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Rabbi Nina Bieber Feinstein

Rabbi Nina Bieber Feinstein was the second woman ordained by the Conservative Movement. She helped lay the groundwork for women’s ordination through her own years of study and struggle.

Rabbi Feinstein earned a BA in Jewish studies from Brandeis University in 1977 and immediately began studying for a master’s degree in Talmud and rabbinic literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) — the closest she could come at the time to studying the same material as male rabbinical students. She joined with other women in petitioning the faculty to allow women's ordination, but graduated in 1980 without the title of rabbi. Three years later, JTS was finally open to the possibility of women rabbis. She returned to the Seminary and earned her ordination in 1986.

Rabbi Feinstein worked briefly as a chaplain for the Jewish Home for the Aged in Dallas before becoming founding director of Hillel at the University of California, Riverside. She served as associate rabbi at Beit T'shuvah where she created a prayer book that is still in use. She teaches rabbinics at the Ziegler School of the American Jewish University (AJU) in Los Angeles and is the founding rabbi of the groundbreaking VBS N’Shama Minyan, a creative service experience infused with music and joy that is led by women.

In her pastoral service to the VBS community, Rabbi Feinstein reaches out to members experiencing a loss, illness, or are in need of support. She brings compassion, kindness, warmth and understanding to the VBS Chesed team. Rabbi Nina Feinstein is wife to beloved VBS Rabbi Ed Feinstein and mother of three children, Yonah, Nessa and Raffi.

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Sat, May 25 2024 17 Iyyar 5784