Year to year the Hungarian
scientific life has been mobilized by the Day of the Hungarian Science, ever since the
national academic and research institutions decided to commemorate the generous gesture of
the Hungarian Aristocrat, Count István Széchenyi, i.e. the establishing the Hungarian
Academy of Science.
Mourning and remembrance was the subject of the first session on November 17, organized by the Department of Pedagogy and Social Work, bearing the title of "The Holocaust and Traumas of the Survivors' Descendants". Prof. Dr. Alfréd Schőner, Rector and Chief Rabbi greeted the participants of the conference, emphasizing the importance of remembrance.
The moderator of the session, Prof. Dr. habil Judit Komoly, closed the meeting with her lecture on the changes in the Jewish identity in Hungary, which was illustrated with well-chosen examples.
A week later, the Language Department organized his session around the subject "Biblical Hebrew and the 20th-21st Centuries", which was opened by Mrs. Julia Schőner, the head of the Language Department, at this time also the moderator of the session.
Prof. Dr. habil Tamás Lichtmann led the audience into the world of Hebrew poetry in the Modern Era, quoting Hungarian and German translations of almost forgotten poets.
Dr. Ferenc Borsányi - Schmidt, university lecturer remembered the poet Zvi Yair, zcl., who has passed away recently. In his lecture we could follow the long road taken by the religious poet from Debrecen to the Parnassos of the modern Hebrew poetry.
Sándor Tóth, language teacher, in his closing lecture examined the relationship between the Biblical Hebrew language and the contemporary language of the modern Israel, illustrating it with lots of interesting examples.
On November 29, the Department of Biblical and Talmudic Sciences organized its session about those great Jewish personalities, who seemed to be forgotten in our everyday lives, titled with "Unjustly Forgotten". Last year our university hosted a conference of similar subject, however there were lot more valuable names, who could not be mentioned within the framework of one conference.
In the first section Prof. Dr. Alfréd Schőner, Rector and Chief Rabbi, in his opening lecture gave us a picture of the excellent graphic artist, Rabbi Sámuel Birnfeld, a victim of the Shoah, who also translated Petőfi's epos, "John, the Valiant" into Hebrew.
Dr. Róbert Fröhlich, Chief Rabbi and Brigadier General lectured about Baron Samu Hazai, the excellent soldier-politician, who took a long road from the simple Jewish home of the city of Rimaszombat to the velvet seat of the Minister of Defense. He was also the member of the House of Lords, and during his burial ceremony nine soldiers carried his military decorations.
Dr. Ferenc Borsányi - Schmidt gave a lecture about the more than one-hundred-year old history of the Society of the Hungarian Israelite Artisans and Agriculturists, which can be a true story of success, proving that the Jews are able to do physical labor just like anyone else.
János Oláh, university lecturer surprised the audience with remembering the famous Jewish personalities, who contributed a lot to the world culture and all were born in a simple village of Northern Hungary, Liptószentmiklós.
Meanwhile in the second section, the moderator, Prof. Dr. habil. Staller Tamás, Deputy Rector gave a very interesting lecture on Arthur Koestler, whose memory has been recently honored by a commemorative plaque in Budapest.
Chief Rabbi Dr. habil. István
Domán spoke about the almost forgotten educational form in Hungary, the once
famous yeshivoth of the country.
Gábor Deutsch, the teacher of our university gave us a glimpse of the late chief rabbis of the Dob Street.
László Sommer, university lecturer gave a warning about the devastating situation of the Jewish cemeteries in our country. Dr. habil. János Rattmann remembered Solomon Maimon, one of the famous Jewish philosophers of the modern era.
Prof. Dr. habil. Tamás Lichtmann
gave an outline of the past and the future of the Jewish literature, mentioning examples
from Hungary and abroad.
The Rector of the university, Prof. Dr. Alfréd Schőner Chief Rabbi, in his closing speech thanked for the successful work of the conference and he expressed his hope that the texts of the lectures would be published in a representative volume in the near future.
December 2, 2005