Who is the Outstanding Jew of the Year?

Mark Zuckenberg, a fellow Jew, is Time magazines’s person of the Year.

Do we adequately acknowledge the accomplishments of our non-observant co-religionists?

Who do you think is the Outstanding Jew of 2010 and why?

Only positive achievements.

10 comments on “Who is the Outstanding Jew of the Year?

  1. Judy,

    Eric Cantor is not the only Jewish Republican in Congress. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s parent were both born Jews. Unfortunately, she practices Christianity today. Nevertheless she is still staunchly pro-Israel.

  2. Mark Zuckerberg has unfortunately inspired the awe of an entire generation of non-frum Jews, mainly because they all use his product, facebook.

  3. To Mordechai Y. Scher #5: Thank you for the correction. You are 100% right. Rav Steinsaltz’ translation was into Ivrit, not English. Still a monumental achievement that helped open up the Talmud for many Israelis.

    I would also like to nominate Dr. Herman Branover, who is a living example of how a distinguished scientist can also be an Orthodox Jew without contradictions.

    Maybe also Dr. Yisroel Aumann, who won a Nobel Prize for his work in probability theory.

    Two from my local community: Rav Elchonon Zohn, head of the Chevra Kadisha, who ceaselessly guides others in the performance of this true Chesed Shel Emes; and Rabbi Yaakov Bender, who has led Yeshiva Darchei Torah for nearly four decades with his heart and soul, not only educating two generations but helping to save the Far Rockaway Jewish community.

  4. I nominate for Outstanding Jews of the Year all those who labor on behalf of the Tzibbur LeShem Shamayim:

    kiruv activists, Hatzolah volunteers, bikur cholim people, Jews who publicize shiurim and free synagogue seats for Rosh HaShanah, families who open their doors and share their food with guests, all chesed volunteers, passionate Jews who protest against wicked husbands who cruelly refuse to give their wives a Jewish religious divorce, loyal Jews striving to combat anti Semitism, scholarly Jews who labor to share their knowledge with their fellow Jews, mohels who give correct Brit Milah to the sons of poor parents who cannot afford to pay them, yeshivah teachers who continue to teach even though they have not been paid in weeks or months, mothers who continually shop and cook for their families, and many more who I must apologize to for not mentioning here.

  5. Judy, I don’t think Rav Steinsaltz worked with Soncino. And the project he finished was his rendering of Talmud Bavli into Hebrew, along with the excellent notes he adds on history, philology, halachah. As far as I know, the English edition was halted long ago; and has not been seriously resumed.

    I would definitely put him among any list of most influential and accomplished (or ‘outstanding’) Jews, though. He has created an entirely new opportunity for learning g’mara with genuinely new material in his notes. His other books on chassidus, etc. are worthy. He was instrumental in reintroducing yeshiva learning back into the former USSR.

  6. I suspect that many of the finest, most accomplished Jews operate outside the limelight altogether, and prefer it that way.

  7. I just thought of two more outstanding Jews:

    Dr. Rick Hodes, who selflessly devotes his time to bringing medical care to poor villagers in Ethiopia.

    Rappoport (I can’t remember his first name) the gentleman who started the Masbia free restaurants (don’t want to call them soup kitchens) to feed hungry Jews without compromising their dignity or their Kashrus. There are now four Masbia locations in the New York City area.

  8. Regrettably, I can’t think of any positive things Jews did this year, or of any Jews worthy to be named Outstanding Jew of 2010.

    The best person I think would be Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, who finally after 45 years completed his monumental project with Soncino of translating the Talmud Bavli into English. To put it into perspective, he was 27 when the project started in 1965 and now he is 72. It literally was the work of a lifetime.

    In the secular world, possibly the best person would be Eric Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives and the new majority whip. But let’s see how strong he is on defending Israel against its enemies and against White House pressure to make concessions.

    You could also nominate Elon Musk, who created Pay Pal and is now involved in three exciting new ventures: electric cars, solar power and commercial space exploration.

    I don’t know his name (I’m sure a lot of the other commenters on this site do, though): the founder and head of ZAKA Rescue & Search in Israel. The ZAKA organization originally began with one of the toughest jobs ever, retrieving body parts and blood at scenes of death and carnage as required al pi halacha. As they became more and more involved in disaster and accident response, they gradually took on an expanded role of rescue and search to save lives. All of them, like Hatzalah, are volunteers.

  9. Our non-observant co-religionists do not acknowledge our accomplisments in Avodat HaShem, so why should we acknowledge their accomplishments in secular matters?

    I susppect that the reason secular Jews have so much success in secular matters is because they are being rewarded for all their good deeds in this world, and will be punished in the next world.

    I prefer to reserve my praises for HASHEM and those who are most dedicated to serving Him.

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