Polish City Marks First Rabbinical Ordination Since World War II
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.
The new clergy graduated from the Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam, Germany, a Reform rabbinic seminary founded in 1999 and named for a 19th-century pioneer of Reform Judaism. Geiger was rabbi at the White Stork synagogue for more than 20 years and was instrumental in founding the Jewish Theological Seminary in Wroclaw, a city that before World War II was in Germany and known as Breslau.
In total, there were approximately 350 people in attendance, including Germany’s foreign minister, the representatives of Poland’s Jewish Community and the three Reform rabbis officiating in Poland, as well as guests from Jewish communities from all over Europe, including Norway, Switzerland, Spain and Romania.
On September 3, Geiger College, the German education minister, the Wroclaw municipality and the city’s Jewish community marked the 75th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland with a memorial concert.
Ceremonies were also held to mark the 160th anniversary of the Breslau Jewish Theological Seminary and the 140th anniversary of the death of Abraham Geiger.
Geiger College, the first rabbinic seminary founded in central Europe after the Holocaust, is a member of the World Union of Progressive Judaism (WUPJ).