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Mayor Garcetti lands spot on ‘Forward 50’

by Jonah Lowenfeld

November 13, 2013 | 2:57 pm

Los Angeles mayor-elect Eric Garcetti on May 21. Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Los Angeles mayor-elect Eric Garcetti on May 21. Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has earned a place on The Jewish Daily Forward’s annual list of 50 Jewish newsmakers of 2013. 

Released on Nov. 11, the Forward’s list is a collection of the Jews whose accomplishments in politics, culture, religion, education, activism and other endeavors have made them part of the national conversation this year. And though Garcetti — described by the New York-based paper as having a “strong record on environmental issues and stern support for progressive causes” — may be the best-known Angeleno to make the list, he has a decent amount of company from his fellow citizens. 

Not surprisingly, some come from the ranks of the entertainment industry. Comedian Marc Maron — with his uber-popular podcast, award-winning television show on IFC and his tremendous candor about the nosedive and recent revival of his career — made the list. So did Jenji Kohan, who directed the critically acclaimed series “Orange Is the New Black,” which Netflix has said is on track to become the most-streamed original show by the end of this year. 

Sociolinguist Sarah Bunin Benor, an associate professor at the Los Angeles campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, earned a spot on the Forward’s list thanks to her book, “Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism.” 

Although no Angeleno scored a place in the top five, one Californian did share top billing at the top of this year’s list: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, whose book “Lean In” spurred a national discussion about the status of women in American business and society today. 

At the other end of the spectrum — and of the Golden State — is one Jew who made the list thanks to less-laudable actions: Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who stands accused by 18 women of sexual harassment, and resigned just eight months after assuming his post. 

The 2013 Forward 50 includes writers and professors, musicians and rabbis, activists and politicians — and two non-Jews: Pope Francis and Angelina Jolie. The full list can be viewed at Forward.com.

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