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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 them.

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

Kogan / KelemenSim Shalom
PF 701/111
Budapest, H-1399
tel: (1) 176 7095

Abb.: sl / haGalil onLine
R. Nelly Kogan und R. Katalin Kelemen
(Beth D
eworah, Berlin)


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 - European Region

haGalil onLine - Dienstag 27-04-99

Die hier archivierten Artikel stammen aus den "Anfangsjahren" der breiten Nutzung des Internet. Damals waren die gestalterischen Möglichkeiten noch etwas ursprünglicher als heute. Wir haben die Artikel jedoch weiterhin archiviert, da die Informationen durchaus noch interessant sein können, u..a. auch zu Dokumentationszwecken.

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