Friday, April 06, 2007

Top 50 American Rabbis

A fairly recent post on JSpot has begged the question, "Who's on your Rabbi list?" This of course is a reference to the list of America's Top 50 Rabbis, as published by Newsweek. It seems that this list has flared the angers and piqued the interests of people all over the internet, specifically, the blogosphere. So, in an attempt to answer the question raised by Jeremy Burton of JSpot, I compiled my own list of the top 50 Rabbis in America (in no particular order):

  1. Rabbi Yitzchak Adlerstein
  2. Rabbi Lipa Lipshutz
  3. Rabbi Marvin Heir
  4. Rabbi Nosson Scherman
  5. Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky
  6. Rabbi Aharon Feldman
  7. Rabbi Malkiel Kotler
  8. Rabbi Uren Reich
  9. Rabbi Dovid Leibowitz
  10. Rabbi Herschel Schachter
  11. Rabbi Dovid Feinstein
  12. Rabbi Reuven Feinstein
  13. Rabbi Matisyahu Solomon
  14. Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski
  15. Rabbbi Mordechai Willig
  16. Rabbi Menashe Klein
  17. Rabbi Yonason Sacks
  18. Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov Rabinowitz
  19. Rabbi Moshe Heinemann
  20. Rabbi Yisroel Belsky
  21. Rabbi Yisroel Reisman
  22. Rabbi Gershon Bess
  23. Rabbi Moshe Leib Rabinovitch
  24. Rabbi Feivel Cohen
  25. Rabbi Yosef Blau
  26. Rabbi Akiva Tatz
  27. Rabbi Shmuel Bloom
  28. Rabbi Yechiel Epstein
  29. Rabbi Meir Stern
  30. Rabbi Chaim Dov Keller
  31. Rabbi Yudel Krinsky
  32. Rabbi Elyah Svei
  33. Rabbi Aharon Shechter
  34. Rabbi Yissocher Frand
  35. Rabbi Shmuel Birnbaum
  36. Rabbi Zelig Epstein
  37. Rabbi Yerucham Olshin
  38. Rabbi Don Ungarischer
  39. Rabbi Elya Ber Wachtfogel
  40. Rabbi Eli Chaim Swerdloff
  41. Rabbi Zalman Leib Teitelbaum
  42. Rabbi Aharon Teitelbaum
  43. Rabbi Michel Twerski
  44. Rabbi Dovid Twesky
  45. Rabbi Yaakov Perlow
  46. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
  47. Rabbi Shlomo Cunin
  48. Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb
  49. Rabbi Daniel Lapin
  50. Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser


Josh M. said...

When I saw your post's introduction on Kinja, I was hoping that you would make such a list, but didn't think that you (or anyone else) would have the guts to. It seems like you have a nice cross-section of rabbanim on the list. I would ask for your criteria, but I don't think it really makes much of a difference. Y"K.

Jeremy Burton said...

R’ Chaim - Not suprisingly, your list displays a narrowly Orthodox view of the world (dare I say, Haredi?). That’s cool, for where you are coming at this from. I’m curious what your criteria might be, other than source of semicha, as those may be aplicable to a broader audience (e.g. scholarship, influence as a teacher or posek, size of congregation, etc…)

Reb Chaim HaQoton said...

I could easily say that I chose these Rabbis based on their scholarship, influences, position, leadership, magnitude of constituency, and piety, but in truth I did not. I simply wrote a list of the first fifty Rabbis which popped into my head (except for Dr. Norman Lamm). The mere fact that a Rabbi's name is popular enough to have "popped into my head" while I was brainstorming for this posts testifies that that Rabbi is worthy of being on the list. Of course looking back at the list, there are probably some names that I would replace with other more-known Torah personalities like Rabbi Paysach Krohn or Rabbi Ephraim Greenblatt or Rabbi Chaim Stein or Rabbi Yitzchok Ausband, etc... But it was a first-come-first-serve basis, so to speak, so since I didn't think of them right away, I am not going to replace others with them now.

By the way, Mr. Burton, was my own Los Angeles bias apparent in this listing?

Reb Yudel said...


The list would be helpful and informative if you were to identify the names as the Newsweek list did.

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