'Forward' chronicles top Jewish Americans of 2012

Sheldon Adelson, Olympian Aly Raisman, composer Philip Glass and HBO star Lena Dunham top the list.

Sheldon and Miriam Adelson 370 (photo credit: Bloomberg)
Sheldon and Miriam Adelson 370
(photo credit: Bloomberg)
Who are the faces of Jewish America today? The Jewish Daily Forward has published its annual list of the top 50 influential Jewish Americans with some new faces, polarizing figures and traditional Jewish mainstays, spanning the wide array of Jewish impact on American today.
New to the “Forward 50” this year are video profiles of each of the Top Five—Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, Olympian Aly Raisman, composer Philip Glass, do-it-all HBO TV star Lena Dunham and Agudath Israel of America Executive Vice President Rabbi David Zweibel.
The Forward also attempted to take a new angle on the American-Jewish community today. Aside from highlighting the traditional halls of Jewish impact such as in Hollywood or politics, the newspaper also looked to new sources of influence and vision within the community.
From “a charismatic rabbi in Los Angeles, a creative Hillel director in Philadelphia, a passionate educator in Detroit, an innovative foundation leader in Baltimore and a mother in New York who galvanized a cyber-community by sharing the story of her dying daughter,” the Forward website described.
But the Forward also took the time to honor some of Jewish-American stalwarts like Barbra Streisand. Also included are popular celebrity personalities like Jon Stewart and the controversial political writer Peter Beinart. The emerging impact of the Orthodox community was featured with Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, who delivered the invocation at the Republican National Convention.
The Forward noted that it was proud to have increased the number of girls and women in its list this year.