The Herzl Center, an educational center designed to introduce Hungarian Jews to the Zionist movement, was inaugurated in Theodor Herzl’s birthplace, Budapest.
The center was dedicated Sunday night at the city’s Israel Cultural Center. It was established by the World Zionist Organization and The Jewish Agency for Israel, with the assistance of the Herzl Center in Jerusalem.
The Herzl Center in Budapest will concentrate on the history and spiritual heritage of Theodor Herzl, who was born in Budapest in 1860. The new center, equipped with interactive exhibits, will be open to Jewish and non-Jewish school groups, tourists and diplomatic delegations in order to show them the past and present realization of Herzl’s thoughts about anti-Semitism and the importance of Jewish identity.
Natan Sharansky, the head of the Jewish Agency said at Sunday’s inauguration ceremony that “it is very important to focus on the fight against increasing anti-Semitism together with the Europeans and here in Hungary together with the Hungarian government.”
Sharansky expressed support for the Committee on Anti-Semitism, which will research and monitor anti-Semitism in Hungary, and which also will be housed at the Israeli Cultural Center.
Also speaking at the ceremony on Sunday, Avraham Duvdevani, president of the World Zionist Organization, said that “nobody thought that after so many years of Herzl and after the Shoah anti-Semitism would again re-appear in Hungary. Herzl was mistaken thinking that the Jewish state would be the solution against anti-Semitism.”