The 50 most influential Jews of the year

As we begin the Jewish New Year 5779, it’s more difficult than ever before to predict what will happen in our rapidly changing world, and who will most impact Israel, the Jewish world and the world at large. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been the powerful leader of the Jewish state for more than 12 years, and wields significant influence with a range of global leaders from US President Donald Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Netanyahu’s fate, however, lies in the hands of Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit, who is due to decide within the next few months whether or not to indict him in one or more cases involving alleged corruption. That’s why Mandelblit tops our list of influential Jews this year, followed by Netanyahu. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who led last year’s list, retain huge influence over President Trump, perhaps the most powerful person on the planet, and are in third place. Following them is the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, the man primarily responsible for the , on May 14, 70 years after the establishment of the State. To highlight his special role, this special supplement features a fascinating interview with Friedman by diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon. We don’t expect our readers to agree with all our choices, but we hope to provide food for thought and discussion over the High Holy Days.  As Shimon Peres once told me, it’s our job to tell our readers what (or in this case who) to think about, and not what to think.

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Mazal tov to all those on this list, and shana tova to all our readers!

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