Rabbi Ed Feinstein is a faculty member at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, senior rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California, and lecturer at the Ziegler Rabbinical School of the American Jewish University. Raised in the back of his parents’ bakery on the frontiers of the West San Fernando Valley, Ed graduated with honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz, Columbia University Teachers College, and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he was ordained a rabbi and earned his doctorate in Jewish education.
Rabbi Feinstein is the author of five books. Tough Questions Jews Ask – A Young Adult’s Guide to Building a Jewish Life (Jewish Lights, 2003) and Jews and Judaism in the Twenty-First Century (Jewish Lights, 2007), were both finalists for the National Jewish Book Award. Capturing the Moon (Behrman House, 2008) retells the best of classic and modern Jewish folktales. The Chutzpah Imperative (Jewish Lights, 2014) traces the history of religious humanism in the Jewish tradition. In Pursuit of Godliness and a Living Judaism (Turner, 2020) is an intellectual biography of his mentor, Rabbi Harold Schulweis. Rabbi Feinstein served as the founding head of the Solomon Schechter Academy of Dallas and Associate Rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas. In 1990, he became Executive Director of Camp Ramah in California. He came to Valley Beth Shalom in 1993, and became its senior rabbi in 2005.
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 (all married and employed!) and one small dog. Every Friday afternoon, Ed bakes brownies from a recipe revealed to his ancestors at Mount Sinai.