Newsweek names the top shuls in America - the 25 best Jewish synagogues (and the 50 top rabbis)

Sure to stir some controversy. Newsweek names "America’s 25 Most Vibrant Congregations" -- based on the unscientific opinions of Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman and CEO Michael Lynton, News Corp. executive vice president Gary Ginsberg and JTN Productions CEO Jay Sanderson. They say the list is based "on the following criteria:"
  • Social and Community Engagement
  • Growth of Membership
  • Outreach to Young People
  • Diversity of Programming
  • Programmatic Innovation
  • Dynamism of Religious Services
  • Success of the Rabbi
No New Jersey synagogues on the list.

They also name the best 50 rabbis in the companion articles:
[P.S.: Two NJ Orthodox rabbis without synagogues on that list. We don't know why Obama's rabbi, Capers Funnye from Chicago is not on it.]

The Congregations
Beth Elohim, Wellesley, Mass.
Beth Elohim draws its 900 very diverse congregants from more than 30 Greater Boston towns and focuses on social action and education.

Temple Israel, Boston
New England's largest Reform congregation continues to grow and expand.

Kehilat Hadar, New York
One of the most dynamic traditional congregations in America, with an innovative companion yeshiva, Mechon Hadar.

Central Synagogue, New York
Central Synagogue has long been one of the leading synagogues in New York and America, but its lofty position has not stopped it from evolving to meet the changing times.

B'nai Jeshurun, New York
From its beginning, Congregation B'nai Jeshrun has been at the forefront of spiritual and communal innovation.

Temple Israel, White Plains, N.Y.
Temple Israel is committed to diverse learning opportunities for congregants of all backgrounds and ages.

Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, Bronx, N.Y.
An Orthodox synagogue committed to bringing spirituality to the entire community.

Congregation Beth Elohim, Brooklyn, N.Y.
A 148-year-old synagogue quickly adapting to Brooklyn's exciting, young population.

Germantown Jewish Centre, Philadelphia
A model for pluralistic and egalitarian worship and community.

Temple Micah, Washington, D.C.
Puts a premium on an individual's Jewish journey, and its programming reflects that unique approach.

Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, Washington, D.C.
Sixth and I Synagogue focuses on unaffiliated Jews, and its nondenominational, nonmembership approach is making an impact in Washington.

The Shul, Miami
"One of the country's most unorthodox Orthodox synagogues," reaching out to Miami's diverse Jewish population, including Sephardic Jews.

The Temple, Atlanta
Atlanta's oldest and most progressive synagogue.

Temple Emanu-El, Dallas
Founded in 1875, Temple Emanu-El was the first synagogue in North Texas, and its pioneering spirit continues to place it at the forefront of Jewish life.

Central Reform Congregations, St. Louis
St. Louis's only congregation strives to capture the attention and the involvement of its diverse community.

Beth Jacob Congregation, St. Paul, Minn.
Beth Jacob Congregation has made Shabbat the focus of its programming.

Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel, Chicago
One of America's most innovative Modern Orthodox synagogues.

IKAR, Los Angeles
A leader in reaching young Jews with its integrated approach to social action and spiritual growth.

B'nai David Judea, Los Angeles
An Orthodox congregation that has been a leader in enabling religious women to lead tefilah and read from the Torah.

Sinai Temple, Los Angeles
A Conservative congregation that embraces study and tradition while being open to new methods and ideas.

Valley Beth Shalom, Encino, Calif.
Valley Beth Shalom continues to be one of America's most relevant and community-minded synagogues.

Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco
San Francisco's leading house of worship, reaching an eclectic community.

Congregation Beth Am, Palo Alto, Calif.
A Bay Area congregation committed to bringing Reform Judaism into congregants' lives outside the sanctuary.

Kavana Cooperative, Seattle
A spiritual cooperative, enabling all its congregants to be leaders as well as participants.

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