Virginia Avniel Spatz is a writer, education advocate, and inter-denominational/interfaith activist in Washington, DC. She regularly writes for East of the River magazine, founded the InterFaith And Gender forum, and blogs at A Song Every Day. Her education-related contributions appear at ALEC Was Here: DC and on Education Town Hall.
Spatz participated in Hartford Seminary's "Building Abrahamic Partnerships" program and served for two years as program director for Clergy Beyond Borders. She participates in worship and education across the Jewish community -- including Temple Micah (Reform), Fabrangen havurah (independent), and Kesher Israel's Women's Tefillah and Study (orthodox) -- and directed the non-denominational Jewish Study Center for four years. Her Jewish thought appears on her own blog and on sites such as RJ (Reform Judaism) and Women of the Wall. Jewish print publications include pieces in Living Text: The Journal of The Institute for Contemporary Midrash and All the Women Followed Her: A Collection of Writings on Miriam the Prophet and the Women of Exodus.
Born on Chicago's west side, Spatz has a lifelong interest in community development and grassroots political action. She volunteered in local and national political campaigns and worked for Project LEAP (Legal Elections in All Precincts). Other interests include Deaf culture and American Sign Language (she worked for several years in adult education at Gallaudet University) and dance, particularly for adults (she studied several styles and published the short-lived "Dancing Over the Hill" journal).
She has lived in Washington, DC for close to 25 years with her husband, Cary O'Brien, an electrical engineer and youth sports volunteer. The family homeschooled for years before the students moved on to DCPS high schools and thence to Case Western Reserve and Oregon State.
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