October 17, 1918 - April 28, 2023
Rabbi Julian Franklyn Feingold, born October 17, 1918, died peacefully on March 28, 2023, at the age of 104. Julian often said he had been lucky in life; indeed, he lived fully and vibrantly until his last month. He died at home with loved ones at his side with compassionate hospice care at the end.
Julian was born in Worcester, Massachusetts to William Feingold and Aida Salit. Following his graduation from Clark University, he attended The Jewish Institute of Religion, which later became the Hebrew Union Seminary, and studied with the venerable Rabbi Stephen Wise. In 1945, he was ordained as a reform Rabbi and his first post was at a small reform synagogue in Cleveland, Mississippi, where he fell in love with Shirley Hyman, a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin. In 1946, Julian and Shirley married, and in 1947 they moved to Los Angeles with their son, Richard, where Julian became the Rabbi of University Synagogue in West Los Angeles. In the ensuing years Julian and Shirley were blessed with three more sons, Kenneth, Bruce, and Stephen. In 1956, under the guidance of the Board and its young Rabbi, University Synagogue built a new campus on Sunset Boulevard, and the congregation grew from sixty-five to nearly seven hundred families. During his tenure, Julian served as President of the Central Board of Rabbis of Los Angeles. In 1956 he led an invocation for President Eisenhower at the Hollywood Bowl, and in 1959 he gave the invocation at a California Democratic fundraiser for the aspiring Senator John F. Kennedy. In 1962 he founded Wagon Trails, which offered summer trips around the United States for teenagers.
In 1963, Julian retired from the rabbinate and with his wife, Shirley, and friends, built and operated convalescent hospitals and assisted living facilities in Southern California for four decades. In addition to raising four sons, Shirley handled the business affairs of the facilities and was integral to their success until her death in 1987. Julian’s charisma and dynamism were the prime movers in the success of the facilities, and he pioneered many innovations for the care of seniors, including the Senior Eye, an art gallery for the residents and their families.
After retiring, Julian moved to Bermuda Dunes, California. In his later years, Julian continued to collect art, attend concerts, and travel the world. Julian is survived by his sons Richard, Mill Valley CA, Kenneth (Moira), Nicasio, CA, Bruce (Madeline), Berkeley, CA, and Stephen, Berkshire, MA; nine grandchildren, Nicole, Katie, Zachary (Arianna), Josh (Jennifer), Aron (Nathan), Gabe (Emily), Josh (Morgan), Jake, and Sarah; six great-grandchildren; and nieces, Beth, Margaret (Rick), Debbie, and Lynn.
A private family service will be conducted at Hillside Cemetery on April 30th. California. Donations in memory of Julian may be made to the The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.
May Julian’s memory be a blessing.