Hebrew College Exerts Its Influence

from left, rabbi daniel lehmann, rabbi sharon cohen anisfeld and rabbi arthur greenHebrew College’s president and the dean and the rector of its Rabbinical School today were named to The Daily Beast’s list of America’s 50 most influential rabbis for 2013.

President Daniel Lehmann, Dean Sharon Cohen Anisfeld and Rector Arthur Green were selected as a group at No. 14 on the list, which was compiled by a panel of executives at the online publication. This list comprises rabbinic leaders from across the denominational spectrum and includes pulpit rabbis, educators, organizational leaders, activists and scholars.

Green, the Irving Brudnick Professor of Philosophy and Religion, has been named to the list every year since it was established, in 2007. Anisfeld appears for the third consecutive year, and Lehmann makes his debut in 2013.

“We’re honored to be recognized and in the company of so many important American Jewish leaders,” Lehmann said. “The fact that we were selected as a group rather than as individuals is a testament to Hebrew College’s standing as a national leader in pluralistic Jewish education.”

Lehmann, president since 2008, was singled out for overseeing the debt restructuring of the college’s Newton Centre campus last year, putting Hebrew College on its most secure financial footing in more than a decade. Anisfeld was praised for attracting an ever-stronger applicant pool to the Rabbinical School, strengthening its pastoral care-giving training and launching a certificate program in organizational leadership geared toward rabbis and rabbinical students. Green was saluted as one of the foremost experts on Jewish mysticism.

“The trend toward post-denominational Judaism, which eschews traditional movement labels, is consistent with Hebrew College’s mission as a pluralistic college and rabbinic seminary,” the publication said.

Rabbi Sharon Brous, who leads the independent IKAR spiritual community in Los Angeles, topped this year’s rankings. See the entire list at The Daily Beast website.

— March 21, 2013