Regina Jonas

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Collection

Remembering Rabbi Regina Jonas

by Rabbi Sally J. Priesand

I decided I wanted to be a rabbi when I was sixteen years old. At that time, I had never heard of Regina Jonas. I was well into my rabbinic training before one of my professors mentioned her to me. He knew her personally, having attended the same academic institution in Germany. I discovered, however, that very little had been written about her and that basically her story had been lost, as was the case for so many other women in the Jewish community whose stories were hidden away.

Connecting Across the Divide

by Gail Reimer

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.

Before the Plane Trip, A Personal Journey

by Judith Kates

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.”

Short Film: In the Footsteps of Regina Jonas

Who was the first woman rabbi and why don’t we know about her? Watch the documentary short film about the journey of women rabbis to discover their foremother, 70 years after her death.

Regina Jonas / Alina Treiger

German Rabbis

Leading the German-Jewish Community

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 27, 2015

JWA features many stories of the Holocaust era, those who were lost, those who survived, and those who aided people in peril. 

Rabbis in the United States

Since 1972, when Sally Priesand became the first woman in the world ordained by a rabbinical seminary, hundreds of women have become rabbis in the Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative movements. In recent years, womenhave also entered the Orthodox rabbinate, using a variety of titles, including rabbi.

Regina Jonas

Regina Jonas longed to become a rabbi for most of her life, and despite significant obstacles, was ordained in 1935. As the first ordained female rabbi, she worked in Berlin until her deportation to Theresienstadt, where she continued to preach, teach, and inspire her fellow inmates until her final deportation to Auschwitz.

Jewish Feminism in Post-Holocaust Germany

Jewish feminism in Germany today is an expression of a wide-reaching renewal of Judaism occurring in many European countries since the early 1990s. German Jewish feminists built on the historical tradition of the Jewish women’s movement in pre-Holocaust Germany and has since taken many paths.

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