Bringing Jewish life to Budapest

September 12, 2019 by  
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Rabbi David Keleti, head of the Lativ Community he founded seven years ago in Budapest, has spoken in Sydney about the work that he has been involved in primarily rejuvenating Hungary’s 90,000 Jews.

Rabbi Keleti speaks at Central

He told a meeting at the Central Synagogue that many of Hungary’s Jews are third generation.
Rabbi Keleti was born in Debrecen, Hungary and at the age of eight made Aliyah with his parents.  He recalls his father’s loss of his first wife and three children in Auschwitz.  At 47 years his father remarried his wife’s younger sister. Rabbi Keleti recalls her reminiscing about how the Jews of her village named Foldes had to leave their keys behind on a table before departing to the train station and boarding trains for Auschwitz. As they left, their neighbours clapped.
At the age of 50 Rabbi Kelerti has discovered that his mission was to save Hungarian Jewry from total assimilation.
He believes that the Jews of Budapest have been neglected in terms of Jewish education by world Jewry because there has been no role model to help shape the younger generation’s emotional attitude towards Judaism.
The rabbi’s outreach project, Lativ, is targeting young Jews between the ages of 18-35.  At present, there are learning sessions available from Monday to Thursday, in Tanach, Jewish history, tradition, ethics and contemporary Israel.  Rabbi Keleti also organises the observance of Jewish festivals, weekend seminars, social events and trips to Jewish communities abroad – Zurich, Antwerp, Vienna, Prague, Gateshead, Manchester and London.
Out of Lativ’s 300 current and alumni students,16 have made Aliyah and 20 weddings have taken place.
Rabbi Keleti has studied in world-renowned Mir Yeshiva where he rose to become one of the closest students of Rav Nochum Partzovitz.  He has obtained the qualifications of Dayan and taught in prominent Yeshiva Gedola Me’oros HaTorah in Telshe Stone, Jerusalem.
To succeed in reviving Hungary’s Jewish community and to stop the tragic process of its disappearance, Rabbi Keleti needs sponsorship.
The community’s website is www.LATIV.HU or he can be contacted on his personal email: or call 0449 787 484.
He is visiting Melbourne next week.
Report from Deborah Katz

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