamentary seat in the 2015 General Election. In 2018, she turned her sights on Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, telling him to his face that he is an "antisemite and a racist." Despite sitting on over 300 unanswered complaints about Labour antisemitism, Corbyn immediately announced disciplinary action against Hodge, only to back down in the face of a public outcry. Hodge, meanwhile, was unbowed, stating “I stand by my action as well as my words” as she accused her party of "entrenching antisemitism" in its ranks. (Photo: Chris McAndrew.)

GOVERNMENT

63 .

Mike Pompeo

United States secretary of state

Being named as the 70th secretary of state of the United States in April 2018 marked another milestone in the impressive career of Mike Pompeo. The former US army officer served as Director of the CIA from January 2017 until his move to the State Department, and also spent 2011-17 as a congressman representing Kansas's 4th congressional district. In recent months, Pompeo has focused on two of the gravest international threats posed to the US and its allies: North Korea and Iran. In August, Pompeo announced the creation of the Iran Action Group to coordinate the US policy of sanctions and pressure on the regime in Tehran. The US "withdrew from the flawed Iran nuclear deal [of July 2015], which failed to restrain Iran’s nuclear progress or its campaigns of violence abroad," Pompeo said at the IAG's launch. "In its place President Trump has instituted a campaign of pressure, deterrence, and solidarity with the long-suffering Iranian people." (Photo: Andrew Harnik / Pool via Reuters.)

GOVERNMENT

64 .

Narendra Modi

Prime minister of India

India's formidable prime minister paid an unforgettable official visit to Israel in July 2017. More than a year later, the bilateral relationship between India and the Jewish state is flourishing. During Modi’s Israel visit, seven cooperation agreements were signed in the areas of innovation, technology, water, agriculture, and space science. When Prime Minister Netanyahu paid a reciprocal visit to India in January 2018, the two countries signed nine further agreements in various sectors, including cybersecurity, oil and gas and solar energy. As well as cooperation on trade and economic relations, Modi – a supporter of Israel throughout his political career – is being urged to heed Israeli and American warnings about Iran's nuclear program. Relations between Modi and the Trump administration are less warm, however, with India raising import duties on US goods following the US decision to hike tariffs on steel and aluminium produced abroad. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

GOVERNMENT

65 .

Nikki Haley

United States ambassador to the United Nations

If any US diplomat embodies America's newly-rediscovered determination to confront the world's tyrannies, then it's the ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. Previously the first governor of South Carolina to be both a woman and from a minority – Haley's parents immigrated to the US from India – President Trump paid tribute to her as “proven deal-maker” in nominating her for the UN post in January 2017. Nearly two years later, she has established herself as the leading voice at the UN on human rights emergencies from Syria to Burma, as well as a passionate defender of Israel. Haley has also taken concrete action to show she means business, leading the US withdrawal from the UN's fatally-flawed Human Rights Council, as well as cultural body UNESCO. At the same time, Haley is also winning friends, making history in June when a US-sponsored resolution at the General Assembly condemning Hamas passed with a plurality of votes. That vote, a US official told The Algemeiner afterwards, is a sign that "times are changing at the UN." (Photo: Reuters / Mike Segar.)

GOVERNMENT

66 .

Nir Barkat

Mayor of Jerusalem

Elected as Jerusalem's ninth mayor in 2008, Nir Barkat has inspired thousands of Jerusalemites with his relentless work to turn Israel's poorest city into one rich in culture, youth, tourism, education, and sustainable economic development. This effort, coupled with his message of respect and pluralism for all residents of Jerusalem, all served as the basis for his re-election for a second term in 2013. Barkat has increased the municipal budget by an average of 10% each year in office, spurring dramatic growth in employment, investment in infrastructure, and cultural development. Accordingly, Jerusalem has become a national leader in resident satisfaction, youth engagement and enlistment in the IDF. Following the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem in May 2018, Barkat announced that “the square adjacent to the embassy in the capital will be called ‘United States Square’ – in honor of President Donald Trump.” (Photo: Algemeiner.)

GOVERNMENT

67 .

Prince William

Duke of Cambridge

Born William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor on June 21, 1982, he is the eldest son of Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. From an early age, Prince William was already breaking with tradition. His mother gave birth in St. Mary's Hospital, London, making him the first direct heir to the throne to be born outside palace walls. So it was perhaps fitting that in 2018, William became the first British royal to visit Israel in an official capacity, including a stop at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. It's been a happy year for William in other ways too, as he and his wife Princess Catherine celebrated the birth of their second son, Louis, in May. (Photo: Twitter / Kensington Palace.)

GOVERNMENT

68 .

Rachel Freier

Judge

The New York Times calls Rachel Freier the "Hasidic Super Woman of Night Court." The 52 year-old grandmother became one of the first Hasidic female lawyers in Brooklyn in 2005; in November 2016, she was elected as a judge to civil court, an achievement that makes her the only Hasidic woman judge in the world. On hand for Freier's swearing-in was Hasidic singer Lipa Schmeltzer, who sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" along with a Yiddish version of "God Bless America." A documentary about Freier's career, "93Queen" – directed by Paula Eiselt – was released in August 2018, featuring a segment on the Ezras Nashim (Hebrew for “Helping Women”) ambulance service which Freier launched with friends in her community to ensure that "no woman should ever be embarrassed to call for help." (Photo: Stefano Giovannini / VIN news.)

GOVERNMENT

69 .

Yossi Cohen

Director of Mossad

In 2015, Yossi Cohen was named as head of Israel's security agency, the Mossad, after a distinguished career in the Israeli military. In his previous service with the Mossad, Cohen specialized in enlisting and handling agents for the agency, and headed the Mossad's Tzomet collectives division. He also headed a technological intelligence collection division within the Mossad before being named deputy head. Prior to becoming Mossad chief, Cohen was national security advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu. Known as "The Model" for his impeccable appearance, Cohen speaks fluent English, French and Arabic, and is an accomplished marathon runner. (Photo: Alchetron.)

GOVERNMENT

70 .

Amanda Berman

Director of legal affairs, The Lawfare Project

Amanda Berman is an attorney and the director of legal affairs at The Lawfare Project, where she is fighting the legal battle to protect and defend the civil rights of the Jewish people. She has been a vocal proponent of civil rights, human rights, and social justice throughout her career. In 2017, Berman co-founded Zioness – a coalition of activists and allies who express their Zionist and progressive values through collective action – after months of discussion with friends and colleagues about the pervasive divisions in the progressive movement and the hostility towards pro-Israel activists. Zioness is driven by the belief that the same values of human rights and self-determination at the heart of progressive causes also underlie Zionism, the movement to achieve self-determination for the Jews, a long-oppressed minority group. (Photo: The Lawfare Project.)

INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

71 .

Angel Mas

President, ACOM

The president of ACOM, the principal organization in Spain countering the antisemitic BDS movement that targets Israel, Angel Mas made headlines in August 2018 when he successfully led a legal campaign that reversed pro-boycott policies adopted by two major Spanish cities. The two repeals came in the wake of a lawsuit filed by ACOM, which warned that the resolution unlawfully discriminated against “any Israeli citizen or company, and any Spanish individual associated with Israel.” Under Mas' leadership, ACOM has so far won 33 cases against BDS in Spanish courts, and lost none. These include two high court rulings in 2016 and 2017, which found that the BDS movement engages in unconstitutional discrimination. Mas holds a BA in Business Administration from ICADE in Madrid and from Middlesex University in London, as well as a postgraduate degree from the Darden Business School at the University of Virginia. (Photo: LinkedIn.)

INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

72 .

Elmehdi Boudra

Founder and president, Association Mimouna

In 2007, a group of Muslim students in Morocco decided that the ancient heritage of the North African nation's Jewish community needed preserving and promoting. They formed the Association Mimouna – named after the traditional Moroccan Jewish celebration of the end of Passover – not just to celebrate the Jewish contribution to Morocco, but to combat conspiracy theories, Holocaust denial and other expressions of contemporary antisemitism. Mimouna President Elmehdi Boudra – Association Mimouna's original founder – is a graduate of Brandeis University. Boudra previously worked for the Moroccan foreign ministry and for the Moroccan Jewish Museum in Casablanca. (Photo: Facebook.)

INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

73 .

Hen Mazzig

Activist

Hen Mazzig is an Israeli writer, international speaker, social media activist and advocate. Hen’s family comes from Iraq and North Africa, giving him a unique background for his talks, in which he shares his family’s story and the story of 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries. As a young Israeli, Hen served in the IDF for almost five years as an openly gay commander. During his service as a lieutenant in the COGAT unit, he worked as an intermediary between the Israeli Defense Forces (the IDF), the Palestinian Authority, the UN, and the many non-governmental organizations that work in the West Bank. His award winning articles and op-eds can be found in Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel and more. He has shared his story with thousands of students throughout the USA, Canada and the UK during the last four years. (Photo: Twitter.)

INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

74 .

John Hagee

National chairman, Christians United For Israel

Pastor John C. Hagee is the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, a non-denominational evangelical church with more than 22,000 active members. He is the author of 39 major books, seven of which were on the New York Times Bestseller’s List including the 2013 blockbuster Four Blood Moons.  His most recent book Earth’s Last Empire: The Final Game of Thrones will be published in September 2018. Pastor Hagee founded and is the National chairman of Christians United For Israel (CUFI), a grass-roots organization which has grown to become the largest Christian pro-Israel group in the United States, with over 3.5 million members.  CUFI conducts an annual Washington D.C.-Israel Summit that gives thousands of CUFI delegates from every state in the union an opportunity to meet members of congress and speak as one voice on behalf of Israel. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.) 

INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

75 .

Leah Goldin

Parent of Hadar Goldin

Israeli mother Leah Goldin's life was turned upside down when her son, Lt. Hadar Goldin, died in combat in the Gaza Strip during the IDF's Operation Protective Edge in August 2014. Hadar was one of two fallen IDF soldiers from that conflict – the other being Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul – whose remains have yet to be returned to Israel for burial. In a 2017 interview with The Algemeiner, Leah Goldin pointed out that “Bringing a soldier back to Israel to burial is, first and foremost, a humanitarian issue. This is an important value in all religions. It’s about human dignity.” In 2018, Goldin and her supporters have argued against any agreement with Hamas for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip as long as the terror group illegally holds both Israeli hostages and the remains of IDF soldiers. (Photo: US Mission to UN.)

INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

76 .

Mark Dubowitz

CEO, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Mark Dubowitz is the chief executive of the Washington, DC-based think-tank, Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD.) An authority on Iran, the New York Times dubbed his campaign to draw attention to the flaws in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as being among "the most consequential ever undertaken by a Washington think tank leader." Dubowitz has testified before Congress on Iran sanctions issues and briefed the U.S. military, U.S., European and Canadian government officials, members of Congress, and counterterrorism officials on a range of national security and terrorism-related concerns. He graduated with honors with a masters in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. (Photo: FDD.)

INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

77 .

Muhammad Kabiya

Activist

Muhammad Kabiya is an Israeli Bedouin who served in the IDF on a search and rescue team in the Israeli Air Force. Raised in the village of Kabiya, which was named after his family, Mohammad comes from a long line of Bedouin who have supported Israel. After finishing his service in the IDF, Mohammad continued his work on behalf of Israel, becoming an IDF consultant and pro-Israel activist. After a speaking tour of US campuses in 2017, Kabiya told Israeli TV, "I confronted Jewish students who claimed that Zionism is racism – I told them that they should be embarrassed." He continued, "My family sacrificed three soldiers in Israel’s battles. I’m defending the image of the state that they are trying to destroy.” (Photo: Courtesy.)

INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

78 .

Patrick Desbois

President, Yahad-In Unum

A Roman Catholic priest, Father Desbois has dedicated his life to researching the Holocaust, fighting antisemitism and furthering relations between Catholics and Jews. In 2004 he helped found "Yahad-In Unum," a project whose mission is to investigate the mass executions of Jews and Roma in the Ukraine and Belarus between 1941 and 1944. He has located the graves of more than 1 million Jews throughout Eastern Europe and interviewed scores of witnesses in an effort to preserve the memory of the many forgotten Jews of Eastern Europe. Desbois' work in promoting Jewish-Christian dialogue and Holocaust commemoration earned him France's highest honor, the Légion d'honneur. (Photo: Screenshot.)

INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

79 .

Bernard Marcus

Chairman, Marcus Foundation

Bernard "Bernie" Marcus's story is also the story of the American dream. Born to Russian Jewish immigrant parents in 1947, Marcus grew up in a tenement building in Newark, NJ. After studying pharmacology at Rutgers University while working for his father's business, Marcus recognized his talents as a retailer. After launching the multi-billion dollar chain Home Depot in 1979, Marcus retired from business in 2000, and has since become one of the leading philanthropists in the US. A generous supporter of Jewish causes, he is a founder of the Israel Democracy Institute and the current chairman of the Marcus Foundation, which has provided more than $1 billion to a range of programs, from care for military veterans to educational programs for children with special needs. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

PHILANTHROPY

80 .

Mem D. Bernstein

Chairman, The AVI CHAI Foundation

Mem Dryan Bernstein – venture philanthropist – is the chairman of The AVI CHAI Foundation, a leader in Jewish education, and a trustee of Keren Keshet – The Rainbow Foundation, whose signature project, Nextbook, promotes Jewish literature, culture, and ideas. Bernstein is also a trustee of The Tikvah Fund, which supports programs and projects that educate Jewish intellectual, political, and religious leaders in Israel and the Diaspora. In the late 1980s, Mrs. Bernstein authored two books that resonate with today’s baby boom generation: Aging Parents and You, published in the US, and The Sandwich Generation, published in Israel. Known as someone who shys away from media attention, Bernstein began her philanthropic work using the fortune left to her by her late husband. (Photo: Courtesy.)

PHILANTHROPY

81 .

Sheldon Adelson

CEO and chairman, Las Vegas Sands

Number 21 on Forbes Magazine's 2018 list of the world's billionaires, Sheldon Adelson is also one of the most politically influential business personalities in the world, counting President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu among his friends. The CEO and chairman of Las Vegas Sands, the largest casino company in America, Adelson is the son of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania and Wales, who grew up sleeping on the floor of a Boston tenement. In 2017, Adelson gave $5 million to Trump's inaugural committee, reportedly the largest such donation in US history. Adelson is also the owner of the daily Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom. Over the years, his generosity in funding Jewish causes has become legendary, with Birthright Israel and Israel's official Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem among institutions that have received millions of dollars from the Adelson Family Foundation he runs with his wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

PHILANTHROPY

82 .

Winnie Sandler Grinspoon

President, Harold Grinspoon Foundation

Since June 2014, Winnie Sandler Grinspoon has served as president of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Founded in 1991, the foundation has invested more than $200 million dollars in Jewish causes, in keeping with its mission to enhance Jewish life and strengthen the Jewish community. Among the foundation's many current projects is "Sifriyat Pijama," which distributes high-quality children's books on Jewish/Israeli heritage and values to children in Israeli schools. Prior to her work in philanthropy, Winnie practiced law, first in New York (Stroock & Stroock & Lavan) and Boston (Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, now K&L Gates), and more recently in her own law practice. Winnie holds a BS from Cornell University and a JD from Fordham University.

PHILANTHROPY

83 .

Adin Steinsaltz

Talmudic scholar

One of Israel's most prolific and highly-regarded writers on Jewish philosophy and religious thought, Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz is a past winner of The Israel Prize, the highest honor bestowed by the Jewish state. Steinsaltz is also the first person since the medieval sage Rashi to have completed a full translation of and commentary on the Babylonian Talmud, and of the Bible (Tanakh) – a project he began in 1965 and completed in 2010. In 2018, Steinsaltz's landmark commentary on the entire Bible, from the Five Books of Moses through the Prophets and the Writings, is being published in a new English-Hebrew edition. Other honors received by Steinstaltz include Israel’s inaugural Israeli Presidential Award of Distinction and the French Order of Arts and Literature. (Photo: migdalworld.org.)

RELIGION

84 .

Berel Lazar

Chief rabbi of Russia

Eighteen is considered a lucky number Jewish tradition, and this year marks Italian-born Berel Lazar's eighteenth year as chief rabbi of Russia. Lazar's service to Russian Jews dates back to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990, when he arrived in the country as an emissary of the Chabad movement. During Lazar's tenure, the Russian-Jewish community of nearly 200,000 has experienced a flowering unlike any other in its history. Lazar himself has described the last two decades as a "spiritual revolution" that created "hundreds of thriving communities." In the process, Lazar has become close – his critics say too close – with Russian President Vladimir Putin. That relationship is under renewed scrutiny following the recent revelations that Lazar secretly accompanied Putin on a visit to Iran in early 2018, with Putin summarily dismissing the objections of Iranian leaders to Lazar's presence. (Photo: Kremlin.)

RELIGION

85 .

David Lau

Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel

One of the eight children of the late Askhenazi chief rabbi of Israel, Meir Lau, David Lau in 2018 marked his fifth year in the post once occupied by his father. His religious scholarship includes a volume of his father's Talmudic responsa entitled "Yichil Yisrael." Known for his embrace of technology and media as a means of religious education, Lau was the first rabbi in Israel to teach responsa over the internet. Since the summer of 2006, he has appeared every Friday on the show "Ask the Rabbi" on HaArutz HaRishon, a show about halakhic questions and answers. Since 1999, he has broadcast the daily program "Jewish Point" on the radio station Kol Chai. (Photo: Gershon Elinson / Flash90.)

RELIGION

86 .

Ephraim Mirvis

Chief rabbi of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth

The 11th chief rabbi of Britain's 250,000-strong Jewish community, South African-born Ephraim Mirvis moved to Ireland in 1982, to take up the rabbi's position at a synagogue in Dublin. A former chief rabbi of Ireland, Mirvis has also served as rabbi of two of the largest Jewish congregations in London. Appointed as chief rabbi of the UK in 2013, Mirvis has found himself thrust into the political limelight as a result the continuing antisemitism scandals plaguing the British Labour Party and its far-left leader, Jeremy Corbyn. In a stinging rebuke to the Labour Party in July over its refusal to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, Mirvis warned that "Other groups might also legitimately ask if they will be next in having the prejudice they are subject to defined for them." (Photo: Foreign and Commonwealth Office.)

RELIGION

87 .

Jonathan Sacks

Author and theologian

Described by HRH Prince Charles as “a light unto this nation” and by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as “an intellectual giant," former British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks now walks the global stage as one of the most eloquent representatives of Judaism and the Jewish faith. Since he stepped down from the chief rabbi's post in 2013 – a position he held for 22 years – Sacks has held a number of professorships at several academic institutions including Yeshiva University and King’s College London. In addition to his writing and lecturing, he currently serves as the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor at New York University. The holder of 17 honorary doctorates, Rabbi Sacks was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 2005 and made a Life Peer, taking his seat in the British House of Lords in October 2009. (Photo: Office of Rabbi Sacks.)

RELIGION

88 .

Muhammad Al-Issa

Secretary general, Muslim World League

A former justice minister of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad Al-Issa was appointed secretary general of the influential Muslim World League (MWL) in August 2016. In that capacity, he has embarked on an unprecedented campaign of outreach to the world Jewish community, bearing a message that Islam respects the right of the Jewish people to "live in dignity." In an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner in February, Al-Issa spoke of Islam as a humane and tolerant religion, urging, “We must increase our closeness, our knowledge of one another, and our cooperation.” Al-Issa has been particularly active in combating the widespread Holocaust denial in the Muslim world, visiting the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC in May 2018. Those who deny the facts of the Holocaust, Al-Issa reflected after his tour of the exhibition, are themselves complicit "in the continuation of this crime against humanity." (Photo: Reuters / Clotaire Achi.)

RELIGION

89 .

Warren Goldstein

Chief rabbi of South Africa

The chief rabbi of South Africa since 2005, Warren Goldstein is revered across the Jewish world for his commitment to Jewish community life and education, as well as for his courageous leadership of South African Jewry at a time of growing antisemitism and anti-Zionist extremism in that country. Best known for "The Shabbos Project" – an initiative that encourages South African Jews across different denominations to celebrate Shabbat together – Goldstein is the author of four books, including African Soul Talk: When Politics is not Enough (with Dumani Mandela, grandson of the late Nelson Mandela) and Defending the Human Spirit: Jewish Law’s Vision for a Moral Society. (Photo: Screenshot.)

RELIGION

90 .

Yehuda Krinsky

Chairman, Chabad’s Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch

Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky served as secretary to Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson for over 40 years. He is the chairman of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Rabbi Krinsky has been active in helping build new schools and expanding the reach of the Chabad movement around the world. He has also participated in efforts to retrieve a large library of books connected to the Chabad movement which is in the custody of the Russian government. Many of the books were seized from the previous rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, as part of a Soviet crackdown on religion after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Krinsky garnered the support of, among others, prominent actor Jon Voight and former Kansas governor Sam Brownback for the cause of returning these books. (Photo: Chabad movement.)

RELIGION

91 .

Yitzhak Yosef

Sephardi chief rabbi of Israel

The sixth son of the late Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel, Ovadia Yosef, Yitzhak Yosef has served in the post once occupied by his father since 2013. Rabbi Yosef, who began his Talmudic studies at the age of 12, is the author of a set of books on Jewish law called "Yalkut Yosef," for which he was awarded the Rabbi Toledano Prize from the Tel Aviv Religious Council, as well as the Rav Kook Prize. Known for his outspoken public comments, in April 2018 Yosef called for international military intervention against the Assad regime in Syria. “I have said in the past and I will say it again, what’s happening in Syria is genocide of women and children in its cruelest form, using weapons of mass destruction,” Rabbi Yosef declared. (Photo: Screenshot.)

RELIGION

92 .

Daniel O'Dowd

President, Irish Students for Israel

Embracing the cause of Israel in the Republic of Ireland at the present time is a brave act, and one that law student Daniel O' Dowd has taken on with aplomb. The president of Irish Students for Israel, Maynooth University student O'Dowd has launched a direct challenge to pro-BDS resolutions adopted by student and teacher's unions in Ireland. “Contrary to some theories, peace doesn’t lie in the destruction of Israel,” O’Dowd said of the BDS campaign in an interview with The Algemeiner in April. He also drew out the parallels in Irish and Jewish history, saying that both nations "fought to throw off the yoke of the British Empire, they both underwent centuries of religious, cultural and systematic persecution – the Irish at the hands of the British, the Jews at the hands of the Romans, Crusaders, Arabs.” (Photo: Facebook.)

TOMORROW

93 .

Hunter Pollack

School safety advocate

Nineteen year-old Hunter Pollack has come to national attention during 2018 as an advocate for school safety. That was the result of losing his sister, Meadow, during the February 14 shooting massacre at a high school in Parkland, FL, that claimed the lives of 17 students and staff. The son of Shara Kaplan and Andrew Pollack, Hunter was invited to a White House listening session a week after the Stoneman Douglas shooting that was hosted by President Trump. At that meeting, he wore his kippah. “I wore it there because I’m proud to be Jewish,” he explained later. “I wanted to wear my kippah in the highest office of the land. My Jewish peers in this country need to be proud of being Jewish, and that’s how we can honor Meadow’s memory as a beautiful Jewish girl.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

TOMORROW

94 .

Ben Shapiro

Editor-in-chief, The Daily Wire

One of the best-known conservative columnists in the US – and the scourge of left-wing progressives and supporters of President Trump alike – Shapiro has been writing about politics since the age of 17. At the height of the 2016 presidential election, Shapiro publicized the antisemitic abuse targeting him in an article for the National Review. "I've experienced more pure, unadulterated antisemitism since coming out against Trump's candidacy than at any other time in my political career," he wrote. Political battles which Shapiro has been fighting in 2018 include his trenchant criticisms of Pope Francis over the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. A New York Times bestselling author of seven books, Shapiro is editor-in-chief of news and opinion site The Daily Wire and host of the popular video podcast, "The Ben Shapiro Show." (Photo: Facebook.)

VOICES

95 .

Ilana Dayan

Investigative journalist

The host of Uvda ("Fact" in Hebrew), the leading investigative and current affairs program on Israeli television, Ilana Dayan is one of Israel's leading journalism and television personalities. Dayan was born in Argentina and immigrated to Israel with her family at the age of 6. She was drafted into the IDF during the First Lebanon War in 1982 and served as producer, editor and correspondent for the Israel Army Radio. Dayan was the first woman correspondent in the station's history. Afterwards, she studied law at Tel Aviv University and went on to complete her Ph.D. at Yale University. A member of the Israeli Bar Association, Dayan has grappled with issues of free speech in Israel both as a lawyer and as a reporter. (Photo: IDF.)

VOICES

96 .

James Taranto

Editorial features editor, The Wall Street Journal

James Taranto is the editorial features editor of the Wall Street Journal. Until January 2017 he wrote the popular Best of the Web column for WSJ.com. In August 2007 he was named a member of the Journal's editorial board. From 2000 through 2008, his column appeared at OpinionJournal.com, where he served as editor. He previously served as the WSJ's deputy editorial features editor. He joined the WSJ in 1996 as an assistant editorial features editor after spending five years as an editor at City Journal, the Manhattan Institute's quarterly of urban public policy. He has also worked for the Heritage Foundation, United Press International, Reason magazine and KNX News Radio in Los Angeles. He is co-editor of Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and the Worst in the White House (Wall Street Journal Books, 2004). (Photo: Courtesy.)

VOICES

97 .

Mark Lewis

Lawyer

One of the UK's top media lawyers, Mark Lewis made the headlines again in 2018 when he announced in a BBC interview that he and his wife, Mandy Blumenthal, would move to Israel by the end of the year in reaction to the growing antisemitism in his native country. "[Labour Party leader] Jeremy Corbyn moved the rock, and the antisemites crawled out from underneath the rock," Lewis said of the couple's decision. "Fifteen years ago, somebody painted a swastika on my garage door in Manchester, that was a message. Now with the effect of social media, it’s almost every day.” Professionally, Lewis is known for having pioneered the “phone-hacking” claims against leading British media outlets that resulted in the closure of the News of the World tabloid. (Photo: Courtesy.)

VOICES

98 .

Michael Walzer

Author

One of America’s foremost political thinkers, Michael Walzer has written about a wide variety of topics in political theory and moral philosophy, including political obligation, just and unjust war, nationalism and ethnicity, economic justice, and the welfare state. Walzer’s books include Just and Unjust Wars (1977), Spheres of Justice (1983), On Toleration (1997), Arguing About War (2004), and The Paradox of Liberation (2015). He served as co-editor of the left-wing political journal Dissent for more than three decades, retiring in 2014. Walzer has been an important voice on the American left opposing the BDS movement and the demonization of Israel. An expert on Jewish political thought, Walzer is a co-editor of the book series The Jewish Political Tradition, the third volume of which was published in May 2018. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

VOICES

99 .

Noémie Halioua

Journalist

French-Jewish journalist Halioua is the author of L'Affaire Sarah Halimi (Editions du Cerf 2018), the first in-depth examination of the brutal murder in April 2017 of Sarah Halimi, a 65 year-old Jewish pensioner who lived on her own in Paris. In the book, Halioua documents both Halimi's ordeal at the hands of her murderer, who chanted prayers from the Qu'ran as he savagely beat and then threw her to her death from a third-floor window. A former reporter for the leading French newspaper Le Figaro, Halioua contributes regularly to The Huffington Post and other publications. In a radio interview in March, Halioua warned that France was "in a situation where the nation is in danger, it is much broader than antisemitism." She continued, "what we can say is that the Jews were first on the list."

VOICES

100 .

Ross Cameron

TV host

Colorful Australian TV host Ross Cameron – a former Liberal party parliamentarian – is known for saying exactly what he thinks. Viewers who tuned into his show on Sky News Australia on June 1, 2018, heard Cameron pour the kind of praise upon Israel and the Jewish people that would turn most cheeks red. Calling Israel a "rare jewel," Cameron pounced on conventional wisdom by labeling the Jewish state "one of the best things going for the Middle East." And he wasn't finished. "Wherever you are in the world, if you have a Jewish neighbor, say, ‘God bless you,’” Cameron continued. “When you see a Jew walking on the street you should recognize an ancestor of King David, and say this is absolutely the most awesome story of human survival ever written.” (Photo: Screenshot.)

VOICES

1 . of
  • Abraham Socher

    Editor, Jewish Review of Books

    Abraham Socher is the editor of the Jewish Review of Books, a quarterly publication he founded in 2010 with the support of the Tikvah Fund. The JRB focuses on the newest books and ideas about religion, literature, culture, and politics, as well as fiction, poetry, and the arts. Socher was educated at UCLA, Harvard University and UC Berkeley, where he received a PhD in History. He is the author of The Radical Enlightenment of Solomon Maimon: Judaism, Philosophy, Heresy (Stanford University Press, 2006), and has published essays and reviews on topics in Jewish intellectual history, literary criticism and baseball. He is a professor at Oberlin College in the Department of Religion and directs the program in Jewish Studies. (Photo: Screenshot.)

    ACADEMIA

  • David Biale

    Professor, University of California, Davis

    David Biale is the Emanuel Ringelblum distinguished professor of Jewish history and the director of the Jewish Studies program at the University of California, Davis. He has written on the historian Gershom Scholem, as well as on themes of power, sexuality, blood and secularization in Jewish history. In December 2017, Biale published an 800-page volume on the history of Hasidism, written with a team of academic colleagues, with Princeton University Press. “Our underlying argument is that Hasidism is part of modern Jewish history, not just an anti-modern phenomenon," Biale reflected on the book's publication. "It’s an important component of that history, and a shaper of it.” Biale's many books include Not in the Heavens: The Tradition of Jewish Secular Thought (2010) and Power and Powerlessness in Jewish History (1986). Biale is also the co-author of the volume on Judaism published by the Norton Anthology of World Religions. (Photo: Screenshot.)

    ACADEMIA

  • Gil Troy

    Professor, McGill University

    Leading Jewish scholar Gil Troy is professor of history at McGill University in Montreal and a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. Professor Troy's writings have appeared in The New York TimesThe New Republic, and other major media outlets. His books include biographies of former President Ronald Reagan and former New York Senator Hillary Clinton. His latest book, The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland – Then, Now, Tomorrow, sheds light on the surprisingly diverse and shared visions for realizing Israel as a democratic Jewish state. Building on Arthur Hertzberg’s classic, The Zionist Idea, Troy explores the backstories, dreams, and legacies of more than 170 passionate Jewish visionaries from the 1800s to today. (Photo: McGill University.)

    ACADEMIA

  • Joseph Koerner

    Professor, Harvard University

    A professor of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University, Koerner is currently working on the film The Burning Child, which traces the rise of creativity and the forces countering it in early 20th-century Vienna. Koerner's documentary highlights the antisemitism that plagued Viennese intellectual circles, casting Jews and non-Jews in "deadly opposition." Partly inspired by the experience of his father – a Jew who fled Vienna following Austria's incorporation by Nazi Germany in 1938 – Koerner notes that the individuals in his film all believed they would be safe inside their own homes. "All the people I document, including my grandparents, thought the same thing,” Koerner said in a January 2018 interview. (Wikimedia Commons.)

    ACADEMIA

  • Keith Eldredge

    Assistant vice president and dean of students, Fordham University

    The dean of students at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus in New York, NY, Keith Eldredge has won plaudits from Jewish and non-Jewish students for taking robust action against the anti-Zionist campus group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). In 2016, Eldredge denied SJP club status on the campus, explaining: "I cannot support an organization whose sole purpose is advocating political goals of a specific group, and against a specific country, when these goals clearly conflict with and run contrary to the mission and values of the University." He continued: "Specifically, the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel presents a barrier to open dialogue and mutual learning and understanding.” As a result of his stance, Eldredge continues to be targeted by pro-Palestinian activists, despite his compromise offer of a pro-Palestinian club with a name that does not raise the same “animosity and safety concerns" that SJP does. (Photo: LinkedIn.)

    ACADEMIA

  • Lawrence S. Bacow

    President, Harvard University

    Previously the president of Tufts University and the chancellor of MIT, Lawrence "Larry" Bacow's standing as a leader in American higher education was again recognized when he became president of Harvard University in August 2018. The son of a mother who survived Auschwitz and a father who escaped violent pogroms in Europe for a new life in America, the Pontiac, MI native capped off his own distinguished academic career with a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. An observer of kashrut who keeps a mezuzah on his office door, Bacow remains proud of his Jewish immigrant roots. As he told a press conference announcing his new position at Harvard earlier this year, "I would not be standing here today, literally, if this country had turned its back on my parents." (Photo: PR Newswire.)

    ACADEMIA

  • Lesley Klaff

    Senior lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University

    A senior lecturer in law at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK and an affiliate professor of law at Haifa University, British-Jewish academic Lesley Klaff is increasingly recognized as one of the world's leading scholars of contemporary antisemitism, frequently speaking at academic conferences in Israel, the US and Europe. In July 2018, Klaff was appointed editor-in-chief the prestigious Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism, which provides a forum for current academic research and analysis of anti-Zionism and antisemitism. Klaff is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of the Social Research Foundation and also serves on the academic advisory board of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law. (Photo: Screenshot.)

    ACADEMIA

  • Martin Goodman

    Professor, Oxford University

    Martin Goodman is professor of Jewish Studies at Oxford University and president of the Oxford Centre for Jewish and Hebrew Studies. He is a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford and the British Academy. His Rome and Jerusalem, published in 2008, was acknowledged as a landmark in the study of the Jewish people in the Roman Empire and has been translated into six languages. In 2018, Penguin Books published Goodman's A History of Judaism, a truly global interpretation that spans not only the Middle East, Europe and North Africa, but also China, India and America, and one that untangles the threads of doctrinal and philosophical debate running through Jewish history. (Photo: Oxford University.)

    ACADEMIA

  • Miriam Elman

    Professor, Syracuse University

    An associate professor of political science and security studies at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, Miriam Elman is a regular contributor to the influential blog Legal Insurrection on topics concerning Israel and the BDS movement. Her books include Jerusalem: Conflict and Cooperation in a Contested City (2014) and her op-eds have been published by Haaretz, The Post-Standard and other outlets. Elman is also an editorial board member of the journals International Security, Foreign Policy Analysis and Political Research Quarterly. She serves as a member of the Council of Scholars of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), a leading pro-Israel organization among higher education professionals. (Photo: Twitter.)

    ACADEMIA

  • Neri Oxman

    Professor, MIT Media Lab

    Pioneering American-Israel artist, designer and architect Neri Oxman has been revolutionizing the visual arts from her perch as professor at the Media Lab at MIT. Born and raised in Haifa, Oxman moved to the US in 2005 for her PhD. She has exhibited at some of the world's most famous public spaces, including the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City – whose curator, Paola Antonelli, has hailed Oxman as "a person ahead of her time, not of her time." Oxman's numerous awards include the 2014 Vilcek Prize in Design and the Cultural Leader award from the World Economic Forum in 2016, and the MIT Collier Medal in 2016. Intellectually, Oxman is known for her concept of "material ecology," in which products and building are considered in the context of their environments. (Photo: Noah Kalina.)

    ACADEMIA

  • Rafał Pankowski

    Professor, Collegium Civitas University

    Polish sociologist and anti-racism advocate Rafał Pankowski attracted the ire of his country's far right in 2018, with his trenchant criticism of legislation that would have criminalized the discussion of Polish collusion with the Nazi occupying authorities during World War II – when nearly 3 million Polish Jews were exterminated. Pankowski's article for the July 2018 edition of the Israel Journal of World Affairs, "The Resurgence of Antisemitic Discourse in Poland," probed the relationship between historical revisionism and antisemitism in today's Poland. An associate professor in sociology at Warsaw’s Collegium Civitas University and a co-founder of the Nigdy Więcej [Never Again] Association, which monitors and combats antisemitism and xenophobi, Pankowski's books include The Populist Radical Right in Poland (2010) and the forthcoming Poland: Inventing the Nation. Pankowski is frequently interviewed by The Algemeiner on Polish-Jewish affairs. (Photo: Screenshot.)

    ACADEMIA

  • Ruth Arnon

    Biochemist

    Israeli scientist Ruth Arnon earned both her MSc and her Ph.D. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem prior to joining the world-renowned Weizmann Institute in 1960. She is the incumbent of the Paul Ehrlich Chair in Immunochemistry and has held a number of senior posts at the Institute. Arnon has made significant contributions to the fields of vaccine development and cancer research, and to the study of parasitic diseases. She co-developed Copaxone, a multiple sclerosis (MS) drug currently marketed worldwide. Arnon is currently performing research on a universal, recombinant influenza vaccination. Her honors include the French Légion d'Honneur and the Israel Prize. In 2010, Arnon became the first woman to be elected as president of the Israel Academy of Science and Humanities. (Photo: Weizmann Institute of Science.)

    ACADEMIA

  • Simon Schama

    Professor, Columbia University

    British-born academic Simon Schama is professor of Art History and History at Columbia University in New York. He taught history at Cambridge (Christ's College), Oxford (Brasenose College) and art history and history at Harvard before coming to Columbia. His many books have won the Wolfson Award for History, the W.H. Smith Prize for Literature, the National Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature and many other honors. Among Schama's acclaimed recent works are his two-volume The Story of the Jews, along with an accompanying BBC/PBS television series hailed by The Guardian as a "towering achievement that demonstrates Schama's finest qualities to exhilarating effect." Two previous television series presented by Schama on British and American history won Broadcast Guild Awards. (Photo: Wikimedia.)

    ACADEMIA

  • Thane Rosenbaum

    Distinguished fellow, New York University School of Law

    Thane Rosenbaum is an essayist, law professor, and author of several novels. His articles, reviews and essays appear frequently in the New York TimesWall Street JournalWashington PostLos Angeles TimesCNNHaaretzHuffington Post and Daily Beast, among other national publications. He serves as the legal analyst for CBS News Radio. He also moderates an annual series of discussions on culture, world events and politics at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Rosenbaum is a distinguished fellow at New York University School of Law, where he directs the Forum on Law, Culture & Society. In its review of Rosenbaum's 2005 book The Myth of Moral Justice, the New York Times declared that "Rosenbaum has accomplished what multitudes of professors long for and so rarely achieve: He has set the terms for public debate." (Photo: Maxine Dovere.)

    ACADEMIA

  • Alicia Svigals

    Founder, The Klezmatics

    Violinist and composer Alicia Svigals is the world's foremost klezmer musician and founder of the Grammy award-winning group The Klezmatics. Having developed a love of klezmer during her travels in Europe and Israel, Svigals has taught this beloved Jewish musical style to hundreds of students, among them the renowned Israeli violinist Yitzhak Perlman. Other top artists and celebrities to have worked with Svigals over the years include famed writer Allen Ginsberg, Israeli singer Chava Alberstein and playwright Tony Kushner. Svigals more recent projects include the composition of a brand new musical score for a 1923 German-Jewish silent film about a rabbi’s son in an Eastern European shtetl who dreams of becoming an actor. (Photo: Runs With Scissors.)

    ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Amar'e Stoudemire

    Athlete

    Former NBA legend Amar'e Stoudemire has been getting more in touch with his Jewish roots since he moved to Israel in 2016, under a two-year deal that saw the former New York Knicks star playing for Hapoel Jerusalem. On a visit in August 2018 to New York, Stoudemire told interviewers during a visit to the Jewish Museum that when he's not training, "I study Torah. Study, train, study, train, study, train, study. That’s life.” He added, “I study with elders, with rabbis, with everyone. I don’t limit myself.” Stoudemire calls his growing, private collection of art the Melech Collection, which makes use of the Hebrew word for “king,” and his latest acquisition is a 45-foot mural depicting the siege of Jerusalem’s Second Temple. Stoudemire also has a wine label, Stoudemire Cellars, that released a line of three kosher-for-Passover wines this year. (Photo: Instagram.)

    ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Ben Kingsley

    Actor

    British actor Sir Ben Kingsley has been a household name ever since his unforgettable, Oscar-winning performance in the title-role of Gandhi (1982). In a dinstinguished screen career spanning five decades, Kingsley has often taken on Jewish roles – most memorably as Itzhak Stern in Schindler's List (1993). Other Jewish heroes he has played include Simon Wiesenthal in a 1989 HBO biopic – a role his close friend Wiesenthal urged him to take on – and Otto Frank in a 2002 television adaptation of Anne Frank's diary. But in his latest film Operation Finale (2018), Kingsley depicts the infamous SS officer, Adolf Eichmann, one of the principle architects of the Nazi Holocaust. "The torturer doesn’t have the last word," Kingsley said of playing Eichmann in a recent interview. "To quote Elie Wiesel, the last word belongs to the victim." (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

    ARTS AND CULTURE

  • David Grossman

    Author

    Israeli literary giant David Grossman was born in Jerusalem. He is the author of numerous works of fiction, nonfiction, and children's literature, including his most recent novel, A Horse Walks into a Bar, which was awarded the 2017 Man Booker International Prize. Grossman's work has has been translated into thirty languages around the world. He is the recipient of many additional prizes, including the French Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Buxtehuder Bulle in Germany, Rome's Premio per la Pace e l'Azione Umitaria, the Premio Ischia -- International Award for Journalism, Israel's Emet Prize, and the Albatross Prize given by the Günter Grass Foundation. (Photo: REUTERS / Gonzalo Fuentes / File Photo.)

    ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Dean Kremer

    Athlete

    In 2015, Dean Kremer became the first Israeli to be drafted by a Major League Baseball (MLB) team. Then just 19, the starting pitcher began his professional career with the San Diego Padres organization. In July 2018, Kremer was traded to the Baltimore Orioles organization. Kremer has also represented Israel at the national level, most famously as starting pitcher in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Despite being ranked by ESPN as the tournament's biggest underdog, Israel finished in third place – and Kremer remains determined to boost the sport's popularity in the Jewish state. "What I'd love to get out of the game is be a role model for kids in Israel along with kids in the Jewish community here," Kremer says. (Photo: Robbie Bullough / Ogden Raptors.)

    ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Joan Nathan

    Author

    One of the best-loved exponents of Jewish cuisine, food writer Joan Nathan is the author of eleven cookbooks. Her latest work, King Solomon’s Table: a Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World, was released by Alfred P. Knopf in April 2017. Her previous cookbook, Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France (Knopf), was named one of the 10 best cookbooks of 2010 by NPR, Food and Wine, and Bon Appétit magazines. She is a regular contributor to The New York Times. Her PBS television series, Jewish Cooking in America with Joan Nathan, was nominated in 2000 for the James Beard Award for Best National Television Food Show. Nathan has appeared as a guest on numerous radio and television programs including "The Today Show," "Good Morning America," "The Martha Stewart Show" and National Public Radio. (Photo: Twitter.)

    ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Linoy Ashram

    Athlete

    19 year-old Israeli athlete Linoy Ashram is one of the world's top rhythmic gymnasts. Since 2014, she has won bronze and silver medals at major international competitions and twice been crowned Israeli Junior national champion. In 2018 alone, her achievements have sky-rocketed, with gold medal victories at an international competition in Spain as well as in the World Cup series that took Ashram to Sofia, Pesaro and Tashkent. She even has a move – the "Ashram" – named after her, in which the gymnast executes a back-bend turn on the floor. Meanwhile, the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 are beckoning. Israel's Olympic Committee is clearly excited, duly noting in August that Ashram was the first athlete to win two gold medals in a single season in the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup. (Photo: Ayelet Zussman / Wikimedia Commons.)

    ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Lior Raz

    Screenwriter and actor

    Israeli screenwriter and actor Lior Raz has almost become a household name in the US with this portrait of Doron Kavillio in the political thriller television series Fauda. 2018 has seen Raz return to directing, with the release of his eagerly-awaited movie Operation Finale, starring Ben Kingsley as the fugitive Nazi Adolf Eichmann, who was captured by the Mossad in Argentina in 1960. Interviewed about the film, Raz – who also plays a starring role as then Mossad chief Isser Harel – spoke candidly about the challenges of depicting Eichmann, one of the principal architects of the Holocaust. “We’re not dealing with a villain like a superhero movie,” Raz explained. “The bad guy is just a bad guy, a flat-out bad guy. You don’t care about him. But in real life, very kind people can do awful things.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

    ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Michael Solomonov

    Chef and restaurateur

    Israeli-born, US-raised chef Solomonov is one of the leading ambassadors' for the modern Israeli cuisine that has set foodie palates alight in recent years. A proud advocate of the delights of Jewish and Israeli kitchens, Solomonov's Philadelphia restaurant, Zahav, has become a place of pilgrimage for lovers of inventive Israeli cooking. Solomonov's 2015 bestselling cookbook Zahav: A World of Israeli Cuisine was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Book Award. Israeli street food like hummus, falafel and shwarma, Solomonov told NPR in 2017, "is absolutely an inspiration" for him when he's in the kitchen. "I think it's almost what I crave the most when I go back there." (Photo: Michael Persico.)

    ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Naomi Firestone-Teeter

    Executive director, Jewish Book Council

    Naomi Firestone-Teeter is the executive director of the Jewish Book Council (JBC) – an organization whose origins stretch back to the first ever "Jewish Book Week" mounted by librarian Fanny Goldstein in 1925. Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Naomi joined the JBC staff in 2006. She graduated from Emory University with degrees in English and Art History and, in addition, studied at University College London. Naomi has served as the founding editor of the JBC website and blog and managing editor of Jewish Book World. She has also overseen JBC's digital initiatives, and developed the JBC's "Visiting Scribe" series and "Unpacking the Book: Jewish Writers in Conversation." (Photo: Jewish Book Council.)

    ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Netta Barzilai

    Singer

    Netta Barzilai is an Israeli singer and looping artist who won the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal with her solo single, "Toy," a hymn to female empowerment. Hailed her as a "worthy winner" by celebrated British author J.K. Rowling, Prime Minister Netanyahu named Netta Israel's greatest ambassador. Her win marked the fourth victory by Israel in Eurovision after 1978, 1979, and 1998. In 2018, Netta won season five of "HaKokhav HaBa," Israel's national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, with her performance of a mashup of "Gangnam Style" by Psy and "Tik Tok" by Kesha. Born in 1993 in Hod HaSharon, Israel, she and her two brothers were raised in the Tel Aviv area. (Photo: Reuters / Pedro Nunes.)

    ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Noemie Elicha

    Blogger

    Noemie Elicha is a kosher food and fashion blogger from France. She is known for her cool-girl, punk-chic aesthetic that she effortlessly integrates with her Jewish faith in her pictorial presentations. Noemie is married to Alexandre Elicha, one in a trio of brothers who founded The Kooples brand, and she often features their designs in her Instagram and blog posts. Noemie and Alexandre and their children are proudly and fashionably Jewish. Her growing Instagram audience, numbering in the tens of thousands, regularly portrays a love of Israel, Judaism, kosher food and fashion through black, punk-chic colored lenses. (Photo: Instagram.)

    ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Ohad Naharin

    Choreographer

    Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin has been one of the most influential figures in the world of dance since the late 1970s, when he made his choreographic debut at the Kazuko Hirabayashi Studio in New York. Appointed as artistic director of Tel Aviv's renowned Batsheva Dance Company in 1990, Naharin in the same year launched the company’s junior division. In the intervening period, he has created and directed more than 30 productions for both companies. Naharin also developed GAGA, an innovative movement language based on research into heightening sensation and imagination. Still unapologetically radical in his ideas and approach, Naharin's World Dance Day message of 2018 urged his fellow choreographers to "let go of old ideas for new, better ones." And, he added, "We must always remember to dance a little every day." (Photo: Screenshot.)

    ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Saïd Ben Saïd

    Producer

    Few cultural figures in the Arab world have been as courageous in opposing the boycott of Israel as Saïd Ben Saïd. In 2017, the distinguished Franco-Tunisian film producer was disinvited from the Carthage International Film Festival in Tunisia because of his work with Israeli director Nadav Lapid. In recognition of his commitment to cultural cooperation, dialogue and understanding between Jews and Muslims, Ben Saïd received the 2018 Pomegranate Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Sephardi Federation. In an interview with The Algemeiner earlier this year, Ben Saïd remarked that the Arab boycott of Israel "has had terrible consequences on the region." Describing Zionism as "a humanist movement, not a colonial one," Ben Saïd recognized that his viewpoint is a minority one, but insisted nonetheless, “I’m talking as an Arab and as a Muslim, and that’s what I am." (Photo: SBS Productions.)

    ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Sharon Stone

    Actress

    One of the legends of the American screen, Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actress Sharon Stone has captivated audiences across the world with her leading roles in movie classics that include Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Casino and Catwoman. Her more recent roles in film and television have received critical acclaim. Variety magazine praised Stone's appearance in Steven Soderbergh's 2017 drama Mosaic for its "terrific range and depth" and her "effortless charisma," while the Daily Beast deemed that "Stone's turn is something close to masterful." Among the many social justice causes Stone has championed are improved treatment for AIDS/HIV sufferers and peace in the Middle East. Stone has often declared her love for Israel, and has described Israel's late president, Shimon Peres, as her "mentor." (Photo: Algemeiner.)

    ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Siggy Flicker

    TV personality

    Siggy Flicker has never been one to follow the crowd. The Jewish relationship expert, motivational speaker, TV personality, author and Israel advocate inspires others simply by having created a life doing what she loves to do, surrounded by the people that she loves to be around. Her professional opinion has been sought out by a variety of TV programs including "The Today Show," "Dr. Phil," "The Wendy Williams Show," "The Steve Harvey Show," "Access Hollywood," "Fox & Friends," and many more. Flicker also had her own reality show on VH1 called “Why Am I Still Single” and in 2016 joined "The Real Housewives of New Jersey for 2 seasons." In 2016, she released her first book, Write Your Own Fairytale: The New Rules for Dating and Relationships, and Finding Love on Your Terms (Penguin Random House). (Photo: Algemeiner.)

    ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Zubin Mehta

    Conductor

    Legendary Indian conductor Zubin Mehta first learned about music from his father, Mehli, a noted concert violinist and the founder of the Bombay Symphony Orchestra. The Mumbai-born Mehta, a member of India's Parsee community, has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Israeli musicians, having performed regularly in the Jewish state since the early 1960s, and then becoming the music director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 1977. Mehta has often spoken of his "deep kinship" with Israel's musicians as well as the "spirit and tradition of the Jewish people." In 2005, he co-founded the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University. Some 200 concerts, lectures and master classes are held annually at the school, which has become the leading music institution in Israel. (Photo: Flickr.)

    ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Arye Kohavi

    CEO, Watergen

    Israeli entrepreneur Arye Kohavi's vision of turning air into drinking water has become a reality through Watergen – the company he founded and where he now serves as CEO. Watergen's revolutionary technology uses an air filter to capture humidity, which is then cooled down to produce up to 20 gallons of drinking water per day. Already, Watergen's technology has provided clean drinking water to victims of famine and natural disaster across the developing world. Kohavi – a Hebrew University graduate and former IDF commander – says the company' secret lies in providing drought-ridden countries around the world with "an immediate solution" to a centuries-old problem. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

    BUSINESS

  • Asher Levy

    CEO, Orbotech

    Asher Levy is the CEO of Orbotech, an Israeli company at the cutting edge of the Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) technology that scans devices like cellphones and laptop computers to ensure they are safe for use. Founded in 1981 by a team that worked on optical inspection technology for the IDF, the company went public in 1984. Under Levy's stewardship, Orbotech now enjoys a global profile. Its venture capital arm has enabled the company to invest in what Levy, who holds an MBA from Tel Aviv University, calls the "mega trends" in the world of electronics manufacturing. (Photo: Screenshot.)

    BUSINESS

  • Daniel Birnbaum

    CEO, SodaStream

    Visionary Israeli entrepreneur Birnbaum became the CEO of SodaStream in 2007, going on to turn the popular home seltzer machine into a global brand name within a few years. In August 2018, Birnbaum's business reputation was further enhanced when he announced a $3.2 billion deal with American soda giant PepsiCo. Under the terms of the deal, SodaStream remains an independent brand, and the company will be expanding its operations in Israel as a result. "We will have access to new markets, new countries, capital to expand our factory, so everything that it takes to grow a business will now be greater,” Birnbaum said of the deal. A graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the holder of a Harvard Business School MBA, Birnbaum currently employs 2,500 workers, both Israeli and Palestinian, and has pledged to create even more jobs. (Photo: SodaStream.)

    BUSINESS

  • Daphna Nissenbaum

    CEO, Tipa

    Israeli businesswoman Daphna Nissenbaum is the CEO of Tipa, a company she founded with her colleague Tal Neuman. Tipa offers a viable alternative to flexible packaging for food: its packaging is 100 percent compostable and has the same mechanical properties as ordinary plastic. "I see TIPA as a solution provider to change the history of plastic. We are not going to be a niche market player, we’re going to be a mass market player," Nissenbaum predicted in a March 2018 interview with a British news outlet. Prior to founding TIPA in 2010, Nissenbaum served as the CEO of the Caesarea Center for Capital Markets and Risk Management at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya. Nissenbaum holds an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from IDC Herzliya and a BA in Economics and Software Engineering from Bar Ilan University. (Photo: Tipa.)

    BUSINESS

  • Jack Ma

    CEO, Alibaba Group

    Jack Ma is the CEO of Alibaba Group, the Chinese multinational that has emerged as the world's largest retailer, with operations in over 200 countries. But there is one country in particular that has won his admiration. “There were thousands of times I said to myself and to colleagues at Alibaba: Never give up,” Ma told students attending a special lecture he gave at Tel Aviv University in May 2018. "And people in Israel, they never give up." Ma is putting words into action as well, investing Alibaba's venture capital funds in exciting Israeli tech start-ups like SQream Technologies and cybersecurity pioneer ThetaRay. Ma is proud of his record in China, telling the students in Tel Aviv that Alibaba had "created 33 million jobs in China, and we can create 100 million.” While on his visit to Israel with 35 leading Chinese business executives, Ma even took a side trip to the Dead Sea and was spotted in some of Israel's most fashionable eateries. (Photo: World Economic Forum / Jolanda Flubacher.)

    BUSINESS

  • Roman Abramovich

    Businessman

    For a man worth $11.5 billion, the term "difficult" is a relative one – even so, 2018 must count as one of the more challenging years for Roman Abramovich, the Russian-Jewish businessman, philanthropist and confidante of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Known as the flamboyant owner of leading English soccer team Chelsea FC, Abramovich became an Israeli citizen this year in the hope of circumventing British restrictions on his work visa, imposed following the Russian attempt in March 2018 to assassinate a former KGB officer on British soil using a chemical nerve agent. Controversies aside, no other living Russian has given as much to charitable causes as has Abramovich – who has spent $2.5 billion on development in the remote Russian region of Chukotka, and $500 million on Jewish causes in Russia and Israel. Abramovich received a special award from the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia in April 2018 in recognition of his generosity to the Jewish community. (Photo: Reuters / Toby Melville / File.)

    BUSINESS

  • Warren Buffett

    Businessman

    Known as the "Oracle of Omaha," Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time, with a fortune estimated at $87.1 billion. Throughout his career in business and finance, Buffett – the son of a US congressman who started investing at the age of 11– has praised Israel for its start-up culture. In February 2018, Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway bought 18.9 million shares in the Israeli pharmaceutical giant worth $358 million. "It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price," Buffett said after the purchase. “I’m a big believer in Israel’s economy.” And indeed, Buffett's investment in Israel stretches back to 2006, when he purchased an 80 percent stake in industrial manufacturing company Iscar for $4 billion. (Photo: Stacie Kinney.)

    BUSINESS

  • Gilles-William Goldnadel

    Founder and chairman, Lawyers Without Borders

    Noted French-Israeli lawyer and author Gilles-William Goldnadel is currently representing two of the most high-profile victims of the violent antisemitism that has plagued France for over a decade. Both the families of Sarah Halimi – the 65 year-old pensioner tortured and murdered in April 2017 by an intruder who showered her with antisemitic abuse – and Mireille Knoll – the 85 year-old Holocaust survivor stabbed to death in March 2018 by intruders targeting her as a "wealthy Jew" – are being represented by Goldnadel. Proudly identifying as a "combat Jew," Goldnadel is also the founder of Lawyers Without Borders, which fights discrimination and advocates for human rights, and the head of the Association France-Israel. (Photo: Screenshot.)

    COMMUNITY

  • Malcolm Hoenlein

    Executive vice chairman, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

    The executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Malcolm Hoenlein has been one of American Jewry's most high-profile representatives for over three decades, meeting with monarchs, presidents and prime ministers across the globe. A regular interview subject in The Algemeiner, Hoenlein spoke extensively to the paper in May 2018 about his hopes and fears for Israel in a turbulent Middle East. “What I see happening today is similar to what happened in the 1920s with Sykes-Picot, except it’s with Iran and Turkey, with Russia,” Hoenlein observed. "We’re seeing a redrawing of the map of the Middle East and people do not pay enough attention to the overall, hegemonic, designs that these countries have." Hoenlein, whose time in office has coincided with six US presidents, is hopeful that the Trump administration "will try to reshape the Middle East in a way that brings stability, democracy and freedom." (Photo: Screenshot.)

    COMMUNITY

  • Marie van der Zyl

    President, Board of Deputies of British Jews

    Marie van der Zyl is the second woman to be elected as president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, a post she assumed in June 2018. The granddaughter of Rabbi Werner van der Zyl of the West London Synagogue, she graduated in law from Liverpool John Moores University. She became a deputy is 2012 and was elected vice president of the Board in 2015. In the past three years, van der Zyl has played a crucial part in the fight against antisemitism in the UK Labour Party, as well as against the so-called “cab-rank” policy, by which the Inner North London Coroner delayed the release of bodies to Jewish families – a policy ruled to be discriminatory by the British High Court. (Photo: Screenshot.)

    COMMUNITY

  • Moshe Kotlarsky

    Vice chairman, Chabad’s 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 many countries he is the public face of Chabad, visiting heads of state and opening new Chabad centers worldwide. In February 2018, Rabbi Kotlarsky helped three survivors of the high school shooting in Parkland, FL, to join 2,500 other Jewish teens for an annual Chabad youth summit in Brooklyn – prompting everyone there to make mitzvah pledges in memory of those killed in the massacre. (Photo: Screenshot.)

    COMMUNITY

  • Noemi Di Segni

    President, Union of Italian Jewish Communities

    The second woman to be elected as president of UCEI, Italian Jewry's communal representative body, Noemi di Segni marked her second anniversary in that post in 2018. In January, di Segni spoke out courageously against the honoring of the pro-fascist monarch, King Victor Emmanuel III – who signed the 1938 "racial laws" in Italy that targeted the Jewish community. “We expressed this position not just as Jewish people, but as Italians," di Segni told The Algemeiner in an interview. “If you forget what happened eighty years ago, you’ll forget what happened yesterday.” Day to day, Di Segni is occupied with the demands of her role, from ensuring continued high-quality Jewish education to assisting Jewish families experiencing hardship. She is particularly proud of Italy's National Jewish Museum, which opened last December in the city of Ferrara, describing it as "the story of how Jews in Italy have lived and are still living." (Photo: Screenshot.)

    COMMUNITY

  • Paul Bernstein

    CEO, Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools

    Paul Bernstein is the CEO of Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools – a position to which he brings his lifelong connection with Jewish day school education, and wide-ranging management experience in the fields of education, philanthropy, social impact, government and new media. Beginning with his modern Orthodox/Zionist day school primary education and his years as an activist with the Union of Jewish Students and the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Paul’s life has reflected a passionate commitment to Jewish culture and the Jewish day school world. Before joining Prizmah, Bernstein served as CEO of The Pershing Square Foundation. The foundation committed over $360 million around the world, spanning economic development, education, life sciences and healthcare, justice, the arts and urban renewal. (Photo: Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools)

    COMMUNITY

  • Serge Berdugo

    Secretary general, Council of Moroccan Jewish Communities

    The veteran secretary general of Morocco's remaining Jewish community of 5,000, Serge Berdugo continues to serve as bridge between the worlds of Judaism and Islam, as well as the State of Israel and the Arab world. A long-established advocate of Arab-Jewish dialogue, Berdugo became the first Jew to receive a knighthood from the King of Morocco in 1995. He continues to believe that "Jewish life in Morocco is a window into what peace between us can look like.” He is proud that the community today can boast 15 synagogues, as well as social and athletic clubs for young Moroccan Jews. "More than 50,000 Jews of Moroccan origin visit Morocco every year," Berdugo noted in an interview in early 2018. "It is up to us to ensure that our fellow believers can come to their country of origin...while enjoying conditions of welcome necessary for a Jewish life." (Photo: Screenshot.)

    COMMUNITY

  • Simcha Scholar

    Executive vice president, Chai Lifeline

    Rabbi Simcha Scholar is the head of Chai Lifeline, a charity founded in 1987 to aid children suffering from critical illnesses. A widely acclaimed project is its pilot program Camp Simcha, a summer camp for children battling cancer and other hematological illnesses. Camp Simcha has also opened a second branch, Camp Simcha Special, for children with debilitating chronic conditions. Among Camp Simcha's many achievements is the official Guinness World Records entry for the longest awareness ribbon – a 1,340-foot gold-colored ribbon to generate pediatric cancer awareness. "Chai Lifeline's mission is to alleviate the emotional, social, and financial challenges facing families living with pediatric illness and to help patients, parents, and siblings to live full lives as they fight the devastating impact of pediatric illness," Scholar says. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

    COMMUNITY

  • Yehuda Meshi-Zahav

    Founder and chairman, ZAKA Search and Rescue

    Yehuda Meshi-Zahav is the founder and chairman of ZAKA Search and Rescue, a UN-recognized international humanitarian volunteer organization with nearly 4,000 volunteers in Israel and around the world. Members of ZAKA, most of whom are Orthodox Jews, assist ambulance crews, aid in the identification of the victims of  terrorism, road accidents and other disasters, and where necessary gather body parts and spilled blood for proper burial. ZAKA has also participated in international rescue and recovery operations, for example in Mumbai, India following the multiple terrorist attacks, including a Chabad Jewish center, in November 2008, and in Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010. While leading ZAKA training in South Africa in 2017, Meshi-Zahav was attacked by a lioness, but managed to escape unharmed. He later joked that he had been singing a Hebrew song about lions at the time that was not appreciated by the lioness. (Photo: Ben Kelmer / Nimrod Saunders.)

    COMMUNITY

  • Zvi Gluck

    Founder, Amudim

    Rabbi Zvi Gluck is the founder of Amudim, a Jewish non-profit agency dedicated to serving community members in times of crisis. Amudim ensures access to meaningful assistance and enduring support for those in need, fostering change and growth by raising awareness and implementing educational programs within the Jewish community. Gluck has been involved in community health and wellbeing issues since the age of 15, when he launched the National Cancer Bereavement Foundation to care for the grieving relatives of cancer victims. Gluck takes his inspiration from the Pirkei Avot ("Ethics of the Fathers") which teaches “B’makom sh’ein bo anashim, hishtadel lehiyos ish – in a place where there are no leaders, you be the leader." (Photo: Facebook.)

    COMMUNITY

  • Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

    President of Egypt

    A former field marshal in his country's army, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been a critical factor in Middle Eastern stability since he overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Mohamed Morsi in 2013. A pragmatic leader aligned with the West, el-Sisi has cooperated strongly with Israel in maintaining the blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. El-Sisi is also a firm ally of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and the other Gulf Arab states in their confrontation with Iran. In November 2017, el-Sisi warned Tehran to scale back its regional interference, saying, "the region has enough instability and challenges as it is: We don't need any new complications involving Iran or Hezbollah." Domestically, however, el-Sisi's poor human rights record has been widely condemned by rights groups and Western democratic governments, including the US. (Photo: Russian Presidential Press and Information Office.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Avi Dichter/Elazar Stern

    Israeli Knesset members

    Israeli Knesset members Dichter, from the Likud party, and Stern, from Yesh Atid, pushed through vital legislation on July 3 which mandates the freezing of the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority (PA) equal to the amount of money the PA provides to imprisoned terrorists and the families of others who were killed while carrying out attacks. Based on similar legislation passed by the US Congress – the Taylor Force Act – the 120-member Knesset voted 87-15 in favor of the measure, which allows Israel to hold back part of the $130 million in taxes it collects for the PA on a monthly basis. “I certainly believe that the law will weaken the PA mechanism that encourages terrorism and incentivizes it economically,” MK Stern told The Algemeiner after the law passed. “I also believe and very much hope that it will be a step forward towards reconciliation and peace." (Photo: Courtesy.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Avi Gabbay

    Leader of Israel's Labor Party

    Avraham "Avi" Gabbay is the leader of Israel's opposition Labor Party. Previously the CEO of Israeli telecommunications giant Bezeq and a former Minister of Environmental Protection, Gabbay – the Jerusalem-born son of Moroccan immigrants – won Labor's leadership contest in 2017, vowing to move the party closer to the center. "I want to run the country in favor of the people and restore the trust of young people in the country," Gabbay told The Algemeiner during a wide-ranging interview last December. He also urged American Jews to ensure that US support for Israel remains a bipartisan concern. "At the end, we should always be bipartisan," Gabbay remarked. "This is one of the goals of our relations with America." (Photo: Yonatan Sindel / Flash90.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Avigdor Lieberman

    Defense minister of Israel

    Although the post of Israel's prime minister has so far eluded him, Russian-born Avigdor Lieberman has served in several senior ministerial posts since he entered the Knesset in 1999. Currently Israel's minister of defense, Lieberman has also served as transport minister, minister of national infrastructure and foreign minister, among other posts. Politically well to the right of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Lieberman is the founder of Yisrael Beiteinu, a political party rooted in immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Throughout 2018, Lieberman has consistently delivered the message to Iran that Israel will not tolerate its encroachment on its borders indefinitely. "We will contend with any Iranian threat, and it doesn't matter from where it comes from," Lieberman said in August. "Israel's freedom is total. We retain this freedom of action." (Photo: Israeli government.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Benjamin Netanyahu

    Prime minister of Israel

    2018 has been a torrid year for Israel's prime minister, whose international stature has grown as Israel pursues unprecedented diplomatic outreach across the globe, but whose reputation at home has suffered from a slew of corruption scandals. Even so, successive polls show that Benjamin Netanyahu retains the support of a majority of Israeli voters. Some of the political highlights of Netanyahu's year have included his official visit to India in January, the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem in May, and the passage in August of a controversial Nation-State Bill that underlines Israel's status as a Jewish, democratic state. In keeping with recent years, Netanyahu's main security challenge remains the Iranian regime, which has been pouring troops and building weapons factories in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, as well as backing Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. Yet his overall vision remains rosy. "We’re coloring the world blue," Netanyahu enthused at the AIPAC annual conference in March 2018. "Pretty soon the countries that don't have relations with us, they’re going to be isolated." (Photo: Menahem Kahana / Pool via Reuters.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Donald Trump

    President of the United States

    Whether you love him, loathe him or think he's still a work in progress, it's hard to argue with the contention that the US-Israel relationship has scaled new heights with Donald Trump in the White House. Unlike his three predecessors, who signed a waiver on moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem every six months, Trump broke with the past, opening a new Embassy building in Israel's capital in May 2018 – seventy years after the US first recognized Israel's independence. Trump has also sparked the anger of the Palestinian leadership, who charge that his "Deal of the Century" will require them to make unforseen compromises, such as abandoning the much-vaunted "right of return" – code for the destruction of Israel. In regional terms, Trump's decision to walk away from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran has set the stage for a tough new US policy towards the regime in Tehran that is grounded on robust sanctions. (Photo: Department of Labor / Shawn T. Moore.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Felix Klein

    German federal commissioner to combat antisemitism

    Veteran German diplomat Felix Klein was thrust into the limelight in April 2018 when he became his country's first federal commissioner to combat antisemitism. Hailed by Jewish leaders for having already played a "pivotal role in Germany’s efforts to combat antisemitism," Klein's appointment followed a spate of violent antisemitic incidents in Germany in the wake of the US decision to move its Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As well as tackling the threat posed by Germany's far-right, Klein is also addressing antisemitism among Muslim immigrants, whom, he says, "have been given a picture of Jews and Israel in their original homelands which has led to antisemitic attitudes." Klein has also pledged to combat the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, denouncing it "as antisemitic in its actions and goals." (Photo: Screenshot.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Gadi Eizenkot

    Chief of staff, Israel Defense Forces

    The chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) since 2015, Gadi Eizenkot has revolutionized Israel's military doctrine. Surveying the range of threats facing Israel 70 years after its independence, Eizenkot's "IDF Strategy" rests upon securing long periods of peace and deterrence after military force is used. The son of Moroccan immigrants to the Israeli city of Tiberias, Eizenkot is a former commander in the Golani Brigade. He also served as Israel's minister of defense under former Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Among Eizenkot's honors is the US Legion of Merit, awarded to him by Gen. Joseph Dunford as recognition that his "contribution to the strategic cooperation between the United States and Israel will have a lasting effect on both countries." (Photo: Reuters / Baz Ratner / File.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu

    King of the Zulu Nation

    Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu is the reigning monarch of the Zulu Nation in South Africa, recognized as a "traditional leader" under the country's post-apartheid constitution. The formal custodian of Zulu customs and traditions, King Goodwill has combined the revival of traditional Zulu culture with modern programs in health and education, in a bid to combat to spread of the deadly AIDS virus. Among those actions was a decree mandating circumcision for boys, an operation the World Health Organization says reduces the risk of AIDS by 60 percent. King Goodwill has praised South African Jews for building two state-of-the-art AIDS clinics in his kingdom. A fervent advocate of cooperation with Israel, King Goodwill this year stated his belief that Israel's revolutionary water technology can "make our dams our source of life." (Photo: JN / JDP / Reuters.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Horacio Cartes

    Former president of Paraguay

    The president of Paraguay until the election of April 2018, one of Horacio Cartes' final acts in office was to announce that his country's embassy in Israel would move from Tel Aviv to the capital, Jerusalem. At the embassy opening in May, Cartes spoke movingly of his affection for the Jewish state. "From the depth of my heart, I appreciate this country that courageously defends its right to live in peace and it is building a praiseworthy economically prosperous state that ensures its future and that of its children," he said. Cartes will continue to be a significant figure in Paraguayan politics, and an important ally of Israel in Latin America. (Photo: Avi Ohayon / GPO.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Jimmy Morales

    President of Guatemala

    2018 has been a challenging year for Jimmy Morales, the former comic actor who was elected president of Guatemala in a landslide victory three years ago. The eruption of the Fuego volcano in June impacted almost 2 million people, displacing thousands from their homes and claiming the lives of more than 100. Among the aid teams rushing to help survivors were several from Israel, who arrived with first-aid kits, water purification tablets and other vital necessities. The closeness of Israel's relationship with Guatemala was symbolized by Morales' decision in May to move his country's embassy to Jerusalem. That courageous act, Morales said at the embassy's inauguration on May 16, was delivered as a message to Israel of "peace, love and fraternity." (Photo: Reuters / Luis Echeverria.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • John Bolton

    National security advisor of the United States

    John Bolton's return to the heart of government as US President Donald Trump's national security adviser in April 2018 was greeted by many observers as a sign of American resolve against major adversaries like Iran and its terrorist proxies – Hezbollah, Hamas and others – across the Middle East. Bolton became a nationally-renowned figure during his 2005-06 tenure as US ambassador to the UN during the George W. Bush administration. He has been a stalwart supporter of Israel since the outset of his diplomatic career, when he drove the successful US effort at the United Nations in 1991 to rescind the General Assembly's infamous resolution equating Zionism with racism. A noted scholar, author and contributor to major media networks, Bolton is a past chairman of the Gatestone Institute and a former resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. (Photo: Reuters / Joshua Roberts.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Kenneth Meshoe

    President, African Christian Democratic Party

    In July 2018, South African politician Rev. Kenneth Meshoe led an ebullient, 5,000-strong demonstration in Pretoria expressing solidarity with Israel. Addressing the rally afterwards, Meshoe warned the ruling African National Congress (ANC) that its bid to downgrade diplomatic relations with Israel could cost the party the votes of millions of pro-Israel Christians. "If you don’t listen to these thousands who are here to represent millions of Christians in South Africa, who are saying do not downgrade the Israeli embassy, then next year Hamas, which influences you, won’t be there to vote for you," Meshoe declared. The president of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), Meshoe has been hailed by South Africa's Jewish community for his energetic campaign to counter the slander that Israel is an "apartheid state" akin to the former white minority regime in that country. (Photo: Screenshot.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Margaret Hodge

    Member of parliament of the United Kingdom

    The daughter of a Jewish family who came to Britain to escape Nazi persecution, Dame Margaret Hodge is a veteran Labour Party politician and MP for the Barking constituency in east London. Known for her candid style and energetic campaigning, Hodge thrashed a neo-fascist candidate to win her parliamentary seat in the 2015 General Election. In 2018, she turned her sights on Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, telling him to his face that he is an "antisemite and a racist." Despite sitting on over 300 unanswered complaints about Labour antisemitism, Corbyn immediately announced disciplinary action against Hodge, only to back down in the face of a public outcry. Hodge, meanwhile, was unbowed, stating “I stand by my action as well as my words” as she accused her party of "entrenching antisemitism" in its ranks. (Photo: Chris McAndrew.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Mike Pompeo

    United States secretary of state

    Being named as the 70th secretary of state of the United States in April 2018 marked another milestone in the impressive career of Mike Pompeo. The former US army officer served as Director of the CIA from January 2017 until his move to the State Department, and also spent 2011-17 as a congressman representing Kansas's 4th congressional district. In recent months, Pompeo has focused on two of the gravest international threats posed to the US and its allies: North Korea and Iran. In August, Pompeo announced the creation of the Iran Action Group to coordinate the US policy of sanctions and pressure on the regime in Tehran. The US "withdrew from the flawed Iran nuclear deal [of July 2015], which failed to restrain Iran’s nuclear progress or its campaigns of violence abroad," Pompeo said at the IAG's launch. "In its place President Trump has instituted a campaign of pressure, deterrence, and solidarity with the long-suffering Iranian people." (Photo: Andrew Harnik / Pool via Reuters.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Narendra Modi

    Prime minister of India

    India's formidable prime minister paid an unforgettable official visit to Israel in July 2017. More than a year later, the bilateral relationship between India and the Jewish state is flourishing. During Modi’s Israel visit, seven cooperation agreements were signed in the areas of innovation, technology, water, agriculture, and space science. When Prime Minister Netanyahu paid a reciprocal visit to India in January 2018, the two countries signed nine further agreements in various sectors, including cybersecurity, oil and gas and solar energy. As well as cooperation on trade and economic relations, Modi – a supporter of Israel throughout his political career – is being urged to heed Israeli and American warnings about Iran's nuclear program. Relations between Modi and the Trump administration are less warm, however, with India raising import duties on US goods following the US decision to hike tariffs on steel and aluminium produced abroad. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Nikki Haley

    United States ambassador to the United Nations

    If any US diplomat embodies America's newly-rediscovered determination to confront the world's tyrannies, then it's the ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. Previously the first governor of South Carolina to be both a woman and from a minority – Haley's parents immigrated to the US from India – President Trump paid tribute to her as “proven deal-maker” in nominating her for the UN post in January 2017. Nearly two years later, she has established herself as the leading voice at the UN on human rights emergencies from Syria to Burma, as well as a passionate defender of Israel. Haley has also taken concrete action to show she means business, leading the US withdrawal from the UN's fatally-flawed Human Rights Council, as well as cultural body UNESCO. At the same time, Haley is also winning friends, making history in June when a US-sponsored resolution at the General Assembly condemning Hamas passed with a plurality of votes. That vote, a US official told The Algemeiner afterwards, is a sign that "times are changing at the UN." (Photo: Reuters / Mike Segar.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Nir Barkat

    Mayor of Jerusalem

    Elected as Jerusalem's ninth mayor in 2008, Nir Barkat has inspired thousands of Jerusalemites with his relentless work to turn Israel's poorest city into one rich in culture, youth, tourism, education, and sustainable economic development. This effort, coupled with his message of respect and pluralism for all residents of Jerusalem, all served as the basis for his re-election for a second term in 2013. Barkat has increased the municipal budget by an average of 10% each year in office, spurring dramatic growth in employment, investment in infrastructure, and cultural development. Accordingly, Jerusalem has become a national leader in resident satisfaction, youth engagement and enlistment in the IDF. Following the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem in May 2018, Barkat announced that “the square adjacent to the embassy in the capital will be called ‘United States Square’ – in honor of President Donald Trump.” (Photo: Algemeiner.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Prince William

    Duke of Cambridge

    Born William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor on June 21, 1982, he is the eldest son of Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. From an early age, Prince William was already breaking with tradition. His mother gave birth in St. Mary's Hospital, London, making him the first direct heir to the throne to be born outside palace walls. So it was perhaps fitting that in 2018, William became the first British royal to visit Israel in an official capacity, including a stop at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. It's been a happy year for William in other ways too, as he and his wife Princess Catherine celebrated the birth of their second son, Louis, in May. (Photo: Twitter / Kensington Palace.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Rachel Freier

    Judge

    The New York Times calls Rachel Freier the "Hasidic Super Woman of Night Court." The 52 year-old grandmother became one of the first Hasidic female lawyers in Brooklyn in 2005; in November 2016, she was elected as a judge to civil court, an achievement that makes her the only Hasidic woman judge in the world. On hand for Freier's swearing-in was Hasidic singer Lipa Schmeltzer, who sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" along with a Yiddish version of "God Bless America." A documentary about Freier's career, "93Queen" – directed by Paula Eiselt – was released in August 2018, featuring a segment on the Ezras Nashim (Hebrew for “Helping Women”) ambulance service which Freier launched with friends in her community to ensure that "no woman should ever be embarrassed to call for help." (Photo: Stefano Giovannini / VIN news.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Yossi Cohen

    Director of Mossad

    In 2015, Yossi Cohen was named as head of Israel's security agency, the Mossad, after a distinguished career in the Israeli military. In his previous service with the Mossad, Cohen specialized in enlisting and handling agents for the agency, and headed the Mossad's Tzomet collectives division. He also headed a technological intelligence collection division within the Mossad before being named deputy head. Prior to becoming Mossad chief, Cohen was national security advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu. Known as "The Model" for his impeccable appearance, Cohen speaks fluent English, French and Arabic, and is an accomplished marathon runner. (Photo: Alchetron.)

    GOVERNMENT

  • Amanda Berman

    Director of legal affairs, The Lawfare Project

    Amanda Berman is an attorney and the director of legal affairs at The Lawfare Project, where she is fighting the legal battle to protect and defend the civil rights of the Jewish people. She has been a vocal proponent of civil rights, human rights, and social justice throughout her career. In 2017, Berman co-founded Zioness – a coalition of activists and allies who express their Zionist and progressive values through collective action – after months of discussion with friends and colleagues about the pervasive divisions in the progressive movement and the hostility towards pro-Israel activists. Zioness is driven by the belief that the same values of human rights and self-determination at the heart of progressive causes also underlie Zionism, the movement to achieve self-determination for the Jews, a long-oppressed minority group. (Photo: The Lawfare Project.)

    INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

  • Angel Mas

    President, ACOM

    The president of ACOM, the principal organization in Spain countering the antisemitic BDS movement that targets Israel, Angel Mas made headlines in August 2018 when he successfully led a legal campaign that reversed pro-boycott policies adopted by two major Spanish cities. The two repeals came in the wake of a lawsuit filed by ACOM, which warned that the resolution unlawfully discriminated against “any Israeli citizen or company, and any Spanish individual associated with Israel.” Under Mas' leadership, ACOM has so far won 33 cases against BDS in Spanish courts, and lost none. These include two high court rulings in 2016 and 2017, which found that the BDS movement engages in unconstitutional discrimination. Mas holds a BA in Business Administration from ICADE in Madrid and from Middlesex University in London, as well as a postgraduate degree from the Darden Business School at the University of Virginia. (Photo: LinkedIn.)

    INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

  • Elmehdi Boudra

    Founder and president, Association Mimouna

    In 2007, a group of Muslim students in Morocco decided that the ancient heritage of the North African nation's Jewish community needed preserving and promoting. They formed the Association Mimouna – named after the traditional Moroccan Jewish celebration of the end of Passover – not just to celebrate the Jewish contribution to Morocco, but to combat conspiracy theories, Holocaust denial and other expressions of contemporary antisemitism. Mimouna President Elmehdi Boudra – Association Mimouna's original founder – is a graduate of Brandeis University. Boudra previously worked for the Moroccan foreign ministry and for the Moroccan Jewish Museum in Casablanca. (Photo: Facebook.)

    INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

  • Hen Mazzig

    Activist

    Hen Mazzig is an Israeli writer, international speaker, social media activist and advocate. Hen’s family comes from Iraq and North Africa, giving him a unique background for his talks, in which he shares his family’s story and the story of 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries. As a young Israeli, Hen served in the IDF for almost five years as an openly gay commander. During his service as a lieutenant in the COGAT unit, he worked as an intermediary between the Israeli Defense Forces (the IDF), the Palestinian Authority, the UN, and the many non-governmental organizations that work in the West Bank. His award winning articles and op-eds can be found in Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel and more. He has shared his story with thousands of students throughout the USA, Canada and the UK during the last four years. (Photo: Twitter.)

    INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

  • John Hagee

    National chairman, Christians United For Israel

    Pastor John C. Hagee is the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, a non-denominational evangelical church with more than 22,000 active members. He is the author of 39 major books, seven of which were on the New York Times Bestseller’s List including the 2013 blockbuster Four Blood Moons.  His most recent book Earth’s Last Empire: The Final Game of Thrones will be published in September 2018. Pastor Hagee founded and is the National chairman of Christians United For Israel (CUFI), a grass-roots organization which has grown to become the largest Christian pro-Israel group in the United States, with over 3.5 million members.  CUFI conducts an annual Washington D.C.-Israel Summit that gives thousands of CUFI delegates from every state in the union an opportunity to meet members of congress and speak as one voice on behalf of Israel. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.) 

    INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

  • Leah Goldin

    Parent of Hadar Goldin

    Israeli mother Leah Goldin's life was turned upside down when her son, Lt. Hadar Goldin, died in combat in the Gaza Strip during the IDF's Operation Protective Edge in August 2014. Hadar was one of two fallen IDF soldiers from that conflict – the other being Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul – whose remains have yet to be returned to Israel for burial. In a 2017 interview with The Algemeiner, Leah Goldin pointed out that “Bringing a soldier back to Israel to burial is, first and foremost, a humanitarian issue. This is an important value in all religions. It’s about human dignity.” In 2018, Goldin and her supporters have argued against any agreement with Hamas for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip as long as the terror group illegally holds both Israeli hostages and the remains of IDF soldiers. (Photo: US Mission to UN.)

    INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

  • Mark Dubowitz

    CEO, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

    Mark Dubowitz is the chief executive of the Washington, DC-based think-tank, Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD.) An authority on Iran, the New York Times dubbed his campaign to draw attention to the flaws in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as being among "the most consequential ever undertaken by a Washington think tank leader." Dubowitz has testified before Congress on Iran sanctions issues and briefed the U.S. military, U.S., European and Canadian government officials, members of Congress, and counterterrorism officials on a range of national security and terrorism-related concerns. He graduated with honors with a masters in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. (Photo: FDD.)

    INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

  • Muhammad Kabiya

    Activist

    Muhammad Kabiya is an Israeli Bedouin who served in the IDF on a search and rescue team in the Israeli Air Force. Raised in the village of Kabiya, which was named after his family, Mohammad comes from a long line of Bedouin who have supported Israel. After finishing his service in the IDF, Mohammad continued his work on behalf of Israel, becoming an IDF consultant and pro-Israel activist. After a speaking tour of US campuses in 2017, Kabiya told Israeli TV, "I confronted Jewish students who claimed that Zionism is racism – I told them that they should be embarrassed." He continued, "My family sacrificed three soldiers in Israel’s battles. I’m defending the image of the state that they are trying to destroy.” (Photo: Courtesy.)

    INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

  • Patrick Desbois

    President, Yahad-In Unum

    A Roman Catholic priest, Father Desbois has dedicated his life to researching the Holocaust, fighting antisemitism and furthering relations between Catholics and Jews. In 2004 he helped found "Yahad-In Unum," a project whose mission is to investigate the mass executions of Jews and Roma in the Ukraine and Belarus between 1941 and 1944. He has located the graves of more than 1 million Jews throughout Eastern Europe and interviewed scores of witnesses in an effort to preserve the memory of the many forgotten Jews of Eastern Europe. Desbois' work in promoting Jewish-Christian dialogue and Holocaust commemoration earned him France's highest honor, the Légion d'honneur. (Photo: Screenshot.)

    INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

  • Bernard Marcus

    Chairman, Marcus Foundation

    Bernard "Bernie" Marcus's story is also the story of the American dream. Born to Russian Jewish immigrant parents in 1947, Marcus grew up in a tenement building in Newark, NJ. After studying pharmacology at Rutgers University while working for his father's business, Marcus recognized his talents as a retailer. After launching the multi-billion dollar chain Home Depot in 1979, Marcus retired from business in 2000, and has since become one of the leading philanthropists in the US. A generous supporter of Jewish causes, he is a founder of the Israel Democracy Institute and the current chairman of the Marcus Foundation, which has provided more than $1 billion to a range of programs, from care for military veterans to educational programs for children with special needs. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

    PHILANTHROPY

  • Mem D. Bernstein

    Chairman, The AVI CHAI Foundation

    Mem Dryan Bernstein – venture philanthropist – is the chairman of The AVI CHAI Foundation, a leader in Jewish education, and a trustee of Keren Keshet – The Rainbow Foundation, whose signature project, Nextbook, promotes Jewish literature, culture, and ideas. Bernstein is also a trustee of The Tikvah Fund, which supports programs and projects that educate Jewish intellectual, political, and religious leaders in Israel and the Diaspora. In the late 1980s, Mrs. Bernstein authored two books that resonate with today’s baby boom generation: Aging Parents and You, published in the US, and The Sandwich Generation, published in Israel. Known as someone who shys away from media attention, Bernstein began her philanthropic work using the fortune left to her by her late husband. (Photo: Courtesy.)

    PHILANTHROPY

  • Sheldon Adelson

    CEO and chairman, Las Vegas Sands

    Number 21 on Forbes Magazine's 2018 list of the world's billionaires, Sheldon Adelson is also one of the most politically influential business personalities in the world, counting President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu among his friends. The CEO and chairman of Las Vegas Sands, the largest casino company in America, Adelson is the son of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania and Wales, who grew up sleeping on the floor of a Boston tenement. In 2017, Adelson gave $5 million to Trump's inaugural committee, reportedly the largest such donation in US history. Adelson is also the owner of the daily Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom. Over the years, his generosity in funding Jewish causes has become legendary, with Birthright Israel and Israel's official Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem among institutions that have received millions of dollars from the Adelson Family Foundation he runs with his wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

    PHILANTHROPY

  • Winnie Sandler Grinspoon

    President, Harold Grinspoon Foundation

    Since June 2014, Winnie Sandler Grinspoon has served as president of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Founded in 1991, the foundation has invested more than $200 million dollars in Jewish causes, in keeping with its mission to enhance Jewish life and strengthen the Jewish community. Among the foundation's many current projects is "Sifriyat Pijama," which distributes high-quality children's books on Jewish/Israeli heritage and values to children in Israeli schools. Prior to her work in philanthropy, Winnie practiced law, first in New York (Stroock & Stroock & Lavan) and Boston (Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, now K&L Gates), and more recently in her own law practice. Winnie holds a BS from Cornell University and a JD from Fordham University.

    PHILANTHROPY

  • Adin Steinsaltz

    Talmudic scholar

    One of Israel's most prolific and highly-regarded writers on Jewish philosophy and religious thought, Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz is a past winner of The Israel Prize, the highest honor bestowed by the Jewish state. Steinsaltz is also the first person since the medieval sage Rashi to have completed a full translation of and commentary on the Babylonian Talmud, and of the Bible (Tanakh) – a project he began in 1965 and completed in 2010. In 2018, Steinsaltz's landmark commentary on the entire Bible, from the Five Books of Moses through the Prophets and the Writings, is being published in a new English-Hebrew edition. Other honors received by Steinstaltz include Israel’s inaugural Israeli Presidential Award of Distinction and the French Order of Arts and Literature. (Photo: migdalworld.org.)

    RELIGION

  • Berel Lazar

    Chief rabbi of Russia

    Eighteen is considered a lucky number Jewish tradition, and this year marks Italian-born Berel Lazar's eighteenth year as chief rabbi of Russia. Lazar's service to Russian Jews dates back to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990, when he arrived in the country as an emissary of the Chabad movement. During Lazar's tenure, the Russian-Jewish community of nearly 200,000 has experienced a flowering unlike any other in its history. Lazar himself has described the last two decades as a "spiritual revolution" that created "hundreds of thriving communities." In the process, Lazar has become close – his critics say too close – with Russian President Vladimir Putin. That relationship is under renewed scrutiny following the recent revelations that Lazar secretly accompanied Putin on a visit to Iran in early 2018, with Putin summarily dismissing the objections of Iranian leaders to Lazar's presence. (Photo: Kremlin.)

    RELIGION

  • David Lau

    Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel

    One of the eight children of the late Askhenazi chief rabbi of Israel, Meir Lau, David Lau in 2018 marked his fifth year in the post once occupied by his father. His religious scholarship includes a volume of his father's Talmudic responsa entitled "Yichil Yisrael." Known for his embrace of technology and media as a means of religious education, Lau was the first rabbi in Israel to teach responsa over the internet. Since the summer of 2006, he has appeared every Friday on the show "Ask the Rabbi" on HaArutz HaRishon, a show about halakhic questions and answers. Since 1999, he has broadcast the daily program "Jewish Point" on the radio station Kol Chai. (Photo: Gershon Elinson / Flash90.)

    RELIGION

  • Ephraim Mirvis

    Chief rabbi of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth

    The 11th chief rabbi of Britain's 250,000-strong Jewish community, South African-born Ephraim Mirvis moved to Ireland in 1982, to take up the rabbi's position at a synagogue in Dublin. A former chief rabbi of Ireland, Mirvis has also served as rabbi of two of the largest Jewish congregations in London. Appointed as chief rabbi of the UK in 2013, Mirvis has found himself thrust into the political limelight as a result the continuing antisemitism scandals plaguing the British Labour Party and its far-left leader, Jeremy Corbyn. In a stinging rebuke to the Labour Party in July over its refusal to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, Mirvis warned that "Other groups might also legitimately ask if they will be next in having the prejudice they are subject to defined for them." (Photo: Foreign and Commonwealth Office.)

    RELIGION

  • Jonathan Sacks

    Author and theologian

    Described by HRH Prince Charles as “a light unto this nation” and by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as “an intellectual giant," former British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks now walks the global stage as one of the most eloquent representatives of Judaism and the Jewish faith. Since he stepped down from the chief rabbi's post in 2013 – a position he held for 22 years – Sacks has held a number of professorships at several academic institutions including Yeshiva University and King’s College London. In addition to his writing and lecturing, he currently serves as the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor at New York University. The holder of 17 honorary doctorates, Rabbi Sacks was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 2005 and made a Life Peer, taking his seat in the British House of Lords in October 2009. (Photo: Office of Rabbi Sacks.)

    RELIGION

  • Muhammad Al-Issa

    Secretary general, Muslim World League

    A former justice minister of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad Al-Issa was appointed secretary general of the influential Muslim World League (MWL) in August 2016. In that capacity, he has embarked on an unprecedented campaign of outreach to the world Jewish community, bearing a message that Islam respects the right of the Jewish people to "live in dignity." In an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner in February, Al-Issa spoke of Islam as a humane and tolerant religion, urging, “We must increase our closeness, our knowledge of one another, and our cooperation.” Al-Issa has been particularly active in combating the widespread Holocaust denial in the Muslim world, visiting the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC in May 2018. Those who deny the facts of the Holocaust, Al-Issa reflected after his tour of the exhibition, are themselves complicit "in the continuation of this crime against humanity." (Photo: Reuters / Clotaire Achi.)

    RELIGION

  • Warren Goldstein

    Chief rabbi of South Africa

    The chief rabbi of South Africa since 2005, Warren Goldstein is revered across the Jewish world for his commitment to Jewish community life and education, as well as for his courageous leadership of South African Jewry at a time of growing antisemitism and anti-Zionist extremism in that country. Best known for "The Shabbos Project" – an initiative that encourages South African Jews across different denominations to celebrate Shabbat together – Goldstein is the author of four books, including African Soul Talk: When Politics is not Enough (with Dumani Mandela, grandson of the late Nelson Mandela) and Defending the Human Spirit: Jewish Law’s Vision for a Moral Society. (Photo: Screenshot.)

    RELIGION

  • Yehuda Krinsky

    Chairman, Chabad’s Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch

    Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky served as secretary to Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson for over 40 years. He is the chairman of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Rabbi Krinsky has been active in helping build new schools and expanding the reach of the Chabad movement around the world. He has also participated in efforts to retrieve a large library of books connected to the Chabad movement which is in the custody of the Russian government. Many of the books were seized from the previous rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, as part of a Soviet crackdown on religion after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Krinsky garnered the support of, among others, prominent actor Jon Voight and former Kansas governor Sam Brownback for the cause of returning these books. (Photo: Chabad movement.)

    RELIGION

  • Yitzhak Yosef

    Sephardi chief rabbi of Israel

    The sixth son of the late Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel, Ovadia Yosef, Yitzhak Yosef has served in the post once occupied by his father since 2013. Rabbi Yosef, who began his Talmudic studies at the age of 12, is the author of a set of books on Jewish law called "Yalkut Yosef," for which he was awarded the Rabbi Toledano Prize from the Tel Aviv Religious Council, as well as the Rav Kook Prize. Known for his outspoken public comments, in April 2018 Yosef called for international military intervention against the Assad regime in Syria. “I have said in the past and I will say it again, what’s happening in Syria is genocide of women and children in its cruelest form, using weapons of mass destruction,” Rabbi Yosef declared. (Photo: Screenshot.)

    RELIGION

  • Daniel O'Dowd

    President, Irish Students for Israel

    Embracing the cause of Israel in the Republic of Ireland at the present time is a brave act, and one that law student Daniel O' Dowd has taken on with aplomb. The president of Irish Students for Israel, Maynooth University student O'Dowd has launched a direct challenge to pro-BDS resolutions adopted by student and teacher's unions in Ireland. “Contrary to some theories, peace doesn’t lie in the destruction of Israel,” O’Dowd said of the BDS campaign in an interview with The Algemeiner in April. He also drew out the parallels in Irish and Jewish history, saying that both nations "fought to throw off the yoke of the British Empire, they both underwent centuries of religious, cultural and systematic persecution – the Irish at the hands of the British, the Jews at the hands of the Romans, Crusaders, Arabs.” (Photo: Facebook.)

    TOMORROW

  • Hunter Pollack

    School safety advocate

    Nineteen year-old Hunter Pollack has come to national attention during 2018 as an advocate for school safety. That was the result of losing his sister, Meadow, during the February 14 shooting massacre at a high school in Parkland, FL, that claimed the lives of 17 students and staff. The son of Shara Kaplan and Andrew Pollack, Hunter was invited to a White House listening session a week after the Stoneman Douglas shooting that was hosted by President Trump. At that meeting, he wore his kippah. “I wore it there because I’m proud to be Jewish,” he explained later. “I wanted to wear my kippah in the highest office of the land. My Jewish peers in this country need to be proud of being Jewish, and that’s how we can honor Meadow’s memory as a beautiful Jewish girl.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

    TOMORROW

  • Ben Shapiro

    Editor-in-chief, The Daily Wire

    One of the best-known conservative columnists in the US – and the scourge of left-wing progressives and supporters of President Trump alike – Shapiro has been writing about politics since the age of 17. At the height of the 2016 presidential election, Shapiro publicized the antisemitic abuse targeting him in an article for the National Review. "I've experienced more pure, unadulterated antisemitism since coming out against Trump's candidacy than at any other time in my political career," he wrote. Political battles which Shapiro has been fighting in 2018 include his trenchant criticisms of Pope Francis over the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. A New York Times bestselling author of seven books, Shapiro is editor-in-chief of news and opinion site The Daily Wire and host of the popular video podcast, "The Ben Shapiro Show." (Photo: Facebook.)

    VOICES

  • Ilana Dayan

    Investigative journalist

    The host of Uvda ("Fact" in Hebrew), the leading investigative and current affairs program on Israeli television, Ilana Dayan is one of Israel's leading journalism and television personalities. Dayan was born in Argentina and immigrated to Israel with her family at the age of 6. She was drafted into the IDF during the First Lebanon War in 1982 and served as producer, editor and correspondent for the Israel Army Radio. Dayan was the first woman correspondent in the station's history. Afterwards, she studied law at Tel Aviv University and went on to complete her Ph.D. at Yale University. A member of the Israeli Bar Association, Dayan has grappled with issues of free speech in Israel both as a lawyer and as a reporter. (Photo: IDF.)

    VOICES

  • James Taranto

    Editorial features editor, The Wall Street Journal

    James Taranto is the editorial features editor of the Wall Street Journal. Until January 2017 he wrote the popular Best of the Web column for WSJ.com. In August 2007 he was named a member of the Journal's editorial board. From 2000 through 2008, his column appeared at OpinionJournal.com, where he served as editor. He previously served as the WSJ's deputy editorial features editor. He joined the WSJ in 1996 as an assistant editorial features editor after spending five years as an editor at City Journal, the Manhattan Institute's quarterly of urban public policy. He has also worked for the Heritage Foundation, United Press International, Reason magazine and KNX News Radio in Los Angeles. He is co-editor of Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and the Worst in the White House (Wall Street Journal Books, 2004). (Photo: Courtesy.)

    VOICES

  • Mark Lewis

    Lawyer

    One of the UK's top media lawyers, Mark Lewis made the headlines again in 2018 when he announced in a BBC interview that he and his wife, Mandy Blumenthal, would move to Israel by the end of the year in reaction to the growing antisemitism in his native country. "[Labour Party leader] Jeremy Corbyn moved the rock, and the antisemites crawled out from underneath the rock," Lewis said of the couple's decision. "Fifteen years ago, somebody painted a swastika on my garage door in Manchester, that was a message. Now with the effect of social media, it’s almost every day.” Professionally, Lewis is known for having pioneered the “phone-hacking” claims against leading British media outlets that resulted in the closure of the News of the World tabloid. (Photo: Courtesy.)

    VOICES

  • Michael Walzer

    Author

    One of America’s foremost political thinkers, Michael Walzer has written about a wide variety of topics in political theory and moral philosophy, including political obligation, just and unjust war, nationalism and ethnicity, economic justice, and the welfare state. Walzer’s books include Just and Unjust Wars (1977), Spheres of Justice (1983), On Toleration (1997), Arguing About War (2004), and The Paradox of Liberation (2015). He served as co-editor of the left-wing political journal Dissent for more than three decades, retiring in 2014. Walzer has been an important voice on the American left opposing the BDS movement and the demonization of Israel. An expert on Jewish political thought, Walzer is a co-editor of the book series The Jewish Political Tradition, the third volume of which was published in May 2018. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

    VOICES

  • Noémie Halioua

    Journalist

    French-Jewish journalist Halioua is the author of L'Affaire Sarah Halimi (Editions du Cerf 2018), the first in-depth examination of the brutal murder in April 2017 of Sarah Halimi, a 65 year-old Jewish pensioner who lived on her own in Paris. In the book, Halioua documents both Halimi's ordeal at the hands of her murderer, who chanted prayers from the Qu'ran as he savagely beat and then threw her to her death from a third-floor window. A former reporter for the leading French newspaper Le Figaro, Halioua contributes regularly to The Huffington Post and other publications. In a radio interview in March, Halioua warned that France was "in a situation where the nation is in danger, it is much broader than antisemitism." She continued, "what we can say is that the Jews were first on the list."

    VOICES

  • Ross Cameron

    TV host

    Colorful Australian TV host Ross Cameron – a former Liberal party parliamentarian – is known for saying exactly what he thinks. Viewers who tuned into his show on Sky News Australia on June 1, 2018, heard Cameron pour the kind of praise upon Israel and the Jewish people that would turn most cheeks red. Calling Israel a "rare jewel," Cameron pounced on conventional wisdom by labeling the Jewish state "one of the best things going for the Middle East." And he wasn't finished. "Wherever you are in the world, if you have a Jewish neighbor, say, ‘God bless you,’” Cameron continued. “When you see a Jew walking on the street you should recognize an ancestor of King David, and say this is absolutely the most awesome story of human survival ever written.” (Photo: Screenshot.)

    VOICES

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