A group of experts, with the leadership of sociologist András Kovács is conducting a survey about the Jewish community in Hungary, questioning 2000 people. We publish their preliminary assessment which was completed after the data collection was finished.
The first conclusion of the survey was that it is rather difficult to examine Hungary’s greatly assimilated Jewish community because the community itself is not known.
These were some of the conclusions mentioned in the report:
90% of Hungary’s Jewish community lives in Budapest, concentrated mostly in two of the so-called middle class districts;
relative to the country’s whole population, the proportion of married people is lower, and more people are divorced or widowed;
56% of the surveyed group, i.e. 68% of the working aged people within the Jewish population have a university degree, and this figure is many times higher than the Hungarian average;
26% within the test group work as managers, 29% as professional employees, 25% are self-employed: proportionally many more than in the whole of Hungary. As a result, their incomes are much higher; 28% of those questioned were born from mixed marriages, though this figure is 61% among those between 18 and 25 years (people with strong ties to the Jewish community were probably over-represented within the group);
When examining how closely the tested group is related to Jewish religion and culture the following were found:
14% keeps the Sabbath, 34% fasts at Yom Kippur, 29% keeps the Seder, 8% eats kosher food, 21% has a mezuzah on their door(s), 15% made their sons have their bar micvah, 17% are circumsized, 32% celebrates Chanukka.
„From a Jewish point of view, there is no reason to be afraid of Jörg Haider and his Freedom Party’s participation in government. It is not an anti-semitic party that was given power, but rather a party which is willing to integrate those who are anti-semitic or xenophobic. A deeply populist party, trying to please all, this is a „media party” with a radical liberal taint and its character, message and political methods have to be very carefully examined.” – writes László Seres about the much debated events in Austria.
Tamás Halász’s article reports on the Conference on Theatre/Drama History organized by Szombat. The conference was dedicated to the Jewish participation in the Hungarian theatre and drama.