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Regina Jonas

Photo by Gail Reimer

In the footsteps of Regina Jonas
Blog:
Jewesses with Attitude

Berlin / Prague 2014

Stay tuned to this blog to follow the upcoming historic journey to Berlin, Terezín, and Prague that JWA is co-sponsoring with the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives. Among trip participants, honoring the life and memory of Rabbi Regina Jonas, the first woman rabbi in modern times, will be the four American women rabbis who were the first ordinees of their denominations, historians Dr. Karla Goldman and Dr. Deborah Dash Moore, Dr. Gary Zola, Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives and Dr. Gail Reimer, Founding Director of JWA.

Sara Hurwitz cropped

Connecting Across the Divide

The first of the historic events that marked our trip took place on the second evening at Berlin’s Centrum Judaicum. For the first time, the pioneering American women rabbis who were the first to be ordained by their denominations joined with their counterparts in Europe in a public forum to talk about their journeys to the rabbinate and experiences as rabbis. Or that was the plan.

Topics: Holocaust, Rabbis
Three Rabbis-Regina Jonas Trip

Visiting the Regina Jonas Archive at the Centrum Judaicum

Our trip officially began Tuesday morning with participants sharing key words or phrases that captured the ideas, feelings, or intentions with which they were embarking on the first day. Some focused on Regina Jonas—honoring her, standing on her shoulders. Others spoke more generally about women, noting their interest in the "place of women in different worlds," or "a passion for women." And they came to the day with varied emotions—anticipation, anxiety, optimism, seeking “internal reconciliation” and hoping to “find themselves” here.

Topics: Holocaust, Rabbis
Tallit

The "Lost" Story of Regina Jonas

A major theme of our shared JWA/AJA journey is the recovery of the lost narrative of Regina Jonas. We are here in the company of America’s pioneering women rabbis to bring Fraulein Rabbiner Jonas back into the story we tell of them and those who followed.

Topics: Holocaust, Rabbis
Flag Map of Germany

Confronting Germany

I have never been to Germany before, and this is no accident. My mother, who lost extended family members in the Holocaust, raised me not to buy German products. I do not walk on the site of the Temple in Jerusalem, for it is sacred. I did not go to Germany, because it was the very opposite of sanctity. The sound of the German language made me cringe; it was the sound of the Nazis. But over the decades, I had come to be in relationship with young Germans who were profoundly remorseful about the Holocaust. I was ready to explore a new personal relationship with the German people, and to travel there when the right opportunity presented itself. This trip is that opportunity.

Topics: Holocaust, Rabbis
Rabbi Lucy H.F. Dinner and Rabbi Denise Eger Selfie cropped

A Prayer for Safe Travel

At Temple Beth Or’s Erev Shabbat service last Friday my associate Rabbi Ari Margolis offered a blessing for me as I embark on this journey to honor the memory of Rabbi Regina Jonas. Just a few weeks ago, I offered a prayer for Rabbi Margolis and those from the temple traveling to Israel in hopes of spiritual enlightenment and deepening connection to land and heritage. In contrast, Rabbi Margolis’ prayer Friday night had a more urgent feel to it. In those few weeks between these travelers’ prayers, Israel has gone from a period of relative calm to a country searching for the “Protective Edge.” And this past week Malaysian flight MH17, shot down mid-air by rocket missiles designed for warfare, shattered any illusion that one might cling to that the weapons of terror are just another distant chapter in that story of the world’s horrors.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Berlin / Prague 2014." (Viewed on July 30, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/berlin-prague-2014>.

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