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Regina Jonas: the first female rabbi: Track 1

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Regina Jonas (1902-1944), who is now widely recognised as the world’s first female rabbi, was ordained in Nazi Germany in 1935. However, for many years after her death at Auschwitz, she remained a largely forgotten figure until the discovery of her papers in the early 1990s. This collection explores Jonas’ story, which raises important issues in relation to the role of women in historiography and the connection between processes of remembering, forgetting and identity formation. Stefanie Sinclair, Open University Lecturer in Religious Studies, travels to Berlin to find out more about Jonas’ life and legacy within the Jewish community and speaks to British rabbis Sybil Sheridan and Elli Tikvah Sarah about why Jonas was almost forgotten and what she means to them and to other rabbis in Britain today. This material is taken from the Open University course: A332 Why is religion controversial?

By: The iTunes U team (The Open University,)

  • Duration 35 mins
  • Updated Wednesday 27th February 2013
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Religious Studies
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Track 1: Who was Regina Jonas?

Stefanie Sinclair takes a journey through Berlin, detailing the life of Regina Jonas, the world’s first female rabbi. Stefanie visits the Centrum Judaicum, Regina Jonas’ house, and Abraham Geiger College to examine details of Rabbi Jonas’ life.


© The Open University


Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Who was Regina Jonas?    Stefanie Sinclair takes a journey through Berlin, detailing the life of Regina Jonas, the world’s first female rabbi. Stefanie visits the Centrum Judaicum, Regina Jonas’ house, and Abraham Geiger College to examine details of Rabbi Jonas’ life. Play now Who was Regina Jonas?
2 Regina Jonas' Legacy    Stefanie Sinclair talks to Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah and Rabbi Sybil Sheridan, discussing the significance of the first female rabbi, Regina Jonas, her life and legacy. Play now Regina Jonas' Legacy