Eser 2013: Top Ten Influential Jews
This year's Eser theme is Top 10 Influential Jews. Below is a sneak peek at a few of the individuals whose lives we will explore. To see the complete list, click here.
Koufax, a pitcher for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1955 to 1966, was famous for his athletic ability and for his refusal to pitch game one of the 1965 World Series when it fell on Yom Kippur.
What pressures might Koufax have felt as a major sports figure in a national spotlight? When do our professional commitments run up against our personal values? What did Koufax’s choice mean for the Jewish people?
Born Stanley Martin Lieber in 1922 to Romanian-born Jewish immigrant parents, Lee went on to become a renowned American comic book writer, editor, producer, publisher and president and chairman of Marvel Comics. Many of his comic-book heroes were modeled on Jewish icons.
How did Lee’s Jewish identity contribute to his work at Marvel? How have his comics influenced Jewish and American culture? Who or what inspired his most critical choices?
Maimonides (known by the acronym Rambam) was the most important philosopher, legal authority and communal leader in all of Jewish history after the biblical period. He made his living as a court physician during troubled times in medieval Spain and provided comfort and direction to far-flung Jewish communities around the world.
Why do Jews of all denominations, some eight centuries after his death, still study Maimonides' philosophical, ethical and legal works, as well as his letters to those in need? What makes his approach to Judaism and to life in general so engaging and ever relevant?
Meir moved from Milwaukee to Israel in her early 20s and went on to become the first female Israeli prime minister, in 1969. Perhaps her highest praise came from former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who called Meir "the best man in the government."
What obstacles did Golda Meir face on the way to becoming the first female leader in the young Jewish state? What was the nature of her political influence and her relationships with colleagues? What is instructive about her life?