Feature Stories Latest

Two Massachusetts women ranked ‘Top Jews’ by Jerusalem Post

By Stacey Dresner

Every year, The Jerusalem Post, Israel’s oldest English language newspaper, ranks the 50 most influential Jews in the world. While this past year has been dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, the Post strived to create a list showcasing the diversity of the Jewish nation and highlighting people from all walks of life – politics, diplomacy, science, and art. 

Two women from Massachusetts made the list this year: CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky of Newton is ranked third, while Winnie Sandler Grinspoon, president of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation was ranked 34th.

According to the JPost, Walensky is “one of the most well-known faces in America’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. As the country’s director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) she has taken to the nightly news, Twitter and Facebook to inform the public about the challenges posed by the virus and the steps the US is taking to control it.”

Rochelle Walensky

Winnie Sandler Grinspoon, daughter-in-law of philanthropist Harold Grinspoon, was selected for “continuing the pioneering philanthropic work of her father-in-law to ensure that the foundation will continue to be a major presence in Jewish education for many years to come.” The article lists several HGF programs that Sandler Grinspoon continues to lead, like PJ Library, which distributes free Jewish-themed books, music and resources each month to more than half a million Jewish children around the world — and its Israeli counterpart, Sifriyat Pijama. According to an article in the online magazine Tablet, Harold Grinspoon got the idea for PJ Library when he saw Winnie give out Jewish books as afikomen prizes to his grandchildren at the Seder table one Passover. Other HGF programs cited include JCamp180, which provides consulting services in board development, strategic planning, fundraising, and outreach technology to volunteer boards of affiliated camps; and Life & Legacy, which assists communities across North America, through partnerships with Jewish Federations and foundations, to promote legacy giving to build endowments that will provide financial stability to Jewish communities and agencies in the future.

Ranked No. 1 on the list are the men that put together Israel’s first change government in more than a decade, overturning former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. 

“The most obvious change is, of course, in the name and face at the helm,” writes Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Correspondent Lahav Harkov. “But there’s also a change in attitude.” 

The full JPost list includes Olympic gold medalists, tech pioneers and some of the most passionate philanthropists of the Jewish world.


The full Jerusalem Post list:

Actress Mayim Bialik

1. Naftali Bennett & Yair Lapid 

2. Antony Blinken 

3. Rochelle P. Walensky 

4. Albert Bourla 

5. Avril Haines 

6. Isaac Herzog 

7. Ronald Lauder 

8. Eynat Guez 

9. Michael Ellis & Lucy Frazer 

First Gentleman Douglas Emhoff

10. Benjamin Netanyahu 

11. Sylvan Adams 

12. Gideon Sa’ar & Benny Gantz 

13. Ayelet Shaked, Yifat Shasha-Biton
      & Tamar Zandberg 

14. Aviv Kochavi & David Barnea 

15. Nicola Mendelsohn & Adi Soffer Teeni 

WhatsApp Co-Founder Jan Koum

16. Ronald Klain 

17. Wendy Sherman 

18. Avigdor Liberman 

19. Esther Hayut 

20. Jan Koum 

21. David Friedman, Steve Mnuchin,
      Jared Kushner & Yossi Cohen 

Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt

22. Douglass Emhoff 

23. Ariel Zwang

24. Stacey H. Schusterman 

25. Roman Abramovich 

26. Houda Nonoo 

27. Deborah Lipstadt 

28. Larry Ellison 

Philanthropist Ronald Lauder

29. Sara Blakely & Tory Burch 

30. Tamara Cofman Wittes 

31. Joshua Harris & Marc Rowan 

32. Amira Ahronoviz 

33. Betsy Berns Korn & Howard Kohr 

34. Winnie Sandler Grinspoon 

35. Anthony Pratt 

36. Yael Eckstein & Shari Dollinger 

37. Shuki Hershcovich 

Deputy Sec. of State Wendy Sherman

38. Yifat Oron 

39. Susan Solomon 

40. Mayim Bialik 

41. Russell F. Robinson 

42. Felicia Herman 

43. Dan Gilbert 

44. Avraham Duvdevani 

45. Sarit Zehavi 

46. Yael Vizel 

Olympic champion Linoy Ashram

47. Artem Dolgopyat & Linoy Ashram 

48. Julia Haart 

49. Shalev Hulio 

50. Delphine Horvilleur

Olympic champion Artem Dolgopyat

Main Photo: Winnie Sandler Grinspoon

Teens for Tikkun Olam
From across the pond: Hebrew High School chooses a new leader
SHMITA: The Israeli farmers who are giving their land a year’s rest

Comments are closed.