First German female rabbi after 75 years

By Jennifer Lipman, November 4, 2010

A female rabbi has been ordained in Germany for the second time in the country’s history – and the first time since the Holocaust.

Alina Treiger, 31, officially became a rabbi at a ceremony in Berlin today, in the presence of Germany's president, Christian Wulff.

The Ukrainian born former music student will look after a liberal Jewish community in Oldenburg, in western Germany. She follows in the footsteps of Regina Jonas, who became a rabbi in 1935 at the age of 33.

Ms Jonas was ordained, amidst some controversy, as Adolf Hitler consolidated power over Nazi Germany.

Less than a decade later she was deported to Theresienstadt and then killed in Auschwitz.

In the decades after the Holocaust Germany’s Jewish population dwindled, but it has grown again to around 200,000 with the arrival of Jews from the former Soviet Union.

Last updated: 3:45pm, November 4 2010