At least nine Jews, mostly from the US and one from Israel, made it onto the
Forbes 2012 list of the Most Powerful Women in the World, which was published
Three of the Jewish women made it into the top 20, with
Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, reaching the No. 5 spot.
Abramson was only beaten in the rankings by three world leaders – German
Chancellor Angela Merkel (at No. 1), US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Melinda Gates, wife of billionaire Bill
Gates and co-chairwoman of the Bill & Melinda Gates
Abramson, who took over as New York Times executive editor in
2011, was the first woman to be appointed to the position in the newspaper’s
160-year history and Forbes credits her for successfully leading the influential
newspaper’s online edition behind a paywall.
Following Abramson in the
top 20 is Sheryl Sandberg, the Jewish chief operations officer of Facebook, who
was ranked at No. 10 and who beat out celebrity entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey (11)
and musician Lady Gaga (14).
Also highly recognized for her power and
influence is Irene Rosenfeld (13), chairwoman and CEO of Kraft Foods. Both women
have appeared previously on the Forbes list.
The only Israeli on the
list, investor and philanthropist Shari Arison, appears in the 64th spot. With
an estimated net worth of $3.9 billion, Forbes describes Arison as Israel’s
richest woman after inheriting stakes in Carnival Cruises, Bank Hapoalim, and
infrastructure and real estate giant Shikun & Binui from her father, Ted
Shari Arison’s philanthropic efforts, including the launching of
online social platform Goodnet.org aimed at supporting volunteer work and
community services, are also noted.
The magazine highlights her recent
partnership with MTV in order to expand her annual initiative “Good Deeds Day,”
which is meant to inspire people around the world to do a good deed for the
benefit of others.
Another Jewish woman who appears on the Forbes list is
Safra Catz, president and chief financial officer of the Oracle Corporation, who
is listed at No. 48.
Catz, who was born in Holon but moved to the US as a
child, is the software company’s longest-serving president and CFO and,
according to Forbes, under her leadership the firm could “post the highest
operating margins in its history.”
Mary Schapiro, chairwoman of the US
Securities and Exchange Commission, who Forbes describes as one of the world’s
most powerful regulators, comes in at No. 65 and Bonnie Hammer, chairwoman of
cable entertainment at NBCUniversal, is ranked at 73.
Hammer is said to
be “one of the most powerful women in television.”
Also featured for her
role in revolutionizing TV is the “nice Jewish girl from Long Island,” Mindy
Grossman, CEO of the Home Shopping Network, who is listed at No.
Rounding out the list is Judith Rodin, the first female president of
the New York-based Rockefeller Foundation, a post she has held since 2005, and
previously the first woman to head an Ivy League institution in the US at the
University of Pennsylvania.
Responding to the list, Marcie Natan,
national president of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America,
said: “We are proud of Jews and of Jewish women in particular when they have
“After 100 years of a Zionist leadership, we are not
surprised of the capacity of Jewish women and we are most proud when they also
serve the Jewish people,” she continued.
Hadassah is the largest women’s
membership organization in the US.
While there is little doubt that the
Jewish women and all the others who appear on this list wield large amounts of
power, only one of the Jewish women – Jill Abramson – appears on the Forbes list
of the “World’s Most Powerful People.”
On that list, which was published
earlier this year, Jews include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, New York Mayor
Michael Bloomberg and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.