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Rabbi Stacy Offner papers

 Collection
Identifier: umja0012

Scope and Content

This collection includes Rabbi Stacy Offner's personal papers as well as administrative materials from her tenures at both Mount Zion Temple and Shir Tikvah Congregation. The majority of the materials date from 1980 to 2008 and include sermons, religious publications, eulogies, and materials for High Holidays, as well as documents related to associations, committees and public service that Rabbi Offner was involved in, such as the Jewish Women's Caucus and events such as the Holocaust Museum trip. The third series of materials are subject files that Rabbi Offner created, ranging from topics related to Judaism such as gay Jews, Purim music, and Tisha B'av, to more general topics such as alcoholism and Darfur; these files are in alphabetical order by subject. The media materials in the fifth series include VHS tapes, CDs and DVDs, photographs, and 35 mm slides.

Dates

  • 1944-2008
  • Majority of material found within 1980 - 2008

Creator

Use of Materials

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.

Copyright

Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives; please contact the archives for more detailed copyright information.

Historical Note

Stacy K. Offner was born in Long Island, New York. She received her B.A. in Religion from Ohio's Kenyon College, graduating magna cum laude in 1977, going on to pursue her M.A. in Hebrew Literature at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles before eventually finishing in 1982 at Hebrew Union College's New York campus. After receiving her rabbinic ordination in 1984 from the HUC seminary, Offner moved to Minnesota where she accepted the Assistant Rabbi position with Mount Zion Temple in Saint Paul, Minnesota, eventually becoming Associate Rabbi in 1987. In 1988, Rabbi Offner resigned amidst speculation regarding her sexual orientation; in the public downfall of allegations regarding discrimination, a group of congregants spoke out on behalf of Rabbi Offner and subsequently left Mount Zion to form a new reform congregation. In 1988, Rabbi Offner was elected head rabbi of this newest reform synagogue known as Shir Tikvah, located in Minneapolis. During her time with Shir Tikvah, Rabbi Offner was also an active spokesperson regarding women's issues, medical ethics and interfaith relations; she served as an adjunct professor at Hamline University, teaching courses in Jewish ethics, as well as serving on committees for the Minneapolis Children's Hospital and the Reform Pension Board.

Rabbi Offner remained with the Shir Tikvah for nearly two decades, until 2008 when she was offered the role of Vice President to the Union for Reform Judaism, a position she held until 2010. After a time as interim rabbi at Adath Emanu-El in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, she is currently the rabbi at Temple Beth Tikvah in Madison, Connecticut. Rabbi Offner's career thus far has been marked by many milestones including: Minnesota's first female rabbi, the nation's first openly lesbian rabbi, the Minnesota State senate's first Jewish chaplain and the first female vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism. Rabbi Offner now resides in Connecticut with her partner Nancy Abramson.

Extent

11.5 Cubic Feet (10 paige boxes)

Overview

This collection contains personal papers and administrative documents from Rabbi Stacy Offner during her rabbinate career: first, as Associate Rabbi at Mount Zion Temple in St. Paul, Minnesota from 1984 to 1988, continuing to her eventual move to the newly-opened Shir Tikvah Congregation in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she was elected head rabbi and presided for two decades until 2008.

Arrangement

This collection is divided into series:

Series 1: Administrative

Series 2: Shir Tikvah papers

Series 3: Subject Files

Series 4: History

Series 5: Media

Source of acquisition

Donated to the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest by Stacy Offner.

Related Materials

Further information from Rabbi Lerner (formerly of Mount Zion Temple) regarding the matter of Rabbi Offner's resignation from Mount Zion will be available at a future date at the American Jewish Archives. Materials are currently restricted until the passing of both parties, but material will be available at the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati, Ohio at a future date.

Processing Information

This collection was donated to the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest in 2009. At that time the materials were processed by JHSUM staff; it is unclear if they maintained original order of Rabbi Offner's papers. For that reason, structure of series that JHSUM created at that time has been kept in tact.
Title
Rabbi Stacy Offner papers, 1944-2008
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid created by Kate Dietrick
Date
April 2014
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Upper Midwest Jewish Archives Collecting Area

Contact:

612-625-0192