Hungary’s deputy PM signs funding agreement to support Jewish community

Hungary’s Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén signed an agreement with the Hungarian Jewish Prayer Association (Zsima) on Friday that would provide the organization with 51 million forints (140,000) each year up until 2025.

The funding will be used to support rabbis and cantors from the wider community and in particular the liberal and modernist Neolog Jewish community, one of the two main denominations of Judaism in Hungary following a historical schism with the Orthodox community.
The new funding agreement was referred to as “historic” by Tamás Róna, head of the Hungarian Jewish Prayer Association, noting it will help support Neolog Judaism for the years to come. 
“The government considers it a duty of conscience to provide support to representatives of the Jewish religion, similarly to its support for Christian and Protestant priests and pastors, in their services lifting the spirit and the soul,” said Semjén, who is also the minister without portfolio for National Politics, Church Affairs and Nationalities. 
He added that the maintenance of Jewish cemeteries is also an important goal, with the government providing special subsidies.
The new agreement comes following a similar agreement on financial support for the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz).

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