In the 19th and 20th centuries, Neolog Jews and others who had left the religion turned to culture with great affection. The two-thousand-year-old tradition of piety remained, but it sought a new object of devotion which the assimilating Jews, both religious and non-religious, found in literature, music and the arts. It was this love for culture that the 1909 founders wished to share with the whole country, Jews and non-Jews alike: the original purpose of OMIKE was public education, as reflected in its Hungarian name. One hundred and thirteen years later, we aim to follow in the footsteps of this tradition.
The beautifully restored synagogue on Rumbach Sebestyén Street, a masterpiece of design by Otto Wagner, presents us with an ideal home. The building which houses a bimah and torah ark is still used for religious purposes, but is also a setting for secular use. The choice of the synagogue will appeal both to the many Budapest residents of Jewish extraction who will appreciate its traditional aspects, but also to culture lovers without any Jewish connection who will simply enjoy the beautiful setting. We believe that culture can bring together Jews and non-Jews, people of faith and no faith at all ; Rumbach offers a home for everyone.
Like the light of the Hanukkah candles we put in the windows, may the light of culture shine on us all
Dr. Péter Bíró
Dr. Péter Feldmájer and Dr. Erzsébet Bottka
Dr. Andrea Jádi Németh
Oscar and Eveline Pfeffermann
George and Zsuzsa Pauk
Imre and Judit Sivó