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Rabbis

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.

"We Who Are Her Successors": Honoring Rabbi Regina Jonas

Our knowledge about Rabbi Regina Jonas has been limited. I had heard that she was ordained in Berlin, her thesis was on whether women could be rabbis, and that she had died during the Holocaust. I was intrigued, but there was not much more information to fill in the blank spaces. This trip has opened up a wealth of material about her life, her vision and her contributions.

Before the Plane Trip, A Personal Journey

For many years, I resisted going to Germany or Eastern Europe, but when I learned about this trip to Berlin and Prague, I spoke without thinking: “I’d really like to go on that journey.”

Reflecting now on that immediate response (and the fact that I didn’t have second thoughts afterward), I’ve learned a few things about what has changed and what has crystallized for me, individually and, I think, as a member of my generation.

Sandy Sasso

Sandy Eisenberg Sasso was the first woman rabbi ordained by the Reconstructionist movement, which was one of many firsts in her career.

Angela Buchdahl named one of America’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis

April 16, 2011

"Once people enter my synagogue and hear me chant, the fact that I am Korean begins to melt away.” Rabbi Angela Buchdahl

Bonnie Koppell

One of the first women rabbis ordained, Bonnie Koppell became the first woman rabbi to serve as a US military chaplain.

Sally J. Preisand

Sally J. Priesand broke new ground as the first women rabbi ordained in America.

Sharon Kleinbaum

Sharon Kleinbaum’s longtime leadership of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah and her outspoken activism have made her a powerful voice for GLBTQ rights and human rights in America and around the world.

Lynn Gottlieb

One of the first ten women rabbis, Lynn Gottlieb became a voice for peace between Jews and Muslims.

Maralee Gordon

Rabbi Maralee Gordon helped found the Chutzpah Collective, a radical Jewish political collective that utilized the inclusion of women in religious rituals as a jumping-off point for making all Jews feel welcome in the Jewish community regardless of disability or sexual orientation.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rabbis." (Viewed on July 22, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/rabbis>.

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