Devorah Benjamin of Keren Simchas Chosson V’Kallah and Rabbi Levi Shemtov of the Friendship Circle were among five finalists named Tuesday in the UJC Jewish Heroes contest.
Another finalist is Shmuly Yanklowitz, founder of a Jewish social justice organization that called for a consumer boycott of all products manufactured under the Rubashkin label in May.
Many in Chabad circles have registered surprise over his inclusion.
“How can a Jew who fights other Jews even be considered a hero?” asked one Shliach who spoke to COLlive on the condition of anonymity.
Jewlicious founder Yonah Bookstein and Ari Teman, a friend of Brandeis Rabbi Peretz Chein, round out the top five.