The University of Potsdam and the Jewish Theological Seminary of the Budapest University of Jewish Studies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on February 28, 2022, to intensify their varied academic relationships. Brandenburg’s Minister of Science, Dr. Manja Schüle, also attended the ceremony in the Hungarian capital. Rabbi and Deputy Director of the School of Jewish Theology at the University of Potsdam, Prof. Dr. Walter Homolka, was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Budapest University of Jewish Studies on this occasion.
In addition to joint research and publication projects, cooperation between the two universities in the area of teaching is to be intensified. The partners plan to establish a joint degree program in Jewish Theology. They also want to increase exchanges on teaching methods. The President of the University of Potsdam, Prof. Oliver Günther, PhD, believes that this strengthening of the Potsdam-Budapest axis sends an important message: “I am very pleased that we will be able to further solidify our ties with Eastern Europe through this cooperation. In light of the current situation, the importance of this can hardly be overestimated,” Günther emphasized. “Academic relations build important bridges in difficult political times, they keep open channels of communication that can make essential contributions to the easing of tensions,” the President of the University continued. “On the other hand, care must of course be taken not to abet violent regimes. This is a difficult balancing act that we must actively address, especially in academia and culture.” Prof. Dr. Florian J. Schweigert, Vice President for International Affairs and Fundraising, added: “Within the framework of our European University Alliance, Hungary is an important partner country. This cooperation adds an important new pillar to the bridges of European academic and cultural networking and cooperation.”
Rabbi Prof. Dr. Walter Homolka, who received an honorary doctorate for his commitment, emphasized the value of cooperation across national borders: “These close ties to Budapest University of Jewish Studies have historic antecedents. We want to use this opportunity to continue to build the future of Jewish life in the European Union.”
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Photo: Prof. Dr. Florian Schweigert, Dr. Manja Schüle, Prof. Dr. Károly Vajda (Rector of Budapest University of Jewish Studies), Prof. Dr. Walter Homolka (from left to right). Photo: private
Media information 01-03-2022 / No. 019