Filling out the top five were composer Philip Glass, actress-writer Lena Dunham and Agudath Israel of America's executive vice president, Rabbi David Zweibel.
The full list was published online Nov. 12. It included Jewish heavyweights in politics and the entertainment industry, but also some more unusual choices.
One was Hindy Poupko Galena, a New York mother who blogged about her baby daughter's struggle against a fatal disease, prompting an outpouring of support through cyberspace.
Others featured in the Forward 50 included Open Zion website editor Peter Beinart; scientist Maria Chudnovsky; Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the majority leader in the House of Representatives; New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren; and singer Barbra Streisand.
Bay Area names included University of California President Mark Yudof; writer Michael Chabon; astrophysicist and Nobel Prize winner Saul Perlmutter; investigative journalist Seth Rosenfeld; and Evan Bloom, co-owner of Wise Sons Deli. — jta