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Jews and Roma come together in Hungary

The Volunticipate program, which began Monday and lasts until Sunday, bring Roma and Jewish communities together for training seminars for the participants in NGO and project management, budgeting and fund-raising and volunteer recruitment, reports The Jerusalem Post.

The aim, according to Marom, a Jewish cultural organization in Europe, is for the representatives of the various Jewish and Roma groups to share their experiences of the common issues and challenges that both communities face, and to facilitate better organizational development.

"There is a high level of intolerance and a lack of critical thinking in Hungary at the moment," says The Jerusalem Post quoting Haver CEO Mircea Cernov. “The roots of this come from the schools and is deeply rooted throughout society. What we are trying to do is address the lack of debate on these issues.

“There are concrete signs and cases of discrimination against people in the Roma community and the strengthening of hard anti-Semitic narratives,” he added

The European Roma Rights Center says that in the past three years, nine Roma have been killed and dozens have been wounded in racially motivated attacks involving shootings, firebombs, stabbings and beatings.

“I think it’s clear around Europe that the far-right is getting stronger and its narrative and rhetoric is very popular among certain groups in Europe,” Cernov said. “NGOs and the non-profit sector are doing a great job but the political elites and opinion makers really need to develop some empathy toward these issues. The attitudes of the majority will only change when these people really engage with the problems.”