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JEWISH Budapest

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Upcoming events


Judafest

The annual Judafest in Budapest has been a yearly highlight since 2008. Every year, Kazinczy Street, the busiest street in the old Jewish quarter is filled with over 10,000 people, all coming to celebrate Jewish life and culture. The festival lasts for three days and participants can enjoy a range of concerts and musical performances by local talented musicians and international artists. Over the festival weekend, visitors can join guided tours through the historic old Jewish quarter, visit ancient synagogues and museums. Judafest includes a much-enjoyed “Ask the Rabbi” booth that provides answers to questions related to Judaism and Jewish customs. One of the highlights of the event is the annual Fun Run, organized by Maccabi Hungary. The festival also hosts discussions and lectures about Jewish life in Hungary with aims to connect the local Jewish community, increase communal life and to create dialogue with the wider Hungarian population. Cultural significance The festival is run by the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which was set up in the 1990s to help unite the Jews of Hungary and rebuild Jewish infrastructure. The event is non-profit and people of all faiths and backgrounds are welcome to come and explore the rich Jewish heritage of Budapest.


Jewish Summer Festival

The first Jewish Summer Festival took place in 1998 with the intent to introduce Jewish culture to people of other cultures. This included Jewish music, films, dance, art, and books.  The center of the event is in Great Synagogue on Dohany street, the second largest synagogue in the world.


Budapest Spinoza Jewish Festival

The Spinoza Cafe is a grand cafe, located in the heart of the old Jewish Quarter of Budapest. For one month in Autumn, the cafe become the cultural center of Jewish life in Hungary as people from all around the world travel to enjoy the Spinoza Jewish Festival. Adjacent to the cafe is a large theater where festival-goers can enjoy comedy performances, theater plays, cabarets, panel discussions and musical performances. The festival also hosts movie premieres featuring films and documentaries about Jewish life in Hungary, both past and present. During the festival, participants can enjoy the cafe’s delicious meals. Many attendees like to tour the local Jewish Quarter, the beautiful, nearby Winter Gardens and the array of local art galleries. Every year, the Spinoza Theater invites foreign performers to the festival. Artists from New York, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and France have all made performed on the famous stage and last year the world-famous guitar player, Manuel Monter from Puerto Rico, performed traditional Jewish flamenco music while Mirjam Rodriguez Brüllova from Bratislava brought her repertoire of Ladino songs. The Jewish community of Budapest had been reborn in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Synagogues and streets which were once empty are now teeming with life, culture and music. The Spinoza Jewish Festival celebrates all that is great about Hungarian Jewish culture and gives local artists a platform to share their culture with the world.


Bankito Festival

Bánkitó is a music, art, and theatre festival located in Bank, a tiny village in Nógrád County. The village is built around a lake and has a small store, a tobacco shop, a pizza place, a pub, some hotels, and a local eatery- everything you could need. Bánkitó Festival has been around for 10 years, mostly around the Lakeshore and the Camp. The small wooden cabins and the venues hidden around small clearings throughout the enclosing forest make Bánkitó the festival it is. Bánkitó is not just about the entertainment. They organizers look at our festival as a social enterprise that is capable of bringing attention to unduly neglected topics and raising awareness in the public’s consciousness. At the festival you will find a contemporary art museum, contemporary theatre pieces, and a unique line up of musical performances.


Jewish Cultural Festival

The largest Jewish art event in Budapest, the Jewish Cultural Festival, displays internationally renowned performers and venues. The presentation of the exceptionally rich Hungarian Jewish culture feeds on many different spiritual influences. This series of events is important not only because of the love and attitude towards the arts, but also because this Festival shows treasures of Hungarian-Jewish culture, traditions, music, and literary works.


Cholent Festival

This popular Jewish gastro festival takes place annually in the heart of downtown Budapest on Kazinczy Street. Participants get to choose from four different kinds of cholents and taste several other traditional Jewish foods and drinks from all over the world. The event gives visitors an insight into the mysteries of kosher cuisine and Jewish life at the festival organized by the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation (EMIH). In addition to the amazing food, Klezmer bands playing Jewish music throughout the day for guests to enjoy.


Sziget Fesztivál

The Sziget Festival is one of the largest annual music and cultural festivals in Europe. It is held every Summer in northern Budapest, Hungary, on a 266-acre island on the Danube. During this week-long festival, more than 1,000 performances take place and hundreds of thousands of people attend from around the world. In 2016, attendance reached an all-time high with 496,000 visitors from 95 countries. Musicians perform from several genres and the festival holds a blues stage, jazz tent, a world music stage, alongside the main stage with more popular rock performers. Famous music groups that have performed in the past include: The 1975, Blink 182, Imagine Dragons, Placebo, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Madness, Ivan and The Parazol, Bastille, Jack Bugg, Jimmy Eat World, Stromae, and Calvin Harris.


Holocaust Memorial Walk in Budapest

For the past 15 years, the Budapest community has held its own “March of the Living” to commemorate the Hungarian victims of the Holocaust. In Spring 1944, the German Army occupied Hungary and started to round-up the Jews into ghettos and deportation camps. Over 600,000 Jewish men, women and children were sent to Auschwitz and murdered at a rate of 12,000 a day until the camp was liberated by the Soviets. The march starts out along the banks of the River Danube, where approximately 20,000 Jews were executed by the Arrow Cross - the fascist party that ruled Hungary during WWII. The march then continues across the Chain Bridge to Clark Adam Square and then on to Raoul Wallenberg Quay. Members of the Hungarian Parliament and the Israeli Knesset join the march, as well as holocaust survivors and their families. During the event, Israeli and Hungarian dignitaries give speeches, warning people about the dangers of prejudice, racism and anti-Semitism, and reaffirm Hungary’s commitment to human rights and democracy. The march usually attracts over 10,000 people from all different communities and ethnicities. The purpose of the march is to allow people of all faiths and cultures to honor the victims of the holocaust and pay their respects. The genocide of Hungary’s Jews was one the most horrific crimes of WWII. Over 600,000 people were murdered in the space of one year. This event commemorates this atrocity and is a platform for speaking out against discrimination and bigotry.

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Holocaust Memorial Center

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The Holocaust Memorial Center is a national institution established by the Government in 1999. In 2002, there was a decision to construct the building of the Center on Páva Street, outside of the traditional Jewish quarter, further emphasizing its national character. The institution is a museum and an exhibition hall at the same time, offering daily visits to those interested. It is an attractive site with permanent, as well as frequently changing, exhibitions. The equipment and space in the modern building are shaped to allow classical retrospectives, as well as innovative and interactive exhibitions. The permanent presentation is placed in the basement of the Memorial Center, while the periodic exhibitions use the space of the refurbished synagogue, particularly its gallery, and the inner court of the Center. The accuracy and authenticity of the exhibitions are monitored by outstanding Hungarian and foreign historians, artists, and experts. The Holocaust Memorial Center is one of the few institutions in the world, established by the state, that focuses entirely on Holocaust research and education. As a center for scientific research, education, and culture, The Holocaust Memorial Center welcomes visitors to their interactive, permanent, and special periodic exhibitions, as well as to their experience-based museum pedagogical programs and various cultural performances. Guided tours are available in five languages and special, thematically focused tours, are offered regularly. A bookshop and a cozy coffee shop contribute to the Center's assets to help create a complete and memorable visit.

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Planning a trip to Budapest? It may be famous for its classical music and natural baths, but it is also home to the largest synagogue in Europe: the Dohany Street Synagogue! Visit the Dohany Synagogue and the Jewish Museum right next door. Can you guess which famous Jewish leader was born in this location? #jewishbudapest #budapest #synagogue #wjh #wjt #jewishtravelers #jewishtravel #culture ...

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