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JFNA says gender not at play in heroes selection

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The JFNA just announced the finalists for its 2010 Jewish Community Heroes award, the online contest that will award $25,000 to one Jew engaged in an interesting Jewish cause.

All five finalists are men: Dmitriy Salita, Jay Feinberg, Mordechai Tokarsky, Stephen Kutner and Zvi Gluck, but the JFNA says that gender did not play into the equation. The finalists were whittled down from the top 20 online vote getters, five of whom were women. A group of 16 judges selected the finalists, and six of the judges are women. 

“I really think there is no story here,” said a spokesman for the JFNA. “The 20 semi-finalists were the people who got the most popular votes in the campaign. That is not up to us. We have a panel of 16 judges, who are on the Web site, and of those six were women. One of the more well-known is Tiffany Shlain, who made the movie ‘The Tribe,’ which is all about Jewish women stereotypes. The judges’ decision was based purely on their determination of merit. It wasn’t based on anything else…. It has nothing to do with gender.”

A source says that two women tied for sixth place in the voting.

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