Newsweek is set to cease publication of its annual “Top 50 Rabbis” ranking.

The list began in 2007, serving as a yearly round up of America’s most influential and prominent Jewish spiritual leaders.


The feature caused headaches for the publication from the start, with criticism thrown at Newsweek over perceived slights.

“‘The List’ started to be over-legitimized. People simply took it too seriously. And opinions grew more virulent and befuddling on both sides,” media executives Michael Lynton and Gary Ginsberg, and Jewish writer Abigail Pogrebin, wrote in a letter.

“Some rabbis felt personally wounded when they weren’t mentioned,” they wrote. “Others told us it adversely affected their career opportunities. We started receiving emphatic pleas from certain rabbis to add them to the roster (or move them higher in the rankings). Some of those rabbis enlisted friends or colleagues to lobby us insistently. Some even came to our offices with personal pleas to be included, others to offer prayers for our souls.”

Newsweek ended it print publication in 2012 after it was purchased by IBT Media, running online instead. However, next month the print issues will resume, with its rabbi ranking, which should have run at the start of the year, noticeably absent.