Rabbi Shira Stutman

What people call you: Rabbi Shira

Congregation: Sixth & I Synagogue

Location: 600 I St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Denomination: Reconstructionist

Ordained from: Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

What do you love most about your work? That’s an easy one. I love the Sixth & I’ers with whom I get to spend my time every single day. From the staff to the students to those who show up once in a blue moon–I love the learning, the arguing, the general hilarity of our community. Becoming a rabbi means spending many years (6!) in seminary studying Jewish law, ritual, and tradition. Being a rabbi means taking everything that you’ve learned and working with other people to figure out how to make it relevant and meaningful in our overstressed, overwhelming, and quite extraordinary 21st-century American Jewish community. There’s no one I’d rather work it through with than the amazing people at Sixth & I.

How is Judaism valuable in your life? “Happily ever after” movies notwithstanding, life can sometimes be quite difficult. Or wonderful. Judaism provides an anchor to keep me grounded during all of life’s peaks and valleys. It provides rules & suggestions (we call those Mitzvot) and rough outlines (text study) for living a meaningful, reflective, open and generous life. And more than anything else, it–along with a lot of hard work–provides a kehila kedosha, a holy community, with which to experience all of the above.

Programs/Services you run/offer: Group Learning, Conversions, Shabbat Services, Holiday Services, Couples Classes