America's Top 50 Rabbis

Last year Newsweek shared a list of America's Top 50 Rabbis. The second annual list is here. The excerpt below shares how the list was developed. Not unlike many lists I take this one with a grain of salt.

Here is the second annual version of the list—generated by Michael Lynton, (chairman & CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment), Gary Ginsberg, (executive VP, global marketing and corporate affairs, News Corp.) and Jay Sanderson, (CEO and executive producer, JTN/JTN Productions)—of the 50 most influential rabbis in America. In the fall of 2006, the friends, interested in the future of American Jewry and the evolving role of the rabbi, started a conversation that eventually became "the list." The machers ranked the rabbis based on the following unscientific criteria:

• Are they known nationally/internationally? (20 points)
• Do they have political/social influence? (20 points)
• Do they have a media presence? (10 points)
• Are they leaders within their communities? (10 points)
• Are they considered leaders in Judaism or their movements? (10 points)
• Size of their constituency (10 points)
• Have they made an impact on Judaism in their career? (10 points)
• Have they made a greater impact beyond the Jewish community and their Rabbinical training? (10 points)


Anonymous said...

Seems weird to rank rabbis on such things as "media presence." Stuff like this could encourage a pretty narcissistic approach to the rabbinic vocation.

Kol Ra'ash Gadol said...

See Jewschool and JSPOT for commentaries on this list....

Anonymous said...

I am pleased to see that a second list was generated that focused exclusively on pulpit rabbis.

That being said...I think this is very silly.

And not just because I was overlooked...again!

Jack Steiner said...


I'll have to take a look.


I'll get Sanderson on the phone and we'll see what we can do. ;)

orieyenta said...

Hmm...since Kol Ra'ash Gadol, Rivster and Ima on the Bima aren't on there, I'd have to say that the list doesn't have much merit :)

Kol Ra'ash Gadol said...

Orieyenta, you are too sweet...
(I'll send you the check after pesach)

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