Herzl Center launches in Budapest


BUDAPEST, Hungary (JTA) — An educational center named for Theodor Herzl, considered the founder of modern Zionism,  was inaugurated in his native Budapest.

The Herzl Center, which was dedicated Sunday night at the city’s Israel Cultural Center, is designed to introduce Hungarian Jews to the Zionist movement. It was established by the World Zionist Organization and The Jewish Agency for Israel with the assistance of the Herzl Center in Jerusalem.

The Budapest center will concentrate on the history and spiritual heritage of Herzl, who was born in 1860. Through interactive exhibits, the center will show visitors the past and present realization of Herzl’s thoughts about anti-Semitism and the importance of Jewish identity.

Natan Sharansky, the head of the Jewish Agency, said at the inauguration ceremony that “it is very important to focus on the fight against increasing anti-Semitism together with the Europeans and here in Hungary together with the Hungarian government.”

Sharansky expressed support for the Committee on Anti-Semitism, which will research and monitor anti-Semitism in Hungary from the Israeli Cultural Center.

Also at the ceremony, Avraham Duvdevani, president of the World Zionist Organization, said that “nobody thought that after so many years of Herzl and after the Shoah, anti-Semitism would again reappear in Hungary. Herzl was mistaken thinking that the Jewish state would be the solution against anti-Semitism.”

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