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They’re big on ‘Jewish Twitter’

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A guide to Jewish Twitterers includes the ‘most influential’ and ‘guest stars’


(JTA) — Ten years ago this week, Twitter was born. Never ones to miss a good conversation, Jews quickly adopted the social network, and they haven’t stopped kibitzing since.

To celebrate the birth of this post-modern Talmud, we’ve updated JTA’s 2009 list of the “100 Most Influential Jewish Twitterers” (which helped a young woman escape her family’s cult-like church, as recounted in the New Yorker. No big deal.)

Big Jews on Twitter (clockwise, from top left): Benjamin Netanyahu, HAIM, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Lena Dunham. (Photo: Getty Images)

Big Jews on Twitter (clockwise, from top left): Benjamin Netanyahu, HAIM, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Lena Dunham. (Photo: Getty Images)

Our new list — pared down to just the top 25 Twitter mavens — reflects a changed Jewish Twitter world. Among the rabbis, officials, journalists and other machers who made the cut in ’09, the only carryovers are Esther Kustanowitz, a journalist who works with actress Mayim Bialik, and William Daroff, an American Jewish communal leader who now ranks No. 1.

But keep in mind, we changed our methodology.

Compared to 2009, we left more of the analysis to software and didn’t include entities (organizations, media outlets, etc.) on our list — just people. The data analysis was done by Little Bird, a Portland-based ³influencer marketing platform² that helps firms reach the right tweeters in the right fields.

So how did we come up with the “Most Influential” list? Using the terms “Jewish” and “Israel,” Little Bird’s algorithm identified a network of 1,000 people who participate most in the Twitter discussion around Israel and Jewish issues. It then ranked those participants based on how many followers they have within the network.

As a bonus, we also generated a list of the 25 participants in the Jewish-Israel discussion who have the most followers overall — yielding some big Jewish names, like Lena Dunham, along with some surprising ones, among them ex-Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson. Call them Guest Stars.

Without further ado, then, here are the biggest influencers in the Jewish Twitterverse.

Most Influential:

William Daroff, Jewish Federations of North America’s Washington office director, @Daroff
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, @netanyahu
Avi Mayer, Jewish Agency spokesman, @AviMayer
Danny Ayalon, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., @DannyAyalon
Peter Lerner, Israel Defense Forces spokesman, @LTCPeterLerner
Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic correspondent, @JeffreyGoldberg
Ron Dermer, Israeli ambassador to the U.S., @AmbDermer
Dan Shapiro, U.S. ambassador to Israel, @AmbShapiro
Rabbi Jason Miller, rabbi, entrepreneur and writer, @RabbiJason
Barak Ravid, Haaretz diplomatic correspondent, @BarakRavid
Esther Kustanowitz, editorial director of Mayim Bialik’s Grok Nation and L.A. Jewish Journal contributing writer, @EstherK
Avital Leibovich, American Jewish Committee in Israel director, @AvitalLeibovich
Lahav Harkov, The Jerusalem Post Knesset correspondent, @LahavHarkov
Michael Dickson, StandWithUs executive director, @michaeldickson
David Horovitz, The Times of Israel founding editor, @davidhorovitz
Arsen Ostrovsky, human rights lawyer and journalist, @Ostrov_A
Mark Regev, Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom, @MarkRegevPMO
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, rabbi, British lord and author, @rabbisacks
Shimon Peres, former Israeli president and prime minister, @PresidentPeres
Yair Rosenberg, Tablet magazine senior writer, @Yair_Rosenberg
Adam Milstein, Israeli real estate investor and philanthropist, @AdamMilstein
Reuven Rivlin, Israeli president, @PresidentRuvi
Khaled Abu Toameh, Arab-Israeli journalist, @KhaledAbuToameh
Peter Beinart, The Atlantic and National Journal contributor and Haaretz correspondent, @PeterBeinart
David Haivri, Israeli settler activist, @haivri
As for the top 5 most influential entities, which also happen to top the overall rankings, here they are in descending order: The Jerusalem Post, the Israel Defense Forces spokesperson, Haaretz, the State of Israel and — wait for it — the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Guest Stars:

Bill Clinton, former U.S. president, @billclinton
Lena Dunham, actress, writer, producer and director, @lenadunham
Seth Rogen, actor and comedian, @Sethrogen
Matisyahu, musician, @matisyahu
David Cameron, British prime minister, @David_Cameron
Ben Carson, former Republican presidential candidate, @RealBenCarson
Dmitry Medvedev, Russian prime minister, @MedvedevRussiaE
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, @netanyahu
HAIM, rock band of three Jewish sisters, @HAIMtheband
Ezra Koenig, Vampire Weekend singer, @arzE
Ismail Haniyyeh, Hamas senior political leader, @IsmailHaniyyeh
Joseph Prince, Singapore¹s New Creation Church senior pastor, @JosephPrince
Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., @AmbassadorPower
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, prominent rabbi and author, @RabbiShmuley
Ravi Zacharias, evangelical Christian author, @RaviZacharias
Jean-Luc Trachsel, Swiss entrepreneur, @jltrachsel
John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., @AmbJohnBolton
Ben Shapiro, journalist, @benshapiro
Anne Bayefsky, human rights scholar and activist, @AnneBayefsky
Tarek Fatah, author and activist, @TarekFatah
Alon Ben-David, Israeli journalist, @alonbd
Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles mayor, @ericgarcetti
Judy Mozes, Israeli talk show host, @JudyMozes
Udi Segal, Israeli journalist, @usegal
Ayala Hasson, Israeli TV personality and journalist, @AyalaHasson

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