FOLLOWING a lengthy process, Australia’s most influential Jews have been narrowed down to 50 in this week’s AJN.
Based on discussions, debate and the opinions of an expert panel, hundreds of names were whittled down to a top-50 based on each individual’s impact on the wider society as either Jews or Australian citizens.
“When the idea was first mooted of compiling a list, some cynics thought we’d have trouble making double figures. In the end though, we ended up with far too many candidates and spent several hours debating as we tried to narrow the list down,” The AJN’s national editor Zeddy Lawrence said. “It’s a real credit to Australian Jewry that so many individuals play such an active role in the political, social and cultural life of both our country and community.”
Taking into account influence, rather than notability, the names on the list include media doyens Jon Faine, Jackie Frank and Mia Freedman, and medical leaders professors Michael Besser Jeffrey Rosenfeld and Paul Zimmet.
Federal politicians Michael Danby, Mark Dreyfus and Josh Frydenberg and political advisers Ian Davidoff and Michael Kapel also factor in the top 50.
Community leaders, including Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Dr Danny Lamm, chief executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Vic Alhadeff and Victorian Community Council of Victoria president John Searle, also feature, along with six of the community’s leading rabbis.
Compiled in response to a recent Jerusalem Post article detailing the world’s 50 most influential Jews, The AJN list considered individuals’ contributions to society in general or within specific spheres, such as medicine and media, commerce and the community. Rather than ranking individuals, which would have seen fists flying during panel discussions, and no doubt led to certain community members issuing fatwas against The AJN, Australia’s most influential Jews have been presented in alphabetical order.
While the list in print for 2011 may be final, readers are encouraged to join in the discussion by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or online via the newspaper’s Facebook page.
For the full list, see this week’s AJN.
Pictured : University of Sydney professor Suzanne Rutland