A synagogue that was returned recently to Hungarian Jews following centuries of disuse hosted its first bar mitzvah in 332 years.
The young celebrant, Yonatan Sebok, had his rite of passage event on Jan. 26 at the Buda Castle Synagogue, which reopened in September, the website Chabag.org reported Wednesday.
The first Jewish wedding held there in centuries is in the planning stages, according to the report.
The Buda Castle Synagogue used to be a Jewish museum. Government authorities signed it over to EMIH, the Chabad-affiliated federation of Jewish communities in Hungary. President János Áder attended the Sept. 6 reopening.
The synagogue’s remains were discovered in 1964. It had been ruined in 1686 by Christian fighters who took over what is now Budapest from the Ottoman Empire. Today it is one of a handful of synagogues in Buda. Separated from Pest by the Danube River, the two parts make up the Hungarian capital.
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
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We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.
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