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February 3, 2014 10:47 pm

Hundreds of Rabbis to Bolster Hungarian Jewry

avatar by JNS.org

Right-wing Jobbik Party members in Hungary are planning to hold a rally in a building that formerly functioned as a synagogue. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org Hundreds of rabbis from all over Europe are planning to travel to Hungary in March for a conference meant to strengthen the Jewish community, while anti-Semitic nationalist parties gain traction in the country’s political scene.

The event—organized by the Rabbinical Center of Europe—will be attended by Israel’s chief rabbis as part of extensive cooperation with the Hungarian government to battle anti-Semitism. The extreme right-wing Hungarian party Jobbik, which has strengthened its hand in the Hungarian Diet, has proposed fascist laws. Hungarian Jews have reported gangs of thugs on the streets seeking to accost and assault minority groups, especially Jews and Roma.

Last week, Jobbik members announced plans to hold a political rally in the northern Hungarian city of Esztergom, in a building that once functioned as a synagogue.

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In light of these developments, the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE) and the European Jewish Association (EJA) decided to put together the event in Budapest from March 24-25. The conference was organized in conjunction with the Hungarian government.

RCE Director-General and EJA head Rabbi Menachem Margolin said, “It’s not easy to be Jewish in 2014 Hungary. In recent years, there has been a double-digit percentage rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Hungary.”

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