The Zacharias Frankel College celebrates its Second Rabbinical Ordination

25th of October 2020 / 7th of Cheshvan 5781

The Zacharias Frankel College is proud to announce the ordination of our next two rabbis, Netanel Olhoeft and Joshua Weiner, who will serve the Jewish communities in Germany. Please join us online for the ceremony and celebration of this momentous occasion on 25th of October 2020 / 7th of Cheshvan 5781 at 6:00 PM (EST). Especially in light of COVID restrictions, your online presence and support will be dearly appreciated.


Josh Weiner (Picture Credit: private)

Netanel Olhoeft (Picture Credit: private)

Josh Weiner (35) is a rabbinical student, social worker, tour guide and Jewish educator. He grew up between London and Jerusalem, and eventually moved to Berlin with his wife, Noémi, and son Amitaï. After working at the Masorti kindergarten, he discovered and enrolled at the Zacharias Frankel College, and completed his academic degrees at Potsdam University and yeshiva studies in Jerusalem. He speaks English, Hebrew, German and French. 

Josh works on a number of educational initiatives in Berlin alongside his studies. He helps coordinate educational activities at the Fraenkelufer Synagogue in Berlin, visits schools and mosques as part of the Meet2Respect initiative, does one-on-one teaching and guidance with young Jews in the city, teaching at the Kreuzberg Kollel and at the home-based empowerment project "Berlin Tisch", among others. 

Josh is passionate about text study, and finding a way to translate the ancient wisdom into a language that is relevant for complex twenty-first century Jews. He also enjoys cooking and hosting meals, and learning from a large variety of teachers on a range of topics. His MA thesis was entitled A Phenomenology of 'Kavannah' in Maimonides' Laws of Prayer.

Netanel Olhoeft (26), soon to be ordained rabbi, is continuing on in his studies for a Ph.D. and planning a doctoral dissertation on a halakhic topic at the University of Potsdam. He is also working as a research assistant and lecturer at the School of Jewish Theology at the University of Potsdam, and as a journalist and translator for Hebrew and German. Born in Berlin, Netanel found his way to the Zacharias Frankel College after studying Talmud at a yeshiva in Bnei Brak, Israel, and philosophy at Berlin’s Humboldt University. His MA thesis in Jewish Theology was entitled Brit Damessek and Chazal – Similarities and Differences between Qumranic and Rabbinic Scriptural Interpretations.


Netanel sees Judaism as going through a process of creative change in our time. The ever-lasting contradictions between tradition and modernity, between Halakhah and individuality, and between revelation and epistemological progress make it difficult for many Jews to discover a modern, intense and profound form of Judaism for themselves. Through his involvement in the German Jewish community as a tutor for Hebrew and Aramaic as well as for Biblical and Talmudic literature, Netanel wants to help all people he meets to re-encounter the beauty of the Torah and to be able to integrate it in their lives in an individualized way.


For more information, please email Dr. Sandra Anusiewicz-Baer at