Rabbi Alina Treiger - Reuters - Nov. 4, 2010
Rabbi Alina Treiger after her ordination at the Pestalozzistrasse Synagogue in Berlin on Nov. 4, 2010. Photo by Reuters
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PARIS - Alina Treiger, a 31-year-old Ukrainian immigrant to Germany made history in her adopted country yesterday when she became the first female rabbi to be ordained there since before World War II.

Born in Poltava, Ukraine, Treiger came to Germany in 2000. After five years of study at the Abraham Geiger College Berlin, she was ordained together with two male rabbis in a ceremony at Berlin's Pestalozzistrasse Synagogue, which was attended by German President Christian Wulff and Jewish leaders from around the world.

She will soon take up her new post as a rabbi in Oldenburg in the northwest corner of the country.

Germany's last, and only known, female rabbi was ordained in 1935 but was killed in the Holocaust, having been deported to Theresienstadt in 1942 and later to Auschwitz.

"Her name was Regina Jonas. She grew up in Berlin and studied in Germany and she was forgotten for a long time. She was murdered in Auschwitz," Treiger told the BBC.

"But it's also important to step toward the future and not be blinded by negative historical experience," she said.

Germany's Jewish community now reportedly counts nearly 110,000 members. About 50 of the 110 Jewish congregations do not have a rabbi.