REMEMBERING OUR PAST
Keeping the flame of Judaism
alive against all odds
The Communist era
Life Behind the Curtain
During the Communist era, many Hungarian Jews lived their Jewish lives “behind the curtains,” as Gyuri puts it. “Maybe by lighting a candle on Friday evening or maybe a light on Hannukah. But, before doing that, most Jews closed their curtains.
”In big places like Budapest, people would go from one district to another. People thought you could go to a synagogue and afterwards when you return to your own neighborhood, they will not find out that you are Jewish.“
Gyuri learned early that the attempt rarely worked.
Some others did not reveal their Jewish identity at all, even to their own family. “When I was young I knew a boy who liked to speak loudly of ‘the son of bitch Jews.’ Then, at 16, his parents finally told him he was himself Jewish. The parents had never spoken of it.”
JCC Jewish Life Today
The thousands who visit the JCC Budapest every month each could tell a story like Gyuri’s, each a unique victory of hope over despair.
Still, there are tens of thousands of Jews in Budapest who have not been ready to come out of the shadows to embrace their Jewish roots. Help us welcome them in. Help us help them to be strong even in difficult times. Balint JCC is their first open door where they can view Jewish life without first closing the curtain.
Be part of the story. Connect with the JCC Budapest.