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To Be or Not To Be

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Well, for the fourth year running, neither BossGiraffe nor I were named to Newsweek‘s 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America. And I, for one, am glad.

A couple of buddies (Jay Sanderson, CEO of JTN Productions; Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment; and Gary Ginsberg, executive vice president of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.) got together and, using a the following unscientific criteria, created an admittedly subjective list:

  • Are they known nationally/internationally? (20 points)
  • Do they have political/social influence? (20 points)
  • Do they have a media presence? (10 points)
  • Are they leaders within their communities? (10 points)
  • Are they considered leaders in Judaism or their movements? (10 points)
  • How big are their constituencies? (10 points)
  • Have they made an impact on Judaism in their career? (10 points)
  • Have they made a greater impact beyond the Jewish community and their rabbinical training? (10 points)

I am glad that I am not on that list because I have never subscribed to the “bigger is better” philosophy. I like that our shul is small enough that the rabbis know the congregants. That each and every one of our B’nai Mitzvah students is prepared to lead their service by the rabbis. Would it be great to have a shul that could put up an Israel tour every year? Sure. That I would love. And I’m certain there are many benefits that come from having a big “constituency.”

But I wouldn’t trade what we’ve got. Not even to be on some list.

Does that mean that we aren’t influential? What do you think?

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Tuesday, 29 June 2010 11:30 pm

    I’m glad our shul is small enough that the congregants know the rabbis. Now that’s influential!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 1 July 2010 10:47 pm

      Me too.

      And thanks 🙂

  2. Wednesday, 30 June 2010 9:37 am

    i agree – very influential! 🙂

    every year, i do say “hey, how come i’m not on that list!” but i’m (mostly) kidding 🙂

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 1 July 2010 10:48 pm

      I always look…and then read through the usual suspects.

      My friends, thankfully, are never on the list.

  3. Melissa permalink
    Wednesday, 30 June 2010 11:57 am

    My rabbi has been extremely influential to me. I don’t need a list to tell me that. I’m sure people feel the same way about you.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 1 July 2010 10:49 pm

      I sure hope so 🙂

      Have you ever told your rabbi about the ways in which he (or she) have influenced you? I bet it would be a real highlight for him (or her) to know what it was that has resonated with you.

      Thanks for your comment, Melissa.

  4. Thursday, 1 July 2010 7:46 am

    Well, you are known internationally (at least in Israel and France).

  5. Tuesday, 13 July 2010 1:50 pm

    Touching one life makes you influential.

    Having met some of the list and worked with some others who I’m guessing think they should make the list I’m guessing that your personal touch is making a greater impact than some of the others.

    Keep up your special brand of influence!

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