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News Brief


Rabbi Marvin Hier again tops Newsweek’s list of the most influential American rabbis.

Hier, the founder of The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, also topped the list last year, the first in which Newsweek ranked the influence of American spiritual leaders on the basis of fame, fund-raising ability, politcal influence and several other factors.

Hier was followed by Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism; Rabbi Robert Wexler, the president of the American Jewish University; Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, the leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement; and Rabbi David Saperstein, the head of the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center.

Newsweek also inaugurated a second list of the 25 top pulpit rabbis in response to criticism that “influence” wasn’t an appropriate method of evaluating a rabbi.

Topping that list is Rabbi David Wolpe of the Conservative Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Wolpe is followed by Rabbi Haskel Lookstein of the Orthodox Congregation Kehilith Jeshurun in New York City; Rabbi Jack Moline of the Conservative Agudas Achim in Alexandria, Va.; Rabbi David Lyon of Congregation Beth Israel in Houston; and Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon of B’nai Jeshurun in New York City.

Both lists are the work of three Los Angeles Jewish media figures: Gary Ginsberg, an executive at NewsCorp.; Michael Lynton, the chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures; and Jay Sanderson, the CEO of the Jewish Television Network.

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