BUDAPEST (JTA) — Four well-known Jews received Hungarian state awards.
The awards were presented this week during ceremonies commemorating the 1848 Hungarian Revolution and subsequent war of independence against Habsburg rule.
Istvan Gabor Benedek, founder and editor in chief of Remeny (Hope), an authoritative Jewish political and cultural journal, received the Golden Pen Award of the National Coalition of Hungarian Journalists.
Rabbi Arthur Schneier of New York’s Park East Synagogue and the leader of the Appeal of Conscience foundation dedicated to human rights and religious tolerance, received the highest Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic awarded to any foreign resident.
Tamas Ungvari, author, translator, critic and teacher, received the Szechenyi Award from President Laszlo Solyom at the recommendation of Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai in recognition of a lifetime of achievements.
Laszlo Herczog, chairman of the Hungarian Orthodox Jewish Community, received the Hungarian Knight’s Cross of Merit/Civilian Category.
Some 20,000 Jewish-Hungarian officers and soldiers participated in the 1848-49 war. Their widely acknowledged bravery in battle was a contributing factor in the subsequent emancipation of Hungarian Jewry.