Faces of Resistance: Women in the Holocaust
Regina Jonas studied at the Higher Institute for Jewish Studies, the academic center of liberal Judaism in Berlin. Though she was not the only woman to study there, she was the only one who sought to be ordained as a Rabbi, an unprecedented goal for the time.
In July 1930, after 12 semesters of study, she passed her exams. She was examined by Dr. Leo Baeck and her Talmud professor, Eduard Baneth, who also supervised her final thesis, regarding whether a woman should be permitted to hold a rabbinical office.
On December 27, 1935, Jonas was awarded semicha (rabbinical ordination) by Rabbi Dr. Dienemann of Offenbach, the head of the Liberal Rabbi’s Association of Germany. In November 1942, Jonas and her mother were sent to Theresienstadt. There, she continued to serve as a spiritual guide to those around her. Two years later, she was sent to Auschwitz where she was killed at age 42.