Newsweek Scraps ‘Top 50 Rabbis’ List Before Print Relaunch


newsweek-top-50-rabbisNewsweek said it will stop publishing its “Top 50 Rabbis” list in 2014. The list, which has been published annually since 2007, ranked American Jewish rabbis based on their perceived influence.

The list was intended as a jest by media executives Michael Lynton and Gary Ginsberg. “[W]e thought: Wouldn’t it be fun, and a little bit mischievous, to put together a list of who these people are and rank order them?” Lynton told the Los Angeles Jewish Journal in 2013.

But Jewish communities across the U.S. started viewing the list seriously, as a true measurement of the Jewish leaders’ clout. Some websites launched alternative lists, such as MyJewishLearning’s “Top Rabbis” in 2012. Other newspapers, and members of the Jewish community, heavily criticized each year’s rankings.

“‘The List’ started to be over-legitimized. People simply took it too seriously. And opinions grew more virulent and befuddling on both sides,” Ginsberg, Lynton, and Jewish writer Abigail Pogrebin wrote in a letter, the Forward reported.

Newsweek canceled its print magazine in 2012. After being purchased by the online news company IBT Media last year, Newsweek will relaunch its print edition in March, without the “Top 50 Rabbis” list.


{ Newscenter}


  1. The list, which has been published annually since 2007, ranked American **Jewish rabbis** based on their perceived influence.

    I always wondered what a chinese rabbi thinks..
    I never met one not even a uganda buddist rastafarian or zorastrian *rabbi* either.

    A JEWISH RABBI are plenty but those others….?

  2. Good to see that this refuse of a changing cultural ‘experience’ is going to be done away. It is not orthodox to consider that your office is to be featured in a semi-true publication of human achievement for the sake of numerating the divide between those who are not yet on the scene with those who are “on the scene” as rabbis. If they wanted to just feature a few rabbis on a periodic basis, that would be acceptable and worth a dime. But to rank the rabbis is imprecise self-flattery. A nonsense approach. Not for Jewish interest.


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