Central Europe Discovery #2: Rich Jewish culture of Budapest

Checking in again now from Budapest! We had an amazing day and a half in the city learning about the rich Jewish culture of this exciting city! Every participant has been enriched in the city’s culture as it has become such a big tourist area. We ended our day wrapping up the Budapest experience with a conversation in which every participant had a time to reflect within our group.

Participants were either asked to speak or just think about their experiences we have had this far. We started in Budapest by learning the separation between Buda and Pest and how the Danube River separates the different parts. With the president on the Buda side, the participants were able to notice the more posh and family area of the city.


In contrast, on the Pest side, participants saw more of the downtown area where younger people live. We have learned that the Danube River splits the two sides, but interesting the land is different with Buda being hilly and Pest being flat. We were able to see many landmarks of the city on big sides of the river. These landmarks included the Parliament building, Holocaust memorials such as the shoes along the Danube River, the great Jewish Temple, and amongst many others.


Our evening ending with a cruise down the river which was a way to bring a somber day to a time of celebration and commemoration. It has been incredibly empowering as we were able to see the sites of both sides of Budapest as well as comprehend that as we floated along the river we remembered the many jews who had perished. We have had exciting and emotional experiences that we have joined together to learn from one another.


Our next stop to build upon the remembrance of the Holocaust is to Poland. In our next blog we will share our emotional roller coaster that we have been traveling on.


Some quotes from our amazing experience in Budapest:
“It was surreal to walk passed the synagogue that my great great great uncle was chief rabbi of. Was a great ending to a great city.” -Jacob


“Budapest has opened my eyes to the history of what has happened during the holocaust. Looking at the shoes along the Danube River was a sight that I connected a tremendous amount with my connection with and I’m looking forward to learning more.” -Andy


“The Buda Castle made me feel I was in a fantasy world as a princess because the architecture was so unique. Then at night seeing the castle with the lights around it was a priceless picture.” -Jamie


“The shoes on the Danube river gave me a feeling that was truly indescribable. To see something in person that I researched greatly was unbelievable. It was a great day in Budapest.” -Ellie


“The great temple was fascinating because it was unlike any others I have ever seen, which made me feel more proud to be Jewish.” -Hannah


“The shoes along the Danube River made the Holocaust feel more real as I could see the physical shoes along the bank, which showed how real people wore them.” -Noa


“I already know I want to come back to Budapest in the future and spend more time as there is so much to do and learn that this trip gave me a great taste, pushing me to want more in the future.” -Miles


“The hot spring baths were like anything I’ve ever seen because of how natural they were. It felt so nice to see how busy it was with locals and visitors which made swimming that much more fun.” -Joslyn


“The boat side was very peaceful along the water and felt as if I wasn’t across the world. The beautiful scenery at night was so nice to see with all the lights on the landmarks we saw during the day time.” -Donya
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