A Jewish youth in Hungary brings the fire with a new development in Budapest’s youth movement. Dinah Spritzer of the JTA reports:
“Adam Schoenberger is lucky: As a rabbi’s son, he has always known what it meant to be Jewish. Growing up among some 80,000-100,000 Jews in Budapest, being Jewish was not an oddity for Schoenberger. Nonetheless, he was aware that young Jews in Hungary aren’t very active in Jewish communal life.
“What I saw was that there were no options for young Jewish people to have Jewish-themed cultural experiences, so we at Marom started to do big events, like klezmer concerts and a Chanukah festival where 800 people turned up,” he said.”
“He partly credits the event’s popularity to the fact that attendees were not asked if they were Jewish and didn’t have to be a member of any Jewish organization.”
“After communism we are really individualistic; people don’t want to join organizations,” he noted. “I wanted to think of other ways to connect people to Judaism.” Schoenberger helped start a Jewish theater and founded a hip-hop band that sings about Jewish life in Hebrew. He writes the lyrics. The band is called Hagesher, which means “the bridge” in Hebrew. “The most important contribution I can make to Jewish life is to show everyone how colorful and culturally rich the Jewish tradition is.”