From documentation made available to Mandiner.hu, it appears that BKV has a claim of almost HUF 25 million in receivables against EMEF Zrt., the uniform company that went bankrupt. Its CEO, András Heisler, became the president of Mazsihisz in 2013, and now internal debates at the religious association are raging.
„It is worrying that these negative things are coming out of Mazsihisz, and since then many people have lost their credibility with their betrayal,” said András Heisler, president of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities in his report on the second half of 2020.
Hungarian news site Mandiner already reported that tempers are flaring in the association, with more and more people questioning the competency and credibility of the secular leadership; the intensity of the ongoing debate can even be followed publicly in the wake of the leaks.
As Heisler’s term “betrayal” indicates, the Mazsihisz president and his circle sense that the conflicts have been caused by some external factor, saying they are only partly the result of internal disagreements and more due to intentional, aggravated harm. One thing is for sure:
The conflict between the secular leadership and the Rabbinical Corps escalated to the point where the former resigned to the latter’s leader, Tamás Róna, who was later supported by the rabbis and confirmed in his position.
Most recently, Tamás Verő, the rabbi at the Frankel Leó Street Synagogue, left the Rabbinical Corps of the association.
Mandiner had also previously written that Róna founded the Hungarian Jewish Prayer Association, Zsima, which apparently deeply annoyed Heisler. Our own site wrote that Heisler had written to the Mazsihisz delegates asking if they were members of other temples. In all likelihood, what Heisler meant to ask is if they belonged to Zsima, which, in any event, is not a temple but a religious association. Twenty of the 111 delegates did not respond.
In connection with the above mentioned leaks, the national leadership also differed from the Jewish Community of Budapest (BZSH). The head of BZSH, Tamás Mester, testified in vain to the members of the general meeting that he did not disclose any such internal correspondence, which Heisler had essentially accused him of doing.
As a result, on Monday afternoon, the president of Mazsihisz suggested a joint meeting with BZSH leaders, “to discuss further steps in the matter.” The leadership of Mazsihisz officially expects clarification from Tamás Mester, but our sources, who requested anonymity, predict they would like to achieve Heisler’s departure.
According to the information received by Mandiner, those dissatisfied with Heisler’s direction express serious concerns not only about the president’s leadership style but about his background as well. Heisler served as the CEO of EMEF Zrt., a uniform and fashion goods trading company, before his second term as president of Mazsihisz (he had already held this position once before) started in 2013. EMEF had been featured in national news when it was forced to admit that uniforms delivered to BKV (the Budapest public transportation company) were defective. Attila Gulyás, president of the Urban Public Transport Workers’ Trade Union, stated in 2009 that the quality control showed that the clothing was not made of the material specified in the contract, the buttons were partially rusty, and the fabric shrank after just a few washes.
Not too long after this, in the same year that Heisler became President of Mazsihisz yet again, EMEF went bankrupt.
Per a previous article by Neokohn and documentation made available to Mandiner.hu, the fate of the faulty clothes remains unknown, but just more than a year after the financial collapse (according to the audit report, “share capital fell below the statutory minimum”) on March 12, 2015, creditors filed for the liquidation of the company. This was ongoing even in 2017, when the liquidator tried unsuccessfully to get rid of the stock of BKV-labeled uniforms that he was stuck with. EMEF was finally removed from the register of companies on August 2, 2019.
Back on March 27, 2015, BKV had turned to the company, saying they were due more than HUF 23 million in receivables, plus a late payment of interest of some HUF 1 million. BKF tried in vain, but after the liquidation procedure was initiated, it was forced to submit its claim to the liquidator.
In the end, BKV was only able to receive a fraction of the HUF 23 million. „In view of the partner’s financial situation, HUF 85,073 was transferred to our company at the end of the proceedings on the basis of the liquidation proposal approved by the liquidating court,” BKV announced.