Rabbi Rachel Isaacs
Rabbi Rachel Isaacs made history as the first openly lesbian rabbi admitted and ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Conservative movement’s flagship institution.
Named one of “America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis,” by The Forward in 2014, Isaacs was invited to offer the final Hanukkah benediction of the Obama administration in 2016.
Isaacs serves as the spiritual leader of Beth Israel Congregation in Waterville, Maine and is the inaugural holder of the Dorothy “Bibby” Levine Alfond Chair in Jewish Studies at Colby College. She is also founder and Executive Director of the Center for Small Town Jewish Life at Colby College, a groundbreaking institution committed to supporting small town and rural Jewish communities.
Isaacs was born and raised in central New Jersey and graduated from Wellesley College. She lives in a 150 year old turquoise and lavender house in Waterville, ME with her wife, Melanie, and their daughters, Nitzan and Hadas.
Articles by and about Rabbi Rachel Isaacs' work and achievements.
Rachel Isaacs knew by the age of 13 she wanted to be a rabbi. Awareness of her sexuality came later.
Can Jewish communities outside the mainstream, off the beaten paths of Maine, flourish?
The 2020 recipients join a cohort of 45 others who represent the most innovative leaders in Jewish education.
The Covenant Foundation: $1.6 million in new grants investing in organizations with sweeping potential for the field of Jewish education.
Rabbi Isaacs speaks at the Obama's final Hanukkah Reception at the White House, and speaks about Jewish life in Maine.
The future of American Jewish Life will continue to look more like Waterville than the Upper West Side.
Jews are migrating to urban centres, abandoning smaller towns . One rabbi is on a mission to change that.
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