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 Leadership Briefing 
The Jewish Federations of North America - The Strength of a People. The Power of Community.

JFNA Joins Call on Secretary of State Kerry to Combat Hungarian Anti-Semitism
May 17, 2013

The Jewish Federations of North America joined other national Jewish agencies in a call on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to give urgent attention to rising anti-Semitism in Hungary.

In a letter dated May 8, JFNA and thirteen other groups praised Kerry for highlighting the problem in a recent human rights report, calling U.S. leadership "indispensable to the advancement of human rights." The letter urged Kerry to "keep the issue of intolerance and discrimination squarely on the U.S.-Hungarian bilateral agenda" and to raise the matter in his direct, personal dealings with Hungarian officials.

The human rights report outlined troubling developments, including an increase in violence against Hungarian Jewish individuals and institutions, the proliferation of anti-Semitic material in the media, and the rise of the xenophobic and anti-Semitic Jobbik party, which has labeled Jews a "national security risk" and reiterated the historic blood libel against Jews.

Numbering more than 100,000, the Hungarian Jewish community is the largest in Central Europe.

JFNA leadership underscored the importance of taking action in the face of this growing threat. "During the Nazi occupation of Hungary, more than 500,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered and 70 years later, new signs of old hate are appearing in the country," said Michael Siegal, chair of the JFNA Board of Trustees. "The United States has a moral obligation and opportunity to combat anti-Semitism in Hungary before today's generation relives any more of the horrors that tormented their parents and grandparents."

Jerry Silverman, JFNA president and CEO, also declared his support for Hungarian Jews and for the efforts of the United States Department of State. "The American Jewish community will always come together to protect our brothers and sisters who are under attack anywhere in the world for being Jewish. We are grateful for the support and solidarity of our nation's leaders and look forward to working with the State Department to find solutions that will stop the fearsome rise of anti-Semitism in Hungary."

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