In case you were wondering who has been controlling the world this past year, Time Magazine’s “Top 100” is back. (Spoiler alert for the alt-right: they’re not all Jews.)
It’s a piece of reading populated by politicians I may disagree with, celebrities I don’t care for, and billionaires in their twenties who make me want to grow a crustacean shell to safely curl up inside of.
Still, it’s a must-read. Why? Because we’re Jews, and we want to know who’s who.
I’ll begin with a two-for-one, an entry about a Jew – Jared Kushner – written by a Jew – Henry Kissinger. Kusher’s wife Ivanka Trump, (maybe you’ve heard of her?), got her own entry on the list. As it is, I believe they’re the only husband-wife duo on this thing.
Kushner and Kissinger both are reviled by some; heck, they were afraid Kushner was going to get picked on in shul. But funnily enough, it’s Kusher’s father-in-law, President Donald Trump, who ends up looking a little bit the yutz. Kissinger writes that changing presidential administrations “triggers an upheaval in the intangible mechanisms by which Washington runs,” and credits Kushner for “fill[ing]” a “gap” left by “an incoming President… less familiar with formal structures.”
Along with kudos to Kushner for doing the president’s job, Ivanka was congratulated for essentially performing the duties of the First Lady by “empower[ing] women and girls and… leading education initiatives.”
Also on the list is Steve Bannon, who, to the best of my knowledge, is not a Jew, but given the number of accusations of anti-Semitism leveled against him, is ostensibly still of note to Members of the Tribe.
On a lighter note, actor Ben Platt made the list – I assume not for his roles in “Pitch Perfect” and the seminal sequel “Pitch Perfect 2.” Platt was lavished with accolades by Zac Efron – whose grandfather happens to be Jewish – for his spectacular performance on the Broadway hit “Dear Evan Hansen.”
Also on the entertainment bill was producer Jason Blum, written up by Harvey Weinstein (were all the Jews lauded by fellow Hebrews?). Blum has an Emmy and an Academy award nomination under his belt, and has a portfolio of hits longer than the line at the pizza place after Passover.
Controversial Republican influencer Rebekah Mercer is predictably up there, though her father Robert, whose hedge fund she runs, is not. Mercer is a huge donor to the political right, and served on the Executive Committee of Donald Trump’s transition team.
Another strong female role model, Janet Yellen, was recognized for her role as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, having been nominated by president Barack Obama to fill the shoes of outgoing chairman Ben Bernanke.
Yellen is “the first woman to hold what is often viewed as the most important and powerful economic position in the world,” according to her Times write up. This isn’t Yellen’s first rodeo – she’s served as CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and was Chair of of White House Council of Economic Advisers for president Bill Clinton.
Finally, the always entertaining Democratic Senator from New York, Chuck Schumer graces the list as Senate minority leader. New Yorkers love his no-nonsense tendency to speak his mind and stand up for what he believes.