The Foundation joined partners from the European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative and Centropa in Budapest for the inaugural seminar to plan the important EU-funded ‘Protecting the Jewish Cemeteries of Europe’ project.
Various aspects of the project were covered through the agenda of discussions, and each partner also had the opportunity to outline their own programmes of work. The Foundation explained the approach to the ‘historic synagogues of Europe’ mapping website and presented five synagogue preservation ‘case studies’ in which it is involved, with a special focus on addressing the issue of identifying and managing the various ‘stakeholders’ associated with each.
Foundation Chair Dame Helen Hyde and Chief Executive Michael Mail also had the chance to meet with several leading Jewish heritage experts/activists based in Budapest. Meetings were held with a founder of OVAS! which campaigns to save the historic Jewish district of Budapest, Professor Rudolf Klein who is the leading expert on the synagogues of Hungary, and Feri Olti who created the innovative Jewish Museum in an historic synagogue at Balatonfured.
They also met the Director of the Jewish Museum Dr Zsuzsanna Toronyi based at the remarkable Dohany Synagogue. Following a special tour of the Museum, they went on to visit the recently restored and stunning Rumbach synagogue which is due to open to the public this summer.