Day 9May 24, 2011
Today we visited a small town outside Budapest named Szentendre. This town is well known for its artistry and history. What makes this town historical and unique was the smallest operating synagogue in Europe built after World War 2. The synagogue is a primary example of the social change model.
A Jewish survivor of this town after World War 2 wanted to build a synagogue in Szentendre. He was unable to achieve his goal when he passed away unexpectedly. His son picked it up and wanted to complete the synagogue in memory of his father and the other Jews that lived in Szentendre. He understood the commitment to memorialize the Jewish community in this town. Giving him self the passion to continue the same goal as his father allowed him to bring others inside and outside the town together.
After collaboration, the project began to develop with a common purpose to build this small but outspoken building. Though there was no true controversy with civility, the father was a true turning point. It was after his death that the town realized the importance of this project. This synagogue is now one of the civil attractions in the town, acting as a museum to educate visitors.
This simple monument gave us a perspective on the effect of World War 2 on a local level that we had not expected. It showed us that even after the struggle of a group of people, a community came together to shine a light on a dark path. This artistic town shares this story along with others through it shops, artwork, and tours. While we all had a great experience, the opportunity to see the synagogue and what it represents in this town was truly a big step towards developing us as leaders. It now has us pondering what changes we can make!