Walter Homolka

Walter Homolka ( born May 21, 1964 in Landau an der Isar ) is a German rabbi and university teachers. He is the founder and first rector of the built in 1999 Abraham Geiger College at Potsdam University and Honorary Professor at the Philosophical Faculty. Since 2005 Chairman of the Leo Baeck Foundation and since 2008 Chairman of the Board of Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich study work for Jewish gifted. Homolka is also Executive Director of the Zacharias Frankel College at Potsdam University for training Conservative rabbis, which was opened on November 17, 2013 in Potsdam with the American Jewish University. He initiated the establishment of the School of Jewish Theology at the University of Potsdam on 19 November 2013. Liberals In Judaism it exerts numerous functions, including Vice- President of the European Union for Progressive Judaism, a board member of the World Union for Progressive Judaism


By his own account he was of Jewish teachings "of a hidden God " fascinated; also he wanted to distance themselves from the " sense monopoly " of his Catholic environment. " My personal choice as a youth for Judaism I do not want to be understood as a value judgment towards other religions ," says Homolka. "It's more the case that the God-man just because hinstellt where God has a task. No more and no less. " He studied after high school the subjects philosophy, theology and Finance with a scholarship from the Study Foundation of the German people and graduated in 1986 " Baccalaureus Theologiae seu divinitatis " ( Ludwig- Maximilians- University of Munich). He continued his studies continued in London at Leo Baeck College. In 1989, he earned a Certificate of Adult Education ( Munich School of Philosophy ). In 1992 he received his PhD at King's College London with a thesis on Rabbi Leo Baeck and German Protestantism. His MA in Jewish studies he acquired in 1993 at St. David 's University College Lampeter, University of Wales. After completion of the tests at the Leo Baeck College, he was ordained as a rabbi in 1997.

After a professional career, among others at Bertelsmann, Greenpeace, the Alfred Herrhausen Society for International Dialogue and the German Bank AG, the Cultural Foundation Walter Homolka was in September 2002 as rector of the Abraham Geiger College, the first rabbinical seminary in Germany since the Holocaust, was appointed. Since 2003, Walter Homolka Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Ursula - Luebbe Foundation and since 2011 member of the board of the company founded by Claudio Abbado in 1986 Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. The former rabbi of the liberal community in Munich and Chief Rabbi of Lower Saxony has taught since May 31, 2007 as an honorary professor of the philosophy department at the University of Potsdam and has held various visiting professorships, for example at New York University, the Catholic Pázmány Péter University in Budapest, the Canon Law Institute Potsdam, the theology program at the Dormition Abbey Jerusalem and the Old Dominion University Norfolk VA. The Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (New York, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Jerusalem) awarded him the "Doctor humanarum Litterarum " for his scientific achievements and his " singular achievement in resurrecting rabbinic education and ordination in Germany after the Shoah " ( President David Ellenson ).

Homolka is a member of the General Rabbinical Conference Germany, " Central Conference of American Rabbis ( CCAR ) ," the " Rabbinic Conference " of " Liberal Judaism UK" and "New York Board of Rabbis ." He is a member of the Executive Board of the Center of Jewish Studies Berlin -Brandenburg and works in the discussion group " Jews and Christians" of the Central Committee of German Catholics and the advisory board of the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. He sits on the board of the " Solomon B. Freehof Institute" for Jewish religious law and the Saltz International Education Center Jerusalem. He is also a board member of the International Orient -Occident Society, Board of Trustees of the NABU and the Eugen Biser Foundation, the Green Helmets eV and the Hirschfeld- Eddy Foundation and a member of the Board of Jewish power plant.

Homolka was a member of the " Jewish Studies Advisory Board, " Princeton University, Moses Mendelssohn and Fellow German Marshall Fund Fellow, also deputy board member of the Berlin Philharmonic, a member of the Hessian Cultural Commission and a member of the Supervisory Board of the Austrian Federal Theatres Holding. From 1997 to 2000 and again from 2004 he was a member of the Governing Body of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. From 1997 to 2000 member of the board of the Union of Progressive Jews in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the "Forum for Intercultural Dialogue eV ".

In protest against the reformulation of the Good Friday prayer for the Jews by Pope Benedict XVI. In 2008, Homolka said from his participation in the 97th German Catholic, as the prayer approve of the mission to the Jews. He explained that God had called the Jews the " light unto the nations ", so be sure no enlightenment by the Catholic Church needed. He also accused the Catholic Church, not to have their " anti-Semitic tendencies " under control. However Homolka remains committed to interfaith dialogue and in 2011 was a board member in the association of the interreligious center of Berlin.

Homolka is Lieutenant Colonel in the Operational Command of the German Armed Forces.

He is a columnist for the Austrian weekly newspaper " The Furrow ", co-editor of the series "From religion and law ," the publisher Frank & Timme, a member of the advisory board of the journal " de processibus matrimonialibus " and a board member of the journal " Fiction ". He is a staff member at the lexicons "Religion Past and Present " ( RGG 4th edition ) and " Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception" ( EBR).

Awards (selection)

Works (selection)

  • Environmental Fund. Investing in the future. Economica, Bonn 1990.
  • By Albert H. Friedlander: From the Flood to paradise. Peace as a key notion of Jewish theology. University Press, Darmstadt 1993.
  • Edited by Jonathan Magonet: The Jewish prayer book. Translated from the Hebrew by Annette Boeckler. Gütersloher Publishing House, 1997.
  • Jonathan Romain: Progressive Judaism - the life and teaching. Knesebeckstraße, Munich 1999.
  • With Kenneth Dyson: Culture First - Promoting standards in the New Media Age. Cassell, London 1996.
  • Gilbert S. Rosenthal: Judaism has many faces - the religious tendencies of the present. Knesebeckstraße, Munich 1999.
  • Edited: Shalom Ben -Chorin. A Life for the dialogue. Gütersloher Publishing House, 1999.
  • Martin Bauschke and Rabeya Müller: Together before God. Prayers of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Gütersloher Publishing House, 2004. 2nd edition, 2006.
  • Leo Baeck: Jewish thinking - Perspectives for today. Herder, Freiburg, 2006.
  • Elias H. Füllenbach OP: Leo Baeck - A sketch of his life. Gütersloher Publishing House, 2006.
  • Edited by: Leo Baeck - Philosophical Approaches and Rabbinical. Frank & Timme, Berlin, 2007.
  • Alexander Deeg and Heinz -Günther Schoettler (ed.): Preaching in Judaism and Christianity - Encounters and Developments. De Gruyter, Berlin, 2008.
  • Dirk Hartwig, Michael J. Marx, Angelika Neuwirth ( eds.): " In the full light of history" - The science of Judaism and the origins of the Koran critical research. Ergon, Würzburg 2008.
  • Erich Zenger ( eds.): " ... that they may know Jesus Christ. " the new Good Friday prayer for the Jews. Herder, Freiburg, 2008.
  • With Hans Küng, A Global Ethic from the Sources of Judaism. Herder, Freiburg, 2008.
  • Elias H. Füllenbach OP: Rabbi Leo Baeck - A picture of life. Jewish miniatures, Volume 75 Edited by Hermann Simon. Hentrich & Hentrich, Berlin, 2008. 2nd edition, 2009.
  • The Jewish marriage law. De Gruyter, Berlin, 2009.
  • Hans Küng: How to Do Good and Avoid Evil - A Global Ethic from the Sources of Judaism. SkyLight Paths Publishers, Woodstock 2009.
  • Edited by Hermann Simon: Jesus of Nazareth in the mirror of Jewish Research. Jewish miniatures band Hentrich & Hentrich 85, Berlin, 2009. 2nd edition, 2010. 3rd edition, 2011.
  • Edited by Tobias Barniske: Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich - From Job to Horkheimer. Collected writings on Judaism and its environment. De Gruyter, Berlin, 2009.
  • Edited: peace in abundance come from heaven - The most beautiful prayers of Judaism. Herder, Freiburg, 2011.
  • Edited by Johannes CS Frank: A life in Germany. Inspiration for future generations. Berlin, 2012.
  • Edited by Heinz -Günther Schöttler Rabbi - Pastor - Priest. Their Roles and Profiles Through the Ages. De Gruyter, Berlin, 2013.
  • Edited by Christian Wiese and Thomas Brechenmacher: Jewish existence in the modern age - Abraham Geiger and the Science of Judaism. De Gruyter, Berlin, 2013.
  • Edited by Hans -Gert Poettering: Theology (s) at the University - Academic challenge in a secular environment. De Gruyter, Berlin, 2013.
  • Andreas Nachama and Hartmut Bomhoff: basic knowledge of Judaism. Herder, Freiburg 2014.
  • Reclaiming Jesus - Jewish Perspectives on the Nazarene Berghahn, New York / Oxford 2014.