A Hungarian official said his government is committed to safeguarding religious freedoms, including circumcision and kosher slaughter.
Ferenc Kumin, a government spokesman, delivered the assurances Monday at a news conference by Nir Natan, a representative of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association.
“In the past couple of years there has been a surge of legislation in Europe, mainly bans on circumcision and ritual, kosher slaughter,” Natan said, then asked if it could also happen in Hungary.
“You can quote me when I say that no, for sure not,” Kumin said. “It’s not on the agenda and if it’s put there, we will stop it.”
The meeting was part of the two-day biannual conference of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe this week in Budapest. Hundreds of Orthodox rabbis came to the Hungarian capital as the campaign for general elections on April 6 reached its apex.
“What we are interested in is to make the Jewish renaissance grow bigger and to show to the world that the Jewish community here enjoys nothing but freedom,” said Kumin, who represents the government of Viktor Orban, head of the conservative Fidesz party, which is expected to win with at least 36 percent of the vote.
Orban’s government rejects allegations by critics that it is trying to whitewash Hungary’s Holocaust-era culpability and is too lenient on expressions of anti-Semitism.
“The government has a zero tolerance policy on anti-Semitism,” Kumin said.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the rabbinical centre’s director general, credited the government with “doing a lot for the Jewish community, and not only ahead of elections.” He also lauded the government for its resolve to allow Jewish rituals “that help sustain the incredible vibrancy” of Hungary’s Jewish community.
As Jobbik popularity grows, ruling party sounding ominous notes.
Budapest, Hungary — A lone heckler tried to disrupt him, but Hungarian lawmaker Janos Hargitai was undeterred as he spoke earlier this month at a memorial day gathering in Hungary commemorating the 1848 revolution there.
This is the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust coming to Hungary.
Editor's Note: Click here for a news update on the 70th anniversary of the Hungarian Shoah.
In the Hungarian village of Csenger, by the banks of the river Smoosh, in the pages in a yizkor book, a dead man tells a tale. It is 1938. “Nine o’clock one Shabbos morning, people could be seen gathering together near the big market place,” looking up at the sky. “I was also standing there,” says the witness, “and in the middle of the crowd was a man with black glasses (probably binoculars) who kept passing them around in the crowd, and people kept looking upward … they saw two suns, one near the next.” Some say “the world is coming to an end.” The elders remember this omen in 1914, before the terrible war.
Heavyweight N.Y. firm behind effort to reach out to Jewish community.
Story Includes Video:
Washington — Armed with a powerful New York public relations outfit and a pledge to commemorate the mass deportation of Hungarian Jewry, the Hungarian government is preparing to challenge what it says is an inaccurate image of a country lax in confronting home-grown extremism.
My mother’s favorite story: Two Jews in post-Anschluss Vienna are walking through an anti-Semitic neighborhood. They see that they are being followed by two Nazi thugs. One of the Jews says to his friend, “We’d better make a run for it; there are two of them, and we are all alone.”
Our first annual list of eight best Chanukah videos continues on Day 2 with this 2011 offering from Naomi Less and Glenn Grossman of Brookyn about seeing miracles in the people you love. This video, produced by Andrea Ausztrics features images of social entrepreneurs from the ROI Community around the globe who responded and sent in photos that represent the themes of the song.
ROI (return on investment) Community helped make this video possible.