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Unread 03-25-2007, 12:07 PM   #1
chossidnistar
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50 Top Rabbis in America

The Top 50 Rabbis in America
In their spare time, three good friends got together over a labor of love: ranking the country's rabbis.
WEB EXCLUSIVE
Newsweek
April 2, 2007 issue - Last fall, Sony Pictures CEO and Chairman Michael Lynton got together with his good friends and fellow power brokers Gary Ginsberg, of Newscorp., and Jay Sanderson, of JTN Productions and started working on a list of the 50 most influential rabbis in America. They had a scoring system: Are the rabbis known nationally/internationally? (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.) Do they have political/social influence? (20 points.) Have they made an impact on Judaism in their career? (10 points.) Have they made a "greater" impact? (10 points.) This system, though helpful, is far from scientific; the men revised and rejiggered their list for months, and all three concede that the result is subjective. Here, then, published for the first time, the top 50 rabbis in America:

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The List: Choosing the Chosen



1. Marvin Hier (O)
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 (R)
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 (O)
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 advisor at the Kabbalah Centre.
5. Harold Kushner (C)
Kushner has written nine inspirational books the international bestseller 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 (R)
Wexler has reenvisioned 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.
7. Robert Wexler (C)
Wexler has reenvisioned 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 (C)
Kula is committed to “taking Jewish public” and reshaping America’s spiritual landscape. He is the Co-President of CLAL, a Public Television host and the author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life.
9. Shmuley Boteach (O)
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 (R)
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, DC.
11.Peter J. Rubinstein (R)
Rubinstein is the spiritual leader of NY’s Central Synagogue.
12. Eric Yoffie (R)
Yoffie is the President of the Union of Reform Judaism.
13. Harold M. Schulweis (C)
Schulweis is considered the leading Conservative Rabbi of his generation.
14. Saul J. Berman (O)
Berman is considered one of the most forward thinking Jewish scholars of his generation.
15. Zalman Teitelbaum (Hasidim)
Berman is considered one of the most forward thinking Jewish scholars of his generation.
16. David Saperstein (R)
Saperstein is the Director of the Religious Action Center and a leading Washington lobbyist..
17. J. Rolando Matalon (C)
Matalon is the spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun.
18. David Wolpe (C)
Wolpe is now considered one of the most dynamic pulpit Rabbis in America (also an author).
19. Sharon Kleinbaum (R)
Kleinbaum is the Senior Rabbi of the world’s largest synagogue for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Jews.
20. Dan Ehrenkrantz (Reconstructionist)
Ehrenkrantz is the President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
21. Joseph Telushkin (O)
Telushkin is a best selling author and speaker.
22. Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (Renewal)
Schacter-Shalomi is founded the Jewish renewal movement in America.
23. David M. Posner (R)
Posner is the spiritual leader for NY’s Temple Emanuel, the largest congregation in America.
24. Ephraim Buchwald (O)
Buchwald is the founder of the National Jewish Outreach Program.
25. Avraham Weiss (O)
Weiss is known as the Orthodox’s leading activist and leader of the Modern Orthodox community.
26. Irving Greenberg (O)
Greenberg is the President of Jewish Life Network/Steinhardt Foundation and the founder of CLAL.
27. Kerry M. Olitzky (R)
Olitzky is one of the leading Rabbinical advocates for outreach to interfaith and unaffiliated families in America.
28. Michael Lerner (R)
Lerner is the editor of Tikkun and a leading progressive political activist.
29. Abraham Cooper (O)
Cooper is the Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
30. Elliot Dorff (C)
Dorff is the leader of the top lawmaking body in Conservative Judaism.
31. Marc Gellman (R)
Gellman is an author and television personality.
32. Rachel B. Cowan (R)
Cowan is the Director of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality.
33. Marc Schneier (O)
Schneier is the President and Founder of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and Chairman of the World Jewish Congress.
34. Janet Marder (R)
Marder is the first woman to ever head the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
35. Arthur Waskow (Renewal)
Controversial activist, author and founder of the Shalom Center.
36. Nachum Braverman (O)
Braverman is Aish Hatorah’s leading American leader.
37. Bradley Hirschfield (O)
Hirschfeld is the Co-President of CLAL and an outspoken proponent of interfaith dialogue.
38. Hayim Herring (C)
Executive Director of STAR (Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal).
39. Daniel Lapin (O)
Lapin is a radio host, conservative commentator and Co-Chair of the American Alliance of Jews and ******ians.
40. Lawrence A. Hoffman (R)
Hoffman is the Reform movement’s leader in spirituality and prayer.
41. Sidney Schwarz (Reconstructionist)
Schwarz is the founder and President of Panim: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values.
42. Naomi Levy (C)
Levy is a popular author and a leading woman in the Conservative movement.
43. Lawrence Kushner (R)
Kushner is a leading teacher, writer and the innovator behind the havurah movement.
44. Norman Lamm (O)
Lamm is the Chancellor of Yeshiva University.
45. Nosson Scherman (O)
Scherman is the general editor for ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications, one of the largest publishers and sellers of Jewish books in the world.
46. Stephen Pearce (R)
Pearce is the leader of San Francisco’s largest congregation with 2700 families.
47. Harold Loss (R)
Loss is the leader of the largest synagogue in the Midwest (Detroit-3200 families).
48. Toba Spitzer (Reconstructionist)
Spitzer became the first openly Lesbian Rabbi to head a national Rabbinic Association in March 2007.
49. Michael Paley (C)
Paley is the scholar-in-residence and director of the Jewish Resource Center of the UJA-Federation of New York.
50. Mordecai Finley (R)
Finley is the founder and Co-CEO of Ohr HaTorah, an innovative and progressive synagogue.
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Unread 03-26-2007, 04:09 PM   #2
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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

this couldn't be further from the truth, the Rebbe is the leader of chabad and the one sending out shluchim and making shuls not this guy.
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Unread 03-26-2007, 05:24 PM   #3
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What about Rabbi Dr. Immanuel Shochet?!!!
Oh no, he's too contrevertial and we want all the other Rabbis here to feel our political correctness!
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Unread 03-26-2007, 05:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ch770 View Post
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

this couldn't be further from the truth, the Rebbe is the leader of chabad and the one sending out shluchim and making shuls not this guy.
Please.

Regardless of your own feelings on whether or not the Rebbe is still alive, did you *really* fault the folks at Newsweek for maintaining the position that he is no longer among the living?

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Unread 03-26-2007, 06:41 PM   #5
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The fact that the Rbbe is the one who runs the show and gives the power for all this to happen, in my opinion, is something that even newsweek can understand.
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Unread 03-26-2007, 07:08 PM   #6
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What about Rabbi Dr. Immanuel Shochet?!!!
Oh no, he's too contrevertial and we want all the other Rabbis here to feel our political correctness!
Doesn't he live in Canada? Which would discredit him from being among the top 50 rabbis in America.
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Unread 03-26-2007, 07:10 PM   #7
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Please.

Regardless of your own feelings on whether or not the Rebbe is still alive, did you *really* fault the folks at Newsweek for maintaining the position that he is no longer among the living?

The Wolf
I don't care what you think about the Rebbe's status, to talk about Yudel Krinsky that way is beyond obnoxious. He's responsible for shuls on every corner and bringing Chabad mainstream prominence? Give me a break.

There's no chiyuv for anyone Chabad to appear on that list. They aren't going to mention the Rebbe? Fine. But Yudel Krinsky? That's pathetic.
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Unread 03-26-2007, 09:12 PM   #8
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The fact that the Rbbe is the one who runs the show and gives the power for all this to happen, in my opinion, is something that even newsweek can understand.
Give me a break, please. You really expect the folks at Newsweek to believe that the Rebbe is alive and runs the show?!

You may disagree with Rabbi Krinksy's place on the list (I certainly don't know enough about it to argue one way or the other), but you certainly can't fault the reporters at Newsweek for thinking that the Rebbe has passed on.

Put it this way -- you can't even convince the vast majority of the frum world that the Rebbe is alive. Why are you holding some Newsweek reporter to a higher standard than other frum Jews?

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Unread 03-26-2007, 09:42 PM   #9
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I think they should have placed the Avos and Moshe Rabeinu on that list.
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Unread 03-26-2007, 10:10 PM   #10
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Yaakov Avinu and Moshe Rabbeinu, like the Rebbe, are both alive. However, unlike the Rebbe, they do not live in America. Therefore, unlike the Rebbe, Yaakov Avinu and Moshe Rabbeinu cannot be on the list of top 50 American Rabbis.

...just wanted to keep the intellectual level of this discussion from slipping...
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Unread 03-26-2007, 10:30 PM   #11
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Your words just proved that it did...
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Unread 03-26-2007, 10:44 PM   #12
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...Moshe Rabbeinu, like the Rebbe, are both alive.
I'm sorry... does your copy of D'varim say something that mine doesn't?

I've been a ba'al kriah for a loooooong time. I could have sworn that year after year on Simchas Torah I read "Vayamas Sham Moshe..."

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Unread 03-26-2007, 11:19 PM   #13
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I do not know what ppl are arguing about this non sense list
I would put the Rebbe as the only Rabbi influent in America, as we can see , all the shluchim as just the REbbe;s shluchim
an even for those that discuss , live not live as a point of consideration
Rabbi Abraham Shemtov should be in Number 1 position
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Unread 03-26-2007, 11:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by chossidnistar View Post
I do not know what ppl are arguing about this non sense list
I would put the Rebbe as the only Rabbi influent in America, as we can see , all the shluchim as just the REbbe;s shluchim
an even for those that discuss , live not live as a point of consideration
Rabbi Abraham Shemtov should be in Number 1 position
HOLD IT!!! If you're gonna take that route then I would say RABBI MOSHE KOTLARSKY SHLITA! Loved by all and a true represenative of the Rebbe - Shlucho shel adam kamoso!
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Unread 03-27-2007, 12:20 AM   #15
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Rabbi Moishe Kotlarsky would be problably in 2nd place, I love him
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Unread 03-27-2007, 09:37 AM   #16
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4. Yehuda Berg (O)
O
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Unread 03-27-2007, 09:57 AM   #17
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O
Yeah, well, although I may agree with you, you have to admit that he *is* influential in America. The list wasn't of the 50 best or even most relevant Rabbis, but of the 50 most influential - and that he is.

Despite my fears of invoking Godwin's Law (and not wanting to compare Rabbi Berg to ******), you would have to agree that ****** was one of the most influential people of the 20th century, right? Just because someone may be good, bad, silly or evil doesn't mean that they're not influential... which is what the list is about.

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Unread 03-27-2007, 09:58 AM   #18
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The strong emotions evoked in this thread are extremely amusing.

Y'all have a Kosher un Freilichen Pesach.
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Unread 03-27-2007, 10:09 AM   #19
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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

this couldn't be further from the truth, the Rebbe is the leader of chabad and the one sending out shluchim and making shuls not this guy.
The people who made that list don't know Yudel Krinsky from Adam. All they are claiming is that Chabad is virtually the most influential Jewish rabbinic force in America. The only way they can articulate that on a list is by naming Yudel, who is on the letterhead. If you can understand that, there should be no agmas nefesh. Aderaba...
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Unread 03-27-2007, 10:14 AM   #20
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The people who made that list don't know Yudel Krinsky from Adam. All they are claiming is that Chabad is virtually the most influential Jewish rabbinic force in America. The only way they can articulate that on a list is by naming Yudel, who is on the letterhead. If you can understand that, there should be no agmas nefesh. Aderaba...
That's certainly possible. I don't have a problem with that line of reasoning.

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Unread 03-27-2007, 12:12 PM   #21
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you have to admit that he *is* influential in America
agreed and cannot be denied.
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Unread 03-27-2007, 01:13 PM   #22
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Interestingly, they put Rabbi Marvin Hier before R. Yudel Krinsky (Rebbe's Spokesman...).
For those who don't know him, I happen to know him a bit. He is an absolute scholar and a real people person as well as a very good speaker (although he's the only Jew I've ever met that has a thicker Brooklyn accent than the Italians in Bezon Hoyst). He's basicaly Orthodox, clean shaven, although the shluchim in his area "use him out" and his parvekeit to help push for things that they couldn't get on their own, in the city, general municipal, or otherwise.
He is in charge of the Simon Wiesenthal Halocaust museame and has even made some documentaries on the Halocaust and has won himself an oschar award about 15 years ago. Some people don't like that at all and say that it's milking the Halocaust for personal gain.
All this not withstanding, why the heavens should HE be number 1, even before someone who basicaly represents the strongest Jewish orginization in the world!
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Unread 03-27-2007, 02:51 PM   #23
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Last fall, Sony Pictures CEO and Chairman Michael Lynton got together with his good friends and fellow power brokers Gary Ginsberg, of Newscorp., and Jay Sanderson, of JTN Productions
Look at the source of this list - hollywood ceo and other secular bigshots. Why is everyone taking this list so seriously?
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Unread 03-27-2007, 04:28 PM   #24
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Of course it's not serious.

But YK should be embarrassed to be described that way. I would be.
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Unread 03-27-2007, 05:28 PM   #25
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Of course it's not serious.

But YK should be embarrassed to be described that way. I would be.
Probably he is!

Don't you good Yidden have a big list of responsibilities for Pesach? Why is this being discussed bchlal?
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