10 Jews who made us proud in 2012

1)      Noam Gershoni, The 29 year old Israeli Paralympics tennis player won the first of Israel’s seven Gold medals at the Paralympics this summer. Noam, suffered severe injuries in the Lebanon war in 2006 when his IDF helicopter crashed and he has remarkably become the world number 2 in Paralympics tennis. This year he won the French open before going on to beat the world number 1 David Wagner to claim his Olympic Gold.

2)      Mandy Patinkin, Having started his performance career at age 13, singing for synagogue choirs, Mandy went on to have an illustrious acting career, winning broadways and starring in movies and TV shows. In 2012, Mandy performed perhaps his best acting yet, playing the role of Saul Berenson in the Emmy Award winning TV show Homeland

 3)      Noah Pozner, The youngest of the victims who perished in the devastating Sandy Hook shooting and the first victim to be buried. Noah inspired acts of kindness from around the world as presents and words of support were sent to his family during their mourning period. Noah was described by his family as “extremely bright” and “extremely mature” and will be sorely missed.

4)      Naftali Bennett, The 40 year old Israeli right wing politician this year has risen to stardom through his political party The Jewish Home. Naftali, who has served in the elite units of the Israeli army before becoming a hi-tech millionaire, came on to the political scene in 2006, working under Binyamin Netanyahu and has since worked his way up the political ladder and according to the latest polls his party will be the third largest party in the upcoming January 22nd elections in Israel.

 5)      Emmanual Sheffer, The most successful Israeli football coach of all time, Emmanual who passed away this year will be remembered as being the only coach to bring Israel to the world cup finals which was achieved in Mexico in 1970 and also for leading Israel to the quarter finals of the Olympic Games in 1968. The tough task maker who put a strong emphasis on physical fitness, is irreplaceable both on and off the field.

6)      Joshua Hantman, The newest foreign press spokesman for Israel Defense Ministry, Joshua was thrown into the deep end this year as he defended Israel’s actions during operation pillar of defense. Having studied at both Oxford and Harvard the 27 year old oleh has had a busy year answering to Israel’s critics both on television and radio interviews and has done exceptionally well.

7)      Rabbi Efriam Mirvis, chosen unanimously as the successor to Lord Sacks as the next Chief Rabbi of Britain, Rabbi Mirvis will be taking on the most demanding rabbinical task in the United Kingdom in August 2013. Rabbi Mirvis who currently is Rabbi at the Finchley synagogue, has previously been the Chief Rabbi of Ireland and the South African 56 year old will no doubt be looking to continue to improve on the great work that his predecessor Sacks has done.

 8)      Serge Haroche, The French physicist was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize for physics. Born in Casablanca, Serge has a very impressive education that includes Stanford, Harvard and Yale. Currently the administrator of the College De France, Serge shares his top honor with American colleague David Wineland for their groundbreaking experimental work with particles of light.

 9)      Alvin Roth, The 60 year old Harvard professor jointly won the Nobel Prize this year for economics. Alvin and his partner have used experimental theories to understand economics and were recognized with the Nobel Prize that is worth $1.2 million dollars. Alvin’s work with regards to schooling programs and kidney exchange programs has previously earned him praise but the Nobel Prize marks his biggest contribution to economics yet.

 10)   Micha Kaufman, The CEO of Israeli Start up fiverr, which Globes has named as Israel’s most promising start up of 2012. The social ecommerce startup offers a variety of services for $5 and many Israeli startups have started trying to use the same idea. The former lawyer this year received $20 million in funding for his company and is a great example of the modern Israeli entrepreneur.

About the Author
David Z Bernstein was raised in Britain and educated at Clifton College before attending Birmingham University where he studied English and Drama. David made aliyah several years ago and studied at the Ohr Sameyach Yeshiva in Jerusalem and the Refuah institute in Jerusalem where he received a Diploma in social work. Currently David is a freelancer specializing in affiliate marketing