Point Scholar 2008 – 2009
Rachel was born and raised in Miami, Florida. At sixteen, Rachel left her childhood home to begin her undergraduate studies at Yale University and became President of the Yale Political Union in the Fall of 1989.
For the next decade, she worked on a variety of social justice causes. Rachel's history of activism and youth advocacy has not gone unnoticed. In 1994, Rachel was honored by the San Francisco Examiner and PBS as an “Unsung Hero” for working to break the isolation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth and empowering young people to feel proud of who they are. In 1997 she was honored by Do Something with the national BRICK Award for Community Leadership, in 1998 she became a Next Generation Leadership Fellow of The Rockefeller Foundation and in 2004 she became a Wexner Graduate Fellow. In addition to her social activism, Rachel was also an active member of Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, an LGBT synagogue in San Francisco, serving on its Board of Directors and ritual committee.
Rachel was a rabbinic student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR)/Los Angeles. She received her Masters of Arts in Hebrew letters at the college and was honored with the Lorraine Helman Rubin Memorial Prize for Scholarly Writing, the Women of Reform Judaism Centennial Prize, the Professor Stanley Gevirtz Award for Excellence in Bible, and the Louis and Minnie Raphael Memorial Prize for Outstanding Service to a Small Congregation. Rachel now serves as Assistant Rabbi at Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles.
She lives with her partner, Felicia Park-Rogers, and her sons Benjamin and Eitan.