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Nov 19, 2019

Government signs agreement to acknowledge Jewish traditions in Hungary

The Hungarian government has signed an agreement with the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation (EMIH) to acknowledge the historical traditions of the Jewish community and “EMIH’s service to the renaissance of Hungary’s Jewish community”.

The Hungarian government has signed an agreement with the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation (EMIH) to acknowledge the historical traditions of the Jewish community and “EMIH’s service to the renaissance of Hungary’s Jewish community”.

According to MTI, the document was signed by Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén, the minister in charge of Hungarian communities abroad, church policy and national and ethnic minorities, and EMIH chief rabbi Slomó Köves at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The deputy PM noted that all three of Hungary’s Jewish congregations — the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary (Mazsihisz), the Hungarian Autonomous Orthodox Jewish Community (MAOIH) and EMIH — are recognized as religious communities “in the highest category”. He added that signing separate agreements with the congregations also meant the highest form of recognition in a symbolic and financial sense.

Deputy PM Semjén noted that the state of Hungary signed pacts with Mazsihisz and MAOIH during Viktor Orbán’s first term as prime minister. The new agreement with EMIH constitutes a formal recognition of the entirety of Hungary’s Jewish community, he added.

Under the pact, the institutions established and run by EMIH will be entitled to the same level of funding as state institutions carrying out similar tasks. EMIH is also given free rein to handle the refurbishment and maintenance of rural Jewish facilities “orphaned” after the Holocaust.

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