Jews from Ukraine find a kosher haven in Hungary

IN a lakeside resort in western Hungary, 400 Ukrainian Jews, who were forced to leave their homes all across the war-torn country in the wake of Russia’s invasion have a place they can call a temporary Jewish home.

In Balatonoszod, on the banks of Lake Balaton, lies the single largest kosher refugee camp in Europe.

The 180,000 square mile resort, 130 kilometres from the Hungarian capital of Budapest, has seen 2,000 Ukrainian Jews come and go, offering them an escape from the tragic reality in Ukraine.

Balaton was transformed into a safe haven for Jewish refugees only due to the hard work of Slomo Koves, chief rabbi of the Association of Hungarian Jewish Communities, and Rabbi Meir Stambler, chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine.

The two rabbis’ project began only days after the war broke out in Ukraine.

Rabbi Stambler called Rabbi Koves, the latter recalled, asking if he could find a place to host 1,000 Ukrainian Jews for a Passover seder.

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