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First Jewish Day School to Open in Budapest in Fall

February 9, 1990
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The first Jewish day school in Hungary since World War II will be opened in Budapest in September by the America Endowment Fund for Hungarian Jewry, a group of private investors in United States and Canada.

Albert Reichmann of Toronto, chairman of the fund, signed agreements with the Hungarian Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the Finance Ministry on Jan. 22 and 23 to permit the establishment of the school and lay out the financial arrangements.

Reichmann is a real estate magnate whose family, originally from Hungary, owns Olympia & York, one of the largest real estate firms in North America.

The school will be the first religious school of any kind in Hungary since World War II, said David Moskovits, a Brooklyn businessman, who is spokesman for the fund.

He explained that the Hungarian Jewish community is not without Jewish or religious instruction, but what has existed has been minimal or not formalized.

The day school, a joint venture of the America Endowment Fund and the Hungarian Jewish community, will continue operating the kindergarten and afternoon Talmud Torah supported by the fund, but will phase out the Anna Frank high school, Moskovits said.

Moskovits expects an enrollment of 300 to 400 students at the school at 44 Wesselenyi Street, which is adjacent to the Kazynci Synagogue and Budapest’s kosher Hanna restaurant.

Hebrew, a language scarcely heard in Central Europe, will be the school’s spoken language, Moskovits said. Classes will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jewish teachers from Budapest have been sent to observe teaching at yeshivas and day schools in the United States and Canada run by various trends in both the Orthodox and Conservative movements.

The teachers’ visits were assisted by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

The Endowment Fund is also seeking outstanding teachers worldwide who would commit themselves to three years’ teaching in Budapest.

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