Feinstein, Edward 1954-
FEINSTEIN, Edward 1954-
Born 1954; married Nina Bieber (a rabbi); children: three. Education: University of California at Santa Cruz, B.A.; Jewish Theological Seminary of America, B.Lit.; University of Judaism, M.A.; Columbia University, M.A.
Office—Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino, CA 91436. E-mail—[email protected].
Rabbi. Ordained, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York, NY, 1981; Solomon Schechter Academy, Dallas, TX, founding director; Congregation Shearith Israel, Dallas, associate rabbi; Camp Ramah, CA, executive director, 1990-93; Valley Beth Shalom, Encino, CA, rabbi; Ziegler Rabbinical School, University of Judaism, Los Angeles, CA, lecturer; on the faculties of the Wexner Heritage Foundation and the Whizen Institute on the Family. Former board member of various religious organizations.
Rabbi of the Year, Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, 1995-96; Rabbinical Service Award, United Jewish Appeal; Mickey Weiss Award for outstanding alumni, University of Judaism, 2002; Honor Book for Older Readers, Sydney Taylor book awards, Association of Jewish Libraries, 2003, and Top Ten Religious Books for Young Readers citation, American Library Association, both for Tough Questions Jews Ask: A Young Adult's Guide to Building a Jewish Life.
Tough Questions Jews Ask: A Young Adult's Guide to Building a Jewish Life, Jewish Lights (Woodstock, VT), 2003.
Columnist and contributing editor, Jewish Journal of Los Angeles; audio recordings include The Time of Your Life and Out of the Rabbi's Hat (stories for children).
Edward Feinstein is a rabbi, as is his wife, Nina, the second woman to be ordained by the Conservative movement. He has written for adults and children, and with his Tough Questions Jews Ask: A Young Adult's Guide to Building a Jewish Life, he imagines himself the teacher of a class of Jewish adolescents and answers the questions he feels they would ask and which young people often feel go unanswered because they are not being listened to or taken seriously. Liz Harris wrote in an article for theJewish News Weekly of Northern California Online that Feinstein "opens the floodgates for conversation and thoughtful contemplation."
The students, Feinstein imagines, would ask why they should believe in God and if the stories in the Bible are true. They question the value of prayer, why there must be so many rules, and the Jewish traditions themselves. They ask how they can be expected to believe in God when such events as the Holocaust have occurred. These are questions Feinstein has been asked over time by young people, and being the father of children of that age as he wrote the book, Feinstein was in the ideal position to consider the concerns of Jewish teens. "Theology comes alive through Feinstein's cogent analogies and non-dogmatic, down-to-earth style," commented a Publishers Weekly contributor. And Booklist reviewer Ellen Mandel declared that the volume is "charged with energy and insight."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 1, 2003, Ellen Mandel, review of Tough Questions Jews Ask: A Young Adult's Guide to Building a Jewish Life, p. 139.
Publishers Weekly, April 28, 2003, review of Tough Questions Jews Ask, p. 65.
Jewish News Weekly of Northern California Online,http://www.jewishsf.com/ (March 9, 2004), Liz Harris, review of Tough Questions Jews Ask.