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Jewish Journal

This week in power: Budapest conference, History program

by Danny Groner

March 26, 2014 | 8:45 pm

A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:

Conference controversy
A high-level member of the Hungarian Jewish community criticized organizers for not postponing the two-day biannual convention of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe ahead of nation elections. “Mazsihisz is looking with concern at the rabbinical conference, which is planned at the peak point of an elections campaign,” András Heisler wrote, about the upcoming April 6 election. "The conference brought more then 200 rabbis from across Europe and Israel in the Hungarian capital," according to reports. The Mazsihisz Federation recently boycotted a government depiction of Hungary as an innocent victim on Nazism ahead of the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust. More then 200 rabbis on Monday commemorated the 70th anniversary of the exterminaytion of Hungarian Jewry by the Nazis, during a memorial in Budapest.

PBS documentary
A five-part documentary called "The Story of the Jews" has aired and will continue weekly through the end of April is "is overstuffed with information and perspective. Yet it is occasionally a tough slog, especially in the first two episodes, before Schama settles into a better-organized and more chronological approach to telling one of the most complex stories in human existence," according to David Weigand at SFGate. It was put together by British historian Simon Schama and covers 5,000 years of Jewish history. Reviewers have fallen for it: "Believe me, it's a pleasing and enlightening vice grip, because you are in the company of someone whose mastery of the material is awe-inspiring, with oratory skills to match," wrote Newsday's Verne Gay.

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