In the News

Featured in JDC Voices

At JCC Budapest, Building a Proud and Open Jewish Life

29 June, 2022

Since I was a child, it’s been my life’s mission to cultivate Jewish life in Hungary. 

And in a sense, the story of Jewish Hungary is also my story — over the last three decades, we’ve grown up together, becoming more open, more authentic, and more proud. 

It wasn’t always easy to be openly Jewish here. I was born in Budapest in the 1980s, right before the fall of communism and, like many people my age, I had no knowledge of my Jewish roots. For my parents, and my parents’ parents, their Jewishness was kept quiet. 

All of that changed when I was admitted to the Lauder Javne Community School in Budapest. While there, I got connected to a larger Jewish community, history, and set of traditions. I discovered that I was Jewish, and not only accepted this part of my identity, but openly embraced it. 

Featured in the Jewish Journal

During L.A. Visit, JCC Budapest Director Discusses Community-Building

9 June, 2022

Holocaust memory is critical to Jewish identity, but Marcell Kenesei wants the Hungarian-Jewish people to transcend the traumas of the Shoah. 

The 38-year-old spoke to the Journal about the future of Hungarian Jewry during a three-day visit to Los Angeles, where he attempted to raise support and awareness for the community-building work of the JCC Budapest — Bálint Ház. 

During a wide-ranging conversation at a café in Beverly Hills, the JCC Budapest director highlighted how the JCC in Hungary is fostering a diverse, pluralistic and vibrant Judaism. 

 
 
 
 
Featured in Jewish News Virginia

Your Dollars at Work: JCC Budapest assists refugees

24 March, 2022

The JCC has initiated cooperation between Jewish organizations that are active in Hungary. The goal is to organize and coordinate the efforts of the Jewish community, to make it more efficient, which has resulted in the cooperation of more than 50 organizations to help its Ukrainian Chaverim. This coalition is led by the JCC and includes JDC (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee), MAZSIHISZ (The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities), the Jewish Agency for Israel, and the WJC (World Jewish Congress).

Featured in UJA Federation NEw York

JCC Budapest Support Ukrainian Refugees (Video)

Featured in Jewish Broadcasting Service (JBS)

A Special Look with Shahar Azani: "A Jewish Revival in Hungary" (Featuring Marcell Kenesei) (Video)

Featured in forward.com

For Central Europe’s Jews, Hanukkah is a way of life

December 4, 2020

For some Jews, “from generation to generation” is the most exhausted expression in Jewish life. Pointing to some endless chain of faceless ancestors passing on traditions like lighting the Menorah is stale routine and taken for granted.

Featured in theculturetrip.com

Coming Home: The Revival of Jewish Life in Budapest

December 17, 2019

After decimation during the Holocaust and the curtailment of Jewish practice under Communist rule, today Jewish culture is flourishing in Budapest. Twenty-six-year-old Hungarian teacher Dávid Hollós explores his city’s vibrant Jewish community, while delving deeper into his own Jewish heritage and identity.

Featured in Jewish News Syndicate

Hungarian Jews examine long-lost identity, and a JCC is there to help them

November 16, 2018

Jews in Hungary are discovering their roots for the first time since the end of Communist rule in 1989, and the only Jewish Community Center in the country is helping them get closer to their heritage.

 

Featured in The New York Jewish Week

From Jewish Hungary, A Not-So Halloween Tale

October 30, 2018

With Halloween upon us, everyone loves a good ghost story. A native of Hungary, I’ve learned this about the U.S.

I also learned that for many Jewish visitors to Europe — including some I’ve met in New York City during a visit the last week — ghosts are what they think they’ll find in the communities where their ancestors once lived.

 

Featured in The Times Of Israel

Thousands in Budapest flock to Jewish street fair in sign of community’s revival

11 June, 2018

With Halloween upon us, everyone loves a good ghost story. A native of Hungary, I’ve learned this about the U.S.

I also learned that for many Jewish visitors to Europe — including some I’ve met in New York City during a visit the last week — ghosts are what they think they’ll find in the communities where their ancestors once lived.

 

Featured in European Jewish Congress

Hungary’s ‘missing’ Jews come out of hibernation to take community’s helm

18 May, 2018

As past trauma and current census policy make calculating the number of Hungarian Jews impossible, young leaders engage uncounted Jews like themselves, and welcome them home

Featured in Jewish Federation of San Diego County

Forging Hungary’s Jewish Future

18 May, 2018

My name is Susanna Green. I was born and grew up in Hungary, but I have been living in the United States for decades.

Through JDC and my friends Carol and Ted Levy, I met Zsuzsa Fritz on my last visit to Budapest. She is the director of the Balint Haz JCC in Budapest and educational director of Szarvas, JDC and the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation’s flagship international Jewish summer camp. But mostly, for me, she is the heart and soul of Jewish life in Hungary.