Something is Changing in Budapest

[Those of us of a certain age remember the stories of Diaspora Jewish women visiting Russia and smuggling documents, letters, etc, out hidden in their boots. Today may be the age of Facebook and Twitter messages flying around the world instantaneously, but sometimes it takes time for certain documents to come to life. Here is one example.]

Budapest, 2008

Forgotten KGB agent REB’s testimony from Budapest:

“We have been watching Hungarian Jewry for a long time. They were never a real threat, they were rather passive: even though this is one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe. However it seems that Western influences have infiltrated the Hungarian Jewish community in the past 2 years.

They’ve been organizing something called ‘Limmud’. They go to an abandoned hotel on the outskirts of Budapest and they openly learn about Judaism. In 2010 their main gathering lasted for 3 days and attracted 175 participants (they have been growing since last year when they counted 115 ‘”immudniks” in November alone!). Alarmingly in May 2010, they also held something called a “Day Limmud” in a town called Pécs with an additional 80 participants!

Not only middle aged Jews who we thought were hopelessly unreceptive to the community-experience, but also a lot of youngsters and children, whole families who would bring grandpa and grandma as well! We have seen something unheard of, various Jewish denominations setting aside their usual feuds, cooperating with each other to create an event together.

A great number of presenters arrived to the conference from Hungary such as Gábor Deutsch or Kata Kelemen and from other countries as well, including Israel, France, the Netherlands and the United States of America among them, Ron Soffer, Lisa Alcalay Klug, Vered Glickman and Shaiya Rothberg. Onili, an Israeli band, played while the happy crowd cruised on the River Danube at night. According to our sources they are already organising their next event.

This is very dangerous: something is changing in Budapest!”

This report submitted by Réka Eszter Bodó (REB), Limmud Hungary, Volunteer Coordinator and Children’s Proegramme.
courtesy Limmud International