Spotlight On: Rabbi Julia Margolis
On September 2, in the city’s first rabbinic ordination since before World War II, four rabbis and three cantors were ordained at a ceremony in the White Stork synagogue in Wroclaw, Poland.
Welcome Johannesburg’s Newest Rabbi: Julia Margolis.
At the ordination ceremony, held in the former home of the German Theological Seminary, Julia Margolis of Johannesburg received her Smichah from Potsdam-based Abraham Geiger College, becoming the first woman ordained in Poland. It must be in the genes: Rabbi Margolis’s mother is also an ordained rabbi, Helena Rubinstein, who serves the Progressive community in St. Petersburg. The phenomenon of a mother-daughter team of rabbies is exceedingly rare. Even more extraordinary, Helena Rubinstein was the first Russian-speaking female rabbi to be ordained in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Margolis was presented to Geiger President Rabbi Walter Jacob by her mother and Congregation Bet David’s Rabbi Robert Jacobs, who shared in her training in Johannesburg
Behind Every Great Rabbi is a Great Team of Family, Friends and Spiritual Guides.
Rabbi Margolis will return home to South Africa, where she will embark on what promises to be a significant career as a community and spiritual leader.
The historic event coincided with numerous significant anniversaries including the start of World War II on September 1, 1939: the 140th Yahrzeit of the seminary’s namesake, Abraham Geiger, and the 15th anniversary of the Geiger College, Germany’s first Rabbinic training institution after the Shoah and a member of the WUPJ.
Read the whole of the World Union for Progressive Judaism’s newsletter here: http://wupj.org/Publications/Newsletter.asp?ContentID=877#GOESLIVE