Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Polish City Marks First Rabbinical Ordination Since World War II

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.

Germany’s foreign minister and other dignitaries attended the ceremony Tuesday.

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.

Breslau had prewar Germany’s third-largest Jewish community. The White Stork synagogue, built in the 1820s, is the only one of the city’s synagogues to have survived the Holocaust. Long abandoned, it was rededicated after a full restoration in 2010 and serves the local Jewish community.

The ordination ceremony took place one day after 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 scheduled for Wednesday 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.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.