Non-Orthodox movement leads in Hungary


To the Editor:

In "Savoring ‘goulash Judaism’ in the Hungarian capital," Ruth Ellen Gruber writes, "As neither Reform nor Masorti is recognized by the Hungarian Jewish Federation, both operate outside the umbrella of establishment Jewry." This is tremendously misleading and implies that non-Orthodox Judaism does not exist in Hungary.

Hungary is home to the Neolog movement, which is very much ideologically aligned with the greater Masorti movement and is by far the largest branch of Judaism in Hungary. For example, the largest synagogue in Europe, the Dohany Street Synagogue in Budapest, is a Neolog synagogue, as are the vast majority of synagogues in Budapest and in other cities in Hungary.

Joshua Pines
Maplewood, N.J.

Ruth Ellen Gruber responds: The story clearly states that  most synagogues in Budapest "belong to the Neolog movement — the Hungarian variant of Reform Judaism that is the country’s dominant religious stream. But there are also several traditional Orthodox synagogues, as well three or four now affiliated with Chabad."

It clearly states that the American-style reform and Masorti are small alternative congregations. They are, indeed, not recognized by the federation and operate outside the official mainstream umbrella.


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