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American Jews Most Powerful

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By Joseph Aaron

I just can’t help it.

This kind of thing gives me a big thrill. And a big chill.

It’s not that often that you find the entire state of Jewish life today encapsulated in one place. So when you do, it’s worth taking note of and learning from.

The place of which I speak is the October issue of Vanity Fair magazine. Vanity Fair is one of the most fascinating magazines around, one that every issue features an amazingly eclectic collection of articles, from the very serious to the completely frivolous.

Indeed, while the October issue features such stories as “How $9 billion in cash vanished in Iraq;” “Inside Bush’s bunker;” “How the Media Gored Al Gore in 2000;” and more, the cover features Nicole Kidman wearing a sailor cap and opening her shirt to reveal her nautical necklace and her brassiere.

Vanity Fair is nothing if not on the cutting edge of where society is and is going. Vanity Fair is definitely not a Jewish publication.

And yet, in this one issue, it tells us more about the Jewish world as it is today than any lecture or book or class out there.

It does that in two ways.

The first is its annual list of what it calls The New Establishment, the 100 most powerful, most influential people in American society.

What is absolutely amazing, stunning about the list is how many Jews there are on it. Jews make up about 2.5 percent of the U.S. population so there should be two or three Jews on the list.

Guess again, bubeleh.

The list of the Vanity Fair 100 includes, get ready, 51, yes 51 Jews.

Minimum.

I say 51 because that’s how many I’m sure are Jewish. There may be others on the list who are Jewish but who I don’t know are Jewish and whose names are not obviously Jewish.

But let’s say I got them all. That means that more than half the names on the list of the 100 people who are the most vital to this society are Jewish. And this is a list that includes Apple’s Steve Jobs and Oprah and Bill Clinton and Warren Buffett, to name a few of the few non-Jews on the list.

That is absolutely nothing short of astounding.

Talk about us being accepted into this society, talk about us having power in this society, talk about anti-Semitism being a thing of the past, talk about Jews no longer needing to be afraid to be visible and influential.

And it doesn’t stop there.

The magazine also has a separate list of what it calls The Next Establishment, younger people it believes destined to make the big list some year soon.

Of the 26 names on that list, 15 are Jews. That I’m sure of. 15 of 26. More than half.

And it doesn’t stop there.

The magazine also has a separate list of what it calls The Pit-Stop Club, those who have made The New Establishment list in the past but who didn’t make it this year but are fairly certain to make a comeback in a future year.

Of the nine names on this list, eight are Jews. Eight out of nine. Don Imus is the only non-Jew on the list.

I mean, it’s just unbelievable.

This is a big country with lots and lots of very talented, highly educated, tremendously motivated people. And no one has its finger on the pulse of the people who make this country what it is more than Vanity Fair.

And when it came time to pick the 100 who most move and shake things in America, more than half-more than half-are Jews. And on the list of those who will one day be on that list, more than half-more than half-are Jews. Not to mention that almost 100 percent of those who were on the list and are poised to make a comeback are Jews.

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