|Rabbi Katalin Kelemen (engl.):
Urgent Appeal for Aid to Serbian Jewish Refugees
24 April 1999 - Reported by Rabbi Kelemen - There are currently 160 Jewish
refugees from the northern part of Serbia - Subotica and Novi Sad, near the
Hungarian border - and from Belgrade. Two hundred arrived, but 40 left for
Israel, and 50 more will do so. Most are unsure whether they want to go on
aliya - most want to go back to Serbia. A very small number went to
western Europe or the U.S. if they had relatives there. Dozens are expected
to arrive in Mai.
The bombing in Serbia is continuing, so the
situation is awful. Men aged 18-60 were allowed to leave only
during the first week. Since then, men have not been allowed to
leave, and the remaining members of the families are concerned about
The refugees live together in the Park
Hostel, near the Kelety Eastern railway station, which is quite central.
The Jewish Agency looks after them. The Hungarian Jewish umbrella
organization helps. Originally, the refugees had to move their
accommodations from one place to another every day.
They need more food, fruit, medicine, soap
and cleaning materials. The adults have nothing to do. They don't have
money for bus travel. They need money for telephone cards to phone
home. The children go every day to the Lauder kindergarten. The older
children go to the Scheiber Sandor School.
Gyorgy Bollman, from Szim Shalom, visits on a
daily basis. Gyorgy is someone who makes things happen. Someone
from Szim Shalom is going to run programs for children. There are a lot
of children. Some of the refugees attended Szim Shalom's Yom Hashoah
service. Other programs - erev Shabbat with a kiddush sponsored by Szim
Shalom, for example - are planned. A dinner in the Carmel restaurant for
50 refugees will be arranged by Szim Shalom, at cost.
The European Region of the World Union is
seeking donations to help underwrite assistance being provided to
hundreds of Jews who have arrived in Budapest after fleeing the NATO
bombings of Serbia. ARZA/WORLD UNION North America has already
sent $5.000, which the European Region has forwarded to Rabbi Katalin
Kelemen, spiritual leader of Budapest's Congregation Szim Shalom.
Kelemen and her community are assisting the refugees, who have been
receiving food and clothing, as well as programming designed to
alleviate the despondency and boredom. For further information on how
you can help, please contact the European Region at
- PF 701/111
- Budapest, H-1399
- tel: (1) 176 7095
Abb.: sl / haGalil onLine
R. Nelly Kogan und R. Katalin Kelemen
HUNGARY GETS FIRST PROGRESSIVE RABBI
Rabbi Katalin Kelemen was inducted as
spiritual leader of Budapest's Szim Shalom community during a ceremony
held there on March 7. Over 200 persons were in attendance, many of
them from overseas. The ceremony was conducted by Rabbi Fred Morgan of
Melbourne, Australia, who also delivered a moving address.
The Hungarian-born Kelemen, who is the
country's first Progressive rabbi, was trained for the rabbinate at Leo
Baeck College in London. Budapest has a Jewish population of 70,000,
many of whom are rediscovering their Jewish heritage following 50 years
of Communist suppression.
Dr. Leo Hepner, Chairman, World Union -
haGalil onLine -