Rachel Isaacs was the first openly lesbian rabbi ordained by the Conservative movement's Jewish Theological Seminary ("JTS"), which occurred in May 2011. She transferred to JTS from the Reform movement's Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in her third year of rabbinical school. Isaacs previously earned her B.A. from Wellesley College in 2005, where she was the Hillel Co-President.  She is now the rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in Waterville, Maine, which is a Conservative synagogue, as well as the Dorothy "Bibby" Levine Alfond Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at Colby College. She's also the director of the Center for Small Town Jewish Life, also at Colby. Isaacs was born in 1983 in New Jersey.
Isaacs was mentored at JTS by Rabbi Carie Carter, who placed the tallit across Isaacs' shoulders at her ordination. Rabbi Carter was a closeted lesbian during her time at JTS, and wrote the originally-anonymous chapter "In Hiding" about lesbian Conservative rabbis in the 2001 book Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation. Rabbi Carter is now openly lesbian, and works at Brooklyn's Park Slope Jewish Center, which Rachel Isaacs interned at.
- Amy Stone (Summer 2011). "Out and Ordained" (PDF). Lilith. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- "JTS Ordains Its First Openly Gay Rabbi – The Sisterhood – Forward.com". Blogs.forward.com. 2011-05-25. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- "Beth Israel Congregation". Beth Israel Congregation, Waterville, ME. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "Jewish Studies at Colby College » Blog Archive » Welcome, Rachel Isaacs and Linda Maizels!". Jewish Studies at Colby College. Colby College. 2011-08-19. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- "Rabbi at Waterville synagogue named one of America's 'Most Inspiring' Jewish clergy". The Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- College, Colby. "Dorothy "Bibby" Levine Alfond Professorship of Jewish Studies Inaugural Lecture and a Celebration of the Center for Small Town Jewish Life, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015". Colby.edu.
- College, Colby. "Center for Small Town Jewish Life". Colby.edu.
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