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!
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • 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.