Even amid rising nationalism and anti-Semitism in Hungry and around Europe in recent years, the annual Judafest Street Festival drew more than 10,000 participants this year, a sign of Jewish vibrancy in the country noted for its deep Jewish roots that date back as far as the 3rd century AD.
Since it began nine years ago, the festival, one of the biggest festivals held in Hungary, has grown by leaps and bounds: ever more participants, 40 dedicated volunteers helping to create and run the event, and 60 partner organizations now involved to ensure its success.
“Thousands of people came to the festival and even the rain couldn’t keep them from participating,” said Peter Berenyi, the Director of the Judafest Festival.
Judafest included an “Ask the Rabbi” booth that provides answers to questions related to Judaism and Jewish customs, a Jewish Museum located inside a van at the festival, a Jewish cinema tent, a variety of quizzes and games, face painting and an inflatable castle for kids, a music stage,walking tours of the Jewish quarter, as well as the highly popular Fun Run, organized by Maccabi Hungary that had around 400 participants.
For those hungry runners, as well as other participants, there was a variety of delicacies available from pita and hummus to strudel, and even a flodni (Hungarian Jewish cake) contest.
Additionally, one of the biggest highlights at Judafest was an exhibit detailing famous German Jews like Einstein, a tent for learning Yiddish, Hebrew and German, as well as other creative activities that were organized through a partnership with the German embassy.
Sponsored by JDC, in partnership with dozens of other local Jewish organizations and the German Embassay, the Judafest Street Festival is generously supported by the Thalheimer Family.