NEW YORK (JTA) — Barack Obama’s pick for chief of staff topped the annual Forward list of the country’s most influential Jews.
U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) was joined in the top five of the Forward 50 by political activist Jeremy Ben-Ami, Obama money woman Penny Pritzker, comedian Sarah Silverman and ethical kosher guru Rabbi Morris Allen.
The annual listing, which is broken down into categories of politics, money, food, community, religion and media & culture, often adds one non-Jewish pick. This year the honoree is the Rev. Paul Ouderkirk, the Catholic clergyman from Postville, Iowa, who has gained national attention for ministering to the town’s immigrant community in the aftermath of the May 12 raid on the Agriprocessors kosher slaughterhouse.