Nora Feinstein: Sixth & I Synagogue’s kitchen table rabbi

Photo courtesy of Rabbi Nora Feinstein

Sixth & I’s new rabbi, Nora Feinstein, says her history with the District synagogue goes back to 2013.

“Like many people in their 20s in D.C., I made my way to Sixth & I,” she said. “I was just blown away by the depth and the breadth of the engagement I found there. I was inspired by the rabbis that I met.”

Feinstein said that experiences as a user of the synagogue religious services, lectures and groups led her to want to become a rabbi herself. It was a process that was complicated by the COVID pandemic.

“I’m a COVID ordainee,” Feinstein said. “I was ordained at my kitchen table in May 2020.”

Feinstein was living in New Jersey when she finished her coursework for the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the pandemic hit. She said it was a “surreal” time to begin her rabbinic work.

Feinstein said that in her first year, she plans to work on building and being in a community with others at Sixth & I.

“Getting to know and coming together with the community is fundamental and foundational for anything that comes after,” Feinstein said.

Feinstein said she feels passionate about pursuing justice and improving and healing the world.

“I believe that Jewish tradition and Jewish sources ask all of us to live our lives in both fullness and brokenness,” Feinstein said and, quoting psychoanalyst and author of “Women Who Run with the Wolves” Clarissa Pinkola Estés, added, “I feel the imperative to mend the broken parts of the world that are within our reach.”

She added, “All of us … can find deep, meaningful and relevant connections, and I think that we so desperately need one another, and can benefit from being in an open, honest, vulnerable community with other people.

Corrected Sept. 5, 2021 10:30 p.m. to includethe correct name of the institution she was ordained from.

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