The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Nina Feinstein

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Nina Feinstein until we are able to commission a full entry.

Rabbi Nina Bieber Feinstein, photo courtesy of Rabbi Feinstein.

Although she was the second woman ordained by the Conservative Movement, Rabbi Nina Bieber Feinstein helped lay the groundwork for women’s ordination through her own years of study and struggle. 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—the closest she could come at the time to studying the same material as male rabbinical students. After graduating in 1980, she began raising a family, only to learn that JTS was now open to the possibility of women rabbis. She returned to JTS and was ordained in 1986. After working briefly as a chaplain for the Jewish Home for the Aged in Dallas, she served as founding director of Hillel at the University of California Riverside and associate rabbi at a recovery center called Beit Tshuvah, where she created a prayer book that is still in use. As of 2017 she is the founding rabbi of the N’Shama Minyan at Valley Beth Shalom and teaches rabbinics at the Ziegler School of the American Jewish University in Los Angeles.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Nina Feinstein." (Viewed on September 21, 2021) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/feinstein-nina>.

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