December 15, 2004 - Park East Synagogue

American Zionist Movement, Bnai Zion, Conference of President of Major Jewish Organizations, Haddasah, Jewsih Community Relations Council, Jewish National Fund, Midstream


Commemoration of the Life of



Born in Budapest, Hungary, on May 2, 1860, Theodor Herzl was educated in the spirit of the German-Jewsih "Enlightenment." In 1878 the family moved to Vienna where Herzl received his doctorate in law and worked for a short while in courts in Vienna and Salzburg. Within a year, he left law and devoted himself to writing.

While in Paris in 1891 as the correspondent for the New Free Press (Vienna), he witnessed the rise of anti-Semitism after the court martial of Alfred Dreyfus. Herzl became convinced that the only solution to the Jewish problem was the creation of a haven for the Jews: a national home in Palestine.

In his 1896 pamphlet The Jewish State, Herzl was the first to call for immediate political action. He convened the first Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, in August 1897, which adopted the Basel Program and established the World Zionist Organization to help lay the foundation for the proposed Jewish state. Herzl was elected president of the Organization and chaired the first Zionist congresses. During his remaining years he met with world leaders, trying to enlist support for a Jewish state. Herzl died in 1904 before his dream could become reality.

In 1949 his remains were transferred to a mountain in western Jerusalem, which became known as Mount Herzl, and is today a major military cemetery.

Source: Program of the Commemoration

Welcome and introductions by Rabbi Arthur Schneier
Park East Synagogue
President, Appeal of Conscience Foundation
Honorary President, Religious Zionists of America

Ambassador Dr. Gábor Horváth
Consul General of the Republic of Hungary

Dr. Gábor Horváth greeted the leaders and guests of the commemoration and the representatives of the Hungarian community.

In his speech he remembered the legacy of Theodor Herzl, who died young, but his dream and vision has never died, and after some Biblical 40 years it became a reality. Dr. Horth talked about the quarter of million of Hungarian-speaking citizens of Israel providing a firm bridge between our countries; about the regained strength of the Jewish community in Hungary, their integral part of tradition and heritage. He also expressed the responsibility of facing our past and commit to a future when the Holocaust will not be forgotten and will never happen again.

"We must also ensure that today’s terrorism, as well as any form of anti-Semitism, xenophobia and intolerance will be combated in the name of humanity, for the sake of mankind, and for a guaranteed peaceful and prosperous future for the forthcoming generations."

The Ambassadors of Austria, Switzerland and Israel, which countries had strong connection to Theodor Herzl, gave speeches at the commemoration:

Ambassador Dr. Michael Breisky
Consul General of Austria

Musical interlude with Rose Bartu, Austria

Ambassador Raymond Loretan
Consul General of Switzerland

Ambassador Arye Mekel
Consul General of Israel

Memorial Prayer
Rabbi Uri Goldstein, Park East Synagogue

Closing music with Rose Bartu, Austria and Inbal Segev, Israel

Photo exhibit and Reception

Ruth Westheimer, famous sex therapist, was among the guests

Dr. Ruth, as she's widely known, has advised millions of fans all over the world through her hugely popular television programs, radio call-in shows, and newspaper columns.

Related links:

Hungarian Consulate, New York

Hungarian Consulate General NY @ gimagine

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