During Rosh HaShanah of 2014/5775, I explored the questions of gender and gender identity - particularly as they come up in the Creation story. I return to some of those questions now, as we turn our attention on this Shabbat to the remarkable legacy of the little-known Rabbi Regina Jonas.
Rabbi Jonas holds the distinction of being the first known woman rabbi in all of Jewish history! And no one outside of Germany really even knew about her until after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening of the East German archives.
In our American Reform context, we rightly recognize Rabbi Sally Priesand as the pathbreaker who broke the 'stained glass ceiling' for American Jewish women clergy.
But thanks to the incredible work of the Jewish Women's Archive (JWA) in Boston, and a number of other important organizations, Rabbi Jonas is now being recognized for the unique work and legacy of her service in Germany - during the Holocaust.
Join us tonite at SSTTE at 8 PM to learn more about Rabbi Jonas' story, or read about it here.
You can read about the Jonas remembrance gathering organized by the JWA and the American Jewish Archives that was held recently in Germany.
And check out the trailer below for one of several recent documentaries that have been made about Rabbi Jonas and her legacy.
May her memory live on to be for a blessing, as we honor all of the trailblazers who worked to bring egalitarianism and gender-sensitivity in to the center of American Jewish life today.