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Hungary’s Neolog Jews Elect New National Chief Rabbi

By Ferenc Sullivan // 2015.07.28.

The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz) has elected a new national chief rabbi on Monday as the successor of the late József Schweitzer, who retired in 2002 and died in February at the age of 93.

In a statement sent to the state news agency MTI, Hungary’s leading Jewish organisation writes that Mr. Frölich, who has been chief rabbi of the capital’s Great Synagogue in Dohány utca, District VII, since 1993, was born in Budapest in 1965. After completing secondary school, be served as a teacher of religious education at Budapest’s Bethlen tér synagogue between 1986 and 1988, becoming deputy rabbi of the synagogue at Dózsa György út in 1989. Ordained as a rabbi in 1990, he first served his community in Újpest (District IV) and then, a year later, at Páva utca.

In 1993, he joined the Hungarian military’s religious service unit, becoming head rabbi of the Field Rabbinate the following year in the rank of general in 1994 and as brigadier-general in 1995. He retired from active military service in 2010.

At the meeting, Róbert Deutsch was elected leader of the Hungarian Rabbinate and chief rabbi of Pécs András Schönberger and District XI rabbi Zoltán Radnóti as his deputies.

photo: Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI