A New Museum Exhibit in Budapest Examines the History behind Hungarian Jewish Foods

When András Koerner retired from his career as an architect in 2003, he devoted his time to, as Joe Baur explains, “meticulously documenting and uncovering Jewish Hungarian life and foodways prior to the Holocaust—first through a series of books, and now through a museum exhibit in his hometown.”

Koerner’s exhibition Jó Lesz a Bólesz, which documents the history of Jewish Hungarian cuisine, is on display through November at Budapest’s Hungarian Museum of Trade and Tourism in the Óbuda neighborhood, once home to the region’s largest Jewish community in the late-17th and early-18th centuries. The name of the exhibit is a Hungarian pun that roughly translates to “the bólesz will be good”—bólesz being a snail-shaped yeast pastry with walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon historically tied to the Jewish Hungarian community.

The dish, Koerner explains, dates back to Sephardi Jews who fled to Holland following the Spanish Inquisition. These Sephardi bakers were responsible for the creation of the Dutch pastry zeeuwse bolus, which became bólesz when a Hungarian Jewish traveler tried to bake something similar after returning from Holland in the 19th century. “It represents one of the very few instances of Sephardi influence in the overwhelmingly Ashkenazi character of Hungarian Jewish cuisine,” Koerner said.

The museum exhibit opened in April. “I believe this is the first comprehensive historical and chronological exhibition that has existed about Jewish culinary culture of any country,” Koerner said, noting the various 19th-century artifacts and recipe manuscripts he donated to the museum after inheriting them from his ancestors. “They represent the most comprehensive surviving group of 19th-century culinary artifacts and manuscripts from a Jewish family in Hungary.”

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Hungarian Jewry, Jewish food, Sephardim

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

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Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin