'Hungarian Memories in Israel' Book Launch //

'Hungarian Memories in Israel' Book Launch // "השקת הספר "מורשת הונגרית בישראל

Publishing Department | Book Launches

On 17 October 2019, during the Hungarian Days in Tel Aviv, the Hebrew edition of the book Hungarian Memories in Israel by Attila Novák and Zsuzsa Shiri was launched by the Antall József Knowledge Centre and the Tel Aviv Embassy of Hungary. This book is the third volume of Antall József Knowledge Centre’s highly successful Hungarian Memories guidebook series that depicts the history of cities, buildings, and locations with Hungarian memories in Israel. In addition, it seeks answers to questions such as what it means to be Hungarian in the Holy Land and what kind of Hungarian traces and Hungarian-related editorials, clubs and associations can be found in the area. Moreover, it also explores the material and intellectual memories of the deep historical and social relationship between Hungary and Israel, with special emphasis on the contribution of the Hungarian Jewish community to the birth and development of the Jewish state.

The book-launching event was opened by HE Levente Csongor Benkő, Ambassador of Hungary to Israel, who, in his brief welcome remarks, praised the project, Hungarian Memories in Israel.

In his speech, Rabbi Professor Daniel Hershkowitz, Israeli Civil Service Commissioner—who has Hungarian roots and long-time promoter of Hungarian–Israeli relations—highlighted the niche nature of the publication and welcomed the release of the Hebrew edition.

Dr Attila Novák, Senior Research Fellow at the Tamás Molnár Research Institute of the National University of Public Service and author of the book, spoke about the birth of the book, the locations and persons presented in it, as well as the experiences he gained during his visits to the memorials with his co-author and the photographer. He was pleased to be able to visit orthodox Jewish communities that are otherwise extremely closed for outsiders.

Zsuzsa Shiri, MTI correspondent in Israel and co-author of the book, talked about contemporary Hungarian communities and their tradition preservation in Israel. Besides, she introduced the past and present world of Hungarian-founded kibbutzim.

Both authors pointed out that this volume is not a regular guidebook that depicts famous tourist attractions. The authors tried to approach the genre of travel-guide writing in a new and unique way, thus the publication is based specifically on Hungarian memories, regardless of religions. Responding to a question by the audience, Attila Novák emphasised that they did not aim to make a division by religion of the area, they only sought to outline in their research Hungarianness as a connecting link.

Following the presentations, Zsolt Csepregi, Deputy Director for International Affairs at the Antall József Knowledge Centre, expert on Israel and Masters of Ceremonies of the event, invited onto the stage Dániel Danziger, photographer, and Eszter Árkos, commissioning editor of the book, who united together the staff involved in the preparations.

The lectures were held in the Hebrew and Hungarian languages. The translator of the event was Tamás Grosser, an outstanding Hebrew–Hungarian interpreter.

We are proud that the Hebrew edition of Hungarian Memories in Israel will be made available in Israel in early 2020 by Israel’s largest book distributor, Steimatzky.

Publishing Department