Stacy Offner

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Stacy Offner is an openly lesbian American rabbi who accomplished important firsts for women and lesbians in the Jewish Community.[1][2] She was the first openly lesbian rabbi in a traditional congregation, as well as the first openly lesbian rabbi hired by a mainstream Jewish congregation. She would rise through the congregation becoming the first female rabbi in Minnesota as well as the first rabbi elected chaplain of the Minnesota Senate, the first female vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism and the first woman to serve on the [U.S.] national rabbinical pension board.[1][2][3]


She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Kenyon College and earned an M.A. in Hebrew Literature from Hebrew Union College in New York. [4] [5] She also has an honorary degree from Hebrew Union College, where she was ordained in 1984. [6] That year she became the first female rabbi in Minnesota.[7][2][8]

However, she was fired from her job as associate rabbi when she came out as a lesbian in 1987. [1][9] She left with some of her congregants and in 1988 they founded Shir Tikvah, a Reform congregation in Minneapolis where she was the first rabbi. [10][2][11][12] Thus in 1988, she became the first openly lesbian rabbi hired by a mainstream Jewish congregation (Shir Tikvah). [13][14]

In 2008, Stacy Offner became the first female vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism, a position she held for two years.[2][15] She later served as a rabbi at Adath Emanu-El in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. [16] On July 11, 2012, she became the rabbi of Temple Beth Tikvah in Madison, Connecticut. [17]


Her writing has been featured in the journal of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR Journal). [18]

Her papers were acquired by the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest, and they are available at the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives in Andersen Library at the University of Minnesota. [19] [20]


  1. ^ a b c Alpert, R.T., Like Bread on the Seder Plate: Jewish Lesbians and the Transformation of Tradition, Columbia University Press, 1998.
  2. ^ a b c d e Rabbi Offner, Union for Reform Judaism website. Retrieved 2011-11-05.
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  13. ^ Dana Evan Kaplan Contemporary American Judaism: transformation and renewal Columbia University Press, 2009 ISBN 0231137281, p. 255
  14. ^ Our Roots. Shir Tikvah. Retrieved on 2010-11-30.
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