First woman rabbi since Holocaust ordained in Germany

Thursday, November 4, 2010

BERLIN - Alina Treiger, the first woman rabbi in Germany since the Holocaust, was ordained by liberal Jews near Berlin Thursday with the country’s president, Christian Wulff, welcoming her.

Germany’s very first woman rabbi, Regina Jonas, was ordained in 1935. She died Sep 12, 1944 at the Nazis’ Auschwitz death camp. Orthodox Jews reject women in the rabbinate, but some liberal congregations accept them.

The history-making ordination of Treiger, 31, was held along with the ordination of two male rabbis at Charlottenburg Synagogue in Berlin. She is to minister to a liberal Jewish community in the north-western German towns of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst.

Wulff said it was a mark of Judaism’s strong new roots in post-Holocaust Germany that every strand from Orthodox to Liberal was represented.

“I’m very pleased this year is a special anniversary marking 200 years of liberal Judaism in Germany,” he added.

“It has only been in the last two years that rabbis have been ordained again in Germany following the Second World and the Shoah, rabbis who have done their training here in Germany.”

Treiger, who was born in Ukraine and is married to a former fellow-student, trained at Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam, one of two institutions in Germany that offer academic training for rabbis.

She speaks five languages - German, Ukrainian, Russian, Hebrew and English.

This is the third year the college has marked the graduation of students with their ordination. The college’s institute for Jewish Studies is part of the government-run University of Potsdam.

Filed under: Religion

will not be displayed