Regina Jonas – The Story of the World’s First Woman Rabbi.
A historical documentary by Diana Groó. A British, Hungarian and German co-production by Katapult Film, Malcah Productions and TIME PRINTS. Inspired by the research of Rabbi Elisa Klapheck. With the support of Joir and Kato Weisz Foundation, London.
Production: Hungary /UK/Germany 2013
Genre: Historical Documentary – Jewish History
Content: A portrait of world’s first woman rabbi, Regina Jonas
Format: 52/66 mins / HD
Director: Diana Groó
Sound: Dániel Böhm
Music: Dániel Kardos
Editor: Ágnes Mógor HSE
Line Producer: Katalin Harrer
Producers: George Weisz, Iván Angelusz, Diana Groó, Gideon Wittenberg
Co-Producers: Michael Truckenbrodt, Nimrod Shanit, Júlia Berkes
Premiere: Uránia Nemzeti Filmszínház / March 2013
There is only one photograph of Regina Jonas, the worlds’ first female rabbi. She lived in 1930s Berlin and her greatest dream was to become a rabbi. However, becoming a rabbi as a woman was not permitted according to Jewish law. Regina chooses a calling which she must struggle to attain within her own religious community during a historical period where one is lucky not to be branded as a Jew.
In 1935, she manages to find a liberal rabbi who will ordain her. She hopes that from now on she will have a place in the synagogues, but this doesn’t happen. It is perhaps fate’s irony that she officially receives her synagogue ordainment when most of her rabbi colleagues are emigrating or being arrested, one after the other. At the age of 37, she met the love of her life, Rabbi Josef Norden. Both of them were deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp. Only their love letters survived the Holocaust.
REGINA – The Story of the World’s First Woman Rabbi. A poetic documentary film about an extraordinary woman’s struggle, devotion, faith and love – a life story reconstructed from one single photograph, in a poetic style of archive footage composition.
Deutschlandradio Kultur: Interview with Diana Groó about the documentary REGINA