Nell and Dan Miller of Sarasota, Florida visit the Great Synagogue on Dohány Street,
where Theodor Herzl celebrated his Bar Mitzvah.
July 15, 2010 / 4 Av, 5770
On July 7, 2010, a delegation of senior directors from North American Jewish Communities embarked on a trip that took them through Budapest, Hungary to Israel, where they visited Jewish Agency sites throughout the country.
The delegation’s trip to Budapest included a visit to the Great Synagogue on Dohány St. where Theodor Herzl celebrated his Bar Mitzvah, as well as to a monument in memory of the 400,000 Hungarian Jews who were murdered by the Nazis. The monument was funded by the Jewish-American actor Tony Curtis (born Bernard Schwartz on June 3, 1925), who is of Hungarian extraction.
The purpose of the visit to Hungary was to commemorate the horrific murder of Hungarian Jews by the Nazis that began in September 1944.
Upon arriving in Israel, the group divided into two groups. The first went to visit projects of the Joint Distribution Committee, and the second set out to visit Jewish Agency programs.
Beginning with leadership and pioneering opportunities, the group visited the First Home in the Homeland at he Merchavia Kibbutz, the Masa program in Tel-Aviv, Youth Futures, Young Communities, and kibbutzim.
At a paratrooper unit at a military base, the delegation met Ella Spevak, who inspired the visitors with her story. After completing several Jewish Agency programs (Nativ and Taglit), she recalled, she no longer needed to ask herself, “Who am I? What am I doing here?”
Afterward, the group met with soldiers who participate in a variety of Jewish Agency programs.
The visit concluded with a meeting with at-risk youth participating in a variety of programs in Jewish Agency youth villages.