Uspizin – a Project of the Limmud Hungary Foundation
Millions of voluntary DNA tests worldwide have revealed that Hungary is second only to Israel in terms of percentage of citizens with Jewish ancestry. Here, 130,000 people have at least one Jewish grandparent. Still, only about 10,000 of them affiliate themselves with Judaism in any form! For the rest, at times, their Jewish heritage is more or less just afact.
At the Limmud Hungary Foundation, an independent Jewish NGO, we are addressing this issue. We offer personal pathways to Judaism through voluntary learning for everyone. We support those knowledgeable in the field and those with limited understanding. From the well-connected community member to the more secularly minded, we are there for you!
We organize learning events to study Judaism, look at matters through a prism of Jewish wisdom, and enjoy each other’s company. Our events vary from afternoon sessions to multiple-day events, involving participants of a few dozen to even a few hundred, all of whom want to take a step toward their heritage.
Our new program is called USPIZIN, after those spiritual guests who visit celebrating communities during the festival of Sukkot, as tradition holds. Though we cannot schedule our ancestors, such as Abraham or King David, to teach us, we can evoke their lives, wisdom, or even mistakes, so that we may learn from them.
To get the party started, we organize host teams of 20 people together with Uspizin teams of experts and Limmud volunteers. The conversations will center around one of the following themes:
- Messiahs of troubled times – How and why do false messiahs rise and fall in times of uncertainty?
- Great Jewish women – Historically, the Jewish world was dominated by men. Of course, in all generations, there were great women who excelled. We introduce some of the lesser-known Jewish heroines of the past.
- The mental aspects of isolation – The Allmighty punished Jonah by hiding him alone in the belly of a whale. During the COVID pandemic, we experienced isolation – and it was as bad as a punishment. How can we best endure social distancing? How can we handle the mental aspects of the pandemic? How can our heritage and community help us during these times?
- Biblical cuisine – We cook a traditional Jewish dish with a modern kick. While the lentil is cooking, we have time to talk about menus, spices, and habits of bygone times.
We advertise the gatherings on our website and Facebook page, and invite the first 20 applicants. The relatively low number of participants will allow authentic discussions to emerge.
We wish to reach 200 participants in the first run. All topics will be discussed two times, with a host team of 3-5 people and 20 participants.
Timing: throughout the year of 2022
Costs: 1 500 000 HUF