THE JEWISH 100
TLVi's Top 100 Influential Jews for the Jewish Year 5783 (2022-23)
The Top Influential Jews in 5783
While several Jewish media outlets and groups produce lists featuring influential Jews from the past year, the list below differs in that it features many voices, activists, educators, and leaders from all walks of life. We took great care in curating our list to include the voices that really speak on the issues and connect with their audiences.
As antisemitism continues to rear its ugly head in every corner of the internet, these individuals raise awareness, educate, and offer resources that help to fight hate wherever it is found. Their work empowers a new generation to embrace their identity and speak up for the Jewish people.
This list highlights new voices in advocacy and long-standing experts whose work, when taken together, increases the difference any single voice could make.
With TLVi's focus on uplifting Jews both online and offline through innovative social media-driven strategies, we recognize these leaders for the work they have already put in to elevate and inspire the wider Jewish community, and the difference they can continue to make as they educate, guide, and affect change in every corner of the globe. As in all our work to reinvigorate the conversation that surrounds Jews and antisemitism, we highlight these voices as they work to ensure a safe Jewish future.
Our list, while it might not look like it, is quite short. There are scores of Jewish voices that we have not included, not because they do not deserve it, but because we can only write down so many names.
Who are we to decide, anyway? The Tel Aviv Institute is a multidisciplinary laboratory focused on uplifting Jews online and off, through innovative, social media-driven strategies. Our content, which advocates for the dignity of Jewish people, has reached over 100 million users on social media. We asked you online to nominate and vote for your favorite Jews and our team of judges selected these individuals. Our panel of judges and TLVi team of experts included: Dr. Ron Katz, TLVI’s President, Dr. Olga Kirschbaum-Shirazki, Dr. Matthias J. Becker, and Mr. Hen Mazzig as well as all of our staff members.
Ranking: We believe each one of the individuals in this list belongs at the top, which is why we didn’t rank them, but instead allowed a computer to randomly arrange them for us. The names on the bottom are just as important as the names on the top, so please be sure to scroll all the way through!
Fashion icon Iris Apfel is over 100 years old and still looks fabulous. She challenges society's belief that a woman loses her spark once she hits 40. Iris' spark is as bright as ever and you'll know it the second you lay eyes on her. An icon since the 50s, Iris continues to be a stunning example of Jewish excellence.
Fashion stylist Liz Teich runs the popular blog TheNewYorkStylist where she helps would-be-fashionistas put together amazing wardrobes in affordable, sustainable ways. Liz also often writes about her experience as a mother to two young children. Her insightful blog is a great, often inspiring, sometimes humorous but always interesting, read for anyone.
Swell Ariel Or
At only 23 years old, Swell Ariel Or has already made waves as a talented actress. Her best-known role is that of Luna Ermoza in Netflix's hit show The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem. The historical drama focuses on the creation of Israel, but that's not where Swell's advocacy ends. Swell is outspoken about Israel, being Jewish, and her personal experience surviving a terror attack. Her talent and bravery are only beginning to show themselves to the world. You'd better stay tuned!
Jewish vegan chef Ben Rebuck creates delicious recipes on his account bensvegankitchen. Outspoken about Jewish issues, Ben confronts antisemitism head-on, even when it's coming from within his own vegan community. He notably denounced vegan claims that the meat industry is comparable to the Holocaust. Ben is also a soon-to-be-father and we hope he has some delicious baby food recipes to share with us all. Congrats, Ben!
As the second woman to hold the Chair of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) position, Julie Platt brings with her a commitment to supporting women’s leadership, strengthening the Israel/diaspora relationship, and she has worked tirelessly to preserve valuable institutions of American Jewish life, such as the summer camps that have nurtured an enduring love of Jewishness throughout many generations. Her last name may seem familiar- this is because she is the mother of Jonah, Ben, and Henry Platt. Her dedication to Jewish life can be well observed in these three young men who have taken after their mother in speaking out against antisemitism as proud Jews. We just love the Platts!
Taika Waititi, also known as Taika David Cohen, is a talented filmmaker from New Zealand. A recipient of a BAFTA and a Grammy, he has directed numerous blockbuster hits as well as Emmy award winning shows. He has also been outspoken as an ally for indigenous rights.
Tova Ricardo, known also as Tova the Poet, is a Black, Ashkenazi, and award-winning poet who uses her love of literature to educate and advocate for Black and Jewish communities. Inspiring her readers since she was 16, Tova has built a loyal following on social media where she shares her works.
Coffee lover Danielle Michaelov runs the account yescoffeenodecaf. While she, predictably, focuses a lot on coffee, Danielle routinely speaks about Israel, her identity as a Jewish woman, and Jewish foods which may or may not go well with coffee. Her coffee content is so relatable that she is able to expose non-Jewish audiences to Jewish culture and motivate them to recognize and speak up when they encounter antisemitism.
AJ is a seven-time champion for the Israeli Olympic Sliding-Sport team. He was born to an Orthodox Jewish family in Boston alongside his brother, Comedian Alex Edelman. AJ Edelman says that he wants to use his Olympic journey as a platform to promote more Jewish and Israeli involvement in sports. He is also a huge advocate for anti-bullying and for more LGBTQ+ inclusion in sports. An outstanding role model, we're glad to call AJ one of our own.
Tova Dorfman has too many hats for this short bio but we’ll give it a try: she is the Deputy Chair of the World Zionist Organization, the chair of the Israel Department and Holocaust Commemoration Worldwide, a board member of the Israeli Political Party Yesh Atid (and has been since the party’s conception in 2012), Director of Herzl Center and Museum of the World Zionist Organization, and Director of the Steinhardt Family Foundation in Israel. Phew! She oversees the provision of assistance to a variety of nonprofits operating in the area of children and youth at risk, education, and young adult leadership. She’s as involved as it gets in positively representing our people.
Aliza Sokolow is an author of a best selling children’s book and tv expert on healthy eating for children. A food stylist with a knack for teaching families how to make healthy and colorful food, Aliza started her career on Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and has since won an Emmy and a James Beard award. Aliza also likes to show off Jewish food, especially food associated with specific holidays. Her educational efforts uplift both health and heart, and for that she deserves praise.
Rabbi David Wolpe
David J. Wolpe is the Max Webb Senior Rabbi of Sinai Temple and a community leader known for his pragmatism and application of Judaism to modern-day congregations. At each juncture of the challenges American Jews are facing, Rabbi Wolpe has been on the front lines building bridges both within and outside the Jewish community.
Fashion designer Nicole Zisman addresses similar issues to many on this list. However, she confronts these issues in a most extraordinary way, via fashion. Fashion is uniquely positioned to address issues of visual assimilation and is a fascinating way to blend cultures. As someone who is both Venezuelan and Jewish, Nicole is well-equipped to discuss the complexities of multi-faceted cultural identities. Her fashion deserves attention.
Eden, a distinguished figure in the entertainment realm and has partnered with industry leaders, driving media platforms to impressive heights. She has been instrumental in campaigns highlighting the Jewish community and Israel. One of her standout projects is the prominent Jewish Instagram page, "A Wider Frame," which offers contextual news and insights about Israel and the Jewish diaspora. Through her efforts, numerous individuals have gained a balanced understanding of intricate matters related to Israel. Additionally, Eden served as the chief of staff to Noa Tishby, the Israeli Envoy for Combatting Antisemitism.
Jacob Baime is the CEO of Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC), an organization that supports Jewish students on campuses and educates about Israel. Previously, Baime served as National Field Director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Today, his work sets an example for thousands of Jewish teens and young adults growing up in a challenging time and facing rising antisemitism.
Elisheva Rishon is the creative genius behind @therealeli7designs. Her brand promotes Jewish pride and kindness. She is an outspoken activist for the black and orthodox Jewish communities, producing both inspirational and educational content. We can't praise her (and her wonderful work) enough!
Archie Gottesman is the co-founder of the non-profit, JewBelong. JewBelong works to make Judaism more inclusive and highlights antisemitism. You may be familiar with Gootesman’s work — her JewBelong Times Square Billboards about the Holocaust and rising antisemitism went viral and continue to make the rounds on social media. Archie's amazing work is an inspiration to all Jewish people.
Eyal Booker is most known for his appearance on Love Island's fourth series, but the model has accomplished a lot more, especially in the last year. Among other entrepreneurial activities, Eyal launched a curly haircare brand called WAVY. Many Jewish men have been stuck dealing with their curls with little-to-no products, so Eyal wanted to revolutionize the industry and introduce such a product to the market. Western standards of beauty have often excluded traits associated with Jews, but this product embraces it instead. We can't wait to see what Eyal has in store for next year!
An Israeli actress, writer, and producer, Noa Tishby uses her platform to advocate against antisemitism wherever it appears. She is especially active in discussions where antisemitism is disguised as mere criticism of Israel. This can be seen well in her first book, “Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth." She continues her advocacy and educational outreach online and as a Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism and the Delegitimization of Israel.
Elliott Norris is a travel and food-centric content creator who has built a following off of his charming personality and incredible sense of humor. With over a million followers under his belt, Elliott has had no trouble convincing the internet that he is someone worth watching. As his following continues to grow, we will continue to keep an eye on him and his heart-warming shenanigans.
Dr. Noa Sterling
Dr. Noa Sterling seeks to eliminate the stigmas surrounding pregnancy, childbirth, and OBGYN care. In a world where people are shamed for talking about their "icky" periods, Dr. Sterling is the voice of reason. Her educational videos are undoing years of harm caused by America's deficient sex education system. Teaching people that they should not be ashamed of their health and how to advocate for themselves is all in a day's work for Dr. Sterling.
Jessica Waks works as the Associate Director of the United Jewish Appeal of Greater Toronto, an organization dedicated to securing the well-being and strengthening the Jewish communities in Toronto. In addition to managing the challenges of this difficult position, Jessica also runs her own social media accounts where she takes on antisemitism head-on. Jessica is an inspiration and we are delighted to include her on this year's list!
Natan Levy is a Jewish UFC fighter who recently made headlines for sparring (read: destroying) an antisemitic Nick Fuentes supporter in a match. Natan started his career not by beating up bigots, but by teaching martial arts in Israel, then continued on to studying in China before moving to Las Vegas to compete in the UFC. Natan has been outspoken about his Jewish and Israeli pride and has volunteered his time teaching self defense to Jewish youth. He is a proud Jew and is unashamed in the face of bigotry. Natan is a role model for all Jewish youth and inspires them to be proud of their identity and stand up to bullies.
We wish we could say we discovered her, but we are no less grateful to honor her. Wonder Woman herself! Gal Gadot has made Am Yisrael proud over the years. She is on the receiving end of a lot of hate just for being Israeli, and yet she never stops proudly owning her identity. The warm way she lights up a screen and lights up a room gives a humanizing association with Israel to people which helps to counter the demonizing material many people passively consume.
Ariel Scheer Stein
The charismatic creator of @JewishFamilyMagic definitely deserves a place on our list. Ariel Scheer Stein posts beautiful Jewish recipes, educational posts about Jewish traditions and holidays, and tells exemplary stories about her incredible family. Her non-Jewish audience gets heart-warming exposure to an unfamiliar way of life and her Jewish audience gets relatable family content. It's a win-win!
Dr. Logan Levkoff
Dr. Logan Levkoff is one of the foremost experts on human sexuality and personal relationships. Dr. Levkoff has been a guest on Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Rachael Ray Show, The CBS Early Show, Oprah, Fox News Channel, and CNN. She also regularly writes for HuffPost, and has published multiple books. Though she stays busy professionally, she continues to advocate for justice — fighting for Jews and our humanity alongside JNF and TLVi, as a fierce voice for Jews, gender, and LGBTQ+ equality.
After Ethan Zohn became the winner of Survivor: Africa, he dedicated himself to founding Grassroot Soccer, an organization that uses soccer to fund the fight against HIV/AIDs as well as raise awareness for the disease. The organization even developed a first-of-its-kind curriculum that used soccer themes to teach how to prevent HIV. This would, of course, be more than enough to justify Ethan's placement on our list but he didn't stop there. Ethan is also a motivational speaker who says that his beliefs in Judaism have helped him with his success in life. Ethan has also survived cancer twice. The man, the myth, the legend Ethan Zohn doesn't look like he plans to stop impressing us anytime soon.
Mayan Toledano uses her skills as a photographer to examine themes of gender identity, gay culture, and the female body. She challenges traditional beauty standards with her work and highlights the beauty in everything. These works have appeared in Vice, Vogue, and The New York Times. If you want to see wonderful things, then keep an eye on Mayan.
Matthew Nouriel is more widely known by their alter persona, Empress Mizrahi. As someone who is Persian, Jewish, and queer, Matthew has been able to speak with depth, sensitivity, and grace on a range of topics including Judaism, Zionism, and Israel. They have been published in Jewish Journal, Hey Alma, and other blogs and websites. Matthew is many things, but most importantly, Matthew is Matthew!
Most people are familiar with Josh Zilberberg's wit and contagious humor. His TikToks have taken the world by storm and he boasts over 2.9 million followers on the app. He is a shining example of how, when faced with adversity and struggles, we can often transform that negativity into something positive like humor.
Originally featured on Netflix's Jewish Matchmaking, Cindy Seni inspires her followers with hilarious stories from her new life in Israel where she immigrated just a few years ago from Canada. Cindy uses her voice and talent to speak up about issues impacting the Jewish community in an engaging and creative way.
HAIM: Este Arielle, Danielle Sari, and Alana Mychal
The HAIM Sisters! If you are a 'Swiftie', you are already well acquainted with this musically talented sister group. If you haven’t heard of HAIM, you need to listen to their cover of “That Don’t Impress Me Much”. Proud Jews, the HAIM sisters have opened for worldwide artists like Taylor Swift. If you haven’t noticed, their band name means “life” in Hebrew, and their father is a legendary Israeli rock star from the band Kaveret.
Walter Mosley is a prolific author best known for his crime novels. He has authored numerous novels, plays, and TV episodes. Born to a Black father and a Jewish woman, Mosley has taken issue with the lack of diversity within the publishing industry. In efforts to rectify this inequality, he worked with the City College of New York to create The Publishing Certificate Program, which helps minority students get into the publishing industry. His work for both the Black and Jewish communities has been extraordinary and we salute his commitment to speaking his truth.
The two-time Webby award-winning travel YouTuber Nicky Kelvin used to work as a lawyer and as a photojournalist for an Israeli news agency. Nicky, however, was always destined for the skies. Becoming a travel expert was only natural for him. If you are ever considering traveling anywhere, then you should go to Nicky Kelvin for advice.
Melissa Rosenfield is the Director of Vibe. What does that mean? It means that she knows exactly what kind of vibe is needed for an occasion. This has allowed her to help organizations create incredible experiences for their guests as well as find the perfect vibe to market a company.
Alex Edelman is a comedian and writer who was born to an Orthodox Jewish family in Boston alongside his brother, Olympian AJ Edelman. Alex has had a lot of success with his stand-up routines. So much so, in fact, that his show Just For Us was moved to Broadway. This show covers Alex's experience at a neo-nazi meet-up. Using comedy to address social issues or to cope with the harsh realities of life can be a fine line to walk, but Alex nails it every time. We're grateful that the Edelman family decided to produce such gifted children.
Keren Hajioff is a British-Israeli who served as the head of the IDF's social media. Under her guidance, the IDF's social media audience grew to over 5 million followers. But this powerhouse Jewish leader wasn't done there – in 2020 she was appointed spokesperson of the Northern Command in Israel before moving on to serve as the International Spokeswoman for the Prime Minister of Israel, working for both Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Prime Minister Yair Lapid. Today she is a consultant and lectures internationally about the security threats Israel faces.
Felicity Spector is a UK journalist who has over 100,000 followers on Instagram. A distinguished foodie, her posts feature both inventive recipes and traditional delicacies such as challah and tahini. She has worked as a judge on The Great Taste Awards and written food features for the website Great British Chefs. She has made a number of food-centered trips to Israel and posted about her experiences for her large following; unabashedly showing off some of the best Israel has to offer.
Ariel Sara Tidhar
Ariel Sara Tidhar is an American-Israeli who couldn't be more proud of her identity. Ariel founded her own brand of Judaica Jewelry which she sells at her shop. Most small businesses struggle to survive their first two years, yet Ariel's business has been going strong for five. She is an inspiration to young Jewish girls and any women who hope to turn their craft into a career. The self-proclaimed 'unapologetically Jewish' business owner is definitely worth following for more than just the cute jewelry. But, the jewelry is REALLY cute. Just saying.
Hughie and Avery Stone Fish
Hughie Stone Fish, the talented musician, was on our list last year. This year, he has a new title under his belt: Co-founder of The Arts Project Syracuse, which provides arts education to under-resourced youth in Syracuse, New York. Hughie released a song, Down Down Down, to celebrate the organization's launch. All proceeds from the music video went to TAPS. Another co-founder of the organization is Avery Stone Fish, who you might have guessed is Hughie's brother. Avery is a talented director and climber. These brothers continue to impress us and we can only assume that they will land on next year's list with a third family member to boot.
Karen Cinnamon is the go-to girl for Jewish weddings. Not only does she help Jewish brides and grooms plan the wedding of their dreams, but she also shares these weddings with the world. A huge international audience has experienced and learned about Jewish culture by following the precious moments Karen has shared with the world through her platforms.
Margot Touitou is an American-born Jew who now lives in Tel Aviv. She has over 10 years of experience in content creation and works as a social media manager who frequently gives tips and tricks to non-Tel Avivans on how to navigate the city. She runs the Kiss and Tel Aviv podcast which covers the dating experience in Tel Aviv. Margot is outspoken about antisemitism, albeit in a much wittier and more comedic way than most. She will never be silent about how proud she is to be Jewish and how pathetic she finds the antisemites who try to bring her down. Often saying what we're thinking but are too timid to say aloud, we look forward to more as Margot continues to trailblaze across social media.
Yseult P. Mukantabana
Yseult Polfliet Mukantabana, a Rwandan, Jewish, and Queer author, she co-authored the book "Real Friends Talk About Race," which was released in April 2023 under the Park Row imprint of HarperCollins. Mukantabana is also a TED speaker and a social and arts advocate. She sits on the steering board committee of POWarts, an organization dedicated to supporting professional women in the art world. With a background in fashion design and artistic direction, she is currently involved in the writing/directing of a feature film, her next book, and a brand-new podcast.
Rachel Simon, currently residing in Indianapolis with her family, is at the helm of the Herbert Simon Family Foundation. This Indianapolis-based foundation has a broad impact, extending regionally and globally, with a focus on the environment, education, arts, and culture, as well as social justice and sustainability. Drawing from her rich tapestry of geographic and cultural experiences, Simon is steering the foundation into a new era marked by pressing challenges, particularly in the realms of climate change, sustainability, and social justice. Under her leadership, the foundation recently concluded a strategic planning session, ensuring that while its core philosophy remains unchanged, there will be a sharpened focus on certain pivotal areas. She is a force to be reckoned with and with her work she makes us all proud to be Jewish.
The always hilarious Iliza Shlesinger has made a name for herself in comedy as a proud Jew and a proud feminist. She incorporates her no-nonsense views on bigotry against minorities and extremism into her comedy in a way that can reach even those who disagree with her. With multiple Netflix specials and movies, Iliza is always sure to give us a laugh and a boost to our morale.
Jonah Platt is a fantastic role model. He sings, he acts, he writes, and he even directs! Defending Israel and the Jewish people won't excel his career, but Jonah still does it because he wants to do what is right. He refuses to keep his head down and stay silent. Luckily, he has enough talent where he doesn't have to worry about rocking the boat now and then.
Pamela Shayna Wiznitzer is an academic and a writer. Most importantly, however, she is a bartender. Those three things might seem like they don't go together at first, but once you meet Pamela you'll understand. Bartending and mixing alcohol rarely gets the credit that it deserves, but after reading a few of Pamela's social media posts you'll wonder why her craft doesn't get more praise. The love she has for what she does is infectious and articulated perfectly in her snappy narratives. Not everything she talks about is booze or books, however. Pamela is a proud Jewish woman as well. She's someone any Jewish woman can look up to as a passionate, creative person.
Award-winning chef Eitan Bernath is only 21 years old but has already started making his mark on this world. Along with his successful social media following of over 10 million, Eitan has made news for being named a World Food Programme's high-level supporter. Eitan's efforts to end food insecurity don't end there, he is also the youngest member of City Harvest's Food Council; an organization that works to end hunger in New York City. Eitan's giant heart and incredible talent at his young age are awe-inspiring. That's why he's on our list!
Feminist, journalist, podcaster, and best-selling author Mirna Funk is one incredible lady. If the long list of accomplishments didn't tip you off, Mirna is a multi-talented woman who loves to address societal issues in a way only she can. Her articles, her shows (did we mention she writes for shows as well?) and her books come from a person who is deeply proud of her Jewish heritage. A German-born, Mirna makes it clear that her Jewishness does not make her a victim. We hope she can teach every Jew how to be so confidently self-loving and proud in regards to their heritage, rather than a victim of common antisemitic sentiments.
Journalist Emily Schrader has dedicated herself and her career to protecting human rights. A Senior Correspondent at Ynet News and frequent contributor to the Jerusalem Post and other leading Jewish publications, Emily has been one of the leading voices from Israel on the issue of Iranian human rights and she was the principal organizer of Israel's protest in support of the people of Iran.
Shekhiynah Larks is a professional diversity, equity, and inclusion educator whose work is instrumental in bringing Black Jewish voices to the forefront of the Jewish community. She explores the perception of 'Jew' from both inside and outside the community and points out inequalities among non-Ashkenazi Jews. Her work is incredibly important and is beginning to resonate with ever larger audiences.
Hannah Bugas, creator of the Hannah Says podcast, is a Queer, disabled Jew who approaches topics both practically and optimistically. They have a Public Policy degree with a major in Social Change and Sustainability. So, if anyone is going to make the world a better place, it's probably going to be Hannah! Their podcast is insightful and interesting while tackling important issues plaguing our world.
Aleeza Ben Shalom
Aleeza Ben Shalom has made headlines for her starring role in the Netflix hit "Jewish Matchmaking." Aleeza is responsible for thousands of couples getting to the chuppah through her successful and empowering approach to matchmaking – plus she's done wonders to educate the world about the beauty of Jewish marriage!
Rapper Chantae Vetrice is unapologetically Black and Jewish. Because she so fully embraces every aspect of her personality, when it comes to tough situations she leaves no stone unturned. When Jamie Foxx came under fire for a post he made on social media, Chantae was able to act as a bridge between the Black and Jewish community; understanding both sides equally. With women like Chantae in the Jewish community, we can only be headed toward a better, more understanding future.
Sacha Baron Cohen
Born the son of a holocaust survivor to an Orthodox Jewish family, Sacha Baron Cohen has spent his career exposing antisemitism. In his arguably best-known role, that of his character Borat, Sacha played an openly antisemitic character. Famously, Sacha was the only one playing a part in the movie. The people who gleefully agreed with Borat's bigoted statements or, arguably worse, ignored them in spite of knowing they were wrong, were real people who had no idea that they were speaking to a man playing a character. Sacha Baron Cohen once remarked that the holocaust was less fueled by rampant antisemites, but rather by the apathetic majority who let the minority of bigots speak the loudest. This is something that his character of Borat highlights well. In 2019 Sacha won the ADL's International Leadership Award for opposing bigotry and prejudice, after which he gave a beautiful and intelligent speech about the hate being spread throughout the internet and the lack of action being taken to prevent this hate from growing. Right about the future, Sacha Baron Cohen continues his efforts to prevent antisemitic hate from taking over. For his work this year and all years, he deserves a place on our list.
Jordan Daniels is a storyteller, visual artist, and activist. Jordan explores many subjects, but he is especially well-known for his discussions on the LGBTQ+ community and queerness. His series Queering Up Israel in particular showcases the intersection of the queer experience and his racial identity as a Jewish man. His insightful social commentary makes it clear that he is a Jewish voice to listen to.
Mandana Dayani and Debra Messing
Our list last year featured Debra Messing and Mandana Dayani. This year, we're bringing you something new; Mandana Dayani and Debra Messing! Mandana Dayani is the Iranian-born Founder of “I Am A Voter,” a nonpartisan civic engagement organization, as well as the President of Archwell, the media and philanthropic organization founded by Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke & Duchess of Sussex. Debra Messing is an Emmy award-winning actress whose career spans film, TV, and theater. From a leading role on Will & Grace to appearances on Seinfeld, Project Runway, Jeopardy, and more, Debra can truly do it all! These two best friends run a podcast together called "The Dissenters."
Chef Adeena Sussman
Chef Adeena Sussman is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors From My Israeli Kitchen” and has co-authored numerous other cookbooks including Chrissy Teigen’s. Adeena has racked up hundreds of thousands of followers, sharing recipes from her cookbooks and snippets from her life in Tel Aviv. She made Aliyah in 2018.
Shanni Suissa is a writer for the Jewish Journal as well as the host of her own podcast called The Shanni Show. Shanni has a knack for interviewing and knows how to get to the issues while keeping her audience engaged and entertained. Her articles and podcast often cover Jewish issues and are a great way to stay up-to-date with issues affecting the community.
The incredibly talented Daveed Diggs an American actor, rapper, and singer-songwriter most known for his performance(s) in the hot Broadway show Hamilton where he played both Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, for which he won a 2016 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical. He was also awarded a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album in Hamilton the same year…and yep, you guessed it, he’s one of the tribe!
Matt Hoffman is the creator of Jewish Facts Daily — an Instagram and TikTok account that educates the public about Jewish life, history, facts, and current events. Matt’s work has helped elevate Jewish issues globally to over 115,000 people on Instagram alone.
Yury Revich is a classically trained violinist and composer. He has won the ECHO Klassik Award, the International Classical Music Award, and his recording of Saint-Georges double concertos was listed on the US Billboard classical charts in 2021. In addition to all of these noteworthy awards and achievements, Revich has been an intensely proud Jew, and has spoken up for our community through his prolific art.
Leslie Schapira is an open and proud Zionist in an industry that is afraid to show support for a Jewish state. Working in Hollywood as a TV writer, Leslie is outspoken about her identity and beliefs, which are undeterred by the attitudes of those around her. Her talent has earned her opportunities to write for shows on Disney+ and HBO Max. She also leads an incredible initiative called EDIT dinners where she brings together Jewish and Zionist leaders together. We applaud Leslie for her stalwart commitment undeterred by fear and social pressures.
The creator of Fauda, Avi Issacharoff, is an Israeli journalist who spent 23 years in the Israeli Special Forces. He wrote two books, one covering the Second Intifada and the other covering the 2006 Lebanon War. Avi is brilliant at dissecting Palestinian relations and the sentiments between Jewish and Arab nations. He finds the truth and shares it with the rest of the world. That's something to celebrate.
Grammy award-winning musician Joanie Leeds is teaching kids to be their true selves. Her uplifting children's albums share important life lessons along with catchy tunes. She is also outspoken about the lack of diversity in the music industry and the need for more Jewish representation therein. Many of her own songs have Jewish themes; filling a niche for Jewish children's music.
You don't need to be a Kiwi to know about Auckland-born actress Emma Lahana. She starred in a Disney production, several musicals, and was even the Yellow Ranger in the 2004 Power Rangers TV series. In addition to being an actress and musical star, Emma is now working on her own music and this multi-talented artist's future is looking bright.
Israeli pop singer Ido Dankner runs a popular YouTube channel where his covers and original songs have captivated listeners around the world. The talented artist is now living in LA where he'll have more opportunities to collaborate with other musicians. His career has only just begun and with a voice like his, expect to hear a lot more.
Shanna Fuld is the founder and CEO of the Israel Daily News Podcast. With how important Israel is to Jews across the world, it's fantastic to have someone who can quickly and accurately explain what is happening in the motherland on a regular basis. Shanna's ability to boil issues down while maintaining and focusing on the human element is hard to find in even the most veteran of journalists. We are very glad that Shanna is a part of our community.
Gina Schulman is an entrepreneur who is passionate about innovative giving and directing resources for good. A seasoned executive at the intersection of pop culture and social change, she has for nearly two decades, worked as an entertainment publicist with virtually every major entertainment press outlet in television, print, syndicated radio, and online. Leveraging her vast network of people "holding microphones", she saw the opportunity to develop partnerships and campaigns with a music industry non-profit called PLUS1. There, she helped fundraise and raise attention to urgent causes and needs of communities distributing nearly twenty million dollars through national tours. A global pandemic led her to found Tzeda, Inc. -a subscription-based, recommendation giving model aimed to give more people access to strategic giving, while prioritizing BIPOC, local and grassroots organizations.
A real-life wonder woman, Sivan founded the Israeli NGO Innovation Africa which provides clean water and electricity to tens of thousands of Africans in rural villages without infrastructure. Her humanitarian work has already received widespread recognition and numerous awards. Sivan is the very embodiment of "tikkun olam" for these times.
Raquel Benitah shares her journey of self-acceptance and spreads her message of body positivity to social media for all to see. Few would be willing to put themselves in the line of fire for trolls to mock and degrade, but Raquel does it so she can help others find the self-love that she now has. She knows she is beautiful and she wants others to feel beautiful too. Her fight against societal preconceptions of beauty is one we salute.
Amy Albertson is a Chinese-American Jew and works as a Jewish Advocate and Educator. Amy is unapologetic about her identity and believes that being Jewish is a source of pride. She shares this message with her audience and inspires other Jews to celebrate all facets of their identity.
Born in Jerusalem to Mizrahi and Ashkenazi parents, Sarah, a creative artist, has found inspiration in the contrasts and juxtapositions she finds in her environment. Her eye for beauty within realism has made her stand out as a leading casting director. Her debut film Arava was released to critical acclaim, including its being nominated at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Jess Burke is a progressive Jewish activist who staunchly defends both the Jewish and LGBTQ+ communities. This year she wrote to major Canadian heads of government in order to request that Canada put pressure on Uganda to rescind their newly passed Anti-Homosexuality Act which imposes life sentences for consensual adult relationships that are same-sex. Jess is also outspoken on Jewish issues, regularly calling out antisemitism on social media. Her beliefs are unshakeable and we're glad to have such an intelligent and well-spoken person as a member of our tribe.
Emmy-award-winning photographer Joshua Cogan is also an Anthropologist, which explains why his projects have such a unique ability to highlight people, their land, and their culture. His photos are infused with the lives of people past, present, and future.
The host of the all-inclusive motherhood podcast "Mom Curious" has quite the resume under her belt. Daniella has done it all, from voice-acting in the beloved game Red Dead Redemption to acting in TV's hit God Friended Me to directing her own short film, Oma. Her commitment to Yiddish theater and culture has led the way for the revival and preservation of Jewish culture.
Tony J Westbrook
Tony Westbrook describes himself as Black, Jewish, and hilarious. We agree with all those descriptors, but we'd like to add 'inspirational' to the list. Tony runs the @frumjewishblackboy account where he shares moments from his life. This year his account was especially introspective as he spent the summer in Israel. The experience was clearly magical, and we are thankful that we were privy to it.
Mona Molayem regularly speaks about her Iranian Jewish heritage as she shares her luxury travels with her social media following. She is well-traveled, but it's her travels to Israel that we especially love. She has a talent for showing the country in its most magnificent and alluring light. We sometimes get so caught up in the politics and strife that we forget the beauty of the land and the people. Mona makes sure that we do not forget.
Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll
A warrior with a pen — and we don’t mean that figuratively. The ever-talented Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll has made it her mission to fight against antisemitism with her writing, featured in The Times of Israel, The Jerusalem Post, The UK Jewish Chronicle, The Forward, and other leading publications! This multi-hyphenated woman is not only a podcast host, and a public speaker, but a rockstar mother with a passion to make a better tomorrow.
Writer Malina Saval worked for 10 years at Variety as a Features Editor. Recently she was appointed the editor-in-chief of Pasadena Magazine while also writing for the Los Angeles Magazine. As a consultant for Variety Malina is helping the magazine put together the first annual Variety Antisemitism and Hollywood Summit. Having written screenplays for industry titans such as Disney, Malina is perfectly equipped to cover film, TV, theatre and much more. Malina is also a published author, having written the book The Secret Lives of Boys: Inside the Raw Emotional World of Male Teens.
Nissim Baruch Black is a rapper who goes under the stage name of D. Black. Nissim and his wife converted to Judaism in 2013 and in 2016 moved to Israel where they became a part of the Hasidic community. Although conversion was sometimes difficult, Nissim experienced a great amount of personal growth and outside acceptance. The rapper said that he was overwhelmed by the amount of love and kindness with which he was welcomed into Jewish life. Nissim continues to rap, though unlike his contemporaries he never includes vulgarity in his songs. He even has a song about the story of Hannukah titled Victory. We are so glad that Nissim was able to find his place within our community!
Nicole Raviv is a trilingual singer-songwriter and actress from Canada. Her Romanian mother and Moroccan father immigrated to Canada from Israel before she was born. As such, Nicole has grown up with a rich multicultural experience. Her music reflects her diverse identity and beautifully blends Middle Eastern and Western music to create a unique sound. Boisterous and proud about who she is, Nicole reminds the world that diversity is our strength.
Nata Goldberg, the artist formally known as Nata Ringe, is someone who speaks from the heart. She uses her background in therapy to convey deep, raw emotions through her digital art. Often uplifting and hopeful, Nata's art is a comfort to her audience. Touching the hearts of many, Nata's simplistic style is immediately familiar and unique. Not many artists dare to do what Nata does, but we are so glad she went down this path.
Julian Brass is a certified health coach, a best-selling author, an angel investor, a brand builder, AND a keynote speaker. That's a lot to have on one plate, but Julian still finds time to regularly post advice and motivational quotes on his platforms.
The Second Gentleman of the United States, Doug Emhoff, is the first Jewish person to ever be in the position. As the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, Doug has been a strong voice against antisemitism from day one. Under his guidance, the White House has taken a tougher stance on antisemitism and held multiple discussions with student activists to fight back against the disturbing trends on American campuses.
Lani Mekeel is a Jewish Lakota Activist based out of LA. She describes herself as a pro-peace activist and she frequently talks about her experiences being a mixed Lakota-Jew. She unhesitantly points out the hypocrisy of some activists and groups who hold double standards for Jews. Lani is uniquely able to speak to a variety of indigenous topics and we are proud of her for using her voice to stand up for justice for all.
Jeffrey A. Farber
Jeff is the CEO of the San Francisco based Koret Foundation since 2005. In this capacity, he oversees and leads all of the Foundation activities. Jeff’s community and philanthropic leadership activities span numerous roles in both the general and Jewish communities. He currently serves on the board of overseers of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University; the board of governors and the audit committee for the Commonwealth Club; the board of American Friends of Koret Israel Economic Development Funds; Israel on Campus Coalition; and the national executive committee of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. He is a trustee at the Center for Human Rights Leadership at his alma mater, Claremont McKenna College. His commitment to the Jewish people is admirable (does he even sleeps doing all of this work?) and he’s definitely one of our top Jews worldwide!
Kat Graham is an actress, singer and model known for her work in the Vampire Diaries. Kat was born to a Liberian father and a Jewish mother in Switzerland, but was raised in Los Angeles where she attended Hebrew school. She also has a half brother who lives in Israel. Kat has been outspoken about her dual identity and how proud she is of being Jewish.
British soccer legend (footballer, for all of you non-Americans) David Beckham has been very open about his Jewish identity, though few seem to know about it. Beckham even has a Hebrew tattoo. More recently, Beckham was interviewed in front of a Synagogue where he said the Hamotzi and spoke out about how he is proud to be a part of the Jewish community.
Liz Kleinrock is the founder of Teach and Transform, an anti-bias, anti-racist teacher training group. Liz is a Korean, Jewish, and queer author and consultant. Her group, Teach and Transform, has partnered with many organizations such as Nike, the University of Oregon, and Teach for America. Through her work for justice and equality, Liz has reached countless people and never minimized her Jewish identity. We adore her and are so proud of her contribution to Jewish life.
Chef Michael Solomonov
In the world of culinary art, Chef Solomonov is a legend. He is the founder of the renowned Philadelphia restaurant Zahav which received the James Beard Foundation “Outstanding Restaurant” Award in 2019. He has also been Awarded “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic” in 2011. His restaurant Laser Wolf was named one of the “50 places we’re most excited about” by the New York Times in 2021 and his documentary, “In Search of Israeli Cuisine” much like his best-selling books, received audience applause. We admire how this brave Jewish chef is outspoken about his identity.
Have you ever been told that you don't look Jewish? We know the feeling. Photographer Jenny Abrams decided that she'd take that age-old statement and turn it on its head. Her account, @youdontlookjewish on Instagram, showcases Jewish faces and communities from around the world. These photos portray how diverse Jewish faces are and, hopefully, will encourage people to stop and think before proclaiming that others 'look' Jewish or not.
Jordyn Tilchen is a journalist, editor and SEO professional who's worked for The New York Post, Page Six, MTV News, Bustle and several other renowned publications. She's a proud Jewish voice off and online and we enjoy following her. Look out for this one...
NBA star Deni Avdija is an Israeli Jew who first showcased his basketball career in Israel's Premier League. In 2020, Deni was picked up by the Washington Wizards NBA team. It's wonderful to have someone like Deni Avdija as a role model for Jewish children to look up to. He works hard and he plays even harder.
Being influential is one thing, but how about being unfluential? Unintentionally influential is how Hillary Cohen labels herself and her brand. She may not have asked for the power to influence others, but she knows how to use it well. This Jewish mother of twins is funny, witty, and relatable. If you haven’t fallen under her spell yet, you will!
One of Israel's rising political stars, Asaf Zamir has already served in many key positions. A former deputy mayor of Tel Aviv, he served in the Knesset as the Minister of Tourism, and the Consul General to New York, before acting on his principles and resigning in protest of the extreme government reform. Zamir is a rare statesman, values-driven and working on behalf of Israel and Jews no matter what the personal or political consequence. He is currently in the running for the Mayor of Tel Aviv.
Aly Raisman is an Olympic Champion gymnast who has been outspoken and proud of her Jewish identity. In the Olympics, she even did her floor routine to "Hava Nagila." Aly was a part of the groundbreaking expose of the USA Gymnastics trainer Larry Nasser who sexually assaulted dozens of young girls. Aly's courage and leadership helped support the other victims of the incident. Her story has inspired countless young Jews to speak up in the face of injustice.