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November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Budapest’

Budapest Jews Cooking Up Kosher Sandwich for a Guinness Record

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

Organizers of a Jewish festival in Budapest said they will try to set a world record for the tallest kosher sandwich.

Dozens of bread slices will be used to construct the tower on Sunday on Kazinczy Street in the Hungarian capital’s so-called Jewish Quarter during the sixth Judafest cultural street party, organizers said on Facebook. One of the organizers told JTA the plan is to have a 7-foot stack at least.

The Guinness World Records website shows no record for kosher sandwiches, but the tallest non-kosher sandwich was made in 2007 in India and measured 50 feet. It contained 100 pounds of cucumbers, 88 pounds of meat and 330 pounds of butter.

Judafest is expected to attract thousands and is among the largest Jewish events in Hungary. In addition to assembling the sandwich, participants will participate in a cookie-baking contest.

In addition to the culinary activities, visitors to the one-day festival will be invited to watch films about Jewish humor, notably by and featuring Woody Allen. There will also be walks and a rickshaw tour of the Jewish quarter.

The Budapest branch of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee launched Judafest.

Re-Elected WJC President Returning Jews to Eastern Europe

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

On Monday, in Budapest, Hungary, during its 14th plenary assembly, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) re-elected Ronald S. Lauder, heir to the Cosmetics empire Estée Lauder, as its President for another four-year term.

The assembly, comprised of delegates from more than 70 Jewish communities around the world, also elected Chella Safra, 62—wife of Moise Safra, brother of Edmond and Joseph, owners of Banco Safra in Brazil—as WJC Treasurer. The same assembly also elected Baron David René James de Rothschild, 70—chairman of Rothschild Continuation Holdings, parent company for all Rothschild banking companies—as Chairman of the Governing Board.

In 1974, David married the Italian Princess Olimpia Anna Aldobrandini and they currently have four children and live in Normandy.

I wonder if they eat kitnios on Passover.

Billionaire Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor will be the new WJC Policy Council Chairman, and Mervyn Smith from South Africa is Policy Council Co-Chair.

“I see this as the top assignment for the Jewish people and I am excited to serve as President of the World Jewish Congress for another four years,” said Lauder, who had held the position of President since 2007.

What exactly does President Lauder see as the top assignment for the Jewish people? It’s terrifyingly unique, if you’re a student of history.

One of Lauder’s claims to fame is the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, which is dedicated to rebuilding Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe.

You heard right. This philanthropist actually invests a great deal of money in diverting Jews who could start a thriving life in Israel—back to the killing fields of Europe.

In fact, as I noted earlier this week, on Sunday night Lauder complained that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán “did not confront the true nature of the problem: the threat posed by the anti-Semites in general and by the extreme-right Jobbik party in particular,” and therefore, Lauder threatened: “Today, Jews are again wondering whether they will have to leave the country, for similar reasons.”

Lauder’s other claim to fame is his leadership of the movement to introduce term limits in the New York City Council, which were imposed on most NYC elected officials, including the Mayor and City Council, after a citywide referendum in 1993.

It was argued at the time that the term limits would infringe on the democratic rights of a citizen to vote for whomever he or she wishes, and that it also deprived the city of “race memory,” which is crucial if one tries to avoid the foolish mistakes of one’s predecessors.

Lauder spent $4 million on the initial referendum, and then on killing a 1996 council proposal to extend term limits again.

In 1989 Lauder spent a $14 million (in pre-Bloomberg times it was a record) on his NYC mayoral campaign, before losing the Republican nomination to Rudy Giuliani.

Should be interesting to watch whether President Lauder will term-limit himself. His predecessor, Edgar M. Bronfman, ruled from 1979 to 2007.

When he’s not improving democracy in America or restocking the empty streets of Europe with Jews, President Lauder is involved in the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Jewish National Fund, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, and my favorite, the Jewish Theological Seminary.

From 1986 to 1987, Lauder served as U.S. ambassador to Austria.

Ronald Lauder and his wife of 30 years Jo Carole Lauder separated in 2006. According to the Internet, Ronald shares his life now with Israeli-born art dealer Daniella Luxembourg, who is believed to have been the reason behind the split.

I’m pretty sure they eat kitnios.

Hungarian Lawmaker Burns Israeli Flag, Others Call for Jew Screening

Monday, December 17th, 2012

A few weeks ago there was a call in the Hungarian parliament for Jews to be screened to assess whether they are a national security risk.  This past weekend, a member of the Hungarian government burned an Israeli flag during an anti-Israel protest outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

That lawmaker, Lenhardt Balazs, is currently unaffiliated with any party, but he used to be member of the far-right Jobbik (Movement for a Better Hungary) party.  Jobbik opposes any relationship between the Hungarian government and the State of Israel.  The Jobbik party holds 47 seats in the Hungarian Parliament.

In October, members of the Jobbik  party torched an Israeli flag in front of a major synagogue in Budapest. That same month a leader of the Hungarian Jewish community was attacked, and in June, a Hungarian rabbi was accosted on a street in Budapest by a man who told him he “hates all Jews.”

Balazs, 37, left the Jobbik party in November, disgusted because it had become less radical over the two years he had been a member.   After his arrest and questioning following the Israeli flag burning and anti-Israel demonstration on Friday, Balazs was released.

The demonstration had been called to protest Israeli “atrocities” against the Arab Palestinians.  According to several reports, anti-Semitic slogans, such as “filthy Jews,” and “to Auschwitz with all of you!” were shouted during the demonstration.  Approximately 100 people attended the event.

Balazs posted several pictures of himself burning the Israeli flag on his Facebook page, where he wrote that “It is important to destroy the symbols of the enemy.”

Israeli Flag Burned in Front of Budapest Synagogue

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

An Israeli flag was burned in front of a Budapest synagogue on Tuesday by members of an ultrarightist Hungarian party as part of their celebrations of an anti-communist revolution taking part in the country in 1956.

Israel’s ambassador to Hungary Ilan Mor appeared on the opposition’s television program that same day, calling on Hungarians to reject this “unacceptable anti-Israel act”.

Hungary’s foreign ministry condemned the act on Wednesday in a statement, saying “the government of Hungary is committed to fighting all forms of anti-Semitism and racism, and stands firm, employing all means necessary, against the dangerous manifestations of extremism… “

Jewish Leader Assaulted on Street in Budapest

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Police in Budapest have arrested two young men after they allegedly assaulted the leader of a Jewish congregation.

The men, 20 and 21, are suspected of physically and verbally assaulting Andras Kerenyi, the 62-year-old president of the Jewish congregation of the Hungarian capital’s South Pest district, on Oct. 5, the website of the Hungarian police reported.

It said Kerenyi was attacked near Budapest’s Téglagyár square because of his religion and that his injuries did not require medical treatment. The two men are being held as indictments against them are being drawn up, the report said.

Gusztav Zoltai, executive director of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities, told the Hungarian news agency MTI that Kerenyi was kicked in his stomach as the assailants shouted obscenities at him and told him he was going to die.

The police report said that after the attack Kerenyi followed the suspects and at the same time reported the incident to police. A police patrol arrested the men exactly 32 minutes after the attack at a nearby house. The report named the suspects as Mark F. and Tibor P.

In June, Jozsef Schweitzer, a retired Hungarian chief rabbi, was accosted on a Budapest street by a man who told him he “hates all Jews.”

Hungarian Lawyer Seeks Indictment against Nazi Hunter Efraim Zuroff

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

A Hungarian lawyer has urged authorities to charge Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff with making “false statements” against an alleged war criminal.

Attorney Futo Barnabas said Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Israel, should be indicted for leveling false allegations against Laszlo Csatary, whom police arrested last month. Zuroff gave testimonies to Budapest prosecutors that Csatary had organized deportations of Hungarian Jews from Kosice in 1941 and 1944.

Prosecutors dismissed the 1941 charges last week as “unsubstantiated” but are still investigating those pertaining to 1944.

Citing the dismissal, Barnabas told the conservative newspaper Magyar Nemzet that “there are valid grounds to charge Zuroff with deliberately making a false accusation.” The offense, which is meant to discourage libelous complaints, carries a five-year prison sentence, according to Barnabas.

Contacted by JTA, Barnabas said in German that he would only agree to be interviewed in Hungarian.

A spokeswoman for the Budapest prosecutor’s office, Bettina Bagoly, is quoted as telling the Hungarian paper that she was not aware of any pending investigation against Zuroff.

In 1944, Csatary was a police officer in Kassa, now Kosice in Slovakia. He is accused of organizing transports of at least 15,000 Jews to the Ukraine.

Csatary fled to Canada in 1949 after a Czechoslovakian court sentenced him in absentia to death for war crimes. He returned to Budapest 15 years ago, after Ottawa annulled his Canadian citizenship.

Based on Zuroff’s research, The Sun newspaper of London reported on Csatary’s whereabouts in July. Budapest’s chief prosecutor said on July 17 that the research “contains no new evidence.” Csatary was nonetheless placed under house arrest the next day.

Last year, a Budapest court acquitted Zuroff of libel charges. Sandor Kepiro, then a suspected war criminal, sued Zuroff for voicing the suspicions. Kepiro was acquitted last year.

Agnes Keleti: The Foundation Stone Of Gymnastics In Israel

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

“I felt here that I was at home,” remarks Agnes Keleti about her arrival in Israel in 1957. An Israeli emissary had invited this leading Hungarian Jewish female athlete to participate in the fifth Maccabiah Games that year, and that’s when she discovered that Israel was “home.” Soon after arriving she decided to settle in the Jewish state and become an integral part of its life. Riding the high wave of athletic success – Agnes Keleti, the most successful Jewish female athlete in Olympic history with ten Olympic medals – decided to put aside fame and fortune and contribute her talent to her people.

She became a coach of the Israeli national gymnastics team and a physical education teacher at Tel Aviv University and at the Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sport, imparting her enormous knowledge and experience to admiring young gymnasts. She also purchased sporting and gymnastic equipment that had never been used before in Israel.

Born on January 9, 1921 in Budapest, Hungary, Aggie Klein began her gymnastics training when she was four at Budapest’s Jewish club and by the age of sixteen had won the first of her ten national titles. With the German invasion of Hungary in 1944 the talented teen’s training came to an abrupt halt. To survive World War II she bought the papers of a Christian girl and worked as a maid for a pro-Nazi family in a small Hungarian village.

During the battle for Budapest in the winter of 1944–1945, she did morning rounds to collect the bodies of those who had died the previous day and place them in a mass grave. Her mother and sister went into hiding and were saved by the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg. Her father, however, was sent to Auschwitz where, together with the rest of the Klein/Keleti family he was killed.

At the end of the war Agnes Keleti returned to her gymnastics career. Between 1947 and 1955 she was the dominant force on the national scene and was equally impressive in international competitions where she represented Hungary twenty-four times between 1947 and 1956.

At the World University Games of 1949 Agnes Keleti won a silver, a bronze and four gold medals! Three years later, at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games thirty-one year old Agnes won four medals — a gold, a silver and two bronze medals.

If her performance was remarkable in 1952, it was overshadowed by an even more formidable display of talent, determination and ability in the 1954 World Championship. She finished first on the uneven bars and the hand apparatus team, second in the combined team and third on the balance beam. This performance was still not the high point of her career, which came at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956: the thirty-five-year-old Agnes Keleti scored an astounding triumph, winning four gold and two silver medals.

The following year, Agnes came to Israel and a new chapter began in her life. Here she met and married Robert Biro, a fellow Hungarian physical education teacher, and, although by now in her forties, became a happy mother of two sons: Daniel, born in 1963, a university lecturer in finance, and Rafael, born a year later, a fashion designer. Mrs. Keleti Biro’s family joy was shared by her mother and sister who have also settled in Israel.

Recently, Agnes Keleti, dubbed “the most successful female athlete,”
celebrated her 91st birthday at her home in Herzliah where a former student described her as “the foundation stone of gymnastics in Israel.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/jewess-press/impact-women-history/agnes-keleti-the-foundation-stone-of-gymnastics-in-israel/2012/07/22/

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