MAHWAH, NJ – The College’s Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Pascack Valley Jewish Coalition will sponsor a screening of the recently released documentary Regina at the Bergen County YJCC, 605 Pascack Road, Township of Washington, on Wednesday, April 15 at 7 p.m. Amy Stone, noted freelance writer and editor, will introduce and lead a discussion of the film. The audience will hear from Regina Jonas in her own words through the voice of actress Rachel Weisz. The event is free and open to the public.
Diana Groós’s poetic documentary tells the story of Regina Jonas (1902-1944), a strong woman who made history by becoming the first properly ordained woman rabbi in the world. The daughter of an Orthodox Jewish peddler, Jonas grew up in Berlin. She studied at the liberal Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums (College for the Scientific Study of Judaism) beginning in 1924 and was ordained in 1935. During the Nazi era and World War II, her sermons and unparalleled dedication brought encouragement to the persecuted German Jews. Jonas was murdered in Auschwitz in 1944. The only surviving photo of Jonas, showing a determined young woman gazing at the camera with self-confidence, serves as a leitmotif for the film.
Amy F. J. Stone is a founder of Lilith, the “frankly feminist” Jewish women’s magazine. Her investigative reporting for Lilith in the 1970s examined the exclusion of women from Jewish institutional and religious roles, policies and customs which have since changed. Inside the Jewish establishment, she has been director of the UJA media center, director of communications for American Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and director of marketing for Women’s American ORT. She has been associate producer with ABC News “20/20,” a writer on Maryland Public Broadcasting’s “Wall Street Week” and a reporter with the Bangkok Post.
The screening and presentation are free and open to the public. For more information or to reserve a seat, please call 201.684.7409. The Pascack Valley Jewish Coalition is committed to furthering and enhancing Jewish life and community connections in Northern New Jersey. Participants include: Temple Beth Or (Township of Washington); Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley (Woodcliff Lake); Congregation B’nai Israel (Emerson); Temple Beth Sholom of Pascack Valley (Park Ridge) and Bergen County YJCC (Township of Washington).