by Ariel from Sycamore Jr High, Ohio
"The first women rabbi in the world."
|Regina Jonas - only existing photograph
My hero is Regina Jonas. Regina was an extremely accomplished woman. Regina was born in Berlin, Germany, on August 3rd 1902. Regina’s father died when Regina was young. When Regina grew up, she became a teacher like most women her age, but what she truly wanted was to be a rabbi. She tried to get ordained but, because she was a female, nobody would ordain her.
Finally, on December 27, 1935, Regina was ordained by Rabbi Max Dienemann, who was the head of the Liberal Rabbis' Association. Regina was able to preach in some synagogues because many of the other Rabbis had left Germany because of the Nazis. Regina was soon after forced into a Nazi work factory.
On November 3, 1942, Regina Jonas had to fill out a declaration form for her books. Two days later, all her property was taken "for the benefit of the German Reich." Regina was arrested, on November 6th, by the Gestapo. Regina was then deported to Theresienstadt. Still Regina continued being a Rabbi. She was assigned a job to help Jews by talking to them and helping them cope with shock and disorientation at the train station. Regina worked tirelessly for two years in Theresienstadt. Finally, Regina was deported to Auschwitz. Tragically, Regina was murdered on December 12, 1944, at the age of 42.
Regina Jonas was a hero of all the descriptions in T.A Barron’s book. Regina was a survival hero because she survived current gender barriers and overcame them. Another type of hero, I believe Regina would be, is a hero within because she was determined to be a rabbi and she did everything she could to make it as a rabbi. She made many sacrifices and then became the first women rabbi in history. Regina Jonas qualifies as a hero on the spot because of her “on the spot” job: to comfort Jews after they got off the trains and before they were murdered in Nazi concentration camps. I think Regina remains a hero of all time because she broke gender barriers which would still be holding back Jewish women today. Women are now able to become Rabbis because of what Regina accomplished. Her heroism stands outside the boundaries of time. Women would not be where they are today, or able to reach their goal for tomorrow, without Regina’s contribution.
I hope this paper has helped you learn more important things about Regina Jonas. I think Regina is an extremely important person and hero. She’s not a baseball or basketball player. She didn’t win the Olympics or anything like that. She is a hero because she helped other people then and now. She helped people as they got off the train for the death camps. I think Regina is a hero of all time because she overcame gender barriers.
Jewish Women in Berlin:
- The First Woman Rabbi in the World
- Biography and links from wikipedia
- According to documents uncovered in former East Berlin, Regina Jonas was the first woman ever to be ordained as a rabbi - in 1935. So how come her name has been wiped off the slate of history until recently?
- ‘The one and only woman rabbi’ during dark times
- Article on Regina Jonas