One of the most important tasks of any rabbi is to teach. Normally he (or she) will deliver each week during the Shabbat service an explanation and interpretation of the weekly Torah portion – this could include explaining any specific elements of the original Hebrew text, references to various rabbinic commentaries on the relevant passages from the Midrash or where there is debate in the Talmud and other writings, provide an overview over the Jewish traditional understandings (there are always more than one – we have no single dogma!) and also provide a modern perspective so as to make the ancient text still relevant for modern times. Often the rabbi will also provide a Shiur – a seminar more than a lecture, for participation should be encouraged – where one can go more deeply into issues and meanings, or a series of lectures and classes. These are also part of my activities; one can also see some of my written commentaries, written for newspapers, radio stations or websites, on the links. During my time serving Beth Shalom in München I was authorised by the Education Ministry for teaching to Abitur level; In Vienna I currently teach children preparing for Bar- and Bat-Mitzvah, also teenagers and those preparing for conversion to Judaism.
I also consider interreligious meetings and seminars good opportunities for teaching. Having studied Theology at university I am interested in interreligious encounters and debates with both Protestant and Catholic – discussing both the Jewish and the Christian Bible texts but of course from a Jewish viewpoint. I have been involved in such activities in, for example, the Evangelische Akademien in Berlin and Loccum, the Katholische Akademie in Berlin, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Kochel (Bavaria) and in many other communities, schools, churches etc.
For several years I have taught a weekly class 'Bible for Masochists' at the Evangelische Hochschule in Berlin – the students need to learn to read texts critically, to think about context and content, and to think for themselves – something which can lead to headaches for the inexperienced!
I have advised authors, scriptwriters and film makers on Jewish topics (and even played a cameo part in 'Hotel Adlon') and have appeared on some talk-shows ('Biolek' and 'Pfarrer Fliege') as well as commenting on radio.