Despite a promising economic surge immediately after the collapse of the East-West divide in the early 1990s, today’s Hungary is troubled by persistent financial crisis and uncertainty.
Hungary is home to the fourth largest Jewish population in Europe—a community going through an inspiring renaissance following decades of religious repression under Communism preceded by the trials of the Second World War.
Yet, the current recession climate poses serious challenges to Hungary’s Jewish community, which is struggling to care for the elderly and children at risk falling through the seams of the country’s deficient safety net.
Today, in collaboration with the local community, JDC:
- Saves Hungary’s poorest Jews by providing thousands of elderly—many of them Holocaust survivors—with hot meals, home care, winter relief, and medical attention. At-risk youth and their families receive vital relief services and financial support to meet their essential needs.
- Revitalizes Jewish life by connecting those who were cut off from Jewish traditions and culture for decades to innovative learning opportunities like Judafest in the streets of Budapest and pluralistic education and cultural programs at the Balint Jewish Community Center.
- Develops tomorrow’s Jewish leaders by sharing global community-development expertise with the leadership and volunteers of the Jewish community’s well-established network of Jewish organizations. JDC also provides upcoming young Jewish leaders and volunteers with training and resources to develop grassroots programs tailored to their unique, local communities.
- Rescues victims of emergencies by promoting early detection of breast cancer—the leading killer of women in Hungary today. Through its Women’s Health Empowerment Program (WHEP) partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, JDC is increasing public awareness of the disease; offering screenings to socially disadvantaged women; providing psychosocial services for women with breast cancer and their families; and strengthening local breast cancer organizations.
Find out how JDC gave single mom Hanna and her family crucial aid and a much-needed connection to their community.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation/JDC International Summer Camp at Szarvas, Hungary hosts more than 2,000 participants from 20-plus countries worldwide every year.