Those members of the tribe who cringe every time a Jewish name comes up in the news (especially in this Me Too era of merciless coverage) can rest easy: according to our count (do correct us if we’re wrong) there are only three Jewish names on the list this year, and two of them are women, so the chance for embarrassing upshots is lower.
TIME’s annual list of the world’s most influential people depicts individuals whose ship has arrived, according to the magazine’s editors. They stress that being on the list isn’t necessarily a measure of power—although many on the list possess it. The Time 100 list was first published in 1999, the result of a debate among American academics, politicians, and journalists, and is now an annual event. The final list of influential individuals is exclusively chosen by Time editors with nominations coming from the TIME 100 alumni and the magazine’s international writing staff. Only the winner of the Reader’s Poll, conducted days before the official list is revealed, is chosen by the general public.
So, here are the three Jews on Time’s list of the world’s most influential people, and, by the way, two of them were born in Israel:
ROSEANNE BARR: “In 1985, Roseanne Barr made her debut on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson at a time when few women were given the opportunity,” writes comic TV host Rosie O’Donnel, noting that I and millions of others watched this domestic goddess slay a live audience in Burbank. Johnny approved. Roseanne’s life and career launched into the stratosphere overnight.”
“Now, 20 years later, Roseanne and her TV family are back, warts and all,” O’Donnel notes, “And she is using her art to address relevant social issues, just as she has always done.”
GAL GADOT: According to Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman in the 1970s TV series, “Gal Gadot brought Wonder Woman to millions of new fans. Her portrayal was magnificent and powerful, capturing everything that Wonder Woman represents.”
Carter believes “Wonder Woman […] represents what we know is inside every one of us: fierce strength, a kind heart and incredible valor. Gal understood and captured the spirit of this complex, independent, fully feminine persona.”
So, one domestic goddess, one super heroine. Not your classic Jewish women, for sure.
ADAM NEUMANN: The Israeli-American billionaire businessman, cofounder and CEO of communal work space giant WeWork, is the kind of personality you expect to see on a list of 100 influential people. He was born in Israel in 1979 and served in the IDF (just like Wonder Woman). His company rents out offices in more than 40 cities around the world, complete with perks like arcade rooms and on-site beer kegs. According to Forbes, with its latest $21 billion valuation, “WeWork now tops the market caps of large REITs like Boston Properties and Vornado.”
Billionaire Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce, writes that “growing up on a kibbutz in Israel, Adam Neumann was the only boy whose family had a VCR, which made his house a magnet for the local kids. Everyone eventually forgot about the VCR, he remembers, but ‘we still ended up hanging out together.’ Today that same communal spirit has attracted 240,000 workers from businesses of all sizes to WeWork.”
“At a time of declining public trust in nearly every institution,” Benioff writes, “by enabling the next generation to come together to work and play in a whole new way, Adam shows how we can ‘make a life, not just a living.’”