Last year, we started our Top Jew of the Year list by featuring “Jews who embody the best in Jewish values.” For 2011, however, we had to readjust our thinking a bit. Below, a list of Jews in the News, with the best of the Tribe up top, and the rest…well, you’ll see.
1) Gilad Shalit
The soldier endured five years as Hamas’ prisoner, and then returned home with grace and a smile on his face.
2) Gabby Giffords
We laud her not as a victim, but as an incredible survivor – her courage, strength and good will are an inspiration to us all.
3) Debbie Friedman
She left us this year, but brought light to all our lives. Her music has defined our spirituality.
4) Chuck “Chaim” Lorre
For canning Charlie Sheen. He saw a reckless villain and booted him, then took the heat.
5) Amy Winehouse
Beautiful voice, sad, sad voice; in song and in life, she touched our hearts for her vulnerability and soul.
6) Ryan Braun*
Just weeks after being named baseball’s first Jewish MVP in half a century, Milwaukee’s 28-year-old slugger was hit with doping charges. “B.S.,” he said; we’ll wait to see.
7) Matisyahu’s beard
Gone, but never to be forgotten!
Brett Ratner Billy Crystal
When the foul-mouthed sleazeball director was forced from the helm of this year’s Oscars show, the Academy turned to an old hand with a familiar punim. Sing, Billy, sing!
Can’t we just forget his escapades, already?
10) Dominique Strauss-Kahn
The sexual assault charges were dropped and the former IMF head is now back in France. Still: shame on you, Monsieur DSK—and good riddance.