To Be or Not To Be
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?