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The World's 'Most Influential' Jewish Women

In honor of Shavuot, the Jerusalem Post printed a special supplement on “The Fifty Most Influential Jews in the World” — and there are only seven women in the list.

A woman doesn’t even make an appearance until number 10 — US Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Bizarrely, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg comes in at a mere 22, which makes me wonder why a nominee (no offense Ms. Kagan, I’m a big fan) is presumed to have more influence than an actual, sitting Supreme Court justice.

The other five Jewish women who made the list are: Israel Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch (#20), biochemist and professor Ruth Arnon (#29), businesswoman and philanthropist Shari Arinson (#41), French politician Simone Veil (#42), and South African Bank Governor Gill Marcus (#44).  

Notably absent from this list are women such as Nobel Prize winner Ada Yonath, Israel opposition leader MK Tzipi Livni, Federation leader Carole Solomon, philanthropist and recent LEAD awardee Barbara Dobkin, feminist activist Blu Greenberg, Senator Barbara Boxer, author Barbara Ehrenreich – and those are just some of the women off the top of my head. Hey, I would even include Forward editor in chief Jane Eisner – doing a terrific job influencing the global Jewish conversation.

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Elana Sztokman is an educator, researcher, writer, and contributor to The Sisterhood, which crossposts weekly with Jewesses with Attitude.

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How to cite this page

Sztokman, Elana. "The World's 'Most Influential' Jewish Women." 21 May 2010. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on August 17, 2019) <https://jwa.org/blog/50-most-influential-jewish-women>.

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