It takes some serious chutzpa to top the “JC Power 100.”
Since August, The Jewish Chronicle Online has been releasing segments of its “JC Power 100” list, ranking the UK’s most influential Jews. The top ten were just announced last week.
As expected, chart-toppers include Jewish Leadership Council chairman Mick Davis (#1), former chief rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (#3), and Baroness Neuberger (#6), Britain’s first female rabbi to lead her own congregation.
But some finalists merit a little more recognition. Below is a list to help you navigate five of the Power 100’s most interesting—and sometimes even unsuspecting—qualifiers, and to uncover how they made the cut.
1. Harry Styles – #73
He may not count in a minyan, but anyone with this much support for Israel deserves a spot on a list of influential Jews. Even without a true MOT identity, the One Direction star is familiar with Jewish culture and tradition, popularizing holidays like Purim to British teens on his Twitter and tweeting his support for the homeland.
2. Howard Jacobson – #36
He describes himself as “The Jewish Jane Austen,” and his book The Finkler Question, a comic novel, was the comic novel to win the Man Booker Prize since 1986. Jacobon’s work is clearly influenced by his Jewish identity, as the novel explores questions of Jewish philosophy and even the Israeli-Palestinian relationship.
3. Poju Zabludowicz – # 75
Between his name and the title “Finnish billionaire” Zabludowicz doesn’t exactly scream yid, but he was actually born as Chaim before taking on his current moniker. He attended Tel Aviv University and went on to establish the Britain Israel and Communications Research Centre to lobby for Israel in the UK, and is even a board member of both United Jewish Appeal and the Jewish Leadership Council.
4. Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner – #12
A trailblazer for women in Reform Judaism and a Twitter sensation, Janner-Klausner lived in Israel for 15 years and also studied Christian Divinity at Cambridge University. She is a veteran guest on several BBC radio programs and advocates for communications between Orthodox and Reform Jews in the UK and other issues such as gay marriage, feminism, and social justice.
5. Yotam Ottolenghi – #19
Born in Israel, Ottolenghi came to the UK to set the food industry straight. According to JC, he has “changed the way the British eat” with his restaurants Nopi and Ottolenghi and his three best-selling cookbooks that have brought Israeli/Jewish cuisine to the UK.