Diverse Programming for a Diverse Community

The JCC Budapest — Bálint Ház serves a diverse range of needs and interests. With more than 3,500 monthly visitors and 120 in-house programs, we are the beating heart of Budapest’s Jewish community. But we are also an entry-point for Hungarian Jews who want to learn about their Jewish heritage after decades of fear and secrecy.

At JCC Budapest, we celebrate Judaism openly and without shame. 

Given Hungary’s political situation, the JCC is more important than ever.  We are a gathering place for Jews who seek companionship and a place to converse, learn, and celebrate Judaism. No matter what, we are committed to a strong Jewish future in the heart of Europe. 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR PROGRAMS

FAMILY, CHILDREN, YOUTH

Adventure House​

Adventure House

is a family activity that takes place before each major Jewish holiday. Parents and children (ages 4 to 9) celebrate and learn about the traditions of the upcoming holiday. 

Rockin'

is a weekly singing-and-instrumental program for toddlers, preschool children, and their parents. This trademarked program is led by qualified professionals. 

Afternoon School​

Afternoon School

is based upon  American-style Hebrew schools.  This program, sponsored by the Ellen and Ronald Block Family Foundation, introduces children to Judaism. Transportation and homework help is provided, if needed.

Cycle of the Jewish Year

Cycles of the Jewish Year

is a monthly program that teaches elementary school students about upcoming Jewish holidays. Each month, students from the Scheiber Sándor School and Lauder Javne Schools gather for a three-hour program that deepens their knowledge of Jewish celebration and traditions.  

Experience It!​

Experience It!

brings non-Jewish children to a model Jewish home that is designed to immerse them in Jewish traditions, symbols, and objects. During their visit, they prepare a “challah” for Shabbat, learn how to write their name in Hebrew,  read Jewish literature, and engage with Jewish ritual objects. 

Sachar

is a six-month program that teaches high school students from the Lauder Javne school how to become successful community leaders In addition to formal Jewish studies, students acquire leadership skills, and can hopefully pass this knowledge on to younger students. This program is led in partnership with the Lauder Javne School.

All Heart​

All Heart

is a weekly program that teaches Israeli dance to Hungarians with disabilities. The program was created to help this population overcome the emotional, physical, and social barriers that often make it difficult for them to find positive social interactions, personal growth, and fun. Also included is an arts-and-crafts option.

ADULT EDUCATION & TRADITION

Young Adult Program​

Young Adult Program (YAPN)

is a career development program that links leading professionals with university students in the first stages of their careers. By engaging these Jewish students in a way that addresses their current needs and interests, YAPN encourages both professional success and a sense of community.  

Jewish Education Lectures​

Jewish Education Lectures

are designed to fill the gaps of Jewish knowledge that Hungarian Jews were deprived of during communist rule. These programs are targeted towards adults who want to bring Judaism into their homes —  often for the first time — or who want to keep up with what their children are learning in Jewish day schools, camps, and youth programs. Participants learn about Jewish holidays and traditions,  as well as attend panel discussions and lectures.

Let's Get To Know Our Traditions!

is an online program that brings together rabbis and laypeople with extensive Jewish knowledge to teach community members about the history and traditions of upcoming Jewish holidays.

Tikkun Leil Shavuot

is a learning and outreach event that gathers the JCC community for a night of study, discussion, cultural programming, and culinary workshops.  This program provides the  JCC community with an enjoyable, enriching study experience, while also building a vibrant Jewish community in the process. 

Community Choir​

Community Choir

is an amateur singing group for adults.   Group members sing classical and contemporary Israeli music, Jewish liturgical songs, and more.  Community Choir has performed multiple times at various synagogues, Jewish institutions, and both  Jewish and non-Jewish events.

Hora Dance House

happens every Monday. Enthusiastic Hora fans meet to dance their hearts out and have a wonderful time with traditional Israeli folk dancing and not-so-traditional dancing as well! 

International Shabbat Dinner with Rabbi Paley

occurs twice a month at the JCC. Rabbi Michael Paley, a scholar of Jewish philosophy, Torah, and spirituality, leads discussions that enlighten and engage community members, study abroad students, and visitors to Budapest. The dinner involves a traditional Shabbat celebration with learning, singing, and conversation. 

SENIOR PROGRAMS

Shalom Club For Holocaust Survivors

provides a wide range of programs for its 200 members — the seniors and Holocaust survivors of the community. Members play cards, sing, take painting classes, or simply socialize. Our most enthusiastic and grateful members are the Shalom Club seniors. 

Just to mention a few of their regular programs:

Beyond the JCC Walls

The JCC Budapest also sponsors large-scale cultural events that seek to engage the larger Budapest community.

Judafest Street Festival

is the JCC’s signature event and Budapest’s largest Jewish festival. The event includes a full day of activities with over 12,000 participants of all ages With culinary demonstrations, musical performances, and a crafts market, Judafest revives the character and ambiance of Budapest’s old Jewish quarter. More than 25 local Jewish organizations participate in the festivities.

To watch the video of our latest festival click here

Jewish Film Festival - ZSIFI

happens every winter.  This JCC-organized event attracts over 4,500 people to the largest showcase of Jewish films in all of Hungary. ZSIFI screens international, Israeli, and local films, and hosts a series of related programs, including panel discussions and talkbacks with producers and directors.

 

Watch the recap of one of our past Film Festival here.

 

Please note that the programming and numbers mentioned above are from prior to the pandemic (up to March 2020). For current updates please visit the “COVID-19 Response” menu.

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