In 2009, Rabbi Julie Schonfeld became the first female leader of an American rabbinical organization, serving as executive vice president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly. Schonfeld studied theater at Yale, graduated in 1987, and taught playwriting in New York public schools through the New York Shakespeare Festival. She was then ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1997 and became the first female rabbi at the Society for the Advancement of Judaism in New York. In 2001 she began working for the Rabbinical Assembly. As their Director of Rabbinic Development, she ran projects affecting public policy, conversions, mentorship, and rabbinic continuing education, and studied the impact of gender on rabbinic career trajectories. In 2009 she became executive vice president of the RA. As the leader of the professional organization for Conservative rabbis, Schonfeld has regularly made Newsweek’s annual list of 50 most influential rabbis in America for her stances on women’s participation in Judaism and the importance of cross-religious efforts towards peace in the Middle East. As of 2015, she serves on the White House Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Julie Schonfeld." (Viewed on December 16, 2017) <https://jwa.org/people/schonfeld-julie>.