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.
This podcast is produced by Reconstructing Judaism. Visit us at ReconstructingJudaism.org.
- Sixth and I
- Rabbi Shira Stutman Answers "What does it mean to be Jewish?" - YouTube — Rabbi Shira Stutman of the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C. answers: "What does it mean to be Jewish?"
- Extended Interview: Rabbi Shira Stutman Discusses the Amidah | Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly | PBS — Senior Rabbi Shira Stutman of Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, DC explains the meaning of the Amidah, “the central prayer in the Jewish tradition.”