By COLlive reporter
The Jerusalem Post drew indignation for including only one rabbi or religous leader in its first list of the ‘world’s 50 most influential Jews‘ published in its Shavuos supplement.
While most readers, in letters to the newspaper and in talkbacks on its website JPost.com, supported the decision to put Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the top of the list, others were critical that revered rabbis and other prominent personalities were left out.
“The only rabbi mentioned in your article is Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of the UK,” Hannah and Joe Sonhelm wrote from Jerusalem.
“It is hard to imagine that you couldn’t find at least one or two additional rabbis in that list with all the prominent rabbis we have here in Israel, in America and in other countries.”
Joyce Kahn from Petah Tikva expressed similar sentiments. “This list is devoid of any great religious Jewish personality (with the exception of Lord Sacks),” she wrote.
“Perhaps Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau deserves a place or any of the great religious thinkers of today who generate Jewish values – for example someone from the Chabad institution who, over the last 50 years, created an unparalleled awareness of Judaism – or perhaps any head of a great charitable organization which ensures that thousands of poverty-stricken people get food on their tables.”
Sharon Glass from Winnipeg, Canada, went even further, suggesting that next time, the Post include teachers on its list.
“There was mention of only one rabbi, the chief rabbi of the UK and his role as a spokesman. There was absolutely no mention at all of a teacher of any kind or subject. Is influence limited to wealth, business success, entertainment, organizational leadership, media or political power? How sad,” she wrote.
“Since this was the first annual list of those who are shaping the future, I suggest that next year’s list include teachers of children and youth who are our future.”
Here are some who they chose with ties to Chabad-Lubavitch:
1. Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of Israel, deeply influenced by the Rebbe
3. Rahm Emanuel
White House chief of staff – lit Lubavitch’s National Menorah
6. Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Head of the Int. Monetary Fund – attends Chabad DC events
7. Shimon Peres
President of Israel – appreciates Chabad’s outreach
9. Alan Dershowitz
Law professor, speaker at Kinus Hashluchim, advocate for Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin
13. Irwin Cotler
Canadian MP, human rights activist – familiar with Chabad Montreal
18. Avigdor Lieberman
Foreign Minister – close ties to Israeli Chabad officials
19. Sheldon Adelson
Entrepreneur and philanthropist – donor to Chabad of Las Vegas
21. Natan Sharansky
Jewish Agency Chairman – openly champions Chabad’s work
25. Michael Steinhardt
Investor and philanthropist – friendly with some Shluchim
26. Mortimer Zuckerman
Real estate mogul, NY Daily News publisher – davens at Chabad East Hampton
27. Ronald Lauder
WJC President, influenced by the Rebbe, supports Chabad Vienna
30. Elie Wiesel
Nobel Prize winning writer, deeply influenced by the Rebbe
31. Steven Spielberg
Filmmaker, supports Chabad’s Children of Chernobyl
35. Eric Cantor
US Congressman – attends Chabad DC & Virginia events
36. Lee Rosenberg
President of AIPAC, campaigned for Barak Obama at Miami Chabad
46. Bob Dylan
Musician, was close to Minnesota Rabbi Manis Friedman
47. Roman Abramovitch
Investor, Chelsea FC owner, benefactor of Chabad’s Marina Roshcha Moscow Shul