Haredi Jews in Hungary demand $33m. from other communities for ‘injustice’
“We have been trying for years to settle this unjust allocation of resources peacefully, but unfortunately our initiatives have received no response.” Haredi MAOIH group President Róbert Deutsch said
THE FUNERAL of Rabbi Meshulam Dovid Soloveitchik, on Sunday, in Jerusalem. The failure of haredi communities to come to terms with COVID-19, leading to extraordinary high rates of illness and death, requires soul-searching both internally and externally.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH 90)
The union of Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jewish communities in Hungary MAOIH demands $33m. in compensation from Reform and Chabad or Orthodox communities in that country for allegedly holding MAOIH back from getting its fair share of Jewish assets in the post-socialist country.
The Haredi community is “the oldest Hungarian Jewish denomination,” Autonomous Haredi Jewish Community of Hungary (MAOIH) President Róbert Deutsch said according to a Thursday press release.
The Reform community (MAZSIHISZ) and Chabad/Orthodox one (EMIH) haven’t responded to such claims for years. While the Haredi leader demanded the Reform community offer the funds, Hungarian Jewish life comprises of all different Jewish communities. There are, of course, non-religious Jews living in Hungary as well.
“We have been trying for years to settle this unjust allocation of resources peacefully, but unfortunately our initiatives have received no response. The responsibility we feel for the survival of traditional Hungarian Jewish religious values leaves us no choice but to take extreme action,” he said.
The feud is the result of a 1991 law which offered compensation to existing Jewish communities for public assets such as synagogues or bathing houses which used to be owned by a pre-Holocaust Jewish community.
The Haredi leader claims that roughly 40% of the 153 existing properties which had been returned to the Jewish community of Hungary and are the basis for the perpetual annuity were owned by Haredi Jews before the Second World War. However, Deutsch claimed that MAOIH has received only 5% of the funding from the Reform community.
As in other European countries, the crimes committed against the Jews in Nazi controlled Europe meant few of the historical Jewish communities were left intact to maintain the buildings which took centuries to built.
Modern Jewish communities, in that sense, are able to control large estates with little or no transparency in what was once the socialist block.
However, the claim that the Haredi community is the oldest in the country is misleading. The cultural creation of Haredi Jews was in response to the modern values of the Jewish enlightenment movement. Jewish communities existed in what is now Hungary since Roman times.