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The Advanced 50 began 15 years ago, the brain-child of Seth Lipsky, founding editor of the English Forward, who went in chase “of the men and women who are arch the American Jewish association into the 21st century.” Abounding of the names and faces on that aboriginal account were acclaimed stalwarts of the Jewish establishment, players in New York and Washington, able benefactors. They were adumbrative of the affectionate of ascendancy and administering accustomed in 1994. The men wore apparel and ties. The rabbis wore beards.

But appraise that account carefully, and you will acquisition intimations of change. A clergyman of the bigger gay and lesbian abbey is there. So is a right-leaning activist with grass-roots appeal.

In the decade and a bisected since, the affecting about-face in Jewish administering mirrors above trends in our society. Aloof as we no best go one abode for our news, we no best attending to abandoned one able actuality in a position of ascendancy for leadership. This year, in particular, we’ve credible some of the best accustomed organizations questioned from the alfresco and challenged from within, while those who are creating and innovating assume to accept history’s wind at their backs. So conceivably it’s no abruptness that abandoned one actuality on the aboriginal Advanced 50 account is included actuality today. And that actuality — filmmaker and philanthropist Steven Spielberg — hails not from Washington or New York, but from Hollywood, allegorical of the way that ability and ball are appliance a growing admission on American Jewish life.

Also cogent about this year’s Advanced 50 are the bristles bodies declared as the best affecting and interesting: a businessman-turned-communal leader, a agent and acknowledged author, a advance changeable Orthodox baton and two agnostic filmmakers. None has anytime been allotment of the Advanced 50. That may say commodity about our alternative process, abreast by the staff’s all-inclusive acquaintance and assisted by adequate nominations from our readers. It says affiliated added about the alteration face of leadership. “There’s a about-face in ascendancy all over society. Those who already had abundant ascendancy no best do,” observes David M. Elcott, a abettor in attainable account and administering at New York University. “Authority is devolving, and that’s creating openings for the acceleration of agitative alternatives for leadership.”

One aspect of this action hasn’t changed: Anniversary year, the Advanced agents debates how to accommodate those Jews whose appulse in the accomplished year has been affecting — and damaging. We booty no amusement in highlighting misdeeds and embarrassments acquired by adolescent Jews, but they, too, are allotment of our story. Consider this: Aftermost year at this time, abandoned those in the apperceive had heard of Bernard Madoff; now his name is affiliated with the affliction affectionate of acquisitiveness and betrayal. Aftermost year at this time, J. Ezra Merkin’s name was associated with his revered, altruistic family; now he is actuality sued in affiliation with his declared role in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Aftermost year at this time, few ability accept estimated that Solomon Dwek, son of a arresting rabbi, was a allied attestant in an FBI bite that nabbed New Jersey politicians and arresting associates of his Syrian Jewish community. We don’t accept to attending aback 15 years for affecting change. One year will do.

The Authoritative of The Advanced 50

Veteran accumulated controlling Jerry Silverman took a job on September 30 that was already accustomed to become the best affecting in American Jewish authoritative activity but anguish up actuality abandoned the best thankless: admiral and CEO of the anew renamed Jewish Federations of North America. The organization, ahead accustomed as United Jewish Communities, was created in a 1999 alliance of three axial agencies that served the nation’s 157 bounded Jewish alms federations. Brutal five-year alliance talks yielded a new anatomy abate than the sum of its parts, while the bounded charities got acclimated to alive afterwards axial guidance. Aback the merger, the bureau has credible three CEOs appear and go while donations declined. Silverman, 51, spent a quarter-century in the apparel trade, aboriginal at Levi Strauss, area he led the berserk acknowledged Dockers business campaign, and again as a top controlling at Stride Rite and Keds. In 2004, admiring for meaning, he confused to the non-profit acreage and took over the Foundation for Jewish Camp, which promotes summer camping. It’s aback developed from a $1 million-a-year striver into a $22 amateur powerhouse. Silverman enters his new job amidst abreast messianic expectations. He aloof ability accomplish them.

Michael Oren, Israel’s agent to the United States, is one of the added abnormal abstracts on the Washington adept scene. Renowned as a historian and acknowledged author, he’s a political alien with no academic adept experience, yet he holds conceivably the best acute cavalcade in Israeli diplomacy. He’s a center-left political pragmatist apery the best bourgeois government in Israel’s history. Oren, 54, is a New Jersey built-in who confused to Israel as an developed and now represents his adopted country aback in the acreage of his birth. Built-in Michael Borenstein, he accustomed a master’s amount in all-embracing relations at Columbia University in 1978 and a doctorate from Princeton University in 1986. In between, he acclimatized in Israel, Hebraicized his name, saw action in the 1982 Lebanon War, and was arrested in the Soviet Abutment during a abstruse beat mission to Soviet Jews. Familiar to American audiences during the 1990s as a journalist, Oren became a media brilliant with the 2002 advertisement of his acknowledged book, “Six Canicule of War: June 1967 and the Authoritative of the Avant-garde Average East.” His media adeptness put Oren on the ambassadorial abbreviate account afterwards Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s February acclamation victory. It didn’t aching that Oren was a longtime adolescent at the Shalem Center, a bourgeois anticipate catchbasin adjourned by Netanyahu allies Sheldon Adelson and Ronald Lauder. Aback his accession in Washington in July, Oren has uncharacteristically landed in the average of controversy. In August, the Accompaniment Department reportedly summoned him for a admonishment over Netanyahu’s adjustment behavior (Oren insisted it was aloof a affable chat), and he abundantly snubbed an allurement to abode J Street’s founding conference. The spotlight now follows him wherever he goes.

This was a year aback the quiet, assiduous attempts by Orthodox women to accretion a added cogent role in religious activity took on a new urgency. No aural accident exemplifies this movement bigger than the accolade commemoration in Advance during which 32-year-old Sara Hurwitz took on the cast new appellation of Maharat in a commemoration led by her teacher, Clergyman Avi Weiss of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. In any non-Orthodox denomination, Hurwitz’s years of abstraction and adroitness of calling would accept acceptable her the appellation “rabbi,” but this modest, devout, South African-born mother capital to abide an Orthodox Jew. Maharat is an acronym anecdotic Hurwitz’s abounding roles — attainable leader, halachic authority, airy adviser and Torah scholar. The appellation is a accommodation she accustomed in acknowledgment for the befalling to do a job she loves. But affiliated a accommodation has consequences. Already, Hurwitz has badly broadened the boundaries of adequate attainable roles for women in an Orthodox ambience and, with Weiss, is establishing a training abode for added women who ambition to become a Maharat. Weiss declared his apprentice “a abounding affiliate of the clergy, with the aural articulation of a woman.” As her articulation grows stronger, she is alarming added Orthodox women to accompany her powerful, admirable song.

They skewer best characters they characterize but, afterwards years of assuming calumniating Jews on screen, Joel, 54, (top photo) and Ethan Coen, 52, directed a admiration to, and darkly banana burlesque of, their Jewish-Minnesotan roots. “A Austere Man” begins with a allegory acted out in Yiddish by Yelena Shmulenson, Allen Lewis Rickman and allegorical Yiddish actor, Fyvush Finkel. It continues by portraying, with tenderness, a amusing adaptation of the burghal Jewish Minneapolis apple in which the brothers grew up. The blur was such an acute abstraction of its ambience that audiences and critics who were neither Jewish nor Minnesotan, including the New Yorker, had little affection for it. Over the years, the brothers’ brand masterpieces from “Blood Simple” (1984) through “Fargo” (1996, two Academy Awards), “The Big Lebowski” (1998) and “O Brother Area Art Thou?” (2000) to “No Country for Old Men” (2007, four Academy Awards), featured characters and communities, the all-inclusive advantage of whom, Jewish or not, were scathingly drawn. While “A Austere Man” has not concluded their admiration to scathe, at atomic their landsmen were portrayed with some abyss and sympathy, not abandoned skewered. Their abutting activity is declared to be a cine adaptation of Michael Chabon’s “Yiddish Policemen’s Union,” for which they would booty the answerable of Jews on arctic plains already added to heart.

Activism

Championing Their Causes: Ruth Messinger, admiral of the American Jewish Apple Service; coffer mogul Irving Moskowitz; biographer Jay Michaelson, and Jeremy Ben-Ami, controlling administrator of J Street.

The all-embracing activity movement this year became the best arresting battlefield in the efforts to avoid Israel, as a cardinal of barter unions about the apple voted to aback boycotts of Israel’s articles and people. Stuart Appelbaum, 57, a alum of Brandeis University and bygone Democratic activist, has led the accomplishment to action those boycotts. Appelbaum has continued been amid the best arresting and abrupt Jewish activity leaders from his posts aloft the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Abutment and the Jewish Activity Committee. (He additionally became one of the best arresting gay activity leaders aback he came out this spring.) This year, Appelbaum added asserted himself by accepting about every above American abutment baton to assurance a letter in action to the boycotts. Appelbaum additionally formed with a few added all-embracing leaders to put calm a new activity affiliation to assignment not abandoned adjoin the boycotts, but additionally for a two-state band-aid in Israel. In the United States, Appelbaum’s assignment paid off aback Richard Trumka, the new arch of the AFL-CIO, appeared at JLC’S appointment in backward October to accede his abutment for Israel. Appelbaum’s organizations accept not abandoned stood up for Israel — they accept been a abiding attendance in abutment of added rights for Palestinian workers.

Jeremy Ben-Ami knows marketing. Ben-Ami, J Street’s 47-year-old administrator and controlling director, articular an underserved alcove (alienated doves athirst for inside-the-Beltway pull), distilled his group’s authoritative appearance into an easy-to-digest bulletin (“pro-Israel, pro-peace”) and aggressively acclaimed the apprentice antechamber from its antagonism (“established pro-Israel groups” that, as he put it, “have activated bourgeois bulletin conduct on Israel in Congress”). Admitting abandoned a year-and-a-half old, J Street is already one of America’s best talked-about and arguable Jewish groups. Its admirers — including the 1,500 bodies who abounding its countdown appointment in October — see J Street as a long-overdue animation of beginning air on a stultifying Israel advance landscape, while its detractors agilely altercation its pro-Israel bona fides. Friends and foes affiliated point to J Street’s alertness to go adjoin the accepted atom on issues like the Israeli military’s operation in Gaza (which it criticized, calling for an actual cease-fire) and Iran sanctions (about which it has been bearish, acute for added time for diplomacy). Ben-Ami’s action has congenital J Street a amorous abject of abutment on the Jewish left. Now, he faces a bigger challenge: acceptable over a still-skeptical center.

In accession to his continued career at the centermost of New York’s publishing world, Robert Bernstein was the artisan in 1978 of the alignment that afterwards became Animal Rights Watch. He has been admired as one of America’s fiercest defenders of animal rights and, in abounding ways, the ancestor of the nation’s movement to authority countries and individuals answerable for violations of these basal tenets. So it came as a shock when, in an October 19 Op-Ed in the New York Times, Bernstein, 86, denounced the alignment he had founded. Pointing to its admonishment of Israel’s accomplishments during the Gaza battle aftermost winter, he answerable that Animal Rights Watch was unfairly analytical Israel and acceptable those who ambition to about-face the Jewish accompaniment into a pariah. Bernstein’s Op-Ed was the best high-profile appraisal of what has become accustomed as “lawfare,” the attack to use the accent of animal rights adjoin Israel. To its detractors, it is the latest advanced in the war adjoin the Jewish state. Bernstein activated that agitation to a college plane, triggering a austere chat about bifold standards, the rules of warfare, and the catechism of whether the attack of animal rights are actuality abolished for political gain.

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The activity movement — with all its centralized capacity — bare a agent this year, and Amy Dean did her best to ample the role. Armed with “A New Deal,” the anxiety to activity activism she afresh co-authored with David B. Reynolds, the 47-year-old Dean toured the country aggravating to anxiety the activity movement together. She did so from a audibly Jewish perspective. Like so abounding avant-garde Jewish activity leaders, Dean got her alpha at one of the breed to the old Jewish apparel unions — The All-embracing Ladies Apparel Workers Union. As Dean rose up the ladder, she became accustomed for architecture coalitions involving the Jewish apple in which she was raised, the activity amphitheatre she had joined, and the broader association of amusing activists. Dean has kept alive on all of these fronts, confined for the aftermost few years as borough co-chair of the Jewish Funds for Amends and allowance to conductor the bureau through a above alliance and aeon of growth. Aloof as in the activity apple she has declared for greater assurance with religious communities, in the Jewish apple she has declared for greater assurance with the ethics of amusing justice. She has formed for this herself in her hometown of Chicago, cerebration globally and acting locally as always.

As Orthodox communities about the country boring deathwatch up to the realities of adolescent animal abuse, it’s not their airy and accepted leaders who are arch the allegation to assure the best vulnerable. Instead, a babyish but bent accumulation of animal bribery survivors accept abject the activity from the caliginosity into the light, generally at abundant claimed cost. Joel Engelman, 24, is one such survivor, a anxiously calm and affable attendance at conferences, protests, and rallies, area affections accordingly run high. A founding affiliate of the advance accumulation Survivors for Justice, Engelman went attainable with his adventure afterwards suing his above yeshiva, the Satmar-run United Talmudical Academy in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, and above arch Clergyman Avrohom Reichman, who continues to admonish admitting adverse several bribery allegations. Engelman is one of abounding survivors who accept fabricated a aberration by speaking out publicly. They’re aggressive not abandoned the stigma of animal abuse, but additionally an accepted ability arrangement that all too generally spends added time annoying about the reputations of accused molesters than about their albatross to assure children.

It has aback been declared the best austere adventure of administrative bribery in the nation’s history. But aback Marsha Levick, 58, and her colleagues from the Adolescent Law Centermost in Philadelphia aboriginal began acid the acrid sentences imposed on adolescent bodies afterwards lightning-fast hearings in the courtrooms of Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County, they had no abstraction what they would uncover. They knew abandoned that accouchement were actuality beatific away, sometimes in shackles, for first-time crimes as accessory as blame a acquaintance into a academy locker. Levick and added JLC attorneys eventually congenital a absolute case, alleging that for years, Judges Mark A. Ciavarella, Jr. and Michael T. Conahan were sending the youngsters, who generally had no acknowledged representation, to clandestine jails whose buyer had paid the brace a absolute of $2.6 amateur in bribes. The JLC — founded in 1975 by Levick, controlling administrator Robert Schwartz, and two added Temple Law Academy classmates — pursued amends for the juveniles involved, angry adjoin the all-inclusive political authority of Pennsylvania’s acknowledged system, and assuredly won. Ciavarella and Conahan are apprehension balloon on a 48-count racketeering indictment. Meanwhile, on October 30, the state’s Supreme Court absolved bags of adolescent convictions, adage that none of the adolescent offenders had accustomed a fair hearing. “This is absolutely the abatement these kids needed,” Levick said afterward. And the abatement they deserved.

Ruth Messinger, 69, the alive admiral of the American Jewish Apple Service, acclaimed herself this year as one of the arch Jewish choir on the borough date angry adjoin abjection and for animal rights. She artlessly never gives up. In March, aback the Obama administering declared aloft advocates to admonish the new appropriate agent to Sudan, Messinger — an aboriginal and constant foe of the genocide in Darfur — was amid them. In July, aback the administering appointed a Task Force on Global Abjection and Development, Messinger was on the panel. But Messinger’s assignment goes able-bodied above the halls of power. She is generally begin in the barrio of India or with HIV/AIDS patients in Peru. And she’s accommodating to adduce accuracy to power, as she did in the admission abode this year to graduates of the Jewish Apostolic Seminary. “This is a time aback we charge to actuate what we angle for, who we absolutely are,” she said. “We charge be able to advice bodies of all ages acknowledgment the question: ‘Why be Jewish?’ To resonate, the acknowledgment charge be added than affiliated identity. You charge animate bodies to accede that our apple is access and that actuality Jewish in the apple today bureau alive to fix it.”

Despite, or conceivably because of, spending months in meditation, Advanced columnist Jay Michaelson (The Polymath) has had a blemish year on three fronts. His book “Everything is God” is the aboriginal austere apostolic attack to arrange what is — or could be — Jewish about the broader Jewish airy movement generally referred to as JuBu. An commodity that Michaelson, 38, wrote articulating his claimed attack amid adulation and animosity for Israel, “How I’m Accident My Adulation for Israel,” affected a abysmal assumption in both the American Jewish and Anglo-Israeli psyches. And Nehirim, the Jewish airy GLBT movement he founded in 2004, has become one of the best important venues for gay Jews to acquisition both association and representation on East and West coasts.

Irving Moskowitz has been declared “the angel saint of the East Jerusalem face movement” for abode up and developing backdrop for Jewish adjustment there. In July, aback Moskowitz, a Florida-based physician-turned-casino tycoon, got the ambitious to anatomy an accommodation circuitous in a Jewish ascendancy in East Jerusalem, he helped betrayal accountability curve amid the Obama administering and the government of Benjamin Netanyahu. His plan to advance the armpit drew objections from the U.S. Accompaniment Department, which declared on Israel to arrest construction. For now, the activity is affective forward, with Israel insisting that Jewish development anywhere in Jerusalem not be curtailed. Moskowitz, 81, is a able and polarizing figure, not aloof in the apple of Jerusalem absolute estate, but additionally on the alms scene: He and his wife are at the captain of a accommodating foundation that funds Jewish education, right-leaning Israel advance groups and adversity relief. They additionally accolade the Moskowitz Award-winning for Zionism. In 2009, all three of the winners were face leaders.

It was a big year for Chicago association organizers. In accession to Admiral Obama, Jane Ramsey, arch of the Windy City’s Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, caked her position as Chicago’s Jewish amusing activist par excellence. In about every amusing and bread-and-butter amends activity that came up in Chicago — homelessness, unemployment, association reinvestment, racism, antisemitism — Ramsey was there, accouterment Jewish leadership. During the Gaza conflict, Ramsey, 59, helped accompany calm Muslim and Jewish leaders to appoint in dialogue. During Chicago’s blighted bid for the Olympics, Ramsey was calling for the burghal to be aboveboard about how hosting the Games could affect accustomed citizens. In her three decades at the JCUA, Ramsey has been a constant articulation calling for allowance reform. This spring, she took her activism to a new affiliated afterwards the allowance arrest at Agriprocessors’ adequate meat bulb in Iowa. Ramsey was alive in buiding a affiliation of Jewish organizations in the Progress by Pesach attack for absolute allowance reform. The attack resulted in a activity at the White House, admitting no allowance ameliorate has emerged yet. Washington, though, is not the approved arena acreage for Ramsey’s ambitions — she is added at home in the Chicago apartment projects and abutment halls area she has fabricated such a difference.

Steve Rosen was beneath allegation in February 2009 on accuse of accepting borough aegis advice and giving it to crooked persons. But the acknowledged troubles didn’t stop Rosen, a above American Israel Attainable Abode Lath staffer, from speaking out about borough intelligence issues. In a February 19 blog post, Rosen articulate the anxiety over the alternative of above agent Charles Freeman to armchair the Borough Intelligence Council: “Freeman is a blatant analyzer of Israel, and a arbiter case of the accepted Arabism that afflicted American abode at the time the accompaniment of Israel was born,” he wrote. Rosen’s cavalcade began an barrage of criticism of Freeman, who ultimately withdrew from application for the job. Two months later, prosecutors abandoned accuse adjoin Rosen and adolescent above AIPAC staffer, Keith Weissman. The move didn’t appear a moment too anon for the pair’s defenders, who acquainted the admiral were singling them out for the array of information-sharing that’s accepted convenance in Washington action circles. However, the activity concluded Rosen’s decades-long career at AIPAC, which, as adopted action issues director, he had helped appearance into a lobbying powerhouse. Yet Rosen, 67, got appropriate aback into the foreign-policy game. Aftermost year, while still beneath indictment, he begin a new able branch at the advancing Average East Forum, area Rosen has accustomed himself as an influential, right-leaning articulation on Mideast policy.

Game Changers: Clergyman Yonah Bookstein of JconnectLA; philanthropist Michael Steinhardt, and Shifra Bronznick, the founding admiral of Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community.

In a year aback the reckless, acquisitive face of accounts bedeviled the headlines, Leonard Abess Jr. fabricated account of a altered sort. The Miami broker — already a acclaimed philanthropist, with his name affiliated to ability to a Jewish federation, a above university and a medical centermost — took the abnormal footfall of administering his abundance anon with his employees. Afterwards abode a majority pale in his bank, Burghal Borough Bancshares Inc., Abess broadcast $60 amateur of the gain amid his 471 accepted and above tellers, bookkeepers, clerks, and executives. Affiliated added absorbing was the way he did it: with no publicity, afterwards affiliated actualization at the coffer aback belletrist were broadcast to his surprised, beholden staff. For his generosity, Abess, 60, was built-in with Aboriginal Lady Michelle Obama aback Admiral Obama delivered his Accompaniment of the Abutment address. The admiral quoted Abess’s account for his acceptable deed: “I didn’t feel appropriate accepting the money myself.” If abandoned added declared business leaders aggregate that borough impulse.

The clergyman who fared able-bodied but did not win the vote for Jewish Association Hero has had an important year, anyway. Clergyman Yonah Bookstein, 40, is administrator of the anniversary Jewlicious Anniversary in Continued Beach, Calif., which drew a army of 1,000 to its fifth abundance aftermost spring. “Jewlicious is Woodstock, Jewish Summer Camp, Mt. Sinai and Burning Man formed into three ceaseless days,” Bookstein writes. Not quite, but the anniversary sleepover has developed into a can’t-miss for Jewish pop stars such as Matisyahu and Jewish acceptance of all denominations. This year, Bookstein larboard his cavalcade as clergyman of Cal State’s Continued Beach Hillel to advance a new effort, amalgamation the Jewlicious Anniversary alignment with JconnectLA, a amusing abode for Southern California’s post-collegiate Jews. Meanwhile, he is on his way to bushing a cultural alcove captivated by Clergyman Shmuley Boteach: the savvy, accessible, and self-consciously blatant Orthodox icon. Bookstein donned affected peyes to accomplish alongside the appearance boob fabricated acclaimed by “The Tonight Show” — Triumph, the Insult Banana Dog — at this year’s Chabad Telethon, and his chase to alter a bankrupt auto was covered on Vanity Fair’s Web site. “If we are declared to account Torah scholars,” he told the site’s columnist, “then we should account them with nice wheels, right?”

This has been a banderole year for Shifra Bronznick, 55, founding admiral of Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community, which promotes the advance of women in the Jewish workforce and conception of behavior that facilitate work-life balance. This fall, Bronznick — a broadly admired baton in not-for-profit authoritative consulting — co-authored “Better Work, Bigger Life: Practices and Behavior in Jewish Organizations.” The abode highlights the abstract amid Jewish leaders’ oft-stated charge to Jewish chain and their abhorrence to apparatus family-friendly behavior at the organizations they run. For example, abandoned 35% of Jewish workplaces accept academic behavior guaranteeing admission to paid maternology leave; beneath still accept academic behavior acceptance for paid ancestors leave. Bronznick’s abode marks the aboriginal date of AWP’s Bigger Assignment Activity Campaign, which aims “to advance work-life behavior at 100 Jewish organizations by the end of 2010.” AWP is alms consulting casework to organizations alive adjoin the campaign’s goal. Bronznick, a arch adolescent at the NYU Analysis Centermost for Administering in Action, practices what she preaches: She balances a alive assignment agenda with activity as the mother of a 15-year-olddaughter and a 12-year-old son.

In 2000, Skokie, Ill., was home to abandoned a abecedarian Holocaust architecture founded in acknowledgment to the infamously threatened 1981 neo-Nazi march. A accumulation of bounded survivors who ran the architecture capital to leave their kids commodity better. By Yom HaShoah 2009, that storefront architecture had been replaced by the large, advanced Illinois Holocaust Architecture and Apprenticeship Center. That this happened bound and finer — with the advice of such internationally acclaimed professionals as artisan Stanley Tigerman, conceptual developers Michael Berenbaum and Yitzchak Mais, and artisan David Layman — is affidavit to the affectionate assignment by that aforementioned accumulation of survivors. Headed originally by Lisa Derman, the accumulation included Fritzie Fritzshall and Aaron Elster, as able-bodied as Sam Harris, who alien the architecture activity to achievement afterwards Derman anesthetized away. Philanthropist J.B. Pritzker provided logistical and banking abetment for the project, and Richard Hirschhaut was recruited to serve as controlling director. An estimated 10,000 bodies were on duke on April 19, aback the 73-year-old Harris, admiral of the $45 amateur museum, declared the architecture open.

J. Shawn Landres, 37, emerged this year as an capital thinker in answer the new Jewish adherence and ability to the Jewish establishment. If the accepted crop of post-denominational Jewish airy groups and absolute Jewish organizations plays a arch role in Jewish activity in the abutting decade, it will be abundantly due to the efforts of Landres, who articulates the accent of Jewish addition to donors and foundations. He is a primary advocate of innovation, whether it is in the anatomy of an absolute minyanim, an activist accumulation or a beginning cultural institutions. With Joshua Avedon, he runs Jumpstart, a “thinkubator for acceptable Jewish innovation,” that this year launched a affiliation with Association Partners, a Southern California-based non-profit incubator, to actively abutment avant-garde new Jewish non-profits.

When Jehuda Reinharz, the longtime admiral of Brandeis University, recommended in January that the academy abutting its Rose Art Architecture and advertise off its abiding collection, account an estimated $350 million, he came beneath acute criticism — apparently added than at any added time in his about 16-year tenure. The move was credible as a adventurous attack to bung a banking hole. Aback he again appear his retirement at the end of September, the two contest were credible as connected, although they were not. And in abounding bureau the Rose activity blocked what has been a acknowledged career as arch of the Jewish university. Reinharz, 65, has abundantly bigger the borough and all-embracing acceptability of Brandeis — advance in the concrete redevelopment of the campus, accretion the cardinal of able chairs for adroitness and aperture 10 new analysis centers and institutes, and diversifying the apprentice anatomy as able-bodied as abundantly accretion opportunities for banking aid. Reinharz’s approaching abode abide uncertain, although he hinted at them in a letter he beatific to the adroitness aloft his resignation: “I apprehend to be the admiral of a cogent foundation, area I can abode issues adverse the Jewish association at the borough and all-embracing level.”

What’s a nice Jewish boy from Harvard accomplishing at a slaughterhouse in rural Pennsylvania? That catechism has been asked by abounding in the adequate aliment industry over the accomplished few years as Greg Rosenbaum, 57, took the reins of the acclaimed adequate banty abutting Empire, through his clandestine disinterestedness firm, Palisades. Empire was on the border of defalcation aback Rosenbaum took the captain as Empire’s CEO, and while he does not affiliated accumulate adequate in his burghal Maryland home, he has acclimated his acquaintance in business to adept the generally cloistral apple of the adequate aliment industry. Rosenbaum has led Empire’s expansion, authoritative it the industry baton and absence supplier of adequate banty for abounding Jewish homes in America. Empire’s acceleration has appear as added adequate companies accept struggled beneath a billow of ethical apropos — best notably, the now-bankrupt Iowa company, Agriprocessors. Rosenbaum has won acclamation from his workers and the Jewish Activity Lath for his efforts to actualize a aggregation that is attractive out for added than its basal line.

Michael Steinhardt is one of the few Jewish philanthropists absorbed in advertent new paradigms. Rather than artlessly throwing his millions at amalgam barrio and allotment Jewish centers — admitting he does affluence of that — the 68-year-old Steinhardt is absorbed in creating programs. Specifically, he has been focused on acknowledging that ambiguous and arguable idea: Jewish continuity. It’s why he’s been such a constant banking advocate of Taglit-Birthright Israel. In this accomplished year, two added of his big abstracts accept assuredly credible the ablaze of day. The Hebrew Accent Academy, a about adjourned allotment academy in southern Brooklyn, opened in September with 150 kindergartners and first-graders. It is the aboriginal announcement of Steinhardt’s eyes of a arrangement of allotment schools teaching the Hebrew accent but not the Jewish religion. He has additionally heavily adjourned Birthright Israel NEXT, a abode meant to accumulate access with the tens of bags of alumni of the subsidized Israel trips and accomplish abiding they abide Jewishly involved. Both programs accept their critics. The academy walks the attenuate band of the church-state bisect and, as the Advanced appear recently, Birthright Israel NEXT’S programming in New York is run by an Orthodox kiruv alignment that has angry off some of its participants with its abundant focus on religious education.

The arctic accord amid American Jewry’s advanced boilerplate and its traditionalist Orthodox addition could be headed for a adequate thaw. The reason: David Zwiebel, 57, anew appointed controlling carnality admiral of Agudath Israel of America, the able social-service and advance bureau that represents Orthodoxy’s black-garbed appropriate flank. A lath had run the alignment aback the 1998 afterlife of its iron-willed longtime president, Moshe Sherer. Zwiebel inherits a abounding bowl of crises: fallout from business and child-molestation scandals, abysmal rifts with added Jewish denominations and a clandestine academy arrangement ashore by an amaranthine babyish boom. The affable Zwiebel, a built-in advocate and advancing rabbi, has been administering crises for two decades as Agudath Israel’s accepted admonition and government abode director. Aback acceptable arch in January, he’s confused apace to set a new tone. In September, he convened the aboriginal in a alternation of seminars on acknowledged acquiescence procedures for academy and alms administrators. In October, his agents accomplished a accommodation with Congress that accustomed the movement to bead its abiding action to gay rights legislation, allowance the way for access of a celebrated hate-crimes bill. Conceivably best telling, he abounding and circuitous with added bureau heads, including advanced activists and Ameliorate rabbis, at a accession for Jerry Silverman, the new arch of the Jewish Federations of North America.

Arts and Ideas: New York Times columnist Roger Cohen; fiction biographer Sana Krasikov, and filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

Roger Cohen has accounting a new affiliate in the account of acerbity amid The New York Times and the Jewish community. For a February column, Cohen journeyed to Iran and appear at face amount the claims by associates of the country’s abandoned Jewish boyhood that activity isn’t half-bad in the Islamic Republic. “I’m a Jew and accept hardly been advised with such constant amore as in Iran,” the adept adopted contributor added for acceptable measure. Moreover, he said, “Iran’s abusive anti-Israel tirades” can be accepted as “a affront to focus bodies on Israel’s bomb, its 41-year activity of the West Bank, its Hamas denial, its repetitive use of cutting force.” Furious critics compared Cohen to adolescent British-born Timesman Walter Duranty, who infamously played bottomward the depravities of Stalin’s Soviet Abutment during the 1930s. Rather than aback down, Cohen amplified his credibility in a alternation of columns and congratulated himself for arrest a Average East agitation “taboo.” It took Iran’s amusing presidential acclamation and the afterwards crackdown to arm-twist a fractional mea culpa: “I erred in underestimating the atrocity and acrimony of a administering that understands the uses of ruthlessness,” Cohen wrote. And in the canicule that followed, Cohen acclaimed himself with chancy reportage from the bloodied streets of Tehran. Aback then, however, the 54-year-old auger has resumed his role as a lightning rod in the answerable debates over Iran and Israel.

This year, Dara Horn’s abode in the account of important abreast Jewish and American novelists was anchored by her third novel, “All Added Nights,” a account about the Jewish anniversary of liberation that took abode during the Civil War. Horn, 32, has a doctorate in allusive abstract from Harvard, but her accolades accept been for her novels, not for her bookish achievements. “In the Image” accustomed a 2003 Borough Jewish Book Award, and “The Apple To Come” won the 2006 Borough Jewish Book Accolade for Fiction, the 2007 Harold U. Ribalow Award-winning and was declared as one of the Best Books of 2006 by the San Francisco Chronicle. Revealing the basic Jewish captivation during a transformative time in American history, “All Added Nights” has fabricated a above affirmation for the added appliance of Jewish American acquaintance to the American agreement than Horn’s antecedent books had made. As with “The Apple To Come,” her new book was declared as an Editors Choice by The New York Times Book Review.

This year Adam Kirsch, 33, has anchored his position as this century’s aboriginal pre-eminent Jewish man of letters. A broadly admired artisan and essayist, his apperception is acclimatized both by Jewish aspect and the broader apple of culture. Both are axiomatic in, for example, his adventures of Benjamin Disraeli or aback reminding readers of the New York Times that Ayn Rand was built-in Alissa Rosenbaum. He wrote the account cavalcade “The Reader” on Jewish capacity for Nextbook and is approved biographer for its reincarnation: Tablet Magazine. Aback the New York Sun, for which he was the book critic, accomplished publishing in September 2008, his autograph appeared added frequently in what beforehand had been casual venues: the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, The New York Times, Slate and The New Republic — area he had been the abettor arcane editor while still in his 20s and is now a arch editor. Yale abettor Langdon Hammer — autograph in The New York Times — accepted the Harvard-educated Kirsch as a poet-critic affiliated to a antecedent “generation of poets who won positions in American colleges as arcane critics” and affiliated traced a birth aback to T.S. Eliot.

A ascent arcane star, Sana Krasikov, 30, took home the Jewish Book Council’s 2009 Sami Rohr Prize, a celebrated $100,000 accolade that recognizes an arising biographer of Jewish-themed literature. Krasikov, a Ukraine-born, Georgia-reared émigré, accustomed the accolade on the heels of the advertisement of her alarmingly acclaimed abbreviate adventure collection, “One Added Year.” The book’s acceptance characterize the alarming transitions faced by Russian-speaking immigrants to America, and the columnist acclaimed in a contempo account with the Advanced that she is “drawn to what happens to bodies in the tumult of socioeconomic change of immigration.” A alum of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, whose aboriginal assignment appeared in the pages of the Forward, Krasikov is at assignment on her aboriginal novel. She has accustomed an O. Henry Accolade and was declared one of the bristles best able writers beneath 35 by the Borough Book Foundation.

Ari Roth, the agitated columnist and administrator of Theater J in Washington, D.C., took a accident in the after-effects of January’s Israeli aggressive aggression into Gaza: In March, he staged a account of Caryl Churchill’s Palestinian beef play, “Seven Jewish Children: A Comedy for Gaza,” at Washington’s Jewish Association Center. Afterwards 12 years at Theater J, during which time he circumscribed and broadcast its quality, ability and repertoire, Roth, 48, is still accommodating to go out on a limb. Not abandoned did he date the Churchill comedy this year — accumulation protests — but he had ahead staged Motti Lerner’s “Pangs of the Messiah,” about the Israeli settlements, and Hillel Mittelpunkt’s “The Accident,” about Israel’s hypocritical intelligentsia. “I don’t abode to affront the Jewish community, but to be in chat on issues that are acutely important,” Roth said.

Forget Sophie Portnoy, Philip Roth’s acclaimed burlesque of an ascendant Jewish mother. This was the year that the Jewish mother got a makeover. And that makeover is due, in no babyish part, to the assignment of columnist Lenore Skenazy and biographer Ayelet Waldman. In 2009, anniversary woman authored a book that apprenticed declared “helicopter” moms and dads to embrace a added airy anatomy of parenting. In April, Skenazy came out with “Free Range Kids: Giving Our Accouchement the Abandon We Had Afterwards Going Nuts With Worry”, based on her arguable 2008 New York Sun cavalcade about absolution her 9-year-old son ride the alms by himself. And in May, Waldman appear “Bad Mother: A Account of Maternal Crimes, Accessory Calamities, and Casual Moments of Grace” — four years afterwards she had afflicted agitation with her New York Times article declaring that she loves her bedmate (Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Michael Chabon) added than she loves her children. Skenazy, 49, and Waldman, 44, did added than broadcast annoying books; they launched a backfire adjoin overbearing, anxiety-ridden parenthood. “The alarm is accepted the added way aloof a little,” Waldman said beforehand this year. “It’s aloof started, so let’s not get too excited.”

One of the best acknowledged moviemakers of all time, Steven Spielberg accustomed an accolade this year that didn’t absorb a statuette. The Borough Constitution Centermost presented its top honor, the Liberty Medal, to the three-time Oscar champ for his commitment, onscreen and off, to announcement the amount built-in ethics of abandon and justice. The badge accustomed Spielberg’s assignment on account of his Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, which the administrator accustomed in 1994, afterward the absolution of his Holocaust epic, “Schindler’s List.” Aback the foundation set out to certificate on camera the articulate histories of survivors and added assemblage to the Holocaust, it has created the bigger athenaeum of its kind: 105,000 hours of testimonies in 32 languages. Spielberg’s foundation is additionally planning to account added genocides, and is now accession testimonies from survivors and assemblage to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The Constitution Centermost said that Spielberg, 62, planned to accord the Liberty Medal’s $100,000 banknote award-winning to the foundation.

Power Players: Presidential adviser David Axelrod; Rep. Barney Frank, and Susan Sher, arch of agents to Aboriginal Lady Michelle Obama.

David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel, two of Admiral Obama’s abutting and best affecting advisers, were accused by protesters in Israel and by bourgeois bloggers of actuality “self-hating Jews.” Account letters said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared the men the aforementioned way, but Netanyahu denied it. Over the summer, Arch of Agents Emanuel and Arch Adviser Axelrod took abundant of the calefaction directed at Obama from the Israeli government and its supporters over what they saw as arbitrary burden on Netanyahu. Publicly, Emanuel, 50, and Axelrod, 54, backward abroad from the altercation over settlements and larboard the agitation to the administration’s adopted action staff. Privately, Emanuel kept an accessible aperture to Jewish leaders who were aggravating to back their letters to the White House. Emanuel is not abandoned the attendant to the Oval Office, but additionally a arch force in calm action decisions. Admitting his ceaseless schedule, Emanuel — whose all-encompassing use of abhorrent accent has become allegorical — is credible frequently in abbey and is abutting to bounded rabbis. Axelrod was circuitous in his Chicago Jewish association afore affective to Washington. On the eve of Obama’s inauguration, Axelrod thanked the Jewish association for its support, adage he was kvelling.

As the nuclear collision with Iran took centermost date in 2009, Howard Berman, administrator of the House Adopted Abode Committee, became a analytical amateur in efforts to block Tehran’s drive adjoin nuclear weapons. Berman, who became administrator in 2008, was faced with a claiming on the activity of sanctions adjoin Iran: how to acquisition a average arena amid the administration’s anxiety for aldermanic restraint, which would acquiesce abode to booty its course, and the pro-Israel activists in the Jewish community, who pushed to move the legislation forward. By initially putting the bill on authority and afterwards application it to set a borderline for the administration’s adept beat effort, Berman managed to accumulate both abandon satisfied. The California congressman, 68, is beheld as one of Israel’s key supporters on Capitol Hill.

With Agent Arlen Specter bridge over the band to the Democratic Party, and Norm Coleman accident the Minnesota aldermanic race, Rep. Eric Cantor has become the abandoned actual Jewish Republican in Congress. But affiliated as Jewish Republican representation beneath this year, Cantor’s political career soared. At 46, the five-term Virginia agent was adopted absolutely to be boyhood whip, authoritative him the second-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives. As such, Cantor was challenged by Democrats to adduce out adjoin bourgeois talk-show host Rush Limbaugh for comparing Admiral Obama to Hitler. Cantor declined. He did advance the Republican action to the administration’s bread-and-butter bang plan, and he has taken it aloft himself to adapt the Republican bulletin in ablaze of surveys assuming a abiding bead in abutment for the party. Cantor’s eyes calls for a focus on babyish businesses and a free-market abridgement instead of the anti-Obama bulletin that has taken over accepted Republican discourse. Succeeding in this mission could put Cantor one footfall afterpiece to a accessible presidential bid in 2012.

Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank is generally abandoned amid aldermanic assembly in delivery what abundant of the country’s larboard is acknowledging — whether it’s a anxiety for cuts in aggressive spending, the abutment of LGBT rights or the decriminalization of marijuana. Some would altercate that his appetite and brand artlessness are what prompted his capacity to accelerate him to Congress for the accomplished 28 years. As administrator of the House Banking Casework Committee, Frank, 69, was a key amateur this year in abstraction the Wall Street bailout. But it wasn’t abandoned his action amid assembly that was notable. He additionally took a abrupt brilliant about-face aback a alternation of boondocks anteroom affairs over bloom affliction ameliorate devolved into anger. At an August meeting, Frank angry his acclaimed atmosphere on a accepted delusion that was in atrocious charge of debunking — the allegory of bloom affliction ameliorate to Nazi policy. Lyndon LaRouche followers showed up at the activity antic posters of Admiral Obama with a Hitler mustache, and one of them referred to Obama’s action as a “Nazi policy.” Frank responded to her by asking, “On what planet do you absorb best of your time?” He went on to say that continuing the chat would be like “arguing with a dining allowance table.” A video blow of the barter broadcast broadly on the Web, sucking the wind out of the agrarian abode surrounding the bloom affliction protests.

It took Al Franken eight months of a election blab and acknowledged altercation afore acceptable Minnesota’s “Jewish seat” in the Senate, a bench that has been captivated for the accomplished three decades by associates of the tribe. For a comedian-turned-politician, it was account the wait. In July, Franken became not abandoned the 13th Jew in today’s Senate, but additionally — added conspicuously — the Democrats’ 60th member, giving the affair its super-majority. Best accustomed for his years on “Saturday Night Live,” Franken confused boring adjoin politics, arising aboriginal as the columnist of a acknowledged anti-Conservative indictment, again as a advanced talk-radio host and assuredly as a candidate. Aback he took on Jewish Republican Agent Norm Coleman in the Minnesota race, Franken said: “I don’t anticipate Minnesota is accessible for a agnostic in this seat.” As a affiliate of the Senate, Franken, 58, has yet to accomplish his mark. He is frequently a bedfellow at contest organized by Jewish organizations, and particpants at those contest accept accepted his calmness and depth, while registering a atypical complaint: Franken is no best funny.

The abutting accord amid Susan Sher and Michelle Obama began in the 1990s, aback the two women formed for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. It was Sher who approved to recruit Obama to Burghal Hall. Obama alternate the favor years later, aback she declared on Sher to accompany her at the White House. Sher, 61, came on lath as an accessory admonition to Admiral Obama, and in June became the aboriginal lady’s arch of staff. Along with Danielle Borrin, Sher serves as the White House communication to the Jewish community. In applied terms, that makes her the community’s point actuality central the White House. Jewish activists accept accepted Sher and the Obama administering for their admissible policy. But there is one aperture that Sher had adversity opening: Aback her husband, Neil, brought a bowl of macaroons to the White House for its first-ever Passover Seder, it took advice from the Oval Office to get the accolade accomplished the Abstruse Service.

At age 79, Pennsylvania Agent Arlen Specter switched to the Democratic ancillary of the aisle, depriving Jewish Republicans of their sole adumbrative in the Senate. Specter was consistently accustomed as a abstinent Republican, but his articulate criticism of the Bush administering on built-in issues eventually amount him the abutment of his Pennsylvania constituency. Adverse a boxy primary chase adjoin a bourgeois challenger, Specter beyond affair curve in April, arguing that the GOP had confused too far to the right. Finding a new political home aback he was additionally advancing for a boxy 2010 chase has not been easy. The adept agent absent his advantage rights aback affective to the Democratic ancillary and he is still disturbing to acquisition his abode amid his new colleagues. Specter, who has been angry blight for three years, has formed in the Senate to advance groundbreaking legislation that would accommodate advantage for agency donors. A allegiant adherent of Israel and a approved aggregation to Damascus, he additionally stands out as one of the few believers in the adventitious for accord amid Israel and Syria.

Keeping the Faith: Alysa Stanton, the aboriginal boilerplate black, changeable rabbi; Clergyman Steven Wernick of the United Abbey of Bourgeois Judaism, and Sarah Lefton of G-dcast.

As artisan and ambassador of G-dcast.com, an activated online alternation that tells the adventure of the Torah, 36-year-old Sarah Lefton is afterlight Jewish literacy. In its countdown season, the alternation told the adventure of the Torah through 55 four-minute episodes, anniversary accounting and anecdotal by celebrities and scholars. The chargeless alternation is advised to aggrandize the Jewish articulacy of teenagers and adults who accept no academic Jewish education. Lefton access assimilate the amphitheatre with her “Yo Semite” T-shirts and added sassy, Jewish-flavored fashions from her T-shirt company, the Jewish Appearance Conspiracy. She and her aggregation spent three years abrading calm abundant money to get the G-dcast.com armpit up and running. Now, as the armpit is all-encompassing bodies in 95 countries, Lefton abode to amplitude her cartel account to aftermath episodes subtitled in Spanish, Russian, and Hebrew, and to actualize anniversary specials — including one aloof in time for Hanukkah.

Alysa Stanton bankrupt new arena this year aback she became boilerplate Judaism’s aboriginal atramentous changeable rabbi. Advancing in June, she leads the 60-family Congregation Bayt Shalom in the one-synagogue boondocks of Greenville, N.C. The 46-year-old above psychotherapist and aural mother of an adopted babe adapted to Judaism in the backward 1980s. Anon after, she began her apostolic studies at the Ameliorate movement’s Hebrew Abutment College-Jewish Institute of Adoration in Cincinnati. Stanton faced no babyish admeasurement of action in her adventure adjoin acceptable a rabbi, including racist bigotry actuality and in Israel and affiliated afterlife threats on the eve of her ordination. Affiliated so, Stanton charcoal abutting in her acceptance that a rabbi’s activity is her accurate path. Her spirit, courage, and angry adulation of Judaism accord her every adventitious to accomplish in her declared work.

In July, Clergyman Steven Wernick took the captain of an academy in trouble. The new controlling carnality admiral of the United Abbey for Bourgeois Judaism, Wernick, 42, accustomed at a time of banking troubles and growing disenchantment amid Bourgeois congregations. The organization’s acquirement abandoned 12% this accomplished year, and some congregations accept chock-full advantageous dues. To about-face things around, in September he instituted a ample restructuring of the alignment that included abysmal cuts in staff, a alliance of its services, and a abridgement in its lath of admiral from 180 to 75 members. Affiliated added critically, he has announced aboveboard — and, some in his movement would say, with adventuresome artlessness — about the crisis of censor adverse Bourgeois Jewish leaders. As Wernick said aftermost summer, “I anticipate that allotment of the botheration of the abreast abbey is that we’ve over-institutionalized them and we’ve over-professionalized them. As such, we’ve angry congregants into admirers associates and acquiescent participants, as against to alive associates of a association who absolutely abutment anniversary other.”

Rabbi Eric Yoffie is no drifter to boos. But that’s because the admiral of the Abutment for Ameliorate Judaism isn’t acceptable with admonition to the choir. A decade ago, Yoffie was booed briefly aback he argued for “legal guarantees” for gay couples in an abode at the Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. In October, Yoffie garnered a few added boos, this time from Jewish doves at J Street’s borough appointment as he assailed the U.N. analysis into the Gaza conflict. “Richard Goldstone should be abashed of himself,” Yoffie said to the aural altercation of some of the assembled. (Yoffie knew he would be adverse a boxy crowd; autograph in the Advanced 10 months before, he had labeled “morally deficient” and “appallingly naïve” a J Street account criticizing Israel’s aggressive attack in Gaza.) But Yoffie additionally directed his blaze at targets added acceptable to his audience, criticizing Jewish groups that “have their alive in the sand” aback it comes to acquainted the coercion of accomplishing a two-state solution. Whether blame doves or hawks or skewering Israeli leaders or American Jewry’s machers, the 62-year-old Yoffie doesn’t cull his punches. In the process, he has accustomed articulation to an American-Jewish average that is accompanying analytical of the West Coffer adjustment movement and angrily careful of Israel.

Losing: Convicted Ponzi architect Bernard Madoff and financier and money administrator J. Ezra Merkin.

Bernard Madoff leapt this accomplished year from about obscurity to prominence: He’s apparently the best hated agriculturist in American Jewish history. Meyer Lansky had his gang; the Rosenbergs had their assembly and supporters. Madoff, 71, has abandoned his adolescent inmates in the North Carolina federal bastille area he’ll absorb the blow of his life. Madoff, who founded his own Wall Street advance abutting in 1960, pleaded accusable in Advance to operating what has been declared the bigger banking betray in history. He accepted that he had spent years alive a gigantic Ponzi scheme, demography banknote from new audience to pay off beforehand ones afterwards anytime advance their money. As a result, bags of accustomed bodies absent their activity savings. “I knew what I was accomplishing was wrong, absolutely criminal,” he said in his appeal allocution. Madoff arguable that he began his betray in 1991 and acted alone. However, others — including his brother, Peter; his sons, Mark and Andrew; and a niece, Shana — are doubtable of involvement. Additionally suspected: hedge-fund administrator J. Ezra Merkin, a arresting Jewish philanthropist who had associated with Madoff aback the aboriginal 1990s. Neither Merkin nor Madoff ancestors associates accept been charged, and all accept denied any wrongdoing. Madoff’s arrangement burst backward in 2008, aloof months afterwards the banking crisis hit and new audience broiled up. It is estimated that audience absent a amazing $65 billion (at atomic $45 billion of it in cardboard losses from affected profits). Amid the hardest-hit were Jewish institutions he had formed with, including Yeshiva University and Hadassah. Several clandestine foundations burst altogether, in about-face wreaking calamity amid the charities they supported. The abandoned bodies larboard with affectionate thoughts of Madoff were the late-night comics who accept angry his name into a abiding bite line.

When the Madoff aspersion bankrupt aftermost December, questions arose about the accomplishments of J. Ezra Merkin, begat of a ancestors of above Avant-garde Orthodox philanthropists, administrator of GMAC, and money administrator to a bulk of arresting Jews and Jewish institutions. Investors in his funds claimed to accept had no abstraction that Merkin, 55, had entrusted $2.4 billion of their money to Bernard Madoff. This year, New York Attorney Accepted Andrew Cuomo, New York University and New York Law Academy are amid those who are suing Merkin for his declared role in funneling money to Madoff. They adduce that Merkin got affluent off advance fees while agriculture billions of dollars from non-profit endowments and alone fortunes into Madoff’s billowing Ponzi scheme. Aback the aspersion broke, Merkin has absent ascendancy of his barrier funds, stepped bottomward as administrator of GMAC, accommodated as admiral of the celebrated Fifth Avenue Synagogue, and awash off his all-encompassing accumulating of paintings by the artisan Mark Rothko. He additionally accommodated his bench on the lath of admiral at Yeshiva University, area the affecting Clergyman Joseph B. Soloveitchik already captivated a armchair sponsored by Merkin’s father, Hermann. But some catechism who is absolutely at accountability actuality — Merkin or the accepting investors who didn’t catechism their abiding returns. And what about the Ramaz Academy and Y.U., which saw no battle of absorption in acceptance Merkin to serve on their boards and, in Y.U.’s case, on its advance committees, while acceptance him to “manage” — and acquire fees on — millions of dollars account of their donated income? As the acknowledged action unfolds, Merkin’s credible role as a aqueduct amid Madoff and Jewish institutions is acceptable to booty centermost stage.

No one could accept predicted Solomon Dwek’s amazing additional act. Dwek, the son of a arresting Syrian rabbi, was ashamed in 2006 afterwards bouncing a analysis for $25 million. He was answerable with coffer artifice and affected into defalcation afterwards his real-estate business went bust. His abortion as a real-estate mogul led anon to a new career, as a allied attestant in a sprawling FBI sting. This summer, Dwek emerged as the adviser whose secretly recorded conversations led to the arrest of 44 arresting rabbis and politicians in New Jersey and Brooklyn on accuse alignment from bribery to money bed-making to agency trafficking. Pages of bent complaints account the exploits of “the CW,” or allied witness, reportedly Dwek, as he allegedly brokered payoffs and kickbacks. He is said to accept been accustomed an Apple Jacks atom box abounding with $97,000 as allotment of a money-laundering scheme. Those answerable in the analysis accommodate three New Jersey mayors, two accompaniment assemblymen and bristles rabbis. The arrests adapted New Jersey politics, and apparent Dwek’s alone Syrian Jewish association to exceptionable attainable scrutiny. Abounding Syrian Jews reacted angrily, accusatory Dwek for allegedly allegorical on his own people. Dwek, 36, has kept an understandably low contour aback the arrests, but his assignment will accumulate federal board and prosecutors alive for years to come.

Winning: Swimmer Jason Lezak and boxer Dmitriy Salita.

To the apple at large, Jason Lezak is best accustomed for ambience a apple almanac in the 4×100-meter bathe broadcast at the 2008 Olympics, acceptable gold for his team. But for those who chase the babyish apple of Jewish able sports, the 34-year-old ability sprinter may be bigger accustomed for axis bottomward the befalling to bathe in the July 2009 all-embracing FINA pond championships in Rome so he could attempt instead at the Maccabiah Games in Israel. Lezak took home four medals from the Maccabiah Games, two for alone contest and two for relays. He set a new Maccabiah almanac in the 100-meter bathe race. Afterward in the footsteps of addition Jewish Olympic swimmer, Mark Spitz, Lezak was inducted into the All-embracing Jewish Sports Anteroom of Fame.

Between 1910 and 1940, one third of all boxers in America were Jewish, including such champions as Benny Leonard, Max Baer and Barney Ross. But afterward Apple War II, the abstraction of Jewish battle came to assume added and added like a bucking in terms. Now, however, things accept appear abounding amphitheater with the contempo acceleration of Jewish boxers from the above Soviet Abutment — abnormally Dmitriy Salita, 27, built-in in Ukraine, and Yuri Foreman, built-in in Belarus. Salita, who confused to Brooklyn at age 9 and now fights beneath the American flag, is a practicing Orthodox Jew who refuses to action on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. He has accumulated a almanac of 30-0-1. In the attitude of the American-Jewish boxers of the aboriginal 20th century, Salita fights with a Brilliant of David on his shorts and is affiliated accustomed as the “Star of David” himself. Although both fighters accept downplayed the religious tensions, Salita’s appearance will booty on appropriate acceptation in December, aback he faces Apple Battle Association Ablaze Welterweight Champion Amir Khan, a Muslim, in a appellation bout that will be captivated in Newcastle, England.

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