Two new synagogues open in Budapest

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Two new synagogues open in Budapest

One is situated in the bustling centre of Budapest, while the other is a 50-seat synagogue in an apartment building.


Jewish communities in Hungary opened two new synagogues as part of the annual Jewish Cultural Festival in this capital city.

One is situated in the bustling centre of Budapest, while the other is a 50-seat synagogue in an apartment building.

The latter — the Vorosmarty Street Synagogue — is owned by MAOIH, an umbrella group of Orthodox congregations. But MAOIH has neither the congregants nor funds to renovate and operate the place, so it will be run by EMIH, a larger umbrella organisation affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. EMIH has about 20 synagogues along with some 30 emissaries.

“It’s better that the synagogue lives than to have it remain disused as it has been for decades,” Robert Deutch, the president of MAOIH, told reporters last week.

The country’s three largest Jewish groups — EMIH, MAOIH and the largest, Mazsihisz — have a tenuous relationship, rife with disputes over ideology, theology and finances.

On Friday, about 300 people, most affiliated with EMIH but also including some nonobservant Hungarian Jews, attended a street celebration that culminated with the affixing of a new mezuzah at the synagogue by Rabbi Szlomo Koves, the head of EMIH. The structure received a luxurious-looking interior decoration featuring marble walls and wooden panels with LED lights.

Locals posed to have their picture taken with the revellers as they danced in a procession to music blasting from speakers they brought with them. But two middle-aged men also hurled insults at the revellers. There were no physical assaults.

The larger synagogue opened in the leafy and placid Ujbuda neighbourhood on the western banks of the Danube River. Housed in a historical Bauhaus building, the Ujbuda Synagogue has about 200 seats and a circular prayer hall inside a rectangular space. EMIH owns and operates the shul.

Following the opening, the Hasidic rapper Nissim Black performed in a concert that drew hundreds of listeners, including many non-Jews.

The concert was the closing event of the weeklong Jewish Cultural Festival, which also included a celebration of the slow-cooked Jewish dish cholent that many observant Jews make for Shabbat. On Sunday, hundreds of pounds of kosher cholent were given out free to passersby at a park near the synagogue.

Separately, Mazsihisz inaugurated a new wing at the city’s Jewish Charity Hospital on Sunday that was built with a $14 million grant from the government.

The addition “advertises that Hungarian Jews vouch for one another and for others,” Zoltan Radnoti, a senior rabbi within Mazsihisz, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Hungary once had four hospitals owned by Jewish communities, but only one remained after the Holocaust, in which the Nazis and local collaborators killed more than half of the prewar Jewish population of about 1 million. Only about 47,000 people who define themselves as Jewish now live in Hungary, according to the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research.


Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: