Two Hebrew College rabbis named among most influential in U.S.
Two pioneering leaders of Hebrew College’s Rabbinical School have been named to Newsweek and The Daily Beast’s annual list of the 50 most influential rabbis in the United States.
Arthur Green, founding dean and rector of the school, was ranked at No. 14 (up from No. 17 in 2011), and Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, dean of the school since 2006, was listed at No. 43. They were the only two rabbis on the list from the Boston area.
The rankings consider such criteria as innovation, leadership, impact on and beyond the Jewish community, national and international reputation, political and social influence, and media presence.
Green, who also serves as Brudnick Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Religion at Hebrew College, was cited as “one of the most important modern Jewish thinkers and an expert on Jewish mysticism.” Specifically, he was lauded for launching an aggressive attack on the Kabbalah Center in an article published last fall in The Huffington Post.
Anisfeld was labeled a “gifted, serene teacher” who defended her students from charges (by Daniel Gordis and others) of anti-Zionism and Israel bashing. She was one of 14 women to make the list.
Topping the list this year was David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Beverly Hills, Calif. Rounding out the top five were Yehuda Krinsky, leader of the Chabad movement; Peter J. Rubenstein, senior rabbi of New York’s Central Synagogue; David Saperstein, director and counsel of the Religious Action Center of Reformed Judaism; and Sharon Brous, founder of the IKAR Jewish community in Los Angeles.
The Rabbinical School at Hebrew College is the only full-time accredited pluralistic program of its kind in the United States.