Jewrotica has announced its list of "Sexiest Rabbis of 2013," presenting ten men and women who "deserve to be recognized for their raw awesomeness."
The online hub for Jewish sexual expression sought nominations for rabbis possessing "The Smarts," "Some Action," and "Badass Factor" in October, and received over 150 submissions. The list drew some controversy, and the team explained, "We used the word “Sexy” in a figurative and not literal sense and all we want to do is highlight Rabbis who are doing awesome and inspirational work."
Though some may find the list a bit too irreverent, Jewrotica founder Ayo Oppenheimer wrote about the contest:
A last note: This list is exceedingly respectful with the top ten intentionally presented in an unranked list, but is also meant to be fun and playful. We hope that rabbis will be pleased to be acknowledged on the list, but we do not purport that this is an authoritative, exhaustive and all-inclusive list of all the fabulous and sexy rabbis out there.
Without further ado, here is the unranked list of the top ten Sexiest Rabbis of 2013, with all captions courtesy of Jewrotica:
Rabbi Yonatan Gordis, described by his wife as “the most awesomely irreverent creature I know” is a strategist and leader at ChangeCraft, formerly known as the Center for Leadership Initiatives. Ordained by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, he helped found Elul
, an egalitarian Beit Midrash in Jerusalem, where he was also involved in Jewish-Palestinian dialogue. A graduate of Columbia University with an interest in creative writing, Rabbi Gordis, a dedicated Dead Head, has lived in both the US and in Israel, and currently resides with his family in Canada.
ROI Community Profile
Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann, a member of the 2012 “Rabbis Without Borders
Cohort” who has been described as “whip smart”, has both a music and a rabbinic degree, and is known to teach while strumming her guitar. From marriage equality to transgender issues to feeding the homeless, Rabbi Heydemann is all about social action. Her passion for justice and for Judaism led her to start Mishkan in Chicago
, a Jewish community dedicated to tikkun and to “radical accessibility”.
“At 28 years old, half Sfardi half Ashkenazi, six-foot tall and broad shouldered, the well dressed Rabbi Aviad Bodner, rabbi of the Moishe House in Tel Aviv, cuts a striking figure. He has clear brown – almost amber – eyes, a full head of dark hair, and a warm smile that makes you feel like (and want to be) the only other person in the room.” Rabbi Aviad has smicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and served as a board member in his hometown shul in Ra’anana, where he led Talmud classes for years. He tries to make the Moishe House a true home for the diverse population of Tel Aviv, and hosts shabbat meals famed for his grilled eggplant. He served in the IDF during the Second Lebanon War, and after spending spending several days in combat inside a tank, Rabbi Aviad led Rosh Hashana services for his fellow soldiers, overcoming his tiredness to make their new year just a little bit sweeter.
Aviad and Moishe House
Rabbi Dan Shevitz of Congregation Mishkon Tephilo
, in California, can seduce you in French, German, Yiddish, Arabic, Russian, English or Hebrew – take your pick. A man with a “dapper sense of style” who serves diverse constituencies, finding ways to show people the creative intersection of their Jewishness with other aspects of their lives. When he was the Hillel director at MIT, Dan played with the intersection of Torah and science: he was known for his “mathematical” Rosh Hashanah sermons – each year a gematria on the year – and for inventing the test-tube menora. Dan worked as a chaplain for the LAPD, helping officers under stress. He plays klezmer music, rides a motorcycle, and is certified in scuba diving.
“What could be sexier than a man like Rabbi Yonah Bookstein, a man of deep moral and humanitarian conviction, and inspired creativity, who uses his gift of charismatic leadership for the betterment of humanity and the Jewish people?”, asks his wife. As “the only one in the universe truly qualified to nominate Rabbi Yonah as sexy”, she gives her whole-hearted support. A tireless innovator, Rabbi Yonah co-founded the Jewlicious Festival, the Pico Shul in LA, the music Festival hopping Shabbat Tent, and was also involved in the Jewish community in Poland before it was cool. Rabbi Bookstein is a frequent blogger, contributing to the Huffington Post, his own blog and Jewlicious.
rabbiyonah.comRabbi Yonah on Jewlicious
Rabbi Benay Lappe, founder of Svara
, a “traditionally radical” queer yeshiva, believes it is essential for Jewish laypeople to learn the text in order to become “players” in the game of Judaism. She has taught Talmud at various universities and served as Spielberg Fellow at CLAL. A former student describes her as a “total bad-ass … not afraid to teach the sexiest bits of Talmud as well as the driest” – no pun intended?
As an author, educator, myth-weaver and ritualist, Rabbi Jill Hammer is an embodiment of sensuality and stimulation. Her written words and teachings stimulate the mind, body and soul, engaging one on a journey to the sacred feminine. She is the co-founder of Kohenet: The Hebrew Priestess Institute
, a two-year learning and training program held at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. A Kohenet-in-training writes, “Her wisdom is only out shined by her grace. She holds intense divinity, spirituality and knowledge in complete humbleness.” She is also the Director of Spiritual Education at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a pluralistic Jewish seminary. Rabbi Hammer is the author of Sisters at Sinai: New Tales of Biblical Women, The Jewish Book of Days: A Companion for All Seasons, and the co-author of The Hebrew Priestess and Siddur HaKohanot: A Hebrew Priestess Prayerbook. She was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary and holds a doctorate in social psychology from the University of Connecticut.
“With women rabbis this sexy, maybe the mixed-gender compromise at Robinson’s Arch is just too risky.” Rabbi Susan Silverman, sister of comedian Sarah Silverman, became legendary for her work on behalf of Women of the Wall.
A Jerusalem resident and the mother of five children, two of whom are adopted, she is a published author who recently wrote “Casting Lots: A Memoir of Family, Adoption, and God”, a book about her adoption experience. Susan’s next big thing is adoption advocacy and working to turn Jerusalem into an adoption hub for the major faith communities.
Rabbi Silverman in the Forward 50
Rabbi David Dunn Bauer is “hot and sexy, diving into that Torah with a queer eye.” Rabbi Bauer is currently the Director for Social Action Programming at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah
in New York City’s West Village, where he is famous for his sermons on Queer Theology. Before moving to NYC, David founded “The Jewish Queer Sexual Ethics Project”. He was the first Jew to earn the Certificate in Sexuality and Religion from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. Rabbi Bauer teaches about eros and spirituality for Jewish, queer, and retirement communities around the United States, and at countless retreats and workshops.
“What could be sexier than a brilliant young rabbi who breathes life in his community?,” one congregant asks of Rabbi Josh Yuter. Rabbi Yuter is the rabbi of the Stanton Street Shul
in New York, who is famed for his blog/podcast, “YUtopia“. Rabbi Yuter has an MA in Talmud from Yeshiva University, and an MA in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. His keen sense of humor is matched only by his love of guitars.
Jewrotica recognized an additional 21 rabbis in the People's Choice category, which is open for voting until Tu B'Shvat on January 16th.