School of Jewish Theology

“Jewish Theology is an attempt to think through consistently the implications of the Jewish religion.”
(Rabbi Louis Jacobs)

Since 2013, Jewish Theology is available as a field of study at a European institution of higher learning.  Thus, almost two hundred years after German-Jewish scholar Abraham Geiger made his public plea for equal recognition, Jewish theology is finally on an academic par with Christian theology – as well as with the new Islamic studies centers being established in Germany. For the first time ever, a state-funded university allows its students to study the Jewish religion at the academic level.

The School of Jewish Theology at the University of Potsdam comprises six professorial chairs, whose teaching and research are entirely dedicated to the rich and multi-faceted history of Judaism over more than three millennia, from ancient times to the present.

The Jewish Theology curriculum comprises the following core subjects

  • History and Philosophy of the Jewish Religion
  • The Hebrew Bible and its Exegesis
  • The Talmud and Rabbinical Literature
  • Jewish Religious Law (Halakha)
  • Jewish Liturgy and Religious Practice
  • Hebrew and Aramaic Philology
  • Biblical Archaeology

Bachelor of Arts / Master of Arts in Jewish Theology

The BA/MA degree program in Jewish Theology – the only one of its kind in Europe – is open to all interested applicants regardless of their religious affiliation. The scope of material covered by the degree program is extensive: from the Hebrew Bible and the great theological works of the Middle Ages to the thinkers and intellectual debates of modern times.

Thus, the BA Program in Jewish Theology not only gives students a basic intellectual grounding in Judaism, but also provides them with critical academic expertise as well as valuable insights into Jewish religious practice. The program places particular emphasis on acquiring solid proficiency in the Hebrew and Aramaic languages, so that students can work directly with the source texts as soon as possible.  Other focal points of study are Biblical Archaeology and Judaism’s relations with other religions.

The MA Program in Jewish Theology, meanwhile, enables students to embark on a deeper exploration of biblical, rabbinical, constructive and applied Jewish theology.

The chairs at the School of Jewish Theology at the University of Potsdam

Chair for Talmud and Rabbinics
  • Professor Admiel Kosman, PhD
  • Dr. Ronen Pinkas
  • Dr. Uri Ganani
  • Yemima Hadad, M.A.
Chair for Jewish Religious and Intellectual History
  • Professor Jonathan Schorsch, PhD
  • Markus Krah, PhD
  • Netanel Olhoeft, M.A.
  • Anna Zinserling, M.A.
  • Heinz Jantzen, M.A.
Chair for Jewish Religion and Philosophy
  • Professor Dr. Daniel Krochmalnik (Executive Director)
  • Dr. Rainer Wenzel
  • Dr. Helga Völkening
  • Rabbi Eljezer Reich, M.A.
  • Juliane Güler, M.A.
  • Anna Zinserling, M.A.
  • Kerstin Fischer
Chair for Modern Jewish Philosophy, focus on Denominations and Inter-Religious Dialogue
  • Rabbi Professor Walter Homolka, PhD PhD DHL
  • Tobias Barniske, M.A.
  • Martin Kujawa, M.A.
  • Hartmut Bomhoff, M.A.
  • Susann Guron, M.A.
Chair for Jewish Bible and its Exegesis
  • Professor Idan Dershowitz, PhD
  • Benno Jacob Visiting Professor: Professor Dr. Rüdiger Liwak
  • Daniel Vorpahl M.A.
Chair for the History of Jewish Music

at the University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar and at the Abraham Geiger College

  • Professor Dr. Jascha Nemtsov
Lectorship Hebrew/Aramaic
  • Ulrike Hirschfelder M.A.
Jewish Liturgy
  • Rabbi Małgorzata Kordowicz, M.A.
Jewish Religious Law (Halakhah)
  • Rabbi Harvey Meirovitch, PhD
  • Rabbi Joel Rembaum, PhD
Biblical Archaeology
  • Bettina Schwarz, M.A. DHL
  • Professor Dr. Rüdiger Liwak
  • Sophia Charlotte Gal, M.A.
Jewish Education
  • Dr. Sandra Anusiewicz-Baer