Newsweek names top 50 American rabbis

Here are the top ten. The list is sure to stir up some discussion. Newsweek thinks this is a "fun" idea:

The top spot goes to Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. But No. 4 is Yehuda Berg, spiritual adviser at the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles, an outfit whose authentic Jewishness many Jews dispute. At least two lesbian rabbis made the list, as did the CEO of the Lubavitch Chabad movement. Lynton's own congregational rabbi made the list; Ginsberg's and Sanderson's did not. "I assume I'm going to get into trouble," says Sanderson, who did most of the research himself. "It's our point of view," adds Lynton, 'You're going to have some people who didn't make the list who should have, but that's part of the fun.'"
1. Marvin Hier (Orthodox)
Hier is one phone call away from almost every world leader, journalist and Hollywood studio head. He is the dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Museum of Tolerance and Moriah Films.
2. Yehuda Krinsky (Lubavitch)
Krinsky has truly built a shul on every corner and brought the Chabad movement mainstream prominence. He is the leader of Chabad and its CEO.
3. Uri D. Herscher (Reform)
Herscher has built arguably America’s most culturally relevant Jewish institution and his passion has already touched hundreds of thousands of Jews and non-Jews of all ages. He is the founding president and CEO of the Skirball Cultural Center.
4. Yehuda Berg (Orthodox)
Berg has made wearing the red string a popular phenomena in America and around the world and turned on everyone from Madonna to club-hopping young Jews to the power of the Kabbalah. He is an author and spiritual adviser at the Kabbalah Centre.
5. Harold Kushner (Conservative)
Kushner has written nine inspirational books including the international best seller that helped millions grapple with "When Bad Things Happen to Good People." He is one of America’s truly gifted speakers and teachers.
6. David Ellenson (Reform)
Ellenson is a trailblazer committed to bringing this generation’s Reform Jewish rabbis and teachers closer to traditional Judaism. He is the president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
7. Robert Wexler (Conservative)
Wexler has re-envisioned Jewish education and created the largest Jewish continuing-education program in America while building a premier rabbinical school and liberal arts college. He is the president of the University of Judaism.
8. Irwin Kula (Conservative)
Kula is committed to “taking Jewish public” and reshaping America’s spiritual landscape. He is the copresident of CLAL, a public television host and the author of "Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life."
9. Shmuley Boteach (Orthodox)
Boteach has been called “the most famous rabbi in America” and his 17 books, TLC television series and celebrity friends help make that case. His book "Kosher Sex " introduced this Hasidic rabbi as a cultural phenomena.
10. M. Bruce Lustig (Reform)
Each year on Yom Kippur, Lustig has an audience that even the president of the United States would envy. He is the rabbi of Washington Hebrew Congregation, the largest congregation in Washington, D.C.


Shlomo Greenwald said...

It is a fun idea. I'm having fun. All lists like this one do what they are supposed to do--provoke and engage. You might as well join in.

Tzvee Zahavy said...

p.s. i guess i am # 51. gotta try harder.