Rabbi Julie Ringold Spitzer was born in Jacksonville, Florida, graduated from Wolfson High School, the University of Florida (Alpha Epsilon Phi) and received her Masters of Hebrew Letters and Masters of Jewish Education and Ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. She received her rabbinic ordination in 1985.
Following ordination, Spitzer served as rabbi/educator for Temple Emanu-El of West Essex in Livingston, New Jersey. From there she went to Baltimore, Maryland, to become the associate rabbi for the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. After serving seven years in the congregational rabbinate, she joined the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC) as regional director of the Mid-Atlantic Council. She later moved to New York City where she became regional director for the Greater New York Council of Reform Synagogues of the UAHC.
A strong advocate of gay and lesbian inclusion in Jewish life, Spitzer edited Kulanu: A Program for Congregations Implementing Gay and Lesbian Inclusion, that was published by the UAHC in 1996. Spitzer also prepared the first manual on domestic violence ever prepared for Reform congregations and staffed a UAHC task force that developed policy for how congregations should respond to charges of sexual abuse by members of the clergy. She was the recipient of several prizes for creativity, public speaking and academic excellence.
Rabbi Julie Spitzer died on September 30, 1999, at the age of 41 and was survived by her partner, Abbe Tiger.
(This information taken from obituaries from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, The Washington Blade, and the Florida Times-Union and also the staff biographies of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.)
Biography Date: March, 2005
Judaism - Reform | Clergy Activist | Spitzer, Julie