Orbán marks Jewish New Year

Jewish communal records go in public ownership in Israeli-Hungarian cooperation

The National Library of Israel and the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives have purchased and will put on display Hungarian Jewish communal records that had been planned to be auctioned off by a private owner, the National Library of Israel said on Monday.

The Israeli and Hungarian public collections jointly acquired the documents after protests by activists and organisations dedicated to the preservation of Jewish heritage.

The seven rare ledgers from the 19th and 20th centuries containing birth, death, marriage and other communal records from six different Jewish communities in what is now Hungary have been removed from auction by a private individual and acquired by the public collections.

The Israeli and Hungarian public collections have committed themselves to digitising the documents and making them available in high resolution online.

Orbán marks Jewish New Year

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has wished a “happy and sweet” new year to Hungary’s Jewish community, the PM’s press chief said on Monday.

“Darkness is replaced by light, rain is followed by sunshine and sweet days will come after bitter ones. We are saying good-bye to a year of many ominous clouds and bitterness, but I trust that the sound of the shofar will mark the beginning of times with more happiness,” Orbán said in his letter marking Rosh Hashanah.

The letter was sent to leaders of Hungary’s Jewish organisations.

Karacsony greets Budapest Jewish community on Jewish New Year

Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony greeted the city’s Jewish community on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, in a Facebook message on Monday.

Though Budapest’s Jewish community is looking back on a difficult period that also involved sacrifices, the year ahead will be one of reconciliation and reassurance, Karacsony said.

“Rosh Hashanah is an inherently peaceful and intimate holiday, with Jewish communities around the world taking this time to look back on the past year and await the arrival of the new year filled with hope,” the mayor wrote.

Karacsony said the coronavirus pandemic had not only challenged people’s relationships but also the solidarity found in communities.

“Now that the success of the fight against the pandemic depends on the decisions people make, the strength of the community becomes more important again,” he said. “These decisions must be made not only for ourselves but also in the interests of our immediate and broader community.”

However, empathy and respect for each other should not be limited to just the time of the pandemic, he said, adding that “this is the only way to a liveable future”.

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