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Forward 50

Moving "Forward"?

First of all, let me make clear that I sincerely hope this isn’t “The Year of the Jewish Woman,” as the headline of the Jewish Daily Forward’s “Forward 50” list proclaims. One year isn’t enough for me; I’m aiming for a world in which Jewish women—and all people—get the opportunities and recognition they deserve every year. But I’m pleased that the Forward managed to reach parity + 1 this year, after more than 20 years of lists in which women were not represented in proportion to their percentage in the population.

Sharon Brous

Sharon Brous founded IKAR (essence), a community blending innovative spirituality and strong social justice values to reengage disaffected Jews.

Naomi Levy

After suffering tragedies in her own life, Naomi Levy used her skills as a rabbi and writer to give others the tools to move on.

Denise Eger

In 2015, Denise Eger became the first openly gay president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the professional organization for Reform rabbis.

Jill Jacobs

Jill Jacobs, the executive director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, has pushed for Jews to take an active role in social justice, from supporting health care and environmental reform to condemning torture and human rights violations.

Sara Hurwitz

Upon becoming the first Modern Orthodox woman rabbi ordained in the United States, Sara Hurwitz took on the title “Rabba.”

Toba Spitzer

Toba Spitzer became the first openly gay head of a rabbinic organization in 2007 when she became president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.

Stosh Cotler

An unconventional CEO with tattoos, a black belt, and a reputation as a radical social activist, Stosh Cotler has mobilized Jewish Americans to fight for immigration reform, racial equality, and workers’ rights.

Rachel Cowan

As one of the founders of the Jewish healing movement, Rachel Cowan blended modern holistic medicine and counseling with traditional Jewish rituals and prayers to help change how people responded to illness.

Nine more women for the Forward 50

As it does every year, the Forward recently published its “Forward 50” – and just like every year, the list is short on women.


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Forward 50." (Viewed on October 21, 2016) <>.


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