The Jewish Museum in Budapest

T he Jewish Museum in Budapest was constructed on the site of the two-story Classicist style house of Theodor Herzl — who was one of the fathers of modern political Zionism, having formed the World Zionist Organization and promoted Jewish migration to Palestine in an effort to form the Jewish state of Israel — which adjoins the Dohány Street Synagogue.

Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

The Jewish Museum was built in 1930 in accordance with the architectural style of the Dohány Street Synagogue and was attached to the main building in 1931.

Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

It holds the Jewish Religious and Historical Collection, which is a collection of religious relics of the Pest Hevrah Kaddishah — also known as the Jewish Burial Society — ritual objects of Shabbat or Shabbos and the High Holidays and a Holocaust room.

Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Examples of the aforementioned ritual objects include — but are not limited to — Torahs, menorahs, candlestick holders and seder plates.

Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Stained glass windows highlight biblical moments in the history of Judaism.

Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

The Jewish holiday of Shavout — which last occurred in June of 2016 — is represented in this display.

Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

The words of the Torah — derived from the Five Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, which are also part of what is known as the Old Testament in Christian bibles — are typically written by a scribe in the Hebrew language on parchment in the form of a scroll.

Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Not just anyone can be a scribe to write each letter by hand, as it is considered a work of art. The decorative metallic object to the right in the foreground of the photograph is known as a yad, which is used to point to the specific text in the Torah as it is being read.

Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Many ritual objects of Judaism are considered a work of art.

Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

During the occupation of Hungary by Germany during World War II, the building of the Jewish Museum served as the single route of escape because its gate was located outside of the territory of the Jewish ghetto of Budapest.

Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Menorahs can consist of many shapes and sizes and are used for different purposes.

Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

These items are typically used for the holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which is the holiest day of the year — and it started on the evening of the next day while I was in Budapest. Shofar, so good.

Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark

Photographs ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Greater than 400,000 Hungarian people of the Jewish faith were murdered by the Nazis; and the items shown in the above photograph display some of the items owned or used by them.

Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

These yellow patches — shaped like the Star of David, which is a symbol for Judaism — were worn by Jewish people who were forced to wear them as they were enslaved in concentration camps by the Nazi regime.

Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark

This is one of a number of photographs of victims of the Holocaust on display in the Jewish Museum.

The above gruesome photograph shows the callousness of people as they nonchalantly go about their business amidst the dozens of corpses of Jewish people who were murdered and waiting to be cremated.

The Dohány Street Synagogue Operating Hours

The Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark is part of the complex of the Dohány Street Synagogue and is therefore subject to the same hours of operation.

Open at 10:00 in the morning every day of the week except for Saturday, when the synagogue is closed to visitors; but closing hours vary as shown below.

From November 2 through February 28 or 29 of the following year:
Sunday through Thursday until 4:00 in the afternoon
Fridays until 2:00 in the afternoon

From March 1 through October 31 of the following year:
Sunday through Thursday until 6:00 in the afternoon

Fridays from March 1 through March 31 until 3:30 in the afternoon
Fridays from April 1 through October until 4:30 in the afternoon
The last Friday in October until 3:30 in the afternoon

The Great Synagogue of Budapest is open through 2:00 in the afternoon twice during Erev Savuot and once during Erev Smini Aceret; and through 3:00 in the afternoon during the Jewish Summer Festival.

Keep in mind that the ticket office closes 30 minutes earlier than closing time.

The Great Synagogue and the Jewish Museum are closed on the following days:

  • March 15: National Holiday
  • Passover or Pesach
  • Shavuot
  • Rosh Hashanah
  • Yom Kippur
  • Twice during Sukkot
  • October 23: National Holiday
  • All Saints’ Day
  • December 24 and 25 for Christmas

Address and Telephone Numbers

1074 Budapest, Dohány utca 2-8
Located in district VII., at an angle to Károly körút, between Deák tér and Astoria

Contact address: 1075 Budapest Sip utca 12
+36 1 343-0420
+36 1 317 2754
+36 1 321 0408 for the Jewish Museum

 

By the way, utca is the Hungarian word for street.

Public Transportation

  • Metro: Astoria station on the 2 line
  • Bus: Routes 7 or 7A
  • Tram: Lines 47 or 49

 

I walked approximately 15 minutes from the Courtyard by Marriott Budapest City Center hotel property at where I stayed.

Admission to the Dohány Street Synagogue

1,400 Hungarian Forints or approximately $4.75 in United States dollars; or receive a discount of ten percent if you have a Budapest Card.

Admission to the Jewish Museum

Single ticket, museum only, without a guide:

  • Adult: 2,000 Hungarian Forints or approximately $6.80 in United States dollars; or receive a discount of ten percent if you have a Budapest Card
  • Student or pensioner: 850 Hungarian Forints or approximately $2.90 in United States dollars; or receive a discount of ten percent if you have a Budapest Card



Single ticket, with guide:

  • Adult: 2,250 Hungarian Forints or approximately $7.65 in United States dollars
  • Student or pensioner: 1,850 Hungarian Forints or approximately $6.30 in United States dollars
  • With Budapest Card: 1,800 Hungarian Forints or approximately $6.12 in United States dollars

 

Group ticket of greater than ten persons, with a guide:

  • Adult: 1,900 Hungarian Forints or approximately $6.46 in United States dollars
  • Student or pensioner: 1,500 Hungarian Forints or approximately $5.10 in United States dollars
  • With Budapest Card: 1,300 Hungarian Forints or approximately $4.42 in United States dollars

 

Inside the synagogue, men are required to wear a small skullcap called a kipah or yarmulke; but you will receive one at the entrance.

Summary

My visit to the Jewish Museum in Budapest — which was also part of my visit to the Dohány Street Synagogue and the Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark — was quite interesting. I would absolutely recommend visiting all three, of which I would advise you give yourself at least half of one day — if not the entire day — depending on your interest.

All photographs — except for the one from the Holocaust — ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

4 thoughts on “The Jewish Museum in Budapest”

  1. Christian says:

    It’s good to know it was worth it. My wife and I tried last year, but came late and there was a lot of preparation for a high holy day beginning at dusk, so we couldn’t get in. On the bright side, I’m going with a friend in about a month, and the synagogue tour was already high on the to do list, and this just makes me want to see it even more. Thanks.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      It was only my pleasure, Christian.

      Please consider posting a summary of your trip here, as I am interested as to what you thought of your visit.

      1. Christian says:

        If my IPhone pictures turn out well enough, I may try my hand. Worst case scenario, I fail miserably.

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          Go for it, Christian.

          It is better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *