Connect with us


German rabbi at center of ongoing scandal plagiarized his dissertation, newspaper finds



BERLIN (JTA) — The prominent German rabbi who was found to have abused his authority at the seminary he ran also appears to have plagiarized a portion of his 1992 dissertation.

That’s according to a new investigation into Rabbi Walter Homolka published this week in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a German newspaper.

More than 60 pages of Homolka’s 240-page dissertation, “From Essence to Existence. Leo Baeck and Religious Identity as a Problem of Continuity and Change in liberal Jewish and Protestant Theology,” consisted of verbatim translation of a German scholarly article – pages 43 to 106, according to the newspaper.

The doctoral dissertation at Kings College London did not include attribution or acknowledgment of the author, the Protestant German theologian Dorothee Schlenke. Only in 1994, when Homolka published his dissertation as a book in English and German, did he explicitly thank Schlenke, now a professor at the University of Education in Freiburg, the newspaper reported.

Kings College London removed public access to the dissertation the day that a reporter asked Homolka’s attorney about allegations of plagiarism, the newspaper reported.

Those allegations were among the long-simmering criticisms of Homolka that burst into public view after a different newspaper, Die Welt, published a blistering report last May about Homolka’s leadership at the Abraham Geiger College, the liberal seminary he founded in 1999, two years after he was ordained in a private ceremony.

Following the report’s revelations of a possible coverup and abuse of power by Homolka, both the University of Potsdam, which houses the seminary, and the Central Council of Jews in Germany initiated investigations. Homolka, who has vigorously contested all accusations, has since stepped back from virtually the Jewish institutions in which he played a formative role.

In its investigation report, released last October, the university said it had not found evidence of criminal actions, thus affirmed Homolka’s position as a professor there.

But the report did confirm abuse of power and noted that accusations of plagiarism, specifically his use of “an unpublished work by the Freiburg professor Dorothee Schlenke (‘Normativity and History,’ 1986),” required further investigation.

University spokesperson Silke Engel confirmed to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the university has asked Kings College London to clarify the status of Homolka’s 1992 dissertation. She added that, while the “abuse of power” report is final, allegations of “scientific misconduct are currently under investigation” and the results will be presented in a second report.

According to the new report, Homolka’s attorneys responded last June to their query about his dissertation, saying that “the unpublished work of Dorothee Schlenke was not the main source for the dissertation at Kings College London, nor does everything about the ‘essence debate’ [a theological thesis] go back to this work.” The lawyers added that “Schlenke’s research was helpful for our client’s dissertation, which is why it is mentioned in both the German and English book editions.”

On Jan. 26, responding to renewed questions, the lawyer confirmed that their client “stands by his previous statements in this regard.”

Neither Kings College nor Dorothee Schlenke have yet replied to queries from JTA.

The Central Council’s final report on allegations of abuse of power is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

The post German rabbi at center of ongoing scandal plagiarized his dissertation, newspaper finds appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.

Continue Reading

Local News

Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary



By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”

Raquel Dancho (left), Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St.Paul, and Nikki Spigelman, President, Gwen Secter Centre

Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)

Continue Reading


Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station



This is a developing story.

(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.

An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.

Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.

The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.

The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to  transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.

Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.

The post Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2017 - 2023 Jewish Post & News