"May all our work be for the blessing of the future of Israel, and of humanity."
70 years ago, toward the end of 1944, the first woman ever to be ordained rabbi perished in Auschwitz at the age of 42. As a chaplain and educator, she had offered inspiration and solace to many, especially the elderly. Throughout Nazi Germany and in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, she had worked tirelessly to affirm human dignity at the end of life.
|Rabbi Regina Jonas at the Jewish Senior
Home in Rosenberg, Germany (1936)
And for nearly half a century afterward, her legacy was almost entirely forgotten.
Across continents and generations, here was a foremother with whom I shared not only my first name, but also my chaplaincy concerns and rabbinical aspirations. It seemed bashert (Yiddish for "meant to be").
Hanukkah means "Re/Dedication." May we rededicate ourselves through our celebrations to seek justice, pursue peace, and turn toward each other with greater kindness — now, while we're alive and free; now, while we still remember.
for WAYS OF PEACE