In connection with the 150th anniversary of the founding of Budapest this year and the European Day of Jewish Culture, the ‘150 Years of Jewish Budapest’, a series of events that will run for almost seven months, has begun with the KULTUTCA [‘Cult(ural) Street’] festival and an exhibition of the Jewish-born painter Hanna Brandt in the capital.
At the opening event in the Jewish Historical Museum in Erzsébetváros (Budapest’s District 7), Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony recalled that 150 years ago, not only Pest, Buda and Óbuda were united, but also many cultures that have shaped the history of this city were brought together. He stressed that Budapest was born out of the ideas of homeland and progress, Hungarianism and Europeanism. That is why Jews and Christians can live together in this city, he said.
Erzsébetváros Mayor, Péter Niedermüller, said that the district is proud of the fact that Jewish compatriots have lived here continuously since the 18th century, and that they have enriched this district and this city.
Israel's Ambassador to Hungary, Yacov Hadas-Handelsman, who is also patron of the ‘150 Years of Jewish Budapest’ program series, said that there is a large and vibrant Jewish community in the country and in Budapest, as evidenced by the fact that the city boasts 20 functioning synagogues and many other cultural institutions linked to this community.
The president of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz), Andor Grósz, said that Budapest can be proud of the work of important Hungarian Jewish people who have forever written themselves into the history of Budapest and the country: scientists, architects, writers, poets, painters, composers, industrialists of Hungarian Jewish origin, he listed.