Rabbi Julie Schwartz: The U.S.’s First Female Military Chaplain – and the Associate Dean of HUC
The American Jewish Archives contains records of Jewish leaders serving as chaplains in the US military dating back to the Civil War; however, not until 1986 did the first commissioned active-duty female chaplain join such ranks. Cincinnati native Julie Schwartz was a student at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati in 1985 when she received ecclesiastical approval from the Jewish Welfare Board to enter the Theological Student Seminarian Program of the Navy. Following her ordination from HUC-JIR, in May 1986, Schwartz secured a post at the Naval Hospital in Oakland, California, earning the Naval Commendation award after her three-year tour.
Rabbi Schwartz is currently the Associate Dean of HUC-JIR in Cincinnati, a Certified Supervisor of Clinical Pastoral Education, Adjunct Associate Professor of Human Relations, and Director of the Stein Program on the Cincinnati Campus.