Spirituality: Jerusalem rabbi brings process-shul model from Memphis

Long-term emissary merges best of US and Israeli traditions.

December 28, 2017 13:32
Rabbi Shai Finkelstein endeavors to keep Jewish law focused on people and context at the Nitzanim sh

Rabbi Shai Finkelstein endeavors to keep Jewish law focused on people and context at the Nitzanim shul in the Baka neighborhood. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Sitting down with Rabbi Shai Finkelstein is like downshifting from a high-speed chase on a freeway to a relaxing drive on a lazy Sunday with nowhere in particular to go and all the time in the world (remember those?). His demeanor is relaxed and warm, and everything he says is measured and considered. He takes time to hear and acknowledge what the other person is saying before responding , and instead of taking stances, he speaks of process. In place of definitives, he discusses context. While many believe that things are right or wrong, Finkelstein says this is rarely so, with so much depending on people, place, and time. This seems to be at the core of his success as the beloved community rabbi of the Nitzanim shul in the capital’s Baka neighborhood and is an approach from which we can all learn.

Born in Haifa to an Israeli mother, a child of survivors, and a father born in Romania, Finkelstein served in the IDF and was ordained as a rabbi in 2000 by the Chief Rabbinate. His excellent English is from the years he and his family spent in Memphis, Tennessee, as emissaries – two years that turned into 16, during which Finkelstein also earned an MBA.


Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Cookie Settings