Written by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
Illustrated by Margeaux Lucas
Ages 5-8, 32pp, 8 3/8 x 10 7/8
This true story of the first woman ever ordained as a rabbi — in Germany in 1935 — will inspire children to pursue their dreams and to persist in the face of challenges. Written by Rabbi Sandy Sasso, the first Reconstructionist woman rabbi in the United States, the book also features an Afterword with historical context about the Nazi Germany setting and about the female ordinations in the various Jewish movements.
Congratulations to the Indiana Authors Awards winners!
"Sasso, a rabbi herself, tells Regina's story with great admiration and compassion. In an afterword readers are told of Regina's deportation to Theresienstadt and then her death at Auschwitz. Lucas' sepia and soft earth tones beautifully capture Regina's strength in her facial expressions and body language as well as the time period and setting. Evocative, inspiring, and uplifting."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Lucas’s bold yet dreamy illustrations reflect the text, as well as the hopes and energy integral to Regina’s personality. ...The book ends with a note asking readers to consider what it feels like to be the very first at something, encouraging them to follow their dreams and persist despite obstacles."
— Jewish Book Council
"Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso’s beautiful and motivating book shows why it is so necessary to tell young Jewish girls and boys the amazing story of the first female rabbi."
— Rabbi Elisa Klapheck, author of Fräulein Rabbiner Jonas. The Story of the First Woman Rabbi (2004)
"This is a touching story about persistence and overcoming challenges to fulfill a lifelong dream, something that Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso has in common with Rabbi Regina Jonas. Both followed their heart, did not give up, despite being told they couldn't, and set the stage for thousands of women to inspire and impact the Jewish community. Thank you Rabbi Eisenberg Sasso for telling the courageous story of Regina Jonas, and by doing so, bringing to light the story of those of us who have persisted."
— Rabba Sara Hurwitz, co-founder and President of Yeshivat Maharat, ordained by Rabbi Avi Weiss and Rabbi Daniel Sperber
"Regina Jonas had a dream, to become a rabbi. Hard work and persistence made that that dream come true. Regina Jonas: The Girl Who Persisted will inspire children everywhere who also dream 'I will be what I will be.'"
— Pamela S. Nadell, author of Women Who Would Be Rabbis: A History of Women’s Ordination, 1889-1985