Miami Beach

Talk will explore history of first female rabbi

Scholar and author Emily Leah Silverman will examine the spiritual resistance and religious vision of the first female rabbi, Regina Jonas, and German philosopher Edith Stein in a talk Wednesday at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU.

Silverman, a humanities lecturer at San Jose State University, is the author of the book Edith Stein and Regina Jonas: Religious Visionaries of the Death Camps.

Silverman’s talk will cover Jonas’ path to becoming the first female rabbi in Jewish history, having received rabbinical ordination in 1935 from the head of the Liberal Rabbis’ Association in Offenbach am Main. She then served as a rabbi in Berlin until 1942, when she was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, where for two years she continued her work.

Stein, meanwhile, became the first woman to receive a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Göttingen. While she was still a cloistered Carmelite nun, she claimed her Jewish identity. In a 1933 letter to Pope PiusXI, she denounced the Nazi regime and asked “as a child of the Jewish people” for the pope to speak out.

Presented by FIU’s Program in the Study of Spirituality, the event is free and open to the public. It will be held at 7p.m. at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, 301 Washington Ave, Miami Beach.

Jacqueline Sato