Rabbi Ed Feinstein
Valley Beth Shalom
Rabbi Ed Feinstein is senior rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California. He serves on the faculty of the Ziegler Rabbinical School of the American Jewish University, the Wexner Heritage Program, and the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.Rabbi Feinstein is the author of four books. Tough Questions Jews Ask – A Young Adult’s Guide to Building a Jewish Life (Jewish Lights 2003), taught in synagogue schools and youth programs around the country, was chosen for the American Library Association’s Top Ten Books on Religion for Young Readers, and recognized as a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. Jews and Judaism in the Twenty-First Century: Human Responsibility, the Presence of God and the Future of the Covenant (Jewish Lights 2007) was also a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. Capturing the Moon (Behrman House 2008) retells the best of classic and modern Jewish folktales. His latest book, The Chutzpah Imperative (Jewish Lights 2014), traces the history of religious humanism in the Jewish tradition.Rabbi Feinstein was raised in the back of his parents’ bakery on the frontiers of the West San Fernando Valley. He graduated with honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of Judaism, Columbia University Teachers College, and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he was ordained a rabbi in 1981. He is currently completing his doctorate at J.T.S.Rabbi Feinstein served as the founding head of the Solomon Schechter Academy of Dallas, Texas, building the school’s enrollment from 40 to 400, and gaining national recognition as an academic center of excellence. Simultaneously he was Associate Rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas. In 1990 Rabbi Feinstein became Executive Director of Camp Ramah in California, the largest Jewish summer camp and conference center in the Western United States. He came to Valley Beth Shalom in 1993 at the invitation of the renowned Rabbi Harold Schulweis. Rabbi Feinstein is a member of the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, a member of the school board of the Milken Community High School, and a frequent spokesman for AIPAC. A survivor of two bouts of colon cancer, in 1993 and 1998, he speaks frequently to cancer support groups all over Southern California. Rabbi Feinstein lives in the epicenter of the San Fernando Valley with his wife Rabbi Nina Bieber Feinstein. Nina was the second woman ordained a rabbi by the Conservative Movement. The Feinsteins are parents of three adult children and one small dog. Every Friday afternoon he bakes brownies from a recipe revealed to his ancestors at Mount Sinai.