The visit was a continuation of the summit held with Hungary Prime Minister Mr. Viktor Orban and Israel’s Chief Rabbi a few months earlier. The Hungarian Mister of Religious Affairs spoke about the immense support the orthodox Jewish communities in Hungary receive from the government.
The Minister added that recently a few laws were passed for the benefit of preserving the Jewish communities, as the law simplifying the procedure of renovating and sustaining ancient shuls scattered all over Hungary. Also, the Minister revealed that the law on transferring land to the Jewish communities has become more lenient. Israel’s Chief Rabbi discussed numerous issues with the Minister such as access to ancient cemeteries etc.
The Chief Rabbi concluded by expressing gratitude towards the religious affairs Ministry “I greatly appreciate the efforts towards preserving the Jewish communities that observe their tradition and I wish to thank you and the Prime Minister Mr. ViKtor Orban on the past and on the future. The path to a better world is formed by people that appreciate the other and care for their future.”
Rabbi Shlomo Kovesh thanked Israel’s chief Rabbi David Lau on his uncompromising backing of the United Jewish Orthodox Communities that represent the authentic Jewry in Hungary and stated that his community operates one third of the shuls, an elementary school, High school, University, Old age home, philanthropic organizations etc. combining their struggle against antisemitism. עמיך , is the largest and most influential community in Hungary.
At conclusion, The Chief Rabbi told the Religions minister about his grandfather Rabbi Moshe Chaim Lau HY”D who was the Rabbi in the city of Preshov Slovakia which is now part of Hungary. He added that he visited the city recently and the great shul that was led by his grandfather is now dilapidated. The minister promptly announced that as soon as he returns to Hungary he will investigate the situation and plan reconstruction and maintenance in order to sustain the memory of the Jews that once lived there forever. He will also take responsibility for erecting a monument in memory of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Lau HY”D.
Continuing with his itinerary, Minister Shultz met with his colleague Israel’s Minister of religious services, Rabbi Yizhak Vaknin, (Shas), accompanied by Rabbi Shlomo Kovesh, Chief Rabbi of the United Orthodox Jewish Communities in Hungary עמיך , Hungarian Diplomat in Israel Mr. Levente Benkő,and RCE’s Director General Rabbi Arie Goldberg.
During the meeting, Minister Yizhak Vaknin referred to the Hungarians Government’s support of the Jewish community and thanked the Hungarian officials. Besides, Minister Vaknin emphasized the importance of eradicating antisemitism in Hungary and Europe. Hungary’s Minister Schultz and Rabbi Kovesh replied to Minister Vaknin that the Hungarian Government is investing 1.5 million Euro starting 2019, to battle anti-Semitism in several areas such as Law, education, Public organizations, and government networks. In this context, a hotline will be initiated with availability to all Europe, in the case of an antiemetic attack.
The ‘Action and Protection Foundation’ was established in Budapest in 2012, by Rabbi Shlomo Kovesh. The Foundation will expand and unite into The ‘Action and Protection League of Europe’ where the main Branch will be in Brussels, The Capital of the European Union.
In conjunction with the event, Minister Mr.Vaknin expressed his gratitude towards his Hungarian Emissary for appointing the עמיך, community to manage the new Holocaust Museum in Budapest. Rabbi Shlomo Kovesh said: ‘As a grandchild of a survivor, seventh-generation Hungarian, Ph.D. in History and the Rabbi of the orthodox community, I am proud to lead the establishment of the new museum that will perpetuate the memory of murdered Jews. High school students in Hungary will be obligated to visit the museum. This is a historical chance to pass on the history of the Jewish Hungarian community, which was almost completely exterminated in the Holocaust, to the young generation of Hungarians, thus striving to revise the next whole generations’ philosophy towards the holocaust.’
RCE’s Director General Rabbi Arie Goldberg thanked the Hungarian Minister for the gracious support portrayed by the Hungarians government towards the Jewish community and emphasized their assistance in all areas.
The Hungarian Minister thanked RCE and the Director- General Rabbi Arie Goldberg for accompanying him throughout his entire visit, assisting him with all his meetings with Israeli government officials.