Tamás Ács elected president of Budapest Jewish community

March 29, 2015


Hungary’s Neolog Jewish community, the largest of Hungary’s Jewish communities, held a general meeting on Thursday to elect a new executive director, president and board member.

Dávid Schwezoff was recalled from his executive position in the wake of numerous scandals in October 2014, resulting in Kunos taking over as the organization’s temporary executive director.

The community held elections for new leadership last Thursday.

The candidates, the speeches

Henriett Kiss was the first ever to be a candidate for the presidency but announced she would step down candidacy, leaving the racing to be settle among candidates Péter Tordai, Tamás Ács, László Bandi, and György Beer.

In a speech prior to the election, Tamás Ács said the fight against anti-semitism in Hungary would be a major issue during his presidency should he be election. He also expressed his desire to focus on social issues. His aim, he said, is to create a “modern and progressive jewish community”.

Kunos used his speech to emphasize that, just he had done as temporary executive director of the Neolog faith community, he would continue to work on a lasting resolution for conflicts within the community.

It seemed, however, that all candidates were in agreement on at least a few salient points. They all highlighted their desire to increase youth engagement, to draw Budapest’s middle class Jewish community back into the faith community, bring transparency to the administrative work of the community, and to take a firm stand against Hungary’s far right Jobbik party.

Tamás Ács was eventually elected after two rounds of votes. A former banker, he is presently the finance director at the Ludwig Museum of Fine Art.