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To Remember or Not To Remember–That is the Question


February 5, 2015
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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Kehillah Hall, Hillel at Stanford

The Jewish Community Fund Endowment Lecture by Gail Reimer (Founding Director, Jewish Women’s Archive). Co-sponsored by the Taube Center for Jewish Studies, the Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Hillel at Stanford, and the Department of Religious Studies. Free and open to the public.

In 1935, Regina Jonas made history as the first woman ever to be ordained as a rabbi. Jonas, who began working as a rabbi in Berlin, continued to preach, teach and minister after being deported to Theresienstadt. In 1944 she was transported along with her elderly mother to Auschwitz where they were both murdered. Regina Jonas was all but forgotten till the fall of the Berlin wall and remains to this day a surprisingly obscure figure.

This past summer, a special delegation of scholars, lay leaders and rabbis, including the first women ordained by their respective movements (Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative, Orthodox) traveled to Berlin and Terezin to honor Regina Jonas and publically commemorate her communal work as a rabbi both in Berlin and Theresienstadt.  Dr. Reimer, who took part in the delegation, will reflect on the question of what it means to remember and not remember in Jewish collective history.  Her talk will include a 10 minute documentary video based on the summer’s trip.