Like the advent of cool autumn evenings, like the start of the school year and the wrap up of the baseball season, assembling the Forward 50, the annual list of America’s most influential Jews, is again under way at our office. Staff members have already met twice to discuss the people they believe have had the greatest impact on our political, religious, educational, organizational and cultural life in the past year.
We search for new faces, significant but under-appreciated leaders, and those who seem to be on the brink of something very important. We try hard to break free of the New York-Washington-Los Angeles axis, looking for Jews elsewhere in the country who are doing and discovering and creating something of note.
In this political year, we are trying to move beyond the campaign trail to focus on science, business, food, even sports. And we make a special effort to search for women, who have been as traditionally underrepresented in the Forward 50 as they are in Jewish leadership nationwide.
This is where you, the reader, come in.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that we depend on nominations from our far-flung readers to augment our own work, helping us to identify people and activities outside our usual spheres of attention. There are only a few criteria: American citizen. Jewishly identified. Well-defined impact on his or her field. And, preferably, a new name to our list.
So please, send in your nominations to email@example.com, or through the postal service to 125 Maiden Lane, 8th floor, New York, NY 10038. Tell us why we should consider the nominee, and send along a reasonable amount of supporting evidence. Please include your name and contact information in case we want to learn more from you.
The deadline for accepting nominations is September 25. The Forward 50 will be published in early November.
Meantime, we wish you all a happy, healthy and fulfilling new year.
Jane Eisner, a pioneer in journalism, is writer-at-large at the Forward and the 2019 Koeppel Fellow in Journalism at Wesleyan University. For more than a decade, she was editor-in-chief of the Forward, the first woman to hold the position at the influential Jewish national news organization. Under her leadership, the Forward’s digital readership grew significantly, and won numerous regional and national awards for its original journalism, in print and online.