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  • NEWS ANALYSIS Hungarian Jews watch warily as anti-Semites score at polls

    BUDAPEST, May 25 (JTA) — Hungarians have voted for change — despite the uncertainties it will bring. And nowhere are the uncertainties more acute than within the country”s Jewish community. For Hungary”s approximately 100,000 Jews, far more stunning than the ouster of the Socialist-led ruling coalition in Sunday”s second round of parliamentary elections was the…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD New synagogue boosts identity at popular Jewish summer camp

    SZARVAS, Hungary, Aug. 2 (JTA) — Before coming to the Szarvas Summer Camp, Elina Zhitomirskya, 13, had heard little about synagogues, only that they were places where Jews gathered to pray. Though raised by her Jewish mother, she does not know if there’s a synagogue in her hometown of Bryansk, a city 250 miles southwest…

  • Extremist party in Hungary poised to enter next Parliament

    BUDAPEST, May 18 (JTA) — An electoral showing of 5.55 percent may seem insignificant. But the number has created a buzz in Budapest — among Jews and non-Jews alike. Because that isthe vote that the extreme-right Hungarian Justice and Life Party garnered in the first round of Hungarian elections May 10 — just surpassing the…

  • Extremist party in Hungary poised to enter next Parliament

    BUDAPEST, May 18 (JTA) — An electoral showing of 5.55 percent may seem insignificant. But the number has created a buzz in Budapest — among Jews and non-Jews alike. Because that isthe vote that the extreme-right Hungarian Justice and Life Party garnered in the first round of Hungarian elections May 10 — just surpassing the…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Macedonian president fulfills `obligation’ to country’s Jews

    SKOPJE, Macedonia, Dec. 23 (JTA) — A president. A doctor. And a developer. The non-Jewish trio — which includes Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov — is striving to fulfill the country’s “moral obligation” to commemorate the approximately 7,300 Jews from this small Balkan nation who perished in Treblinka. On March 11, 1943, Bulgarian fascists occupying Macedonia…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Hungarian Jewry overcoming decades of spiritual Holocaust

    BUDAPEST, Dec. 14 (JTA) — Aser Rona is answering the spiritual needs of his community. Hungary’s approximately 80,000 Hungarian Jews are slowly recovering from half a century in which first they endured a “physical” Holocaust, then what some describe as four decades of a Communist-induced “spiritual” Holocaust. With a double-generation gap in religious observance, there…

  • HIGH HOLIDAYS FEATURE Jewish expatriates find a way to celebrate new year in Budapest

    BUDAPEST, Aug. 27 (JTA) — This is not your parent’s Rosh Hashanah meal. That’s on the mind of many American Jews in Budapest as they prepare for holidays spent away from home. Turning to Hungarian Jewry is rarely an option. The community overall is deeply assimilated. If Hungarian Jews celebrate holidays at all, they do…

  • Hungarian compensation plan meets with survivor’s skepticism

    BUDAPEST, Aug. 6 (JTA) — In his 93 years, Marton Hellmann has had plenty of opportunities to hone the art of survival. The misery of Austria”s Mauthausen concentration camp; the loss of his parents and four of five siblings to the gas chambers; the oppression of four decades of communism. And today, the indignity of…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Deaf Holocaust survivors telling how they eluded extermination

    BUDAPEST, Aug. 3 (JTA) — Peter Farago should have died long ago. The Nazis, with their twisted theories on eugenics and euthanasia, had earmarked all handicapped Jews for a speedy death. And Farago, deaf since birth, fit the bill. He arrived at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in the Netherlands in December 1944 as a quiet,…

  • Graduates of JDC program aim to invigorate Hungarian Jews

    BUDAPEST, Hungary, April 20 (JTA) — For 20 years, Katalin Talyigas led a secure existence as a respected Hungarian sociologist. But her life underwent a profound change when she became a “Buncherian.” Four years ago, Talyigas participated in the Buncher Leadership Program, a three-week course in Israel that since 1989 has fortified Jewish communities around…