The President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine (FJCU), Rabbi Mayer Tzvi Stambler, has written a letter to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán thanking Hungary for taking in Jewish refugees from Ukraine and expressing his hope that peace will soon be established in Ukraine, Bertalan Havasi, deputy state secretary in charge of the Prime Minister’s Press Office, told MTI.
The rabbi said in his letter, „In times of instability and uncertainty, we need friends and mutual support more than ever. Sadly, we have seen in recent times the fulfillment of the Bible’s ominous prophecy: ‘In the morning you say, „If only it were evening!” And in the evening you say, “If only it were morning!”’ A terrible and bloody war is raging in Europe. Millions of people are forced to leave their homes in the hope of finding a safer future.
That is why we consider it very important that from the very first moments of the crisis, Hungary has set an example in helping Ukrainians in need, including members of the Jewish community.”
He noted that the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine (FJCU) operates as a comprehensive charitable organization covering the whole country, with 162 communities, 36 synagogues, 29 Jewish schools, 33 kindergartens, 4 yeshivas and 5 high schools, serving a total of 500,000 Jews.
The outbreak of the war brought an abrupt end to this extraordinary and flourishing prosperity, to the developments we had coordinated,” writes Rabbi Mayer Tzvi Stambler, stressing that in these troubled times Hungary’s humanitarian activities are particularly valuable to them.
He related that the Hungarian government had provided a large area of land for Jews fleeing Ukraine to set up a temporary kosher refugee camp. Nearly 500 people are sheltered in the 18-hectare resort village of Balatonőszöd. The camp welcomes Jews with kosher meals, takes into account their special religious requirements, facilitates the education of children, and cares for women and elderly people who have had to leave their male relatives at home. They also help refugees to integrate into Israeli or local Jewish communities.