Immigrants from Hungary are arriving to the Holy Land to make a new home in the Jewish State and leave mounting anti-Semitism behind.
Erika and Sandor Horvat, a couple in their 30s from Budapest, moved to Israel with their pet dog and plan to live in the coastal city of Haifa. They have no family in Israel but nevertheless, have chosen to make Aliyah after encountering ongoing anti-Semitism.
“The decision to move to Israel was a gradual process. We sensed, in correlation with the economic instability, the increase of anti-Semitism in the streets,” said Sandor, who is an accountant by trade.
“The Jobbik party’s entrance into the parliament, a far-right party that openly supports anti-Semitism, is creating a sense of apprehension. It also happens to be the second largest party in Parliament. We really felt that the world was going backward and that the 1930s were not so far away from the present reality,” he recounted.
While he said he was not personally afraid of walking in the street, he said “the rapid pace with which events are taking place is creating hostility.”
The couple was part of the first group of Olim from Hungary to move to Israel through the support of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), known in Israel as Keren L’Yedidut.
A rise in anti-Semitic violence around the world has led to an increasing number of applicants seeking to make Aliyah through the Fellowship, the organization reported. The Fellowship plans to make itself available to any of the estimated 80,000 to 100,000 Jews of Hungary who are interested in making Aliyah.
Chen Dor, the Fellowship’s Director of Immigrant Absorption, is in charge of helping Olim from Hungary. She noted that “over the past year, more and more Olim have pointed to the state of anti-Semitism as the main motive for making Aliyah.”
“This is a red flag that requires immediate attention and preparation for absorbing Olim. We at The Fellowship are prepared to provide comprehensive assistance to any Jew who wishes to move to Israel,” she added.
The Horvats had made their decision to move to Israel a little over a year ago while attending a local celebration in honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary.
“I hope I will be able to learn the language and transition quickly to work in my field in Israel,” Sandor said.
For more than 20 years, the IFCJ has been helping Jews make Aliyah and has invested more than $200 million in bringing approximately 750,000 Olim to Israel.