Newsweek Magazine has published a list of America’s Top 50 Rabbis, compiled using a complicated scoring system created by Jay Sanderson (CEO of JTN Productions), Michael Lynton (Sony Pictures CEO) and Gary Ginsberg (Newscorp). Here are the top 20 (links and bracketed material provided by JCI):
2. Yehuda Krinsky (Lubavitch) CEO of Chabad -- “has truly built a ‘shul’ on every corner and brought the Chabad movement mainstream prominence.” [Wikipedia entry here].
3. Uri D. Herscher (R) founding President and CEO of the Skirball Cultural Center – “has built arguably
4. Yehuda Berg (O) author and spiritual advisor at the Kabbalah Centre – “has made wearing the ‘red string’ a popular phenomena in
5. Harold Kushner (C) author of nine inspirational books, including international bestseller When Bad Things Happen to Good People – “one of
6. David Ellenson (R) President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion – “a trail blazer committed to bring this generation’s Reform Jewish Rabbis and teachers closer to traditional Judaism.”
7. Robert Wexler (C) President of the University of Judaism [named a Best Western College for 2006 by Princeton Review and now, as of last week, the American Jewish University after an historic merger with the Brandeis-Bardin Institute] – “has re-envisioned Jewish education and created the largest Jewish continuing education program in
8. Irwin Kula (C) Co-President of CLAL, a Public Television host and the author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life” -- “committed to ‘taking Jewish public’ and reshaping
9. Shmuley Boteach (C) “has been called ‘the most famous Rabbi in
10. M. Bruce Lustig (R), Rabbi of Washington Hebrew Congregation, the largest congregation in
13. Harold M. Schulweis (C) – “considered the leading Conservative Rabbi of his generation.” [Valley Beth Shalom in Encino].
14. Saul J. Berman (O) -- “considered one of the most forward thinking Jewish scholars of his generation.” [Bio here].
15. Zalman Teitelbaum (Hasidim) – [Wikipedia entry here].
16. David Saperstein (R) “Director of the Religious Action Center and a leading
17. J. Rolando Matalon (C) “spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun.”
18. David Wolpe (C) Senior Rabbi of Sinai Temple in
19. Sharon Kleinbaum -- Senior Rabbi of the world’s largest synagogue for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Jews” [Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in
20. Dan Ehrenkrantz (Reconstructionist), Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
Not that the next 30 are chopped liver: they include Joseph Telushkin, Irving Greenberg, Abraham Cooper, Elliot Dorff, Rachel Cowan, Naomi Levy and Mordechai Finley.