Rabbi Julia Appel


Rabbi Julia Appel (she/her), Research Advisory Board

Rabbi Julia Appel serves as director of innovation for Clal, creating and leading their Jewish community training programs in innovation and entrepreneurship, including the on-the-ground program Spark and the graduate course for rabbinical and cantorial students Leading through Innovation. She most recently launched The Belonging Project, which enables Jewish communal institutions to measure and improve the culture of belonging among their community members. Julia has been bringing her entrepreneurial lens to congregational and organizational settings for over a decade in both the United States and Canada. While at Hillel at the University of Toronto, Julia led a major four-year design-thinking process as part of the Organizational Design Lab of Hillel International, resulting in Hillel at the University of Toronto being one of the top three Hillels in the world for engagement improvement in 2019. Before that, she served as assistant rabbi of Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom and of Congregation Dorshei Emet in Montreal. In both roles, she brought programming to new demographics and created novel approaches to Jewish community. 

Originally from Boston, Julia has also trained in community organizing, diversity and inclusion, and relational engagement throughout her career. She has served on the executive committee of the Toronto Board of Rabbis since 2019. Her writing has been featured in such publications as The Forward, The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, e-Jewish Philanthropy, The Wisdom Daily, and the Canadian Jewish News. 

Julia is thrilled to be a member of Springtide’s Research Advisory Board so she can continue supporting young adults in their spiritual growth, which has always been an important part of her rabbinate. 

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