The deadline is swiftly approaching for readers to submit their ideas for the next Forward 50.

So why not readers, send in your favorite people to be added to the list and reviewed for the next round of Forward 50 before Friday, October 17th to forward50@forward.com.

The Forward 50 has come to resemble an annual snapshot of American Jewry, with all its power, promise and imperfections — an opportunity to assess not only who is who, but where we are headed and who is leading us there.

The list has never been based on a scientific survey, but rather on the informed judgments of journalists who have immersed themselves in telling the Jewish story on the pages of this storied newspaper. Mindful of the need to be comprehensive and balanced, the list reflects not only those who have influenced the halls of power, but those who have left a mark — positive or not — on American Jewish cultural, communal, educational, philanthropic, commercial, social and religious life. The whole megillah.

We approach the 2008 edition of the Forward 50, which will be published in our November 21 issue, in that spirit. This year, however, we also invite you, our readers, to send us your nominations. This won’t be yet another election — the final choice of those 50 names remains with the Forward’s staff. But in an American Jewish community as vast, diverse, fragmented and fascinating as ours, it’s imperative to broaden the conversation.