BookJacketRegina Jonas–a Jewish woman born in Berlin in 1902 who died in Auschwitz in 1944–was the first woman on record to be ordained as a Rabbi.

Although she had been a teacher for decades and served in a quasi-clerical role for Jewish social service organizations, Jonas wasn’t actually ordained until 1935, when all German Jews who had the means to do so had already started to flee from the Nazi Regime.

This fascinating story (well-researched by Elisa Klapheck) had the makings of a terrific documentary film, & award-winning Hungarian filmmaker Diana Groo even had actress Rachel Weisz on hand to give voice to the various letters & sermons Jonas had the foresight to preserve before she was sent to Theresienstadt in 1942.

But alas, Groo decided to go wispy & oblique, making the narrative thread of Jonas’s actual life story almost impossible to discern. What a waste 🙁 (JLH: 3/5)

Click HERE to read our FF2 Haiku. Click HERE to read more about Regina Jonas in the Jewish Woman’s Archive.


Photo Credit: According to filmmaker Diana Groo, this is the only known photograph ever taken of Regina Jonas. As far as I can tell, the exact date is unknown (as well as the name of the photographer who took it), but since it also graces the cover of Elisa Klapheck’s book Fraulein Rabbiner Jonas, there may be more details there…

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