Most influential U.S. rabbis listed

April 8, 2009

The third annual list of “America’s Most Influential Rabbis” is out, with the top spot going to David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reformed Judaism and co-chair of the Coalition to Preserve Religious liberty.


Saperstein, described in the announcement as a “Washington insider and political powerbroker,” took the No. 1 ranking away from Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who held that position on last year’s list.

The rankings were made by Jay Sanderson, chief executive officer of JTN Productions (the Jewish Television Network), Michael Lynton, chairman and head of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Gary Ginsberg, executive vice president of News Corp.

There are 50 rabbis on the list, which the executive say they drew up to provoke discussion about the role of religious leaders among Jews and non-Jews. Rounding out the top five were Mark Charendoff, president of the Jewish Funders Network, an international grouping of foundations and philanthropies; Yehuda Krinsky, global leader of the Chabad Lubavich movement; and David Ellenson, president of Hebrew Union College.

Anyone know if there’s a comparable global “most influential” rabbi list? Who would be your top choice?

(Photo: Undated handout photo of America’s oldest continuously used synagogue west of the Mississippi/REUTERS STRINGER)

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I am waiting for a blog entry about Notre Dame University and its invitation to Obama to speak at commencement.

Or do we give Obama a pass simply because he claims that the issue of abortion is “above his pay grade?”

Posted by john cooper | Report as abusive