Bio: Rabbi Shira Stutman is senior rabbi of Sixth & I, an arts, culture and religious center in Washington, D.C., that primarily serves people in their 20s and 30s. She focuses on making Jewish meaning and building Jewish community for young professionals. She focuses on boutique communities, including interfaith couples and those interested in joining the Jewish community. Rabbi Stutman serves as scholar-in-residence for the National Women’s Philanthropy program of the Jewish Federation of North America. She serves on the board of Jews United for Justice and sits on J Street’s rabbinic cabinet. A 2007 graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, she was a Wexner Graduate Follow.
July 16th, 2018 | Season 0 | 42 mins 38 secs
Yes, Star Wars fans — our title is taken from a line that Yoda says to his troubled former pupil, Luke Skywalker, in The Last Jedi. In more traditional syntax, Rabbi Shira Stutman says something very similar. The senior rabbi of Sixth & I, a thriving Jewish arts and cultural center in Washington, D.C., talks about learning from failure, and how Jewish organizations must take risks to change and grow. Rabbi Stutman discusses how Sixth & I was both inspired by, and a departure from, Mordecai Kaplan’s vision of a synagogue center. She answers forthright questions about her organization’s business model, while extrapolating lessons more traditional congregations might use. She counters conventional wisdom on a number of points, challenging the idea that synagogues should spend money to engage millennials. And she explains why she once conducted a funeral for a dog, despite not being an animal lover.