While many of us are drawn to Jewish celebrities and politicians, whether in admiration or critique, it’s essential not to overlook the leaders of major Jewish organizations from the world’s largest Jewish communities. Their core mission revolves around fostering and ensuring the vibrancy of Jewish life in their respective nations. Therefore, in this year’s list of most influential Jews, we’ve spotlighted several leaders from the world’s largest Jewish communities:
No. 46: Yoel Har-Even and Rhoda Smolow >>
No. 48: Evan Gershkovich >>
Full list >>
As CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, William Daroff is a key player in policy circles, advising policymakers and elected officials on Jewish communal concerns – namely those related to the US-Israel relationship, the Middle East conflict, Jewish communal security, antisemitism, and efforts to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. He is also a leader in the worldwide fight to combat the assault on Israel’s legitimacy.
Yonathan Arfi, president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (Crif). As an emerging voice in Jewish leadership, Arfi has swiftly become a pivotal figure representing French Jewry, both in the media and in discussions with the French government and its leadership.
Marie van der Zyl OBE
Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Van der Zyl was honored as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2023 New Year Honors for “services to faith and integration.”
Steven Shulman, president and CEO of Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA. Under his leadership, the organization has been safeguarding and strengthening the connection and engagement between Canadian Jews and Israel.
Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. Schuster played a pivotal role in integrating thousands of Ukrainian Jewish refugees into Jewish communities throughout Germany.
Each of these leaders embodies the dedication and resilience of the Jewish community, working tirelessly to ensure its continuity and prosperity.