Hungary Jews Unite Amid Furor Over 'List'

Community Becomes Vocal Amid Rising Anti-Semitism

No to Neo-Nazis: A Hungarian boy carries the country’s flag at a rally to denounce the far right Jobbik Party.
getty images
No to Neo-Nazis: A Hungarian boy carries the country’s flag at a rally to denounce the far right Jobbik Party.

By Reuters

Published December 16, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

From an initial crowd of about 3,000, the number of visitors at the festival was around 120,000 this year, filling the cobblestone alleys and courtyards of the city wall to wall.

The biggest of the two wartime ghettos is now a thriving Jewish quarter, a year-round highlight on Budapest’s tourist map with the huge Dohany street synagogue – the model for New York’s Central Synagogue – at its heart.

Around it are more synagogues, museums, businesses, schools and restaurants, and sometimes a mix of those things, such as a Talmud class that is taught regularly at one of the famous Budapest “ruin pubs” - run-down buildings converted into bars.

PROUD OF ROOTS

Rabbi Zoltan Radnoti, the young leader of a small, modern synagogue in southwestern Budapest, said his generation was the first to be confident of its heritage after their traumatised grandparents taught their children to play it down.

“My parents’ generation, the one born immediately after the war, was protected so much they never got to experience their Jewishness,” said Radnoti. “They assimilated almost completely.”

“Now, my children take their Jewishness naturally, they have no doubts about their roots. They are kids who live in Hungary, speak Hungarian and follow the Jewish faith. The vast majority of young Jewish parents can and do choose this tradition.”

Besides religious freedom, the end of Communism in 1989 also brought a freedom of speech and politics that quickly gave birth to openly anti-Semitic political forces.

The Jobbik party, the third biggest in parliament, has used anti-semitic slurs to boost its standing before elections in 2014, drawing international scorn.

The strongest yet greeted last month’s call by Marton Gyongyosi, who runs Jobbik’s foreign policy cabinet, for Jewish members of government and parliament to be listed in the wake of Israel’s recent military campaign to stop rocket fire from Gaza.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.