Ronn Torossian has compiled an intriguing list of Jewish women (“The Top 10 Living Jewish Women Role Models”, The Algemeiner, July 23, 2015). You might want to take a look at it.
Yes, I’ve left off some names. I’ve also made some changes to his essay, to fit my format. Still, consider these women. See if you can tell what values Torossian feels are important.
Sheryl Sandberg: The Chief Operating Officer of Facebook has been credited by Forbes Magazine as having “overhauled Facebook and helped make it the most popular social network in cyberspace.” Forty-five years old, she has spoken of the importance of Judaism in her life. Her best-selling book “Lean In” made her a household name and helped her to further earn the respect of women world-wide, as she detailed a balanced life -with tremendous professional success and a loving family. Recently, with the sudden death of her husband Dave Goldberg, Sandberg mourned her loss very publicly. She spoke of the importance of sitting shiva, and of the power of the shloshim period, the 30-day mourning period after the burial of a close relative. This woman showed the power of strength even in pain – her resilience and strength of character are inspiring.
Ayelet Shaked: Israel’s Minister of Justice is only 39 years old, and has quickly proven herself to be a valiant woman making a difference for the Jewish State. She’s hard-working, eloquent, and fights for what she believes is right. A secular leader of a religious party, her heritage is an amalgamation of Ashkenazi and Sephardic lineage. A charismatic leader, she rightfully pronounces “that public diplomacy is the new battlefield and that money and resources must be invested to repulse the wave of incitement and lies spread about [Israel] around the world. The battlefield of public diplomacy is far more important today to the existence of the State of Israel than a tank battalion or an Apache squadron.”
Miriam Adelson: Miri Adelson is a medical doctor, businesswoman, and philanthropist who owns 26.9% of Las Vegas Sands, one of the largest gaming companies in the world. The life – and business – partner of Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the native-born Israeli comes from modest beginnings – and continues to work daily conducting research and working with patients on medical issues. The Adelsons are the most prevalent Jewish philanthropists in the world, funding important causes like Yad Vashem, Birthright, and Ariel University. This is an intense, strong, committed, ideological woman.
Miriam Peretz: She became a household name in Israel through tragedy – two of her sons were killed protecting Israel in the Israel Defense Forces. Displaying strength, faith, and courage, she spoke to the nation with passion and charisma about dedication to G-d and to the Jewish people. As Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “We are amazed by the mother’s strength, Miriam, the mother of the sons. The entire nation draws strength from her courage.” Today, Ms. Peretz speaks often on Israel’s behalf all over the world.
Nitsana Darshan Leitner: As founder of the Israel Law Center, Nitsana has long fought for terror victims worldwide. Inspired by the Southern Poverty Law Center, her lawsuits on behalf of terror victims have taken on terrorists anywhere who would harm Jews and Israel. This lady fights in both the court of law and the court of public opinion to see that terrorists are not rewarded, but held accountable. Ms. Darshan Leitner has won billions in judgments against terror states and organizations in courts worldwide.
Miriam Levinger: The native New Yorker led a group of women and children to reclaim the Jewish community of Hebron in 1979, one of the holiest cities in Judaism, where the Cave of the Patriarchs is located. She’s a registered nurse, who has helped lead this community, together with her husband Moshe Levinger (who passed away earlier this year). This city marks the roots of Jewish existence.
Ruth Lichtenstein: Ms. Lichtenstein is the very strong female publisher of the ultra-Orthodox newspaper Hamodia; it is the largest Jewish daily news venue in the world. She is a Jerusalem-born educator and a prominent Holocaust historian. Her non-profit, Project Witness, is a leader in Holocaust curriculum for schools worldwide. Ms. Lichtenstein is a pillar of faith in Judaism and her book “Witness to History” offers a remarkable, unique country-by-country history of the Holocaust. A Haredi leader, she commands respect, and epitomizes compassion, faith, and absolute dignity.
Torossian offers three honourable mentions:
- Cherna Moskowitz of The Irving & Cherna Moskowitz Foundation. The Moskowitz family are pioneers committed to ensuring that Jerusalem remains Jewish. They have devoted their lives to ensuring the safety and security of Israel.
- Rachelle Fraenkel, whose son was kidnapped and murdered in June 2014. The Jerusalem Post said, she “remains, a symbol of the period of unprecedented social unity, prayer and faith, a period that carried on into the rocket-racked days of Operation Protective Edge.”
- Daniella Weiss, who since the 1970s has served as a leader of the settlement movement, ensuring Jews can live freely throughout the land of Israel. She was Mayor of Kedumim for many years, helped establish a number of communities, and with charisma, charm, and chutzpah, has long raised a voice of moral consciousness for Jewish pioneers in Israel.
Make up your own list. Which living Jewish women would you include? Torossian felt that his list contained women who had strong Jewish values.
Who would you name?
Of course, you should read the original article. Take a look at his complete list.