About Mazsihisz

2008. Július 29. / 13:12

About Mazsihisz

About us

MAZSIHISZ, one of the four historic denominations in Hungary, is the general representative of the Jewish community in Hungary. Its main body is the General Assembly, whose 121 members are representatives of the synagogues in Hungary and the rabbis. Every four years they elect the president, the managing director and the board of directors.

According to various estimates, there are more than 120,000 Jews living in Hungary today, most of them in Budapest. The Federation includes about forty synagogues, some twenty of which have regular services in the capital. In the countryside, too, there is an increasingly active Jewish religious and cultural life. In addition to maintaining religious traditions, the main tasks of the Mazsihisz include social assistance and the strengthening and expansion of traditional Jewish education.

The Mazsihisz represents Holocaust survivors in various reparations cases in Hungary and abroad. In this respect, it has already achieved considerable success in the negotiations.

After the regime change in 1989, a new chapter in the life of Hungarian Jewry began. The removal of the restrictions previously imposed by the atheist state made the free practice of religion possible again. The renewed synagogue life created increasingly vibrant community ties: adherence to religious rules, their joint study and teaching, the strengthening of the moral foundations of Judaism and social care based on the commandments of the Torah came to the fore again.

Mazsihisz has excellent relations with national and international Jewish organizations: it is a member of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), the European Jewish Congress (EJC), the European Council of Jewish Communities (ECJC), and an important partner of the State of Israel, as well as the Claims Conference, the Joint, the Jewish Agency (Sochnut), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Zionist movement.

Today, Mazsihisz plays a central coordinating and exclusive institutional role in the colorful, multifaceted landscape of Jewish culture and public life. We consider it our task to bring the possibility of spiritual enrichment through the practice of the Jewish religion within the reach of Hungarian Jews, while at the same time acting as a bridge for the majority Hungarian society, conveying the values of our faith and culture.

In the framework of our social work, we deliver 600 lunches a day to the needy and distribute 2500 food parcels a year. The social network maintained by Mazsihisz makes the daily lives of 3000 people more comfortable. In our hospital and social homes, we care for nearly 1000 patients a year. In our institutions of Jewish identity, our kindergartens, schools and a university, more than 700 children and students are preparing for their future. 

The Federation is also actively involved in the organization of Jewish cultural life. We are proud of our European art events renowned all over Europe, our hugely popular Jewish Cultural Festival, our prestigious exhibitions and our thematic events that provide a lasting experience.

Hungarian Jewish culture and tradition is particularly rich, vibrant and interesting. The roots of Hungarian Jewry date back to the period before the founding of the state of St. Stephen, and after the adversities of the Middle Ages, the spectacular changes came in the 19th century, when emancipated Jewry was given the opportunity to develop its skills and talents. They gave the country of their birth notable scientists, doctors, thinkers, writers, artists and individuals who built the economy and contributed to the prosperity of the country in many different walks of life. 

At the darkest point of our common history, during the Holocaust, over 600,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered. The wounds are difficult to heal, but there is hope that the Jewish revival of the past decades will provide a lasting foundation for a renaissance of Jewish life in Hungary.

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