Newsweek Ranks America’s Top 25 Pulpit Rabbis


Based on the overwhelming response to the "influentials" list last year, Lynton, Ginsberg and Sanderson put together a list of the best pulpit rabbis in the country. The most powerful people, it turns out, are not always the most inspirational. Here are the criteria for pulpit rabbis:

· Ability to inspire congregation through scholarship and oratory
· Success in growing and expanding congregation
· Community leadership and innovation
· Ability to meet spiritual and personal needs and goals of his/her congregation
· Leadership within denominational movement

The Rabbis
1.David Wolpe (Conservative)
Sinai Temple, Los Angeles, CA
 14.Mark Schiftan (Reform)
Ohabai Sholom, Nashville, TN
2.Haskel Lookstein (Orthodox)
Congregation Kehilith Jeshurun, New York, NY
 15.Peter Rubinstein (Reform)
Central Synagogue, New York, NY
3.Jack Moline (Conservative)
Agudas Achim, Alexandria, VA
 16.Rachel Nussbaum (Conservative)
Kavana, Seattle, WA
4.David A. Lyon (Reform)
Congregation Beth Israel, Houston, TX
 17.Rick Block (Reform)
Tifereth Israel, Cleveland, OH
5.J. Rolando (Roly) Matalon (Conservative)
B’nai Jeshurun, New York, NY
 18.Janet Marder (Reform)
Congregation Beth Am, Palo Alto, CA
6.Avi Weiss (Orthodox)
Hebrew Institute, Bronx, NY
 19.Kenneth Hain (Orthodox)
Congregation Beth Sholom, Lawrence, NY
7.David Stern (Reform)
Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, TX
 20.Ed Feinstein (Conservative)
Valley Beth Shalom, Encino, CA
8.Brant Rosen (Reconstructionist)
Jewish Reconstructionist, Evanston, Ill
 21.Amy Schwartzman (Reform)
Temple Rodef Shalom, Falls Church, VA
9.Sharon Brous (Conservative)
IKAR, Los Angeles, CA
 22.Asher Lopatin (Orthodox)
Anshe Shalom, Chicago, IL
10.Andy Bachman (Reform)
Congregation Beth Elohim, Brooklyn, NY
 23.Terry A. Bookman (Reform)
Temple Beth Am, Miami, FL
11.Yosef Kanefsky (Orthodox)
B’nai David-Judea, Los Angeles, CA
 24.Mordechai Finley (Reform)
Ohr HaTorah, Los Angeles, CA
12.Harold Loss (Reform)
Temple Israel, Detroit, MI
 25.Moshe Waldoks (Renewal)
Temple Beth Zion, Brookline, MA
13.Jeffrey Wohlberg (Conservative)
Adas Israel, Washington, DC

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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