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New synagogue inaugurated in Kecskemét

July 6th, 2020

A Jewish news portal welcomes the opening of the new synagogue and finds no problem with the fact that the Prime Minister’s name is inscribed on the inaugural marble plaque.

On Neokohn, Viktor Cseh describes the opening of the new prayer room as a tribute to former generations and an expression of hope in the future. Before the Second World War Kecskemét had a large neolog community and a smaller orthodox one, but only 80 of the 12 hundred strong local Jewry survived the Holocaust. Thereafter the old synagogue, which was desecrated by invading Nazi troops in 1944, was transformed into “The House of Science and Technology” and the small remaining local Jewish community met next door in a house kept in good shape by the family of the local rabbi. Now a large hall has been built in that refurbished building to host religious ceremonies. Three quarters of the expenses were covered by the state, and the remaining quarter by the local council. The memorial plaque commemorating the event mentions Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and State Secretary Miklós Soltész by name as having personally contributed to the building of the new synagogue. Neokohn’s author remarks that this is the first synagogue and probably the first church building on the walls of which Viktor Orbán’s name has been engraved. He calls that “a bit atavistic”, but something not out of kilter with a long-standing tradition.

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