One might think, Teleki is asleep, if one only checks back to this blog occasionally. In reality life is thundering around Teleki, and it is quite a challenge to summarize it up in a blog post.
I was putting off writing all the time, for each of the different topics would deserve a full post, but this logic proved to be counterproductive, since none of these post came to be. Given a little extra time waiting on a forever delayed train, I can do some catching up.
Let’s talk about the future:
On the 6th of July, Shabbat morning the biggest ever Bar Mitzva will take place in Teleki shul.
Menachem Mendel Hurwitz, the eldest son of our beloved Rabbi and Rebetzin is going to get his first ever Aliah to the Torah. Mendel has been putting on Tefillin for 2 months now (Custom of the family to practice prior to the Bar Mitzva), the first time was celebrated in the shul on a special Sunday morning service.
Family and guests will arrive from all around the world, we will practically occupy ground floor ot 22 Teleki square, with a huge tent. The shul is going through constant re- and preparation to be able to host the huge number of people anticipated.
And here I can not go on without mentioning the immediate past. Mendel was chose from all this year’s bar Mitzva boys of the entire planet by Oprah Winfrey to be the Bar Mitzva story in her new series about religion around the world. The filming crew arrived on the 21nd of June, and finished shooting yesterday, on the 27th. For the shooting we staged the Bar Mitzva at Teleki with many members of the community playing the extras, and also accepting “outsiders” from Moishe House Budapest and Obuda Synagogue. The real crowd could not be present, for the shooting took place on a weekday, so most of Teleki’s regulars were at work during that time. The film is going to be aired in about the year, but we hope to get some samples of it before that. The shooting was documented by our very own Photographer and VP András Mayer, photos to be expected online soon.
Talking of media and press presence. Just recently (on Wednesday, 26th June) we were in Jerusalem Post: Europe Unexpected Budapests hidden temples.
And also not long ago we had the great chance to be in a highly read article in The Christian Science Monitor: A Jewish renaissance tucked away in a Budapest apartment . This article bounced once or twice, some sent it back to us from ALASKA, and many friends from different countries noted seing it. Unfortunately none of the articles managed to include any of our web addresses or the street address of the shul…
And also important and future/past related announcement is about our Pálinka. If you ever set foot to Hungary, you must have had to try the traditional fruit brandy of the nation, the pálinka.
The anouncement: Teleki tér has it’s own, home made, kosher for pesach apple pálinka. Halachically Supervised by our very own rav Shalom ha levi Hurwitz and his family, technically supervised by our very own distillation expert, Maja Pataki-Raj, distilled on the our very own distillation equipment, that the community bought from the donation (over 60 contributors!). Our very own (of course) pálinka expert, owner of Macesz Huszar (The Jewish Bistro of Budapest) and Doblo Wine Bar (The Prettiest Wine Bar of Budapest), Dávid Popovits rated the spirit 10 points out of 10 on the scale of home made pálinkas and 8.5 points (!) on the scale of professional distillations. Considering, that the professional equipment costs about 100 times as much as ours, it is not a bad result.
The pálinka can be tasted on donated occasions in the shul, during kiddushim and will be available in a very limited amount of numbered bottles.
And there are so many other thrilling things going on, that I just can’t name all of them. But there is one important thing left to mention, and that is the research project.
In December of 2012 Teleki launched it’s research project, “Teleki ’44”, that aims to document the last existing remnants, memories of the once thriving Jewish life of Teleki square and it’s neighborhood. We are seeking for survivors, elderly people still living in the area, who can tell us about life before, during and after WWII. More about the project can be read in the newsletters in both languages, and on the project’s own website: www.teleki44.com (only in Hungarian @ the moment). There will be 2 books, and a documentary film as the results of the project. The project is funded by EACEA and we hope, that once it is finished, we can go on with it, continuing the research and by organizing meetings, lectures, gatherings, exhibitions of he materials we gathered, created.
If you found, this is interesting, you might find interesting things about the fresh president, of the Federation of Jewish Communities András Heisler, the political and religious tensions about different Hungarian and international Jewish trends, antisemitism in Hungary getting stronger and louder, Hungarian Jewish Youth getting a voice through independent NGOs etc. Google is your friend ;)