Jewish Journal


November 8, 2007

The Forward 50


The Forward 50 is out, and guess who again got snubbed after missing the Heeb 100. Seriously, though, there are some surprising picks and even more surprising omissions. No Hebrew Hammer?

The Forward

says this year’s selections indicate a greater chasm separating Jewish innovators.

Pessimists have been warning for decades that as younger generations of Jews continued their acculturation into the American mainstream, those at the leading edge of the drift would float away from Jewish identity, leaving a smaller but more committed core. Optimists, if that’s the right word, predicted that the younger, more acculturated Jews wouldn’t disappear from the scene; rather, their Jewish identities would evolve in new and unpredictable ways, leaving the Jewish community as many small communities, with less and less identifiably in common.

This year’s Forward 50 list shows what look to us, at least, like clear signs of continental drift. When we sat down to take a long look at the community, what we found was not a hardening core surrounded by an evanescent periphery, but numerous pockets of identity taking shape on the landscape, most showing clear signs of solidity, but most quite disconnected from ― even unaware of ― the others.

From Los Angeles only seven (and a half) people made the list:

Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow
Henry Waxman
Jimmy Delshad
Roz Rothstein
Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin
Rabbi Laura Geller
Robert Wexler

Well, at least we didn’t have Jack Abramoff on the list again.

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