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New Jewish cultural hub to open in Budapest

Music

Golem Theater

The Golem Theater and Jewish Performing Arts Center is set to open in Budapest始s District 7 in 2020, in the heart of the city始s historic Jewish Quarter, hosting theater productions, concerts, dance performances and other forms of contemporary art.

Andr谩s Borgula

The idea of a complex Jewish cultural center comes from the founder and artistic director of Hungary鈥檚 internationally acclaimed Golem Theater, Andr谩s Borgula, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

The only professional Jewish theater company in Hungary was founded in 2005. Working on a project-based model with renowned actors and leading theater professionals from the Hungarian contemporary arts scene, Golem has no permanent ensemble. Additionally, having no playhouse of its own, the company has performed at various venues since its founding.

鈥淲e have always planned to move to a permanent base, which is an obvious advantage when you run a theater,鈥 Borgula says. 鈥淔or that very reason, I was delighted when, upon our inquiry, Budapest鈥檚 District 7 municipality agreed to lease us one of their derelict buildings, an old bakery in the very heart of the city鈥檚 Old Jewish Quarter. Given an ever-increasing appetite for arts and culture in Budapest, we decided to widen our scope and transform our operation from purely running a theater to opening a contemporary Jewish cultural center with complex programming.鈥

Besides housing the Golem Theater鈥檚 repertoire and its performing arts school, the center will host contemporary music, dance, and circus productions, as well as serving as an educational and information hub regarding today鈥檚 Jewish culture. Additionally, guests will have the chance to relax in an all-day caf茅 featuring traditional Jewish cuisine reinvented, notes the press release.

The project is based on a public service contract, with the municipality providing the venue, while the Golem Theater will operate the hub along its own artistic programming and business plan. Renovation work on the building is already in progress, with the opening scheduled for September 2020. Besides its own resources, Golem aims to fund the project, costing approximately EUR 225,000, with the help of private benefactors, corporate partnerships and crowdfunding.

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